God’s Promises: The Foundation of Our Faith—J. I. Packer (1926 – )

A preeminent evangelical theologian, James I. Packer taught and preached in England for 27 years before joining the faculty at Regent College in Vancouver in 1979. He currently serves as an executive editor and visiting scholar for Christianity Today. In his book, God Has Spoken, Packer says that those who see Christian faith as a weak and desperate substitute for knowledge miss the biblical point. Faith is a “step in the light,” a step as sure as the promises of God.

Faith in the Bible is not, as existentialists make out, a leap in the dark, but rather a step in the light, whereby (to extend the metaphor) one puts one’s whole weight on the firm ground of God’s unshakeable promises . . . The truth is that all faith, at every stage in our Christian pilgrimage, is essentially a resting upon God’s promise. It has the nature of assurance, because it relies on God’s assurances . . .

The heart of the life of faith is in fact the recognition that all the promises which God is recorded as having made to His people in the past are still in principle (not always, of course, in detail, because of differing circumstances) extended to each individual Christian in the present . . .

[T]he promises of God are the ground of faith; for where professed Christians are not living in the joy of the knowledge that all of God’s promises are theirs, the truth is that God’s Word is not being heard.