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October 11 Today’s Reading: Mark 9-10
“If thou canst believe…”
Frequently, when pressing the claims of Christ upon sinners, I have had them respond, “I am trying to believe.” How subtle Satan is! Once a sinner has moved from utter infidelity to being concerned for his soul, the old serpent convinces him that faith is a complex thing. It is not so. People think that faith in Christ has something to do with mysterious feelings, or that it comes as the result of deep emotions. The deceived soul vainly imagines that since he is trying to believe, the Lord looks favorably upon him. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Making God a Liar
Would your father be honored if you said to him, “Dad, I want to believe you. I am really trying to believe you; but I have not yet come to the place that I can believe you.”? I hardly think so! He would be insulted by your impudent rudeness. Your unbelief with regard to your father would be a declaration that in your opinion your father is a liar. That is exactly how God looks upon your unbelief. “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” (1 John 5:10). Faith in Christ is such a simple matter that when I try to explain it, I am always fearful that my explanation will only confuse. Faith in Christ is simply believing God. Unbelief is declaring that, in your opinion, God is a liar.
C. H. Spurgeon once told a story that beautifully illustrates the simplicity of faith. A Sunday-school teacher took out his pocket-watch and said to one of the boys in his class, “I will give this to you, John. Will you have it?” John began to think about the offer, wondering what the teacher meant, but made no response. So the teacher turned to another and said, “Here is my watch, Henry. Will you have it?” Henry, with modesty, replied, “No, thank you, sir.” The teacher tried the same thing with several of the boys with the same result. One youngster had been eyeing the watch. Being much poorer than the others, he never dreamed of having one of his own; but he wanted it very much. When the teacher said to him, “Here is my watch, Billy. Will you have it,” he said, “Thank you very much, sir,” took the watch and put it in his pocket. One of the boys said, “Is it his to keep?” “Of course it is,” the teacher replied. “I offered it to him. He accepted it. It is his.” John said, “If I had thought you meant it, I would have taken the watch myself.” Each one of the boys passed up the watch, because they did not believe the teacher. Billy went home with the watch in his pocket, because he believed.
If you can but believe God, you can lay this book down and go your way with Christ in your heart, with His righteousness laid to your account in heaven and in your own conscience, with the complete forgiveness of all your sins through His blood, and all the blessedness of eternal life and everlasting salvation in Him. It is written, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Faith in Christ really is just that simple. It is believing God. If you believe on the Son of God, eternal life is yours. If you refuse to believe God, the wrath of God abides upon you. Oh, may God the Holy Spirit give you faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!
We who believe must never cease to remember and give thanks to our God for the precious gift of faith in Christ. Our faith in Him is not the result of our choice. Like all others, we chose not to believe God. But God the Holy Ghost, by the mighty operations of His infinite mercy, wrought faith in us by irresistible grace, revealing Christ in us and causing us to come to Him in the day of His power. And, as He first worked faith in us, He continues to give us faith, sustain us in faith, and keeps us coming to Christ, working faith in us by grace. — “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!