Contemporary Christian Sermons ::A.W.Tozer :: " Do You Realize Faith Is A Gift?" A.W. Tozer


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 " Do You Realize Faith Is A Gift?" A.W. Tozer
« Thread Started on Sept 10, 2012, 7:50pm »
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DO YOU REALIZE THAT YOUR FAITH is a gift from God? You should look upon your faith as a miracle. It is the ability God gives lost men and women to trust and obey our Savior and Lord. It is the ability God gives regenerated men and women to continue to trust and obey.

And Jesus is the author of our faith.
Are you satisfied, contented with your faith?

Is it the kind of faith that is pleasing to God? Does it rest solidly upon the very nature and character of God? I raise these questions with the hope of finding some ripple of concern among God’s people about this simple, straightforward statement in the letter to the Hebrews: “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.”In all of my ministry I have found comparatively few eager to consider what the Bible teaches concerning genuine faith in God. It is difficult, also, to find spiritual concern among Christians for trusting God and living to please the One who created us and who redeemed us back to Himself. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is often called “The Faith Chapter.” Its opening message is familiar:Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. … By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. … And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Heb 11:1-6) “The Faith Chapter.” I doubt that most people recognize the full meaning of that term, “the faith chapter.” I would like to amend the title by calling Hebrews 11 the “Faith in-God Chapter.” Or, even better, the “Faith-in-the-Character-of-God Chapter.” The word “faith” can mean a thousand different things to as many people. It is especially so if in their thinking there is no basic reference to God, no consideration of His eternal will and no understanding of the lostness of mankind. I have discovered that professing Christians can read about the great exploits of faith in the past—and then immediately ask the age-old question, “But what is faith?”

No actual definition

Although the writer to the Hebrews declares that faith is being sure of what we hope for and being certain of what we do not see, he is not thereby actually providing us with a definition. Definitions have to do with human reason, human intellect, human philosophy. I think God had his own reasons for withholding a specific definition of faith from the pages of our Bibles. 

God’s record and appeal are spiritual messages, directed to the spirits of needy men and women. If our Christian testimony is to be vital and effective, we must understand that the Bible was not given to serve as a handbook of ethical considerations. Rather, it is plainly a book of morals. Therefore, when we take God at His word in committing ourselves to Jesus Christ, we discover that faith and morals are two sides of the same coin! 

I repeat: The Bible is not a book of reason about things that are good and things that are bad. Rather, it is an authoritative book clearly demonstrating for us what is good and what is bad! On that basis, then, what does the Bible tell us about genuine faith? Without dealing in pinpoint definitions, we know that faith as demonstrated in the Word of God is complete confidence and trust in God and in His plan of salvation through Christ.

Let us agree further that faith is a gift of God to every penitent, trusting person. Beyond that, faith is a miracle, for God gives lost men and women the blessed ability to trust and serve Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Bible assures us that faith in God is the plain gateway to forgiveness, to cleansing, to regeneration, to restoration. The Bible declares that where there is no faith there are no answers to fervent prayers. The Bible makes clear that every spiritual benefit flowing from the atonement of Christ is given to faith and is received by faith. All of this is common evangelical doctrine and is accepted wherever the cross of Christ is rightly understood.

Beware of faith in “faith”

I have often warned men in the ministry of their great responsibility when they begin to preach and counsel about faith. It is quite possible to lead people into the mistake of placing their faith in “faith” itself. 

I do not think any of us believes that as Christians we can or should ever be satisfied by emphasizing our faith in “faith.” To do so would result in our bragging about the greatness of our faith and our trading mutual testimonies about the results of our faith. 

I remember an old story, used more than once as sermon illustration. It concerned an anonymous Christian believer who testified of great faith and willing obedience with this rather amazing promise: “If the Lord ever asks me to jump right through that brick wall, I am ready to jump!” 

My point is that we should not be busy magnifying our own great faith. Rather, we should be busy demonstrating the fragrance of God’s love and grace in our daily walk. It is not proper to magnify faith if in doing so we forget that our confidence as believers is not in the power of faith but in the person and work of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I have heard ministers say that if the people in their congregations would memorize more Bible promises, they would immediately have more faith. Yes and no.

Study the Scriptures and you will find that we are not going to have more faith by counting the promises of God. Faith does not rest upon promises. Faith rests upon character. Faith must rest in confidence upon the One who makes the promises. Faith says, “God is God! He is a holy God who cannot lie. He is the God who is infinitely honest—He has never cheated anyone. He is the God who is faithful and true!” Yes, we must be concerned with the person and character of God and not just with His promises. Through promises we learn what God has willed to us, we learn what we may claim as our heritage, we learn how we should pray. But faith itself must rest upon the character of our God. When I think of the angels in heaven who veil their faces before the holy God who is totally truthful, I wonder why every preacher does not begin preaching about God—who He is, His attributes, His perfection, His being and why we love Him and why we should trust Him!

A.W. Tozer
_________

Biography: Aiden Wilson Tozer (April 21, 1897 - May 12, 1963) was an American Christian pastor, preacher, author, magazine editor, and spiritual mentor.[1] For his work, he received two honorary doctorate degrees.
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