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He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24) But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference (Romans 3:21-22) God has provided salvation by the death of his Son, The Lord Jesus Christ. To receive this gift one needs only to believe, to trust the Lord Jesus Christ personally as his Saviour from sin and death. Calvinist preacher C.H. Spurgeon illustrated the necessity of this human response very well: "Believing" is most clearly explained by that simple word "trust." Believing is partly the intellectual operation of receiving divine truths, but the essence of it lies in relying upon those truths. I believe that, although I cannot swim, yonder friendly plank will support me in the flood—I grasp it, and am saved: the grasp is faith. I am promised by a generous friend that if I draw upon his banker, he will supply all my needs—I joyously confide in him, and as often as I am in want I go to the bank, and am enriched: my going to the bank is faith. Thus faith is accepting God's great promise, contained in the person of his Son. It is taking God at his word, and trusting in Jesus Christ as being my salvation, although I am utterly unworthy of his regard. Sinner, if thou takest Christ to be thy Saviour this day, thou art justified; though thou be the biggest blasphemer and persecutor out of hell, if thou darest to trust Christ with thy salvation, that faith of thine saves thee; though thy whole life may have been as black, and foul, and devilish as thou couldst have made it, yet if thou wilt honour God by believing Christ is able to forgive such a wretch as thou art, and wilt now trust in Jesus' precious blood, thou art saved from divine wrath.1 Conversely, you will not be saved from divine wrath if you do not trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Calvinists and Arminians concur on this truth. However, they approach this truth with different suppositions. Calvinists argue that only those chosen for salvation will trust in Christ and those not chosen will not trust in Christ. Boettner, for example, states that: Man is a free agent but be cannot originate the love of God in his heart. His will is free in the sense that it is not controlled by any force outside of himself. As the bird with a broken wing is "free" to fly but not able, so the natural man is free to come to God but not able. How can he repent of his sin when he loves it? 2 This argument that man is free but unable to come to God is a contradiction. It is true that man, by himself, cannot originate the love of God in his heart – it can only come in response to Gods demonstrated love (1 John 4:19). Loving God is a result of salvation, not a requirement for salvation. Only people who are saved can love God, and most people who turn to God for salvation do so in order to escape the wrath to come, not because they love God. In answer to the question
1 2 C.H. Spurgeon, Sermon 531, Preached at Metropolitan Tabernacle on September 20th 1863. Boettner, Chapter X, Total Inability. Page 1 of 10
“how can man repent of his sin when he loves it” is like asking how a smoker can give up smoking if he finds deep satisfaction in it. Knowing the damage that smoking can do he can will to kick the habit and many smokers do manage it. In the same way the terror of eternal judgement will motivate many people to get saved (2 Cor 15:11). Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) knew the terror of the Lord and persuaded men to repent in his famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of Angry God”. Edwards could be described as a Calvinist with Arminian tendencies. His theology was thoroughly Calvinistic and believed that man was unable to repent without Gods supernatural enabling. Like many Calvinists, he laid his theology aside and evangelised. As a result of his preaching about ten percent of New England repented. Praise God for using his servant in this way. The inability of man to believe is based on a misuse of the Biblical teaching of spiritual death. Because of the fall we are spiritually dead. The entire human race sinned in Adam (Romans 5:12). In the physical realm, if my grandfather died before my fathers conception, both my father and myself would have died in him. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Romans 5:12). And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Ephesians 2:1-3) Death is separation. Physical death is separation of spirit and body. Spiritual death is eternal separation from God. We should not press the analogy of physical death too far. It is argued, erroneously, that a dead man cannot repent any more than a corpse in a graveyard. He needs life breathing into him before he can repent. In this passage, however, the dead man is “walking” and “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind” - something a corpse cannot do. It is also argued that man, in his dead state, is free only to reject God – but this analogy is inappropriate because a corpse cannot respond at all. Only a madman would punish a lifeless corpse for ignoring him. Yet we find that God does punish those who do not obey the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess 2:8) – which implies the power of obedience. The Bible warns men to flee from the wrath to come, not to wait until God breathes life into him. The Will The Bible often talks about a “will”. A will is simply a desire, pleasure, acceptance or purpose. In many instances a will is attributed to God, and in other