13. Faith

“S.” We do not see any objection to your understanding the word “it” after “believeth” in Rom. 1:1616For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16). The gospel is assuredly the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth it, and it is the gospel I am called upon to believe in order to salvation, as many passages of Scripture distinctly teach. Faith is the grand principle which connects the soul with God; it lays hold of His revelation, and believes it, because it is His. It is well to see this. “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness.” And then he adds, for our comfort and consolation, “It was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.” So, also, in John 3:3333He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. (John 3:33): “He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.” Many other passages might be quoted to show the place which faith occupies in Christianity. It is the principle on which we are justified in contrast with the principle of works. As we read in Rom. 1:1717For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17), “The righteousness of God is revealed, on the principle of faith (εκ πιστεως), to faith.” Under the law, righteousness was required from man; but in the gospel it is revealed by God. Under the law, righteousness was on the ground or principle of works; in the gospel, it is on the opposite ground or principle of faith. You cannot meditate too profoundly on this great cardinal truth. But not only do we get righteousness by faith, we also live by faith. (Comp. Hab. 2:44Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4); Rom. 1:1717For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17); Gal. 3:1111But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. (Galatians 3:11); Heb. 10:3838Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (Hebrews 10:38).)” The just shall live by faith.” This takes in the whole of the divine life in all its details. It is a great mistake to limit the life of faith to mere dependence upon God for temporal things. True, it is most blessed to be cast upon God for everything—to hang on Him like a child, in all our need, from day to day. We would not pen a single line to derogate from the value of such an attitude. But there is a way of speaking of a life of faith which limits it to mere trust in God for food and raiment, and to this we seriously object. It is not correct, and its moral influence is decidedly pernicious.
There is no other way for any Christian to live but by faith.
Do not imagine for a moment, dear friend, that we deem your question either “stupid or strange.” Quite the opposite. We are only too glad to be allowed to minister in any little way to exercised souls. May the Lord relieve you of every burden, and stay your heart upon His own eternal grace and truth!