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Faith the Gift of God.

Faith the Gift of God.

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Published by glennpease

Ephesians ii. 8. Faith the gift of God.

Scbiptueb says, " The just shall live by faith."

"Ah/' says the World, "a poor livelihood."

Ephesians ii. 8. Faith the gift of God.

Scbiptueb says, " The just shall live by faith."

"Ah/' says the World, "a poor livelihood."

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 23, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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FAITH THE GIFT OF GOD.BY REV THOMAS T. LYCH.Ephesians ii. 8. Faith the gift of God.Scbiptueb says, " The just shall live by faith.""Ah/' says the World, "a poor livelihood."To this we reply, "The just do not -live upon faith,but by it. The strong man does not live on his strength,but by its means, — upon corn, grapes, and such things."" Those are good things," says the World. " I thoughtyou preferred invisibles."u So we do," we rejoin. " In the seed the sheaf liesinvisibly. Though we eat a loaf thankfully, we think more of the seed-basket than of the loa£ The growingcorn of the field is of more value than the ground cornof the miller. And though we cannot see the sheaf in theseed, we know that it is there, and will yield us manyloaves by and by."" After all, then," says the World, " it is for loaves andfishes, and such things, that you care."" Certainly we care for these, but for other things yetmore: for the industry that sows the corn and reaps it;for the honesty that sells it at a fair price ; for the lovethat sets the industry to work that households may \tofed ; and for the pity that spares a loaf for tiie ijjoot, iflas*can neither sow nor buy for themselves.'* »50 FAITH THE GIFT OF GOD.
" But you care for all these things," rejoins the World,"because the outcome of them is plentiful meat andpeaceable feeding."" Plenty," we reply, " is hurtful to a pampered man ;peace itself rusts the idler. We care not for plenty with-out temperance, nor for peace without lively energy. Wecannot do without visible things, nor do with them with-out the help of spiritual, that is to say, invisible, qualities.""But you live like me," says the World, "for pleasureand pain, — to seek one and avoid the other.""Pleasure and pain are both invisible," we answer;(< and we may seek one and avoid the other without beinglike you. We live to give pleasure as well as to get it,and we get it in giving ; to spare pain as well as to avoidit, and we often share it in order to spare it. God hatespain so much, that he takes the worst of it on himself forour good ; and loves pleasure so much, that he puts us toa great deal of pain, that we may be happy by and byFaith sometimes is very hungry for a little pleasure, and ismore like an appetite than like meat. But then we relishour meat, and can do without some kinds of food for awhile, if we have heavenly manna to keep up our strength."" But how do I know," says the World, " who really findswhat you call manna, and cares for it ? Do not all menseek what they fancy is best ? — selfish, even if they care notgreedily for what is ready at hand, as the most of us do."To this we reply :" The selfish cannot be convinced that others are notso too. But there is no need, World, that you shouldalways know the faithful man. He who loves God loveshim in secret, and his faith, like his heavenly Friend, maybe out of sight He trusts the deep powers of truth, whichMve apparently no present influence-, anA. so "Vifc «*ki&&
FAITH THE GIFT OF GOD. 51foolish, because his wisdom is too deep for common find-ing, He knows God, and God knows him. There is noneed, World, that you should know him at all."" Of course," says the World, " if I cannot see him, andcannot find him, he can be nothing to me ; if he does thesethings, let him show himself unto the world/'" Show himself! yes, that he may do, and often suddenly.If there is a man who gibes spitefully at your beloved valu-ables, — food, money, and land, — you need not take him tobe the man of faith. Yet the man of faith may alter yourthoughts of all such things, and turn and change the■course of your affairs, by evoking new powers. Convictionsdo not appear in society till they are called forth ; and theyare not called forth till some one believes they are ready toappear, and utters the cry for them. Faith is power ; aconverting and alarming power ; a disturbing but trans-forming power."Of this faith much indeed may be said. We shallspeak of it now as 'the gift of God/Paul does not directly say that faith is the gift of God,but he implies it. He says that Salvation by grace throughfaith is the gift of God. But love that wins us to trustitself, really gives us the confidence we feel ; and an argu-ment of persuasive cogency gives us that strength of con-viction, which is our fit response to it. God gives us truth ;faith is our offering in return. But it is of his own thatwe give him when we thus offer our faith. The heavenlyfavour bestowed on us in Christ is adapted to overcomeour distrust, and give us a heartfelt sense of the value of what is offered, and of our own freedom to accept it. Butis MOh so the gift of God that, when truth, comes, n?& tkx\sX»needs believe it ? o: ' This is the work o£ GoA, foafc 1*

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