“Faith is a conscious acknowledgment of our own unrighteousness and ungodliness and on that basis a looking to Christ as our own righteousness, a clasping of Him as the ring clasps the jewel (so Luther), a receiving of Him as an empty vessel receives treasure (so Calvin), and a reverent, resolute reliance on the biblical promise of life though Him for all who believe.
Faith is our act, but not our work; it is an instrument of reception without being a means of merit; it is the work in us of the Holy Spirit, who both evokes it and through it ingrafts us into Christ in such a sense that we know at once the personal relationship of sinner to Saviour and disciple to Master and with that the dynamic relationship of resurrection life, communicated through the Spirit’s indwelling. So faith takes, and rejoices, and hopes, and loves, and triumphs.”
–J. I. Packer, “Justification in Protestant Theology,” in Honoring the People of God, the Collected Shorter Writings of J. I. Packer, 4 vols. (Carlisle, Cumbria, UK: Paternoster, 1999), 4:228.