instances a will is attributed to man. God, in his sovereign will and nature of love, gave man the power of choice. Arminians believe in free will any Calvinists object to the notion of it. I personally do not think that the term can be misleading – I prefer to use the term “the power of choice”. In my experience, Arminians place too much of an emphasis on it whilst many Calvinists err in rejecting it completely. Power of choice is true both according to Scripture and experience, as we shall shortly see. Philosophy attempts to explain it and science cannot explain it. Even to this day scientists cannot explain consciousness and the workings of the mind (only the physical brain). The rejection of free will in some sections of Christianity today only go back four centuries to the Reformers. Any who denounced free will was condemned as a heretic by the early church. This acceptance of free will was the universal view of the Christian church for the first 300 years of its life. It was never questioned until the arrival of Augustine in the
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fourth century, and revived by John Calvin in the sixteenth century. It was also the viewpoint of Christianitys root, Judaism. Dr. K. Kohler, President of the Hebrew Union College, wrote: Judaism has ever emphasised the freedom of the will as one its chief doctrines. The dignity and greatness of man depends largely upon his freedom, his power of selfdetermination. He differs from the lower animals in his independence of instinct as the dictator of his actions. He acts from free and conscious design, and is able to change his mind at any moment, at any new evidence or even through whim. He is therefore responsible for his every act or omission, even for his every intention. This alone renders him a moral being, a child of God; thus the moral sense rests upon the will.3 The early Christians, basing their views on the Jewish Scriptures, also affirmed the reality of free will. Christian Apologist Justin Martyr (100-165 AD) expressed these sentiments: God, wishing men and angels to follow His will, resolved to create them free to do righteousness; possessing reason, that they may know by whom they are created, and through whom they, not existing formerly, do now exist; and with a law that they should be judged by Him, if they do anything contrary to right reason: and of ourselves we, men and angels, shall be convicted of having acted sinfully, unless we repent beforehand. But if the word of God foretells that some angels and men shall be certainly punished, it did so because it foreknew that they would be unchangeably [wicked], but not because God had created them so. So that if they repent, all who wish for it can obtain mercy from God: and the Scripture foretells that they shall be blessed, saying, `Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not sin; that is, having repented of his sins, that he may receive remission of them from God; and not as you deceive yourselves, and some others who resemble you in this, who say, that even though they be sinners, but know God, the Lord will not impute sin to them.4 As stated earlier, the term “free will” used by Jewish and Christian writers is perhaps not the most appropriate. It is not the full picture, either from the Biblical data or from experience. Dr. K. Kohler said further: As a matter of fact, no person is absolutely free, for innumerable influences affect his decisions, consciously and unconsciously. For this reason many thinkers, both ancient and modern, consider freedom a delusion and hold to determinism, the doctrine that man acts under the compulsion of external and internal forces. In opposition to this theory is one incontestible fact, our own inner sense of freedom which tell us at every step that we have acted, and at every decision we have decided...the will does not determine itself, but it does not do so arbitrarily; its action is along the lines of its own character. We have the power to receive the influence of either the noble or the ignoble series of impressions, and thus to yield either to the lofty or the low impulses of the soul.5 Such an internal and external factors include circumstances, pressures, disposition and mood amongst others. The Apostle Pauls “Damascus Road” conversion, for example, cannot entirely be attributed to free will, nor to force. Be that as it may, experience and scripture teach us that we do have a limited amount of freedom. It is limited because there are so many things which man has no
3 4 5 Jewish Theology, p231, The MacMillan Company, New York 1918 Justin Martyr, Dialogue of Justin, Chapter CXLI Ibid, p234-235. Page 3 of 10
control over. For example, one cannot choose the date of ones birth, the date of ones death or ones physical characteristics. One does in situations have the capacity to make certain moral choices and there are many scriptures to confirm this. God said to the Israelites before they entered the promised land: See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. When God exhorts his creatures to ”choose life” he implies that they possess the power of choice6. Some would argue that God only exhorts them to choose when in fact they have no such capacity. Such a view charges God with hypocrisy and brings him dishonour – it is as cruel as punishing a lame man for being unable to walk. Another example of the human will is found in Psalm 81: I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries. The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever. He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.7 In response to the human refusal to obey God reprobated them to the path they had chosen. Another verse where God lamented with sadness over mans rejection of him is in Matthew 23: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”8 Here Gods desire is not realised, but the creatures had done their own thing and brought destruction upon themselves. Christ lamented over this impending destruction, indicating that he had no pleasure or design in this. Matthew Henrys comments here are very pertinent: Ye would not. How emphatically is their obstinacy opposed to Christ's mercy! I would, and ye would not. He was willing to save them, but they were not willing to
