Marks of Saving Faith

The statements below are taken from Jonathan Dickinson’s Marks of True Repentance and Saving Faith. It is a small booklet but one of the most heart-searching booklets that I’ve ever read. Below are the six marks of saving faith according to the author. Read more here:

When a realizing belief of the gospel and a despair of all help in yourself brings you to repair to Christ as your only safety and to venture your soul, guilty as it is, upon the merit of His obedience, the sufficiency of His grace and strength, and the faithfulness of His promises, and heartily to submit to His rule and government, you cannot fail of the sanctifying influences of His Spirit to qualify you for the eternal inheritance, for “the Amen, the faithful and true witness” (Rev 3:14) has given you His word for it that if you thus come to Him, He will in no wise cast you out (Joh 6:37).

Jonathan Dickinson

A Sensible Impression of Gospel Truth

true and saving faith involves a realizing and sensible impression of the truth of the gospel, whereas a dead faith is but a mere speculative belief of it… The other only swims in the head and leaves the heart in a state either of security or despondency. The one is an abiding principle of divine life, from which flow rivers of living water. The other is transient and unsteady, and leaves the soul short of any spiritual principle of life and activity.

An Embrace of the Terms of the Gospel

saving faith cordially embraces the terms of the gospel, while a dead faith is but a cold assent to its truth… The true believer is heavy laden with the sinfulness of his nature and longs for entire victory over his corrupt affections, appetites, and passions, for pure spirituality in his duties and for perfection in holiness. He therefore heartily desires and accepts the Lord Jesus as his Sanctifier as well as Savior, and earnestly seeks the renewing, strengthening, and quickening influences of His Spirit.

A Humble Trust in Christ

saving faith is a humble trust in Christ, as the Author of our salvation, but a dead faith always builds upon some false foundation or upon none at all. A saving faith is often described in Scripture by a trusting in the Lord, committing our way to Him, resting on Him (Psa 37:3, 5, 7), and suchlike expressions, which suppose a humble confidence in the abundant sufficiency of the Redeemer’s merits and the boundless riches of God’s mercy in Him. 

Submission to Christ

saving faith subjects the soul to Christ, but a dead faith leaves the soul unrenewed and disobedient. A true faith purifies the heart (Act 15:9) and overcomes the world (1Jo 5:4), and he that hath this hope in Christ “purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1Jo 3:3). 

Love to God and Man

saving faith works by love to God and man, but a dead faith always falls short of both… The one loves God above all things; and indeed, he that does not love Him with a supreme love does not love Him as God, and consequently does not love Him at all. But the other seeks the favor of God from no other motive but fear of His displeasure or some desire of happiness, and not from a sense of the excellency of His glorious perfections. The one loves what God loves, hates what He hates, and is satisfied with himself only in proportion to his conformity to God.  


saving faith humbles the soul and makes it low and vile in its own eyes, whereas a dead faith tends to exalt the mind with vain apprehensions of some sufficiency or excellence of its own. The true believer has a deep sense of the greatness and aggravations of his sins, loathes himself on account of them, and adores the long-suffering of God toward him that has kept him out of hell. 


To God be the glory!

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

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