Christian Fellowship 1996-11-18 - Faith

Hebrews 11:8-9, "By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going …"

This practice of Abraham must also become ours. If we come to doubt or begin to despair, if we feel no comfort, then we must call to mind Abraham's practice. He believed God's promise, even when the visible foundation of that promise was unknown and unsure. When the promises of God seem to be far from us and their accomplishment to be impossible, then we must cast our souls upon these very promises. When we feel we are in the very grip of hell, then, then especially, we must believe God's promises.

Faith: Faith is a persuasion and assent to truth upon the authority of another. The faith in divine things, is either:

  1. HISTORICAL, where we assent to the truths of revelation, as a kind of certain and infallible record; this is where "faith without works is dead", James 2:17. Faith without works is the faith of devils, James 2:19. We must both believe and practice.
  2. TEMPORARY, Where, with some degree of affection, we receive divine truths, as both certain and good; but soon after lose the whole impression, as they were never established in the heart: such is the faith of the gospel hearers, who are compared to stony ground, Matthew 11:24.
  3. The faith of MIRACLES, Where, by means of a divine impression, one is persuaded that God will work such a particular miracle, by his means, or upon his person: this is a faith to remove mountains or faith to be healed, 1 Corinthians 13:2, Acts 14:9.
  4. SAVING faith, is that grace put in the heart, by the Spirit of God, where we receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation as he is offered to us in the gospel. By this we believe ourselves utterly sinful, lost, and undone, without Jesus Christ. On the testimony of His gospel we believe that Christ is every way sufficient and suited to save us; and that, by the appointment of His Father, and his Own offer of Himself, we have a divine right to take and use Him for all of our salvation. So we trust and depend on His righteousness as the ground of salvation to us in particular. By saving faith we are united to His person, as our spiritual head and husband and are given His righteousness. By improvement of this faith we become active in his service, Gal. 2:20. By this faith, we are justified and saved, as it receives, Christ and His righteousness, Romans 5:1-5, Eph. 2:8. It purifies the heart by receiving and applying Jesus' blood, Acts 15:9. It works by love for the performance of every good word and work, Gal. 5:6. This is the faith of God's people because none but they are made sharers of it, Titus 1:1. They alone are of the faith and act according to the principals of it, Gal. 3:7.

"Till men have faith in Christ, their best services are but glorious sins."--Thomas Brooks "Others graces make us like Christ, faith makes us members of Christ....Where reason cannot wade there faith may swim."--Thomas Watson

Soli Deo Gloria,