6 The life that God exhorts them to choose here is physical life, not eternal life which is only through faith in Jesus The Messiah. 7 Psalm 81:10-15 8 Matt 23:37 Page 4 of 10
be saved by him. Note, It is wholly owing to the wicked wills of sinners, that they are not gathered under the wings of the Lord Jesus. They did not like the terms upon which Christ proposed to gather them; they loved their sins, and yet trusted to their righteousness; they would not submit either to the grace of Christ or to his government, and so the bargain broke off.9 The commentary on these words by Ireneaus of Lyon (130-200 AD) is worth noting: This expression [of our Lord], "How often would I have gathered thy children together, and thou wouldest not," set forth the ancient law of human liberty, because God made man a free [agent] from the beginning, possessing his own power, even as he does his own soul, to obey the behests (ad utendum sententia) of God voluntarily, and not by compulsion of God. For there is no coercion with God, but a good will [towards us] is present with Him continually. And therefore does He give good counsel to all. And in man, as well as in angels, He has placed the power of choice (for angels are rational beings), so that those who had yielded obedience might justly possess what is good, given indeed by God, but preserved by themselves. On the other hand, they who have not obeyed shall, with justice, be not found in possession of the good, and shall receive condign punishment: for God did kindly bestow on them what was good; but they themselves did not diligently keep it, nor deem it something precious, but poured contempt upon His super-eminent goodness.10 God pleaded with his own people through the Prophet Isaiah: Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. ”11 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts 12 God was stretching out his hands, pleading with sinners to repent. God has made it clear that unbelievers die of their own choice, and this brings no pleasure to him. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? 13 God, in his grace, nowhere interferes with the choices which the creature makes, even when the creature uses that to rebel against his creator. In John 8 we have our Lord saying to those same Pharisees “you will not come to me that you might have life”. The Scripture also says that the Pharisees rejected the counsel of God against themselves (Luke 7:30). The will is the cause of their damnation. H.A. Ironside put it in these words: If men refuse to come, if they pursue their own godless way down to the pit, whom
9 10 11 12 13 Matthew Henry, Matthew 23:34-39. Against Heresies, Book 4, Chapter XXXVII. Isaiah 1:18-20. Isaiah 65:12 Ezekiel 18:23 Page 5 of 10
can they blame but themselves for their eternal judgment? The messenger addressed himself to all, the call came to all, but many refused to come and perished in their sins. Such men can never blame God for their eternal destruction. The door was open, the invitation was given, they refused and He says to them sorrowfully “Ye will not come unto Me, that ye may life”...You see, you can pass the door if you will, you can trample the love of God beneath your feet, you can spurn his grace if you are determined to do it, but you will go down to the pit and you will be responsible for your own doom. 14 Angels, as well as humans, were dispensed with free will. It was by five expressions of that will that Lucifer fell from his position: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15) Many events in the world can be ascribed to Satans activity. Granted, he is under Gods sovereign hand just as humans are but he still has a limited amount of freedom. In the case of Job God allowed him to afflict him in any way he chose, apart from taking his life. God had no part in what Satan did, although Satan certainly incited God to move against him. The whole world lies under Satans sway (1 John 5:19) and he blinds the minds of those who do not believe the gospel (2 Cor 4:4). With humans and angels having a limited measure of freedom, one cannot ascribe everything to Gods sovereign will, although everything comes under Gods permission. We see from all this that the Bible affirms the creatures power of choice. Power To Believe Since God commands all men everywhere to believe, it is reasonable to assume that man has the ability to do this. God would not demand man to do something he is incapable of. Some knowledge of God is natural truth, as Calvinist Peter Masters reminds us: Believers who think that every point of the gospel must be rationally proved before it can have any effect are wrong...At the other extreme, believers who think that worldlings can understand absolutely nothing at all without the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit are equally wrong. These friends vastly underestimate the self-evident character of Gods truth, the self-accusing power of the human conscience, and the enlightened blameworthiness of the human race for its rebellion against God.15 There is no excuse for unbelief in God. The creation testifies to his existence, demonstrating his wisdom and power. Men suppress this truth and nobody seeks God. Preaching the gospel can bring out the inward awareness of Gods truth – conviction of sin and judgement. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is touch the raw nerve on these truth deep in the beings of all people: And when he [The Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of
