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The Doctrine of Christ

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    LESSON FORTY-THREE Faith

    1. In dealing with God it is absolutely necessary that we should exercise faith. Hebrews 11:6; 1 John 3:23; John 6:29.TDOC 109.7

    2. Faith is grounded upon the word of God, and is the confidence concerning the unseen things set forth in that word, and the demonstration in experience of the reality of the unseen. Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:1.TDOC 109.8

    3. The provisions of the gospel are applied to us individually through our exercise of that faith which takes God at his word Romans 1:16, 17; 3:21, 22; Mark 16:16; Galatians 3:15; 2 Timothy 3:15; John 3:18, 36; Acts 16:30, 31; Hebrews 4:2.TDOC 110.1

    4. Faith sees and accepts as real those invisible things which are set forth in the word of God, and thus brings to us the experience of eternal things. John 8:56; Hebrews 11:24-27; 11:7; 2 Corinthians 4:17, 18; Hebrews 6:12; 2 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10.TDOC 110.2

    5. Faith is not merely the assent of the mind to a demonstrated fact, but a living principle which bears fruit good works. James 2:19; Galatians 5:6; James 2:22, 23 compare Hebrews 11:32-34.TDOC 110.3

    6. Faith implies three things: the conviction of sin, an understanding of the remedy for sin, and confidence that God can and will fulfill his promises. John 16:9, ARV; Romans 3:11, 12, 20-26; 4:21; Hebrews 10:22, 23, 36.TDOC 110.4

    NOTES
    Genuine faith

    “Where there is not only a belief in God’s word, but a submission of the will to him; where the heart is yielded to him, the affections fixed upon him, there is faith, faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. Through this faith the heart is renewed in the image of God. And the heart that in its unrenewed state is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, now delights in its holy precepts.”-Steps to Christ, 68.TDOC 110.5

    Believing God’s promise

    “You cannot atone for your past sins, you cannot change your heart, and make yourself holy. But God promises to do all this for you through Christ. You believe that promise. You confess your sins, and give yourself to God. You will to serve him. Just as surely as you do this, God will fulfill his word to you. If you believe the promise, believe that you are forgiven and cleansed then God supplies the fact; you are made whole, just as Christ gave the paralytic power to walk when the man believed that he was healed. It is so if you believe it. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole, but say, I believe it; it is so, not because I feel it, but because God has promised.”-Id., 55.TDOC 110.6

    Faith and presumption

    “Faith says, ‘It is written,’ and uses God’s word to keep from sin; presumption says, ‘It is written,’ and uses God’s word as an excuse for committing sin. Read Matthew 4:5-7. Compare Deuteronomy 1:21, 29 with verses 41-45.TDOC 110.7

    Faith claims God’s promises, and brings forth fruit in obedience. Presumption also claims the promises, but uses them as Satan did, to excuse transgression. Faith would have led our first parents to trust the love of God and to obey his commands. Presumption led them to transgress his law, believing that his great love would save them from the consequences of their sin. It is not faith that claims the favor of Heaven without complying with the conditions on which mercy is to be granted. Genuine faith has its foundation in the promises and provisions of the Scriptures.”-Gospel Workers, 260.TDOC 111.1

    The meaning of faith

    “Faith covers the whole ground of man’s relation to God.”TDOC 111.2

    “Faith is a personal relation of the soul to a living, present Christ, whereby its isolated, separate, selfish life is given up.”TDOC 111.3

    “The reason, the will, and the conscience, memory and, hope, love, reverence, awe joy, and gratitude, are all of them blended in a great and perfect faith.”TDOC 111.4

    “Faith underlies consecration and is the parent of holiness, for he only will yield, himself to God who trustfully grasps the mercies of God and rests on Christ’s great gift of himself.”TDOC 111.5

    “The very idea of faith implies solid assurance and fixed confidence.”TDOC 111.6

    Faith unites with Christ

    “Faith is our soul-contact with the Son of God, setting up (upon our side) that union with him in his life of which Scripture is so full. And thus it is open to us, surely, to say that justification by faith means, from one momentous aspect, justification because of the Christ with whom through faith we are made mysteriously but truly one. Believing, we are one with him, one in the common life with which the living members live with the Head, by the power of his Spirit. One with him in life, we are therefore, by no mere legal fiction but in vital fact, capable of oneness with him in interest also.”TDOC 111.7

