THE FAITH OF GODÂ’S ELECT
There is a faith which is the faith of the unregenerate; the faith of those who are still dead in sin. There is also a faith which is the faith of the true believer; the faith of those quickened by the Holy Spirit; the “faith of God’s elect.”
Each may have the same general objectÂ—that is. God, in the trinity of the glorious persons. Father, Son, and Holy SpiritÂ—
and the same general subjectÂ—that is, the inspired word of God,Â—but the faith of the unregenerate man will influence him to come before God in the plenitude of his religious rites and ceremonies, his prayers and doings; whereas the faith of the true believer, the “faith of God’s elect,” will influence its possessor to come before God in the living consciousness of his inner life; the consciousness of one possessing new, and spiritual, and most pressing needs, which no religious rites or ceremonies, no religious activities of his own, can satisfy.
The one brings his religion before God, and hopes for God’s favour because of it. The other brings before God his emptiness, his sinfulness, and need, and casts himself upon God’s mercy as revealed in Christ. The former has no real intercourse with God on his most religious day; when his attention is wholly given to his religious observances, and when most surrounded by outward religious influences. But
the latter, by a mere thought heavenward, or by a few
whispered words of prayer or praise, will have real intercourse with God, even though his energies be fully engaged in the duties of his calling, and he be surrounded by circumstances apparently unfavourable to the spiritual life.
Another distinctive feature in the “faith of God’s elect” is in the fact that, although its object is the Eternal God in the Trinity
of the Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, it looks especially
and continually to the Lord Jesus.
It not only believes the whole record of God concerning His Son Jesus Christ; but because of the special need of salvation, aconsciousness of which has been aroused by the Holy Spirit’s quickening work in the heart, it has special regard to the Lord Jesus Himself, as made known in that record as the lift of God, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The “faith of God’s elect” centres in the cross of Christ; for it ‘here beholds, in the death of Christ for sinners, the way of full salvation. The force of mere religiousness with its natural convictions will lead a man to do much, but it never makes him thoroughly out of conceit with the power of man. It never brings him solely to rely upon the “power of God” as made manifest in the cross of Christ. The natural man will be doing in .some way or other; and this is the power of man, but it never
He who possesses spiritual life, and who is guided by the word of God under the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit, ceases from his own doing in every way as regards the question of his salvation, and relies solely on the doing of God by the cross of Christ; and thus the preaching of the cross is to him the power of God unto salvation (1 Cor. 1.18). It is God’s way, and he turns to it. Man’s way, man’s power, man’s wisdom; he no longer inquires about. He is now content.
To the cross of Christ; to the atonement there made for sin, and to the salvation thereby accomplished for every needy sinner, must the mind of the believer ever turn when he desires to have his evidences of salvation brightened, and his hopes of
eternal life revived. It is the one and only way, both for the newly-awakened sinner and for the advanced believer.
In making progress in the spiritual life, the “faith of God’s elect” is fixed also on Christ Himself, now in heaven at the right hand of God; knowing that all fulness is in Him for the supply of every need in the daily walk (Col. 3.1-4; Eph. 1. 22-23).