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What Is Saving Faith?

Reflections on Receiving Christ as a Treasure


What happens in the heart when it experiences real saving faith? John Piper argues that faith in Christ is not saving unless it includes an “affectional dimension of treasuring Christ.” Nor is God glorified as he ought to be unless he is treasured in being trusted. Saving faith in Jesus Christ welcomes him forever as our supreme and inexhaustible pleasure.

What Is Saving Faith? explains that a Savior who is treasured for his all-satisfying worth is more glorified than a Savior who is only trusted for his all-forgiving competence. In this way, saving faith reaches its God-appointed goal: the perfections of Christ glorified by our being satisfied in him forever.


  • This remarkably insightful book is guaranteed to deepen our understanding of saving faith. It will also cause us to reexamine our approaches to evangelism and assurance of salvation. John Piper explains that to truly ‘receive’ Christ in faith cannot mean merely fleeing to Christ reluctantly as an escape ticket from hell, but must mean welcoming him into our lives as our greatest treasure. Piper is careful not to add any works requirements to justification by faith alone, but he explains more deeply the affections that will characterize genuine saving faith. This is a crucial message for twenty-first-century evangelical Christians. Wayne Grudem, Professor, Phoenix Seminary
  • Being a Christian means placing faith in Jesus. What could be simpler? How can ‘saving faith’ require a book to explain? Piper argues from both Scripture and church history that the true answer to this question is elusive, subtle, and glorious and troubling in its implications. He shows why so many believers are absentee in living out the faith they may at one time have expressed. He thereby invites readers to refine and renew their own faith by the grace God gives to receive the riches he offers in Christ. ‘We will spend eternity discovering the wonders of the experience of saving faith,’ Piper states. Read this book and start now. Robert Yarbrough, Professor, Covenant Theological Seminary
  • It is a great honor to commend this book to everyone who desires to understand the nature of saving faith. John Piper’s thesis is provocative but does, I think, accurately represent the overall thrust of the New Testament. Reading this thoughtful and life-giving work will prove transformative for many who take the time to ponder its implications. Andreas Köstenberger, Professor, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary