Even a Tiny Faith (Jean Taffin)

 This is a great passage from Jean Taffin (d. 1602), a teacher/preacher in the Dutch Second Reformation.  These words are a solid answer to those Christians who do trust in Jesus, but realize they are weak Christians.  Sometimes these Christians lack assurance because of their weakness.  The question Taffin answers in this quote is “What kind of comfort and certainty can such a weak, small faith give?”  His answer:

“It can still assure you of your adoption, for even if you have only a tiny spark of true faith, you are still a child of God.  Faith has such power within itself that even a kernel, no matter how small it may be, by virtue of God’s promise has Jesus Christ in it.  It is Jesus Christ who saves us; not our faith.  Faith is no more than an instrument, like a hand, by which we grip Jesus Christ.  No matter how small, faith grips and appropriates Jesus Christ – not halfway but fully, like a young child taking an entire apple in his little hand and holding it tightly, even though not with the strength of man.”

“Through the pupil of our eye, though very small, we can see very large mountains or even the sun, which is much larger than the earth. Similarly with our faith.  Even when it is very small it grips and appropriates the entire Christ, the Sun of Righteousness (Mal. 4.2).  Someone finding himself in a dark tower and peering through only a narrow slit sees the sun and can be just as sure that the sun is shining on the tower as someone who looks through an open window and sees the sun shining on his house.  This is why, if we are prevented by darkness or clouds from seeing the Sun of Righteousness shining in his full splendor on our soul, we know that this Sun of Righteousness who assures us that we are God’s children is shining on us even when we see only a little ray of that splendor.”

Outstanding – a great way to explain sola fide for sure!  I highly recommend this book, The Marks of God’s Children, which was written to comfort Christians who were suffering for their faith in Holland in the late 1500s.  Though we’re in a different historical context, the book is still highly applicable in several ways.  There is even a small section in the back of prayers and Scriptures that help the Christian who is suffering.  By the way, I just noticed that it is only $7.50 at RHB, so now is the good time to get it if you’re interested.


sunnyside, wa