Sane men can choose their opinions, but they cannot choose their facts. The Holy Scriptures are not just a collection of God’s opinions, but rather they are factual assertions. (2 Peter 1:12-16). The Scriptures say: “This happened.”
Many think that faith is defined as belief apart from evidence. Some even say that faith is virtuous because it believes without evidence. In so doing, they actually define faith as self-delusion.
On the other hand, true faith is trust in Christ who himself is the factually incarnate evidence of God’s love and mercy. God does not expect us to trust in him apart from the evidence (Christ), but rather that we trust in him only because of the evidence (Christ).
True faith is created only by Christ through the promise of word and sacrament, not by our choices. True and reliable trust is created only by that which factually is trustworthy. God alone is factually true, reliable, and trustworthy, therefore, he alone can create and maintain true faith. (Hebrews 12:2 & 2 Peter 1:20-21).
We are saved through faith, and faith is not from ourselves, “it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).