Aug 2, 2010


"Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (1 John 5:4)

FAITH is the gift of God. No man can possess a true and living faith until God is pleased to produce it in his heart. It is not merely an assent and consent to the letter of the word; for a man may believe with a natural faith everything that is written in the Bible, and yet be destitute of the faith of God's elect. True "faith standeth not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God;" it is not merely sentiment or opinion, but it is a divine assurance wrought in the heart of a poor sinner by almighty power. "We have known and believed the love that God hath to us." (1 John 4:16) It "is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence (or ground, or confidence) of things not seen;" and through the exercise of it we credit that which we cannot comprehend and do not perceive. Nay, faith often receives that which is quite contrary to what we feel and see. Thus it is above sense, and very often opposed to it. Yes, a poor sinner feels himself to be all sin, defilement, and pollution; but when the Lord enables him to receive, apply, and appropriate the precious atoning blood of the Saviour, he really knows, and that by blessed experience, that he is cleansed indeed. And though he feels and confesses with Paul, "I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing;" (Romans 7:18) and though he is thoroughly convinced of his utter destitution of all righteousness, being unable to speak a good word, think a good thought, or perform a good act; yet, when he is enabled by faith to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lord his righteousness, his heart is persuaded and assured (notwithstanding all his fears) that he shall appear "without fault before the throne of God." (Rev. 14:5) Thus it is that the Lord enables his people to triumph over sin through believing in the Saviour. And this faith works by love to Jesus, and so exalts him in our esteem that we are brought to hate self and to value Jesus above every other object, in heaven or on earth. It enables us to triumph over self,--sinful self and righteous self. We desire to "put off the old man with his deeds, and to put on the new man, which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness;" and the effect of this is that mortification of which Paul speaks: "But if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." (Romans 8:13) When the forgiveness of all trespasses flows into our hearts, through faith in the precious atoning blood of the Saviour, "who, of God, is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption," (1 Cor. 1:30) then he is all our righteousness, all our holiness, and all our salvation. We have no other; we want no other. Professors are apt to put the fruits of holiness for holiness, and thus to ascribe some degree of excellence to the creature; but I do know that all genuine fruit, whether internal or external, can only spring from our union to Christ. He says, "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye except ye abide in me." (John 15:4)" - John Hobbs

Duty-faith Expositions

Free Grace Expositions