"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" Romans 5:1.
Indeed the Christian's most priceless riches are held in faith's hand. "Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith?" James 2:5. Why does God say "rich in faith" rather than rich in patience, rich in love, or any other grace? When a sinner claims pardon for sin, favor of God, and heaven itself, it is not love or patience but faith alone, which lays down the price of all these benefits. Not, "Lord, pardon and save me-- here are my love and patience for it"; but, "Here is Christ and the price of His blood, which faith presents for the full payment of them all." This understanding, then, leads to a third reason for the preeminence of faith.
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" Romans 5:1. We are not justified by love, repentance, patience, or any other grace besides faith. "justifying repentance"-- how jarring these words sound to a Christian. Rather, we find that justification is appropriated by faith and the rest of the graces hedged out of this act, although they are included and assumed in the person who is justified.
Paul's job was to prove that faith justifies without works. But the faith, which justifies is not idle or dead but a lively working faith, which seems to be James's design in the second chapter of his epistle. As God singled out Christ from all others to be the only mediator between Himself and man, and His righteousness to be worthy cause of our justification; so He has singled out faith from all the other graces to be the instrument for appropriating His righteousness of Christ to us. This righteousness is called "the righteousness of God" as opposed to our "own righteousness," although it is worked by God in us Romans 10:3. It is wrought for us by Christ.”
Quoted material from, ”The Christian in Complete Armour Daily Readings in Spiritual Warfare” by Gurnall and James S Bell. http://www.moodypublishers.com/pub_productDetail.aspx?id=41823&pid=53617