Needed Sermon! Thank you. Not much is taught today about what faith that saves is, beyond mental assent, or a presumptuous "assurance" based upon "I believe", i.e. because I say so, instead of Christ, as you clarified. Profession and saving faith are not necessarily the same. People think it is easy to believe when their definition of true belief is false, or mere knowledge. If it is a "gift of God, not of works", then why do so many claim they have it so easily, especially when they have no marks of conversion, or conviction?
The natural or religious man cannot repent or believe, truly, apart from the gracious operations of the Holy Spirit enabling them to do so, and "make them willing in the day of his power." But let a man be slain by the law of God, and convicted as Guilty, and he can hardly look up without the promises of "whosoever may come" and "in no wise cast out". Here in saving faith the troubled soul comes for relief, trusting and seizing Christ by the garment, in godly sorrow, clinging to him for salvation upon his bloody redemption for poor sinners, as both a Prince and Savior. Only the sick need a physician and will believe on him alone to help.