"I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world" (Romans 1:8)
True faith requires that we believe everything God has said about Himself, but also that we believe everything He has said about us. Until we believe that we are as bad as God says we are, we can never believe that He will do for us what He says He will do.
Right here is where popular religion breaks down. It never quite accepts the severity of God or the depravity of man. It stresses the goodness of God and man's misfortune. Sin is a pardonable frailty and God is not too much concerned about it. He merely wants us to trust in His goodness.
To believe thus is to ground faith upon falsehood and build our eternal hope upon sand. No man has any right to pick and choose among revealed truths. God has spoken ...
Faith in faith is faith astray. To hope for heaven by means of such faith is to drive in the dark across a deep chasm on a bridge that doesn't quite reach the other side.
The first act of faith is to believe what God says about sin.
~A. W. Tozer~