We affirm we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone. Faith alone is the hand which is given to us by God so that we may receive the offered grace of God. Justification is God’s forensic declaration that we are counted as righteous, with our sins forgiven, for the sake of Jesus Christ alone.
We deny that the faith which is the sole instrument of justification can be understood as anything other than the only kind of faith which God gives, which is to say, a living, active, and personally loyal faith. Justifying faith encompasses the elements of assent, knowledge, and living trust in accordance with the age and maturity of the believer. We deny that faith is ever alone, even at the moment of the effectual call.
Westminster Confession, Chapter 11, paragraph 2, on the nature or character of justifying faith:
Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification: yet is it not alone in the person justified [We deny that faith is ever alone, even at the moment of the effectual call], but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love. [is living, active, and personally loyal to God]
Westminster Confession, Chapter 11, paragraph 1, faith is an evangelical obedience, even though our righteousness is in Christ, not in that obedience.
Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone [we are counted as righteous, with our sins forgiven, for the sake of Jesus Christ alone]; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them [a living, active, and personally loyal faith], as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness, by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.
The Westminster Confession, Chapter 14, paragraph 2, describing the character of saving faith as general and principal acts.
By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God himself speaking therein; and acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come [a living, active, and personally loyal faith]. But the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone [for the sake of Jesus Christ alone] for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace [Faith alone is the hand which is given to us by God so that we may receive the offered grace of God].
The Westminster Confession, Chapter 10, paragraph 1, describing what happens in Effectual Calling:
All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, he is pleased, in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and, by his almighty power, determining them to that which is good [We deny that faith is ever alone, even at the moment of the effectual call], and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.