Daily Luther: How Faith Does *Not* Make us Right With God
Not even in this respect, namely, in so far as it is a gift of the Holy Ghost, does faith justify, but simply inasmuch as it stands in relation to Christ (quatenus habet se correlative ad Christum). Here the principal question is not whence, or what sort of work, faith is or in what respect it surpasses other works, since faith does not justify per se (on its own account) or by any intrinsic value (virtute aliqua intrinseca).” (Erl. 58, p. 353.)
Francis Pieper, vol. 2, Christian Dogmatics, electronic ed., 440 (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999).
Note: This is an important concept that we lose when we begin to regard “Faith” to be that one good work we do in order to be saved. Even Faith is a pure gift from God, a gracious gift, a loving, merciful gift from a loving, merciful God who eagerly desires our salvation. Dead men do not raise themselves. Dead men can not “believe” their way into God’s grace. Even faith is pure gift, from God!