(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 379

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379. (1) True faith is the one only faith, which is a faith in the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ and this is held by those who believe Him to be the Son of God, the God of heaven and earth, and one with the Father. True faith is the one only faith, because faith is truth, and truth cannot be broken or cut into fragments, with one part tending to the left and another to the right, and the truth of it still remain. In a general sense faith consists of innumerable truths, for it is the complex of them; but these innumerable truths constitute, as it were, a single body, and in that body there are truths that form its members, some forming the members that depend on the chest, as the arms and hands, and others those that depend on the loins, as the legs and feet; while interior truths form the head, and the truths first proceeding from them form the sensories located in the face. Interior truths form the head because interior means the same as higher; for in the spiritual world whatever is interior is also higher. This is true of the three heavens there. Of that body and of all its members, the Lord God the Savior is the soul and life; and this is why the church was called by Paul "the body of Christ," the men of the church, according to their states of charity and faith, constituting its members. That the true faith is the one only faith, Paul also teaches thus:
There is one body and one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God; and He gave some for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come into the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, and into the perfect man, into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:4-13).
[2] That the true faith, which is the one only faith, is a faith in the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ, has been fully shown above (n. 337-339). But those who believe the Lord to be the Son of God also have the true faith, because such believe Him to be God, and unless faith is faith in God it is no faith. That of all the truths that enter into faith and form it, this is the first, is evident from the Lord's words to Peter:
Peter said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, and Jesus answered, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, and I say also unto thee, upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matt. 16:16-18). By "rock" here and elsewhere in the Word, the Lord in respect to Divine truth is meant, and also Divine truth from the Lord. That this truth is the first truth and is like a diadem on the head and a scepter in the hand of the body of Christ, is evident from the Lord's saying, that upon that rock He would build His church, and the gates of hell should not prevail against it. That this is the first thing in faith, is also evident from these words in John:
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him and he in God (1 Epistle 4:15).
[3] Besides this characteristic of being in the true faith, which is the one only faith, there is another, which is to believe that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth. This follows from the former, that He is the Son of God; also from the following:
That in Him dwelleth all the fullness of Divinity (Col. 2:9) That He is the God of heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18); That all that the Father hath is His (John 3:35; 16:15). A third proof that those who believe in the Lord are interiorly in faith in Him, thus in the true faith, which is the one only faith, is their believing the Lord to be one with God the Father. That He is one with God the Father, and that He is the Father Himself in the Human, has been fully shown in the chapter on the Lord and Redemption, and is plainly evident from the words of the Lord Himself:
That the Father and He are one (John 10:30)
That the Father is in Him and He in the Father (John 10:38; 14:10, 11);
That He said to His disciples, that henceforth they had seen and known the Father; and He looked at Philip and said, that he then saw and knew the Father (John 14:7-10).
[4] These three are distinguishing evidences that men have faith in the Lord, and thus the true faith, which is the one only faith; for not all who approach the Lord have faith in Him; for true faith is both internal and external; and those who possess these three precious things of faith are in both its internals and its externals so that it is not only a treasure in their hearts, but also a jewel in their mouths. It is otherwise with those who do not acknowledge the Lord as the God of heaven and earth, and as one with the Father. Such look interiorly to other gods also who possess like power, although this power is to be exercised by the Son, either vicariously or as one who on account of redemption is worthy to reign over those whom He has redeemed. But these break the true faith in pieces by dividing the unity of God, and when this is done, there is no longer any faith, but only the ghost of it, which when seen naturally looks like some image of it, but seen spiritually, becomes a chimera. Who can deny that the true faith is faith in one God, who is the God of heaven and earth, consequently, a faith in God the Father in a human form, that is, the Lord? [5] These three marks, testimonies, and indications, that faith in the Lord is faith itself, are like the touch-stones whereby gold and silver are known; or they are like stones or fingerposts by the wayside, pointing the way to the temple where the one and true God is worshiped; or they are like lights on rocks in the sea, whereby those who are sailing at night may know where they are, and to what quarter to direct their ships. The first characteristic of faith, which is that the Lord is the Son of the living God, is like the morning star to all who enter His church.


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