Faith in Christ will be the means whereby the right spirit and motive will actuate the believer, and all goodness and heavenly-mindedness will proceed from him who looks unto Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith. Look up to God, look not to men. God is your heavenly Father who is willing patiently to bear with your infirmities, and to forgive and heal them. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” By beholding Christ, you will become changed, until you will hate your former pride, your former vanity and self-esteem, your self-righteousness and unbelief. You will cast these sins aside as a worthless burden, and walk humbly, meekly, trustfully, before God. You will practice love, patience, gentleness, goodness, mercy, and every grace that dwells in the child of God, and will at last find a place among the sanctified and holy.
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There is danger in regarding justification by faith as placing merit on faith. When you take the righteousness of Christ as a free gift you are justified freely through the redemption of Christ. What is faith? “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. It is an assent of the understanding to God’s words which binds the heart in willing consecration and service to God, who gave the understanding, who moved on the heart, who first drew the mind to view Christ on the cross of Calvary. Faith is rendering to God the intellectual powers, abandonment of the mind and will to God, and making Christ the only door to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
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Let this point be fully settled in every mind: If we accept Christ as a Redeemer we must accept Him as a Ruler. We cannot have the assurance, the perfect confiding trust in Christ as our Saviour until we acknowledge Him and are obedient to His commandments. Thus we evidence our allegiance to God. We have then the genuine ring in our faith. It works by love. Speak it from your heart, “Lord, I believe Thou hast died to redeem my soul. If Thou hast placed such a value upon my soul to give Thy life for mine, I give my life and all its possibilities in all my weakness into Thy keeping.” The will must be brought into complete harmony with the will of God. When this is done every ray of light that will shine into the heart and chambers of the mind will not be resisted, and the soul barricaded with prejudice, calling light darkness, and darkness light. The light from heaven is welcomed as light filling all the chambers of the soul, and this is making melody to God. How much do we believe from the heart, “Draw nigh to God, and God will draw nigh to you”? This means to be much with the Lord in prayer.
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Teach every soul to lean heavily on the arm of infinite power. There is an individuality that must be preserved in every human agent in Christian experience and the responsibility cannot be removed from any soul. Each one has his own battles to fight, his own Christian experience to gain, independent in some respects from any other soul; and God has lessons for each to gain for himself that no other one can gain for him.
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It is not safe for any one to attempt to be conscience for God’s people. If the servants of God will patiently instruct them by precept and example, to patience, to faith, and to look to God for themselves, to understand their own duty as God would have them, then many, in trying circumstances would obtain a rich experience in the things of God. Teach man to ask wisdom of God. There should be precept and example in lessons given, that God is our only trust and wisdom, and we must pray to Him without ceasing for light and knowledge.
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Faith lays hold of the promises. Faith is not feeling. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. We walk by faith and not by sight.
We are too much inclined to be influenced by words of men, and not depend wholly upon God and have faith in God.
Faith in Christ alone can destroy selfishness and self idolatry in the human soul.
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The promise of God is fulfilled if we educate the thoughts and heart to place entire dependence, day by day, upon Jesus Christ. The promise is not that we will have strength today for a future emergency, that anticipated future trouble will be provided for beforehand, before it comes to us. We may, if we walk by faith, expect strength and provision for us as fast as our circumstances demand it. We live by faith, not by sight. The Lord’s arrangement is for us to ask Him for the very things that we need. The grace of tomorrow will not be given today. Men’s necessity is God’s opportunity. “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” The grace of God is never given to be squandered, to be misapplied or perverted, or to be left to rust with disuse.
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