14 H.A. Ironside, In The Heavenlies, p28-29, Loizeaux Brothers 1946 15 Peter Masters, Biblical Strategies For Witness, The Wakeman Trust 1994, p49 Page 6 of 10
righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged (John 16:8-11) This ministry of the Holy Spirit is known as conviction. This means that the unbeliever has the clear light set before him and he has to respond to this conviction. The Holy Spirit may use many and various means to speak to the seared human spirit – to the conscience, through the Bible, through testimonies or sermons. The Holy Spirit can utilise the human tools (preachers, evangelists etc) but only he can convict and enlighten a dead soul. Whilst this is a future role, the Holy Spirit had the role of striving with men at the beginning of human history. In the early days, God said that his Spirit would not always strive with man and would give him 120 years to repent (Gen 6:3). In Acts 7:51 we see the Jewish leaders resisting this convicting work of the Holy Spirit. Man is not converted in order to believe, but he is convicted. Gods grace can be resisted. If a nation or individual harden themselves long enough God will harden them so they cannot perceive the truth (Deut 29:4, Isaiah 63:17). And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.(Isaiah 6:9-10) The inability of man to comprehend spiritual truth is also stated in John 6:44: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him. Man needs drawing from the Father, he will not come to Christ without divine guidance. Calvinists often gravitate to this passage as a proof text for their position but they fail to examine the larger context. Jesus was appealing to unbelievers to believe on him. He later stated: It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me (v45) This implies four stages: First, teaching from the Father for all Israelites. Second, the receiver hears. Third, he learns. This step requires a human response to the Fathers teaching, and implies that some will not hear. If he learns, the fourth steps becomes operative, that is, he comes to Christ. This same truth is stated elsewhere in the gospels: And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. (5:37-40) If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself (7:17) In saying “all that the Father gives me” (John 6:37) he was not unfolding a new mysterious truth called “election”. He was appealing to them to go to the Father and hearing from him to test his Messianic claims. Christ superseded his own words as he looked towards the crucifixion: Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (12:31-32) If the word “draw” means to “force” or “compel”, as it has often been argued by Calvinists, then
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this would indicate universal salvation. According to Greek Bible commentator Spiros Zodhiates16, the meaning is here is to draw without necessarily meaning force, although sometimes the word may imply that. The drawing can therefore be resisted and it will result in remaining in spiritual darkness. That is why Jesus warned them: I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins (8:24) Is Faith The Gift of God? It is often taught that faith is a gift of God and that without it none can believe. This makes a mockery out of Gods commands to all men everywhere to believe if it is not in their own capacity to do so. It is based on a misreading of Ephesians 2:8 By grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, Lest any should boast There is an exegetical problem with using this passage to argue that faith is a gift. To say that “Faith is the gift of God, not of works” would be nonsense. To say that “Salvation is the gift of God, not of works” makes more sense. This argument is purely contextual and many recognised authorities on New Testament Greek concur with this. A.T. Robertson is an example: For by grace (th gar cariti). Explanatory reason. "By the grace" already mentioned in verse Romans 5 and so with the article. Through faith (dia pistewß). This phrase he adds in repeating what he said in verse Romans 5 to make it plainer. ""Grace" is God's part, "faith" ours. And that (kai touto). Neuter, not feminine tauth, and so refers not to pistiß (feminine) or to cariß (feminine also), but to the act of being saved by grace conditioned on faith on our part. Paul shows that salvation does not have its source (ex umwn, out of you) in men, but from God. Besides, it is God's gift (dwron) and not the result of our work.17 Faith is taking God at his word. It comes by hearing the gospel message, and the gospel message by a preacher (Romans 10:17). Of course, it can also come via reading the Bible or other means. One, by private communication to me, asked “how can a man exercise faith if he wasn't given the gift of faith in the first place?”