- Published: 13 December 2010
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Belief and faith do not come by the will. It is useless to urge somebody to believe. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. You believe certain things because facts have been presented to you. The facts convicted or convinced you, hence you believed.
Probably this urging people to believe comes from a misunderstanding. Really they are being urged to acknowledge something. Acknowledgment comes by an act of the will. We can choose in the matter. We can exercise the will.
Many a man has professed to be an atheist who is refusing to acknowledge what he believes. He may be unaware of what he is really doing, but he can give it all away by words and actions. We have heard of an atheist who said, "Thank God, I am an atheist." We doubt if there is a real atheist.
In his last letter before Israel was rejected, Paul told the nation that if they would believe in their heart that Jesus was the Christ and confess it with the mouth, they would be preserved. They did it not, so Titus ruined their city and scattered them abroad even unto this day. They refused to consider facts. They refused to confess.
We are told that at the time of the Lord, some believed secretly for fear of the Jews. We have those fearful ones yet today. There is danger in that attitude, for if they do not confess, they may find themselves denying, both by word and deed.
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. But some who profess to believe God's Word, deny that Jesus is the Son of God. He said that He would deny before the Father those that denied Him before men.
Faith is not the only result of knowledge. We are commanded to love the Son and the Father. But love can no more be commanded than can faith. We do not love a person until we know that person. We cannot love the Father and the Son till we have a knowledge of them. Again we could say, love cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
If we saw a man who was weak and starving to death, and yet had plenty of food, we would say that he was a fool. But many a Christian is living a weak and starved Christian life because he will not open his Bible and feast on the bread of life. Therefore we must conclude that many Christians are fools. We include ourselves in this.
Every one of us who professes to be a Christian has sinned and come short of the glory of God. We all are sinners - saved by grace. We have no right to look down on anyone and call him a sinner. If we say we have no sin, we simply deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. We may not be aware of it.
Today we must believe and acknowledge that the Christ is also the Head of the church which is His body; that His great redemption extends even to the heavens; that some day He will not only be King on earth, but supreme Ruler of the universe.