“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6
Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 3:12-4: 2
I may know a thing, and yet not believe it. Therefore assent must go with faith: that is to say, what we know we must also agree with, as being most certainly the will of God. Now, with faith, it is necessary that I should not only read the Scriptures and understand them, but that I should receive them in my soul as being the very truth of the living God, and should devoutly, with my whole heart, receive the whole of Scripture as being inspired of the most High, and the whole of the doctrine which he requires me to believe for my salvation. You are not allowed to divide the Scriptures, and to believe what you please; you are not allowed to believe the Scriptures with a half-heartedness, for if you do this wilfully, you have not the faith which looks alone to Christ. True faith gives its full assent to the Scriptures; it takes a page and says, “No matter what is in the page, I believe it;” it turns over the next chapter and says, “Here are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable do ignore, as they do also the other Scriptures, to their destruction; but hard though it be, I believe it.” It sees the Trinity; it cannot understand the Trinity in Unity, but it believes it. It sees an atoning sacrifice; there is something difficult in the thought, but it believes it; and whatever it be which it sees in revelation, it devoutly puts its lips to the book, and says, “I love it all; I give my full, free and hearty assent to every word of it, whether it be the threatening or the promise, the proverb, the precept, or the blessing. I believe that since it is all the word of God it is all most assuredly true.”
For meditation: Faith enables us to accept much which we cannot explain—“Through faith we understand” (Hebrews 11:3): “Believing is seeing”. Nothing else can fill the gap left by a lack of faith.
Sermon no. 107
14 December (1856)