Faith by Christ
How do we "See Jesus?" Not by means of mysterious dreams or ecstatic visions, not by the exercise of our imagination, nor by a process of visualization; but by faith. Just as Christ declared, in John 8:56, "Abraham rejoiced to see by day and he saw it, and was glad." Faith is the eye of the spirit, which views and enjoys what the Word of God presents to its vision. In the Gospels, Acts, Epistles, Revelation, God has told us about the exaltation of His Son; those who receive by faith what He has there declared, "SEE Jesus crowned with glory and honour," as truly and vividly as His enemies once saw Him here on earth "crowned with thorns."
Arthur W. Pink
Mere feeling and sentimentality can never rise above the source from whence they come, and that source is self; but faith has to do with God and His eternal Word and is a living link, connecting the heart that has it with God who gives it. Human feelings, however intense, human sentiments, however refined, could not connect the soul with God. They are neither divine nor eternal, but are human and fleeting. They are like Jonah's gourd, which sprang up in a night and peished in a night. Not so faith! That precious principle partakes of all the value, all the power, and all the reality of the source from which it springs and the object with which it has to do. It justifies the soul (Rom. 5:1); it purifies the heart (Acts 15:9); it works by love (Gal. 5:6); and it overcomes the world (1 John 5:4). Feelings are occupied with self; faith is occupied with Christ. Feelings look inward; faith looks outward. Feelings leave the soul in doubt; faith leads it into peace. Feeling has to do with one's own fluctuating condition; faith has to do with Christ's enduring sacrifice and God's truth.
C. H. Mackintosh
Some of you are struggling with faith or the lack of it. You know that "the just shall live by faith," but you just cannot seem to muster any faith with which to lay hold of salvation. There is a scriptural principle that can help you; "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." So faith is a product of the Word of God. Therefore, if you want faith, you should do these things. Always be attendant on the preached Word of God. It is inconsistent to claim a desire for faith and yet not be at the place where the Word of God is preached. Read the written Word of God. The Bible in your home is a faith builder if it is read with a desire for faith. Use it! Also, seek Christ, the living Word of God. Do not let your attendance on the preached word or the written word be nothing more than religious exercises. Instead, SEEK CHRIST in the preached and written word.
Pastor Joe Terrell
The faith of the natural man, the unregenerate man, is reasonable, logical, and often very influential (Matt. 7:21-23); but the faith of the Christain is a gift of God, a miracle, and is always the producer of a radical change in those who possess it. A man cannot possibly possess saving faith whose thinking and attitude has not been radically changed concerning God and righteousness, man and sin, Christ and grace (II Cor. 5:14-17). The difference between the two kinds of faith is the difference between shadows and substance, words and reality: natural faith believes but saving faith knows! Natural faith merely acknowledges what saving faith experiences.
Pastor Maurice Montgomery
Faith has for its object the whole word of God, and forms its estimate of all things with which the soul is at present concerned, according to the standard of Scripture. When our Lord was upon earth, and conversed with his disciples, their eyes and hearts were fixed upon Him. In danger He was their defender; their guide when in perplexity; and to Him they looked for the solution of all their doubts, and the supply of all their wants. He is now withdrawn from our eyes; but faith sets Him still before us, for the same purposes, and, according to its degree, with the same effects, as if we actually saw Him. His spiritual presence, apprehended by faith, is a restraint from evil, an encouragement to every service, and affords a present refuge and help in every time of trouble.
Faith hath two hands; with one it pulls off its own righteousness and throws it away, with the other it puts on Christ's.
William Gurnall (1660)
Faith in God's promises may be compared to a bank note: full and felt possession of the blessings promised, is like ready cash. The man who has bank-notes to any given value, looks upon himself as possessed of so much money, though, in reality, it is only so much paper. Thus faith is as satisfied, and rests with as great complacency in the promises of Jehovah, as it had all the blessings of grace and glory in hand. In faith's estimation, God's note is current coin.
What can be more feeble than the ivy, the jessamine, or the vine? Yet these, by the assistance of their tendrils, or claspers, rise and are supported, until they sometimes mount as high as the tree or the wall that sustains them. So the weak believer laying hold on Jesus by the tendril of faith, rises into the fullness of God, defies the invading storm and becomes a fruitful vine upon the wall of an house.
Under the influence of the blessed Spirit, faith produces holiness, and holiness strengthens faith. Faith, like a fruitful parent, is plenteous in all good works; and good works, like dutiful children, confirm and add to the support of faith.
Faith is the eye of the soul, and the Holy Spirit's influence is the light by which it sees.
Faith keeps the soul from sinking under heavy trials, by bringing in former experiences of the power, mercy, and faithfulness of God to the afflicted soul. Hereby was the psalmist supported in distress. Oh, saith faith, remember what God hath done both for thy outward and inward man: he hath not only delivered thy body when in trouble, but he hath done great things for thy soul; he hath brought thee out of a state of black nature, entered into a covenant relation with thee, made his goodness pass before thee; he hath helped thee to pray, and many times hath heard thy prayers and thy tears. Hath he not formerly brought thee out of the horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and put a new song in thy mouth, and made thee to resolve never to give way to such unbelieving thoughts and fears again? and how unbecoming it is for thee now to sink in trouble?
John Willison (1680-1750)
LIVE BY FAITH
If by the grace of God we be enabled to live by faith, that faith which sets God always before us, that faith which applies the promises to ourselves, and puts them in suit at the throne of grace, that faith which purifies the heart, overcomes the world, and quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked one, that faith which realizeth unseen things, and is the substance and evidence of them: if we be acted and governed by his grace, we are made to dwell safely, and to bid defiance to death itself, and all its harbingers and terrors: O death where is thy sting? This faith will not only silence our fears, but will open our lips in holy triumphs, if God be for us, who can be against us?
There is an assurance that comes with faith. This assurance is not the result of the believer looking to his faith, or to the personal act and exercise of his faith. The believer's soul is assured because faith believes that God's Word and God's promises are certain. In other words, the assurance of faith is the soul resting upon the faithfulness of God. (Rom. 4:20-21)
Saving faith is not merely a mental assent to the Word of God, but a taking hold of God in His Word believing God. Therefore, unbelief is not the mere disbelief of some statements of fact, but disbelieving God. Unbelief is a rebellious heart calling God a liar!!!