Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"By Hearing"

    We might suspect that great manifestations of the miraculous power of God would lead to great faith and confidence in Him.  It sometimes may, but only in a temporary and limited sense.  

    "A great multitude followed Him because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased" (John 6:2).
    "But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him" (John 12:37).

    True and lasting faith results primarily from hearing and receiving God's Truth as revealed in the Scriptures.  "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17).  Certainly, God's working may help prepare our hearts to believe, or confirm existing confidence in His loving presence and involvement.  Nevertheless, merely witnessing the actions of the Lord's hand can never lead us to trust His heart.  Truth, the Truth of Scripture, rather ushers us into the faithful relationship whereby we know His love, and love Him in holy response.  Indeed, no one has ever been born again by witnessing a miracle, and then believing that God performed the act of transcendent power and greatness.  Salvation rather results from believing Truth, that is, from believing the Gospel of a Christ we cannot see, who died a death for our sins that we did not witness, and then rose again in a resurrection accomplished long before we were born.    "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth… I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (Romans 1:16; I Corinthians 15:1; 3-4).

    When God chooses to perform an open and mighty act of His power, we rejoice and seek to benefit from the display of His glorious ability.  We do not, however, base our faith on such unpredictable manifestations.  We rather look to the perfectly predictable means of daily exposing ourselves to the Word of God, whereby "faith cometh."  While perhaps not outwardly spectacular, thrilling, or exciting, the growing relationship with our Lord that results from such devotion solidifies and enhances existing faith, while also initiating new aspects of confidence in God.  Most importantly, such communication between Heart and heart constitutes our bond with the Lord in terms of personal relationship and fellowship rather than our being merely spectators at Divine events.

    No human eye witnessed the actual resurrection of the Lord Jesus.  However, no human heart can be saved apart from believing the witness of the Word of God that "now is Christ risen from the dead" (I Corinthians 15:20).  Thus, the greatest of all miracles calls us to believe Truth about the great event apart from witnessing the wonder it must have been.  This is the way of God in those with whom He desires living communion that may sometimes benefit from displays of power, but which most often thrives in discourse between persons, namely, the proclamation of Truth as declared by the Word and Spirit of God unto trusting believers seeking His heart.

"We walk by faith, not by sight."
(II Corinthians 5:7)
"Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is truth."
(John 17:17)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Who can understand his errors?  Cleanse thou me from secret faults.
(Psalm 19:12)

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