Faith in Jesus makes us righteous through the righteousness of another; it causes us to be accepted in the Beloved, perfect in Christ Jesus. As by the first Adam we fell, so by the second Adam we rise again. Now the way to partake in the benefits of the death of the Lord Jesus is simply by believing in him.
Here let it be understood that believing in Jesus is not a mysterious and complex action. It does not require a week to explain what faith is. Faith believes what God has revealed concerning Christ, and it therefore trusts in Christ as the divinely-appointed Savior. I believe that Jesus was God’s Son, that God sent him into the world to save sinners, that to do so he became a substitute to justice for all those who trust him, and, as I trust him, I know that he was my substitute and that I am clear before God. Since Jesus died for me, God’s justice cannot put me to eternal death for whom Jesus my substitute has died; God’s truth cannot demand a second time the debt which has already been fully paid on my behalf.
The rationale of the whole thing is as plain as possible, and whoever in this world, old or young, Jew or Gentile, literate or illiterate, rich or poor, debauched or moral, will trust in Jesus shall be saved — nay he is saved the moment he does so; but whosoever of women born refuses to trust in Jesus is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the Son of God.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Essence of Simplicity," delivered December 29, 1872. Image by joiseyshowaa on Flickr under Creative Commons License.