. This is like asking how a man could walk from one place to another. This would be a fair question if he was crippled but generally men have a God-given ability to walk. In the same way men have the ability to exercise faith. Both of these are gifts in that sense. God created man with the ability to exercise faith just as he gave him the gift of movement. Faith and Regeneration If we accept that faith is a gift supernaturally imported then the order of faith and conversion are reversed. That is to say, faith is not the cause of the new birth, but the result of it. If this was the case why does the Bible make faith a condition of salvation? Why does it also make the new birth a result of salvation? A popular counter-argument goes like this: If ones salvation is conditioned upon faith then that means salvation by human effort. Such an objection disregards common sense as a gift given does not mean a gift received. I may offer a friend a cheque for five hundred pounds
16 Spiros Zodhiates, Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, Lockman Foundation, AMG Publishers. 17 A.T. Robertson, Commentary on Ephesians 2:8 Page 8 of 10
but my friend has to accept it and take it to the bank. It is still a gift and he has nothing to boast about. If a man is regenerated before hearing the gospel, then the Bible should contain the following verses: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever shall have the gift of faith and eternal life should believe on him (John 3:16) He who is not condemned believes, but he that is condemned at the moment does not believe, for God may not have sent the Son for him (John 3:18) To be saved, there is nothing you can do. If Christ did die for you, you will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. If he didn't die for you there is no hope (Acts 16:31) Whosoever is saved will call upon the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13) Of course the Bible says none of this. Some passages are often cited for support and it is necessary to examine these. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13) The term “not by the will of man” is sometimes emphasised to support the view that man has nothing to do with his conversion. This overlooks the fact those born of God are those that “received him”. We cannot effect the new birth by our own power, but we can believe and receive Christ. The moment one does that God does the job of a supernatural rebith. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:18) It is argued here that God begat us and that we had no part in it. If we were to take this passage alone it could be legitimate. We cannot however overlook the later verse which clearly states that we have a part to play: Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls (v18). The same thought appears in 1st Peter: Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you (1:22-24) The order is this: the gospel is preached, those who hear and believe are then supernaturally born by the word of God. There can be no true faith without prayer, but faith comes by hearing the gospel and upon that act of faith we are regenerated. Conclusion
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Many Christians, the present writer included, have knowledge that we are secure but lack peace of mind whether we are truly have faith. This is as a result of introspection. When Peter walked on the water, he fell when he looked down at his surroundings, when he looked at Christ it he succeeded. When Peter started to doubt Christ took control and saved him. His faith was not his saviour – Christ was his saviour. Sir Robert Anderson said some great things in relation to faith: Let us then get this great fact implanted firmly in our minds, that there is neither merit nor virtue in faith, no; even in the letter of the truth believed; but that to believe God is eternal life. To believe God, whether it be, as with Abraham, the promise of a family, or, as with us, the testimony to a Person and a fact. Faith is the opened lattice that lets in the light of heaven to the soul, bringing gladness and blessing with it. It is only in ophthalmic hospitals that people are always thinking of their eyes, and it is due entirely to the prevailing errors and follies of modern teaching that so many Christians are hypochondriacs respecting faith. In Scripture, faith is like healthy eyesight, unheeded and forgotten in the ease and enjoyment of its use. Nowadays it is more like the glasses of people with failing or defective vision, sometimes lost, often dim, and constantly a trouble.18 Rather than worrying about our faith and looking inward at ourselves, let us look to the Saviour, The Lord Jesus Christ. About The Author Information This article was written by Christopher Skinner and is available on the Scribd electronic publishing site at http://www.scribd.com/chris-skinner which contains the following essays in the same series: God So Loved The World. Whosoever Will, Whosoever Won't. God's Election of Saints. Predestined to Hell? No! A Study of Romans 9 Eternal Security (A Defence). The author also has a “Bible Thoughts” blog on a variety of Biblical topics. The aim of the blog is to share and publish thoughts on various passages of Scripture and to challenge, encourage and enlighten believers on “the whole counsel of God”. It is hosted at http://chrisbiblethoughts.blogspot.com.
18 Sir Robert Anderson, The Gospel and It's Ministry, Kregel Publications 1978, p46 Page 10 of 10
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