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The Possibilities of Faith

The Possibilities of Faith

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Published by: Lisa on May 19, 2010
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10/02/2010

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The Possibilities of Faith
By  A.B. Simpson
"If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. "-Mark ix: 23.These are bold and stupendous words. They open the treasure houseof the Eternal King to sinful worms, and offer to the children of clay the privilege of God's own omnipotence and all the possibilities of Hisinfinite resources. Side by side these two astounding declarationsstand, "All things are possible with God;" "All things are possible tohim that believeth."I. Let us consider the possibilities of faith:--Salvation is possible to him that believeth. No matter how vile the sin,how many or how great the sins, how aggravated the guilt, how deepthe corruption, how long the career of impenitence and crime, it iseverywhere and forever true, "He that believeth on the Son hatheverlasting life," "Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved." And thus alone can any soul be saved, for it is just as true forever, nomatter what qualifications the soul may possess, whether the highestmorality or the deepest depravity, "He that believeth not shall bedamned." This blessed text opens the gates of Paradise and all thepossibilities of grace to any and every sinner, and "whosoever will,may come, and take the Water of Life freely."Sanctification is possible to him that believeth. "Inheritance amongthem that are sanctified by faith that is in me," is still the inscriptionover the gates of our full inheritance. "Purifying our hearts by faith "isstill the Divine process of full salvation. Thus alone can the soul besanctified. It is not a work, but a gift of grace, and all grace must be by faith. It is not possible by painful struggling; it is not possible by penance and self-torture; it is not possible by sickness, suffering orself-crucifixion; it is not possible by moral suasion, careful training,correct teaching and perfect example; it is not possible even by thedark, cold waters of death itself. The soul that dies unsanctified shall be unsanctified forever. "He that is holy, let him be holy still: he thatis filthy, let him be filthy still." But it is possible to him that believeth.It is the gift of Jesus Christ; it is the incoming and indwelling of JesusChrist; it is the interior life and divine imparting of the Holy Ghost,and it must be by faith alone. And it is possible to any soul that will believe, no matter how unholy it has been, no matter how perverse itis; as mean perhaps and crooked as Jacob, as gross as David in his
 
darkest sin, as self-confident as Simon Peter, as willful and self-righteous as Paul-it may be and shall be made as spotless as the Son of God, as holy as the holiness of Jesus Himself, who comes to dwell within, if we will only believe and receive.Divine Healing is possible to him that believeth. "The prayer of faithshall save the sick," is still the Master's unaltered word for Hissuffering church. And this faith must be the faith of the receiver, forin the epistle it is said, "Let not him that wavereth think that he shallreceive anything of the Lord." Still it is as true as when the Mastertouched the eyes of the blind men to whom He said it, "According to your faith be it unto you." It matters not how serious the disease, itmay be as helpless as the cripple's who could not in any wise liftherself up; as chronic as the impotent man who lay for thirty andeight years helpless at the pool; as obscure and as despised a case asthe poor blind men who begged by the wayside and whom themultitude thought unworthy of Christ's attention, or as the sinful woman of Syro-Phoenicia, whom even the Saviour called a dog, and yet to her, as to others, the healing came when He could say, "Great isthy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt." It is not the faith whichheals, it is the God that the faith touches; but there is no other way of touching God except by faith, and, therefore, if we would receive His Almighty touch, we must believe. All power for service is possible to him that believeth. The gift of theHoly Ghost is received by faith. The power of the apostles was inproportion to their faith. Stephen ''full of faith and power'' could meetall the wisdom of Saul of Tarsus and the synagogue of the Cilicians.The simple story of Barnabas is that "he was a good man. and full of faith and the Holy Ghost, and much people were added unto theLord." The secret of effective preaching is not logic, or rhetoric, orelocution, but to be able to say, "I believed and therefore have Ispoken." The success of some evangelists and Christian workers is outof all proportion to their talent or capacity in any direction, but they have one gift which they faithfully exercise, and that is expecting Godto give them souls; and, therefore, they are never disappointed. Thechurch has yet to see in the present generation the full possibilities of faith in the work of the Lord. The examples of a Moody and aHarrison are but types of what is possible for the humblest worker who, with a single eye to the glory of God and simple fidelity to thegospel of Christ, will dare to expect the mightiest results. Both theseexamples, perhaps the most marked instances of wide fruitfulness inthe present generation, are persons without great natural gifts oreducational advantages, and, therefore, the more encouraging asincentives to the work of faith. Humble toiler in the vineyard of theLord, will you go forth to all the possibilities of faith in your work forHim as you realize the strength of your weakness and the might of 
 
 your God? for it is "not by might or by power but by my Spirit, saiththe Lord of Hosts."The day has come for God to reveal Himself through the very  weakness of His instruments, and to prove once more that He haschosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things to confound the things that are mighty. All difficulties and dangers must give way before the omnipotence of faith. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had beencompassed seven days, and still the mightiest citadels of the adversary must give way before the steadfast and victorious march of faith. By faith Daniel stopped the mouths of lions, and was delivered, we areexpressly told, because he believed in his God. It was not hisuprightness of life, or courageous fidelity that saved him, but hisconfidence in Jehovah. Such faith has carried the intrepid Arnotthrough the jungles of Africa, and delivered the heroic Paton from themurderous fury of the savages of Tanna, and held back the stroke of death and the threatened disaster from many of us in the humblerexperiences of our providential lives. Still the God of faith is as near,as mighty and as true as when He walked with the Hebrew childrenthrough the fire, and guarded the heroic Paul through all the perils of his changeful life. There is no difficulty too small for its exercise, andthere is no crisis too terrible for its triumph. Shall we go forth withthis shield and buckler, and prove all the possibilities of faith? Then,indeed, shall we carry a charmed life even through the very hosts of hell, and know that we are immortal till our work is done. All the victories of prayer are possible to him that believeth."Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, shall ye receive.""When ye pray, believe that ye receive the things that ye ask, and yeshall have them." It is not the strength or the length of the prayer thatprevails, but the simplicity of its confidence. It is the prayer of faiththat claims the healing power of the unchanging Saviour. It is theprayer of faith that reaches the soul that no human hand, perhaps,can approach, and sometimes brings from Heaven the answer beforethe echo of the petition has died away. Yonder in the city of Clevelanda brokenhearted wife is praying with an evangelist for her husband'ssoul. At that very hour an influence all unknown to himself is leadinghim into a prayer-meeting in Chicago at noon, and before that prayeris ended the choirs of Heaven are singing over a repentant soul, andthe Holy Ghost is whispering to her heart that the work isaccomplished, not less surely than when on the morrow the swift mail brings the glad tidings from his own hand. The prayer of faith hasreared those enduring monuments on Ashley Down, where twothousand orphan children are fed every day by the hand of God alone,in answer to the humble, believing cry of a faithful minister. These are

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