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10 December, 2012

Faith


This is part of Spurgeon’s sermon on Faith

…We shall now enquire WHY FAITH IS SELECTED AS

THE CHANNEL OF SALVATION “By Grace are you saved through faith.” It becomes us to be modest in answering such a question, for God’s ways are not always to be understood. But, as far as we can tell, faith has been selected as the channel of Grace because there is a natural adaptation in faith to be used as the receiver. Suppose that I am about to give a poor man an alms. I put it into his hand—why? Well, it would hardly be fitting to put it into his ear, or to lay it upon his foot, the hand seems made on purpose to receive. So faith in the mental body is created on purpose to be a receiver—it is the hand of the man and there is a fitness in bestowing Grace by its means. Let me put this very plainly. Faith which receives Christ is as simple an act as when your child receives an apple from you because you hold it out and promise to give it the apple if it comes for it. The belief and the receiving relate only to an apple, but they make up precisely the same act as the faith which deals with eternal salvation!

What the child’s hand is to the apple that is your faith to the perfect salvation of Christ. The child’s hand does not make the apple, nor alter the apple—it only receives it. And faith is chosen, by God, to be the receiver of salvation because it does not pretend to make salvation, nor to help in it, but it receives it. Faith, again, is no doubt selected because it gives all the credit to God. It is of faith that it might be by Grace and it is of Grace that there may be no boasting, for God cannot endure pride. Paul says, “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” The hand which receives charity does not say, “I am to be thanked for accepting the gift”—that would be absurd!

When the hand conveys bread to the mouth, it does not say to the body, “Thank me, for I fed you.” It is a very simple thing that the hand does, though a very necessary thing—but it never arrogates glory to itself for what it does. So God has selected faith to receive the unspeakable gift of His Grace because it cannot take to itself any credit, but must adore the gracious God who is the Giver of all good. Next, God selects faith as the channel of salvation because it is a sure method, linking man with God.

When man confides in God, there is a point of union between them and that union guarantees blessing. Faith saves us because it makes us cling to God and so brings us into union with Him. I have used the following illustration before, but I must repeat it because I cannot think of a better. I am told that years ago, above the Falls of Niagara, a boat was upset and two men were being carried down the current. Persons on the shore managed to float a rope out to them, which rope was seized by them both. One of them held fast to it and was safely drawn to the bank, but the other, seeing a great log come floating by, unwisely let go of the rope and clung to the log, for it was the bigger thing of the two and apparently better to cling to.

God gives salvation to our faith because He has thus touched the secret spring of all our emotions and actions. He has, so to speak, taken possession of the battery and now He can send the sacred current to every part of our nature. When we believe in Christ—and the heart has come into the possession of God—then are we saved from sin and are oved towards repentance, holiness, zeal, prayer, consecration and every other gracious thing!



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