The Berean Expositor
Volume 16 - Page 141 of 151
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Words in Season.
A Few sidelights.
pp. 29 - 31
A.--I do not bring forward any particular difficulty this time, but simply ask for any
further light you may have upon the subject of faith.
B.--Let us take notice of some of the contexts of faith in the Scriptures. These will
include the objects of faith, the parallels of faith, synonyms and antonyms. All these will
illuminate our understanding. Take a few instances of the objects of faith as set forth in
John's Gospel:--
Belief is said to be "on His name" (1: 12); "in Him" (3: 16); "on the Son" (3: 36);
"on the Son of God" (9: 35); "on Him that sent" the Son (5: 24). The Lord said,
moreover, "If ye believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins" (8: 24). This reference
to the great name I AM not only takes us back to Exod. 3: but also comprehends the
seven great claims recorded in John, such as "I am the light of the world", "I am the
bread of life", etc.
The whole purpose of John's Gospel is concentrated in the one note:--
"These are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God;
and that believing ye might have life through His name" (John 20: 31).
A.--I notice in this last reference a distinction which in some measure clears up the
difficulty I have expressed with regard to the connection between "historic faith" and
"saving faith".
First, "these things" which were written are nothing less than "signs which Jesus did in
the presence of His disciples" (John 20: 30), and were to lead to believing certain facts
about the Person of Christ, namely, that "Jesus", the man, was "the Messiah", and
moreover "the Son of God". So far this is mere historic fact, but it is impossible to
believe that the man "Jesus" was God's Anointed and God's Son without also believing
all that these names connote consequently "life through His name" is the sequel, and
historic faith in an event or a person that can mean nothing if they do not mean salvation
must also of necessity be saving faith too.
B.--That is a well learned lesson, and you have made it your own. There is one other
phase given in John's Gospel that we must not pass by. In John 5: 39 we read, "Search
the Scriptures", a command that not one of