Bible Basics: Faith
Earl RobertsonTompkinsville, KentuckyThe creeds of men allege that a sinner is unable to believe the message preached by the apostles because he is dead in sin and that, therefore, God gives faith to the sinner. Faith is not a gift; faith is the confidence one has in God because of what God has said to him through His word. All who do not believe shall be damned says Jesus (Mk. 16:15, 16). If faith is a gift of God, all who do not have it may rightly hold the Maker responsible for their condition! Who can believe it? "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). One's trust in God comes after hearing (Eph. 1:13). Paul asks, "How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?" (Rom. 10:14b).
Faith alone is of no value to anyone. Salvation is not offered by faith only and never has been. Many declare that the doctrine of justification by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort, but it is a lie. The creeds teach it, but the Bible says the very opposite! The Bible says, "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (James 2:24). That verse cannot be explained away; it will always say not by faith only.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. The Bible says, "He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Heb. 11:6). God must always be sought after the due order (1 Chron. 15:13). His will must guide the actions of man. Acting contrary to the explicitly revealed will of God is not faith, but unbelief. Moses understood what God wanted at the waters of Meribah (Ex. 20:8), but his faith was not implicit. God said unto him, "Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them" (Ex. 20:12). God said "speak" to the rock, but Moses "struck" it with his rod. Moses did not do what God told him; God said his actions amounted to unbelief.
This well illustrates our point: God has spoken to man, and unless man accepts unreservedly the word of God it is unbelief. Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mk. 16:15, 16). Some say they believe but refuse to be baptized-they not only disbelieve, ut are disobedient also.
Truth Magazine XXII: 24, p. 389