Faith Defined, And Its Properties Described
by John Calvin (abridged)1,2
1. A great part of the world, when they hear the word faith, conceive it to be nothing more than a common assent to the evangelical history. And even those, who say God is the object of faith, tend to mislead miserable souls through their vain speculations. It is true, that faith relates to the one God; but there must be added a knowledge of Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. God Himself would be altogether concealed from us, if we were not illuminated by the brightness of Christ. Paul, when he speaks of faith in God, does not contradict his frequent inculcation of faith in Christ; and Peter most suitably connects them together, when he says, “by Him [we] do believe in God” (1 Peter 1:21).
2. The evil of concealing Christ must be attributed to the schoolmen [philosophers, theologians]. These schoolmen have not only concealed Christ, but fabricated the notion of implicit faith, that is, a blind faith of submitting their understanding to the Church. Implicit faith breeds ignorance and eradicates knowledge. But true faith is based on knowledge and understanding, yea, even explicit knowledge of the Divine goodness (Romans 10:10).