An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 115 of 277
'He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is
The simple conception of faith suggested by the words used in the Old
Testament may be expressed in some such way as this, 'Faith says amen to
anything that God has said'.  Whatever the doctrine or the practice that may
be the subject at the time, faith bows the head and says, 'That is true'.  Of
course I do not pretend that such a statement either exhausts the subject or
takes in every point of view, but this simple primary definition will bring
comfort where philosophy may bring distraction.
A.  If your suggestion is that when Abraham believed in the Lord he just
bowed his head with a humble 'amen', I see this echoed in the words of Romans
'He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was
strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that,
what He had promised, He was able also to perform'.
It is certainly very simple and rids the subject of a great deal that
does not properly belong to it.  However, I should appreciate a few words on
the question of 'how' we believe.
Faith is the crediting of a Testimony
A.  Your previous suggestion that the Old Testament conception of faith could
be expressed in some such way as: 'Saying Amen to all that God has said', is
certainly simple, but to my mind does not seem impressive enough.
B.  I do not mean to teach that such a statement exhausts the meaning of
faith, but I do believe that it lies very near the foundation.
A.  It seems to me that if a man is dead to everything spiritual until the
Lord gives him life and light, then faith must be something more miraculous
and wonderful than your suggestion would lead us to suppose.
B.  Yet, after all, for a man spiritually dead and at enmity with God and His
truth to turn and believe is something very marvellous.  On the other hand
the Scripture does not seem to turn our attention so much to the metaphysical
side of the question of faith, but lays before us a more matter of fact and
everyday presentation of it.  Would you cease to breathe because you could
not satisfactorily resolve the problem as to which comes first, life or
breathing?  Why disturb your mind with unprofitable speculations?  Let us see
how faith is used in the Scripture.  Think of the well -known words of Isaiah
53:1, 'Who hath believed our report?'  You know what it is to believe, or
give credit to, a testimony or a report, well this aspect of faith is one
that is found in Scripture.  This passage from Isaiah 53:1 is quoted by Paul
in Romans 10 where one or two further thoughts on the nature of faith are to
be found.  Will you turn to Romans 10 and tell me what you discover?
A.  (Reads the passage silently) The first thing that strikes me upon reading
this chapter is this.  Instead of saying, as I have rather thought, that
faith is a matter of great height and depth, Paul quotes the words of Moses,