Author: Andrew Murray
How can you be sure that you have faith? Andrew Murray explains how to develop your faith until you have erased all your doubts. Then you will be able to receive the full measure of faith that God has for you. Find comfort in God's presence, experience the living power of God's Word, and obtain the riches of all God's promises. No matter where you are in your walk of faith, this book will take you farther along the way to God. Discover a new, stronger faith as the Holy Spirit works in your heart!
1. The Necessity of True Faith
2. By the Spirit and the Word
3. Reaching Out for the Gift of Faith
4. Faith and Repentance
5. Becoming a Child of God
6. Humility and Penitence
7. The Certainty of Faith
8. The Surrender of Faith
9. Receiving and Nourishing Faith
10. Justification: By Faith or by Works?
11. Faith That Glorifies God
12. Expressions of Faith
Chapter 1 The Necessity of True Faith
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16.16
If you have decided to seek your own salvation, and not the salvation that Christ has offered to you, this passage of Scripture is for you: "He that believeth ... shall be saved." God does not require anything more than simple faith. However, He will not settle for anything less. Faith is the only way to salvation; there is no other way. "He that believeth not shall be damned." Thus, God seeks to bring us to faith in Christ by the attractions and charms of His grace on the one hand, and by the threat of His wrath on the other. Faith is the one indispensable prerequisite of salvation.
No matter how much people may be opposed to this method, the time will come when both the lost in hell and the saved in heaven will justify God in His ways. The whole universe will acknowledge the equity of this sentence: "He that believeth not shall be damned." Our gracious Lord has always met the sinner with the wonderful offer of complete forgiveness, and He bestows on him all that is necessary for an everlasting salvation. He requires no worthiness or merit, but simply this: man should accept what is offered to him and believe what has been said to him.
In order to remove every hindrance to faith and to win people's hearts, God ordained the glad tidings of salvation to be sent through His own Son, Jesus Christ, who manifested Himself in the most loving and attractive form. He also sealed His love with His own precious blood. As a result, he who still does not believe "shall be damned." When a man will not allow himself to be redeemed from all his former sins, he sets the seal upon them all over again. To his former sins, he adds the greatest sins of all: he has affronted God's authority, despised God's love, lightly esteemed God's Son, defied God's vengeance, and thrust God's salvation away from him. Through his unbelief, he shows his enmity against God and his rejection of God. Therefore, the decree cannot, and may not, be put forth in any other way but "he that believeth not shall be damned."
The absolute necessity of faith is no less confirmed when we study the other side of this verse: "He that believeth ... shall be saved." Man has nothing, absolutely nothing, of his own to contribute to the attainment of salvation. He cannot put himself in any position that will speed him along to it. And yet, the Lord will do nothing but reign over a willing people. Man is not a stone; he must do his part. How can this be, that man can do nothing and yet should do something? It is faith that solves this difficult enigma.
Faith is manifested in the acknowledgment of poverty and misery, in the confession of inability and helplessness. Faith is seen in consent, submission, and surrender to the grace of God, which is to be everything in us. God cannot require more than faith, and He cannot require less, for He will not do any injustice to His own honor or to the freedom of man. He requires faith, faith alone, and His grace bends down low to our weakness. "He that believeth ... shall be saved."
Notice that there are two alternatives: to believe and be saved, or to be unbelieving and therefore damned. Make your choice. Do not think about it any longer or ask if there is no other way. Rather, come, submit yourself to God and to the word of His grace: "He that believeth ... shall be saved." Put aside the secret thought that something else may, after all, still be necessary.
You may feel that everlasting salvation is too great a blessing for the meager and paltry faith that you have. You may also find it too hazardous for you, in your sinfulness, to venture so far merely upon faith. Yet, it is God who has spoken, and He grants salvation only to those who come to Him by faith. He who possesses this faith has everything, for by it he has Christ. He who does not possess faith has nothing, even if he possesses everything else. Faith is absolutely necessary.
A Glorious Portrayal Of Jesus
Study the verse once again: "He that be-lieveth ... shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
In Mark's gospel, we find the story of a woman who believed and was saved. "For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole" (Mark 5:28). What a glorious portrayal of the Lord Jesus is given by this woman's simple words! She regarded Him as so filled with the divine power of life --as He most certainly is-- that it flowed out to everyone who even touched Him in faith. She felt assured that even the slightest fellowship with Him would be blessed and that she would experience the healing power of the life that was in Him.
