If we had not first suffered a serious decline in our expectations, we should not have accepted this tame technical view of faith. The churches (even the gospel churches) are worldly in spirit, morally anemic, on the defensive, imitating instead of initiating and in a wretched state generally because for two full generations they have been told that justification is no more than a “not guilty” verdict pronounced by the Heavenly Father upon a sinner who can present the magic coin faith with the wondrous “open-sesame” engraved upon it. If it is not stated as bluntly as that, at least the message is so presented as to create such an impression. The whole business is the result of hearing the Word preached without power and receiving it in the same way.
Now faith is indeed the open-sesame to eternal blessedness. Without faith it is impossible to please God, neither can any man be saved apart from faith in the risen Savior. But the true quality of faith is almost universally missed—its moral quality. It is more than mere confidence in the veracity of a statement made in Holy Writ. It is a highly moral thing and of a spiritual essence. It invariably effects radical transformation in the life of the one who exercises it. It shifts the inward gaze from self to God. It introduces its possessor into the life of heaven upon earth.
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. Hebrews 11:6
The true quality of faith is almost universally missed—its moral quality. It is more than mere confidence in the veracity of a statement made in Holy Writ. It is a highly moral thing and of a spiritual essence.
We long to hear the word preached in Your power, Father, and we long to be changed by it.