An Old-Time Preacher Hits Hard

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Taking God at His Word
Faith is believing, taking Him at His Word. Look at 1 John 5:99If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. (1 John 5:9): "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son."
Then in verse 10 we read: "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in Himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son."
We are in the habit of receiving the witness of men about many things, and a man is greatly insulted if we won't receive his witness. But surely the witness of God is greater than that of man!
And here we have the witness of God in verses 11 and 12: "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
Faith says, "This is the record of God." Unbelief says, "How do we know?" Faith says, "God has said it and it must be true." Salvation is linked with faith, and faith is linked with salvation.
When faith grasps God's record, it brings to my soul salvation, life, light and joy. You will never be saved till you come and accept God's record; accept Christ, of whom that record speaks.
One of the most dangerous doctrines preached is that it does not matter what a man believes, if he is only sincere. One form of belief is as good as another. That is the devil's doctrine to deceive souls. You know better than that when you talk of worldly things. A man may be terribly in earnest about getting to London, but if he takes the train to Edinburgh, he may believe what he likes, but he won't get to London.
So a man may believe he is going in the true way to heaven, but if he is not saved, not in Christ, he is going right down to hell all the time. It makes all the difference in the world what a man believes. To believe God and the record He gives of His Son, is to be saved; to believe the devil's lies is to be lost forever.
But faith in a creed or a doctrine is not salvation. If creeds and doctrines do not bring you to Christ, they are worth nothing. You must not only believe that Christ came to save, that Christ died to save, but that He came to save you.
You must make it personal. You must get into Christ and then you will be safe. People who have a sound and orthodox creed will go down to destruction, unless they lay hold on Christ. The faith that grasps the Son of God, that receives Him, and that takes God at His Word, is the faith that saves.
Isa. 12:22Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. (Isaiah 12:2) says, "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid." How do we get this faith? I used to pray for faith, but all the time I was neglecting the plain teaching of the Bible.
In Rom. 10:1717So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17) we read, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." Faith is the result of hearing the Word of God; it is taking God at His Word. If you think God is worthy of belief, you believe Him and lay hold of His Word. In John 3:3333He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. (John 3:33) we read, "He that hath received His testimony hath set to His seal that God is true."
This is just what faith is. It is our setting to our seal that God is true, endorsing it, as long ago they sealed a document with their signet ring on which their initials were engraved.
So when you receive God's testimony concerning His Son, when you receive the witness of His Word, you set to your seal that God is true. Then, and not until then, you will have the knowledge, the peace and the joy of God's salvation. If you would pass from death to life, if you would be saved and know it, you have simply to take this step. That is all.
It seems very simple, very easy, but it is God's way. He has done all else for us; there is nothing more to be done. He sent His Son to die, the just, for us, the unjust. All is finished—all is done.
We do not buy salvation, but we take it as God's gift when we believe the record He has given of His Son.