She did not doubt either His power or His willingness, even for a moment. Had He not come for the sick? Then why should she continue to beg, as if she had no claim to His healing? No, she knew that there is healing in Him and that this healing was also for her. She would have doubted her right to make use of the light of the sun sooner than her right to Jesus. She would have questioned whether she could take a drink of water from a rushing river sooner than nurture the thought that there was no health for her to be found with Jesus.
Oh, doubting soul, I pray that you would think of the Lord Jesus just as this woman thought of Him. It is always the good pleasure of the Father that all fullness should dwell in Him (Col. 1: 19). The Father has purposely made all the fullness of His love and His life to dwell in Jesus, the Son of Man, so that it may be truly visible and accessible to us. In Him dwells the power of a new and holy life from the dead, which He obtained by making atonement for our sins. This new life has the power to impart health to souls who are sick unto death. It is the life intended for us sinful, dead, condemned sinners.
I urge you to understand what the woman shows you by her example. The blessing and the approval of Jesus are the seal of the truth of her words. In Jesus is life, life even for the most wretched sinner.
A Picture Of True Faith
The story of this woman is not only a glorious portrayal of Jesus Christ, but it is also a marvelous picture of true faith as our means of participating in the fullness of Jesus. The woman knew that she had no work to do, no great strength to put forth, to receive her healing. She had no need to consider, as she might have done with other doctors or healers, whether she was really in a position to pay the fees that would be demanded. No, she merely had to touch Him, that is, she merely had to take possession of what was already prepared for her. The healing was there as soon as she stretched out her hand to receive it.
Anxious soul, you have already sought for too long to make yourself fit for the great work of believing. Therefore, put an end to this fruitless preparation, and let this poor woman's example help to cure you of your error. Everything is ready in Jesus; you merely have to stretch out your hand. He is given to you by the Father and stands ready for your deliverance. All you have to do is to touch Him with the firm conviction of faith: "Jesus is for me."
Reach out with the simple thought, "I have a right to Him; in Him there is deliverance for me also." Touch Him, and, as truly as His name is Jesus, you will be delivered. You might not immediately feel this deliverance, but just wait, hold on, and say from day to day, "If I touch Him, I will be made whole." You will then become conscious of this healing.
A Depiction Of Greater Blessings
The story of this woman also provides a beautiful depiction of even greater blessings that Jesus gives to faith. That the woman was healed was a great blessing in itself However, the Scripture speaks of an even richer blessing-that Jesus observed her, the poor, trembling believer who would not have hidden herself in shame, even if others were seeking Him in the crowd. He gave her the assurance of His good pleasure and His favor. He caused her to confess Him openly. He praised her faith and thus made her an example and a blessing for thousands.
If you are looking and yearning for the salvation of your soul, try to understand what is awaiting you with Jesus, and what you may hope for from Him. Not only will He make YOU a partaker of forgiveness of sins and deliverance from destruction, but the friendship and love of the Savior will also be your portion. By these, He will make you a blessing to others. Beloved reader, what more is needed to bring you to say humbly and with faltering lips, following this woman's example, "If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole" (Mark 5:28)? When you reach out for Him, you will find that He is the source of true faith.
He wrote to give daily practical help to many of the people in his congregation who lived out in the farming communities and could come into town for church services only on rare occasions. As he wrote these books of instruction, Murray adopted the practice of placing many of his more devotional books into thirty-one separate readings to correspond with the days of the month.
At the age of seventy-eight, Murray resigned from the pastorate and devoted most of his time to his manuscripts. He continued to write profusely, moving from one book to the next with an intensity of purpose and a zeal that few men of God have ever equaled. He often said of himself, rather humorously, that he was like a hen about to hatch an egg; he was restless and unhappy until he got the burden of the message off his mind.
During these later years, after hearing of pocket-sized paperbacks, Andrew Murray immediately began to write books to be published in that fashion. He thought it was a splendid way to have the teachings of the Christian life at your fingertips, where they could be carried around and read at any time of the day.
One source has said of Andrew Murray that his prolific style possesses the strength and eloquence that are born of deep earnestness and a sense of the solemnity of the issues of the Christian life. Nearly every page reveals an intensity of purpose and appeal that stirs men to the depths of their souls. Murray moves the emotions, searches the conscience, and reveals the sins and shortcomings of many of us with a love and hope born out of an intimate knowledge of the mercy and faithfulness of God.
For Andrew Murray, prayer was considered our personal home base from which we live our Christian lives and extend ourselves to others. During his later years, the vital necessity of unceasing prayer in the spiritual life came to the forefront of his teachings. It was then that he revealed the secret treasures of his heart concerning a life of persistent and believing prayer.
Countless people the world over have hailed Andrew Murray as their spiritual father and given credit for much of their Christian growth to the influence of his priceless devotional books.