    Faith accepts the blessings

    “Faith is trusting in God, believing that he loves us, and knows what is for our best good. Thus, instead of our own way, it leads us to choose his way. In place of our ignorance, it accepts his wisdom; in place of our weakness, his strength; in place of our sinfulness, his righteousness. Our lives, ourselves, are already his; faith acknowledges his ownership, and accepts its blessing. Truth, uprightness, purity, are pointed out as secrets of life’s success. It is faith that puts us in possession of these. Every good impulse or aspiration is the gift of God; faith receives from God the life that alone can produce true growth and efficiency.”-Gospel Workers, 259.TDOC 111.8

    Faith lays hold of Christ

    The obstacles that hinder our progress will never disappear before a halting, doubting spirit. Those who defer obedience till every uncertainty disappears, and there remains no risk of failure or defeat, will never obey. Faith looks beyond the difficulties, and lays hold of the unseen, even Omnipotence, therefore it cannot be baffled. Faith is the clasping of the hand of Christ in every emergency.”-Id., 260.TDOC 112.1

    “That is not faith which knows Christ in the future only. That is not eternal life which might exist apart from Christ. He that believeth hath eternal life because he hath Christ; and as Christ was when in the world, so are we, because we have Christ; consequently the divorcing of salvation and of holiness is an absurdity. If we are the elect of Christ, we are elected to live a Christ like life upon the earth-elected to be branches in the True Vine and to bring forth fruit.”TDOC 112.2

    “Faith, as concerned with our salvation, needs a certain and trustworthy object, even Jesus Christ. Having him, we have the condition for exercising faith, reliance in the dark, trust in his skill power on our behalf in unknown or mysterious circumstances.”TDOC 112.3

    Reasonable to believe

    “Those who refuse to believe without scientific demonstration, show that they misunderstand the nature and purpose of faith. A forced belief could not bring men nearer to God. But we do not in the least degree escape from these difficulties, but rather multiply them, when we abandon faith. The difficulties of infidelity are greater than the difficulties of faith. It is more reasonable to believe than to doubt; but reason will, never compel faith.”TDOC 112.4

    Faith is life

    “The faith that is unto salvation is not a mere intellectual assent to the truth. He who waits for entire knowledge before he will exercise faith, cannot receive blessing from God. It is not enough to believe about Christ; we must believe in him. The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces him as a personal Savior; which appropriates his merits to ourselves. Many hold faith as an opinion. But saying faith is a transaction, by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is life. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power. Faith takes God, at his word, not asking to understand the meaning of the trying experiences that come.”-Gospel Workers, 260, 261.TDOC 112.5

    A phantom faith

    “Faith that does not hearken to Christ, that hearkens rather to one’s own heart, is a mere phantom faith; it is the demon of unbelief under the angelic mask of faith.”TDOC 112.6

    Christ the object of faith

    “Faith is reliance. But then, when the reliance is directed upon an object infinitely great and good, when it reposes upon God in Christ, upon him in his promise, his fidelity, his love, upon his very self, what is not this reliance in its effectual It is the creature laying hold upon the Creator. It is our reception of God himself in his word. So, it is the putting ourselves in the way of his own almighty action in the fulfillment of his word, in the keeping of his promise. ‘The virtue of faith lies in the virtue of its object.’ That object, in this matter of justification, so the Scriptures assure us abundantly and with the utmost clearness, is our Lord Jesus Christ himself, who died for us and rose again.”TDOC 113.1

    The faith needed

    “Without a living faith in Christ as a personal Savior, it is impossible to make your faith felt in a skeptical world. You would draw sinners out of the swift-running current, your own feet must not stand on slippery places.”-Id., 274.TDOC 113.2

    Unbelief possible

    “There will still be difficulties, both in the Bible and in the deep things of God. For there must be an element of uncertainty in the exercise of true faith. If it had been in accordance with God’s purpose, the truths of God might have been so brought home to men by vision and portent that every one would be compelled to believe. The Jews were always seeking for some unmistakable sign that should make unbelief impossible. Christ never gave it them. If unbelief were impossible, there would be no moral value in faith.”TDOC 113.3

    Reliance on the Promises

    “The whole chapter [Hebrews 11] confirms our simple definition of faith. Nosh, Abraham, Joseph, Moses-they all treated the hoped for and the unseen as solid and certain because they all relied upon the faithful Promises. Their victories were mysteriously great, their lives were related vitally to the Unseen. But the action to this end was on their part sublimely simple. It was reliance on the Promises. It was taking God at his word.”TDOC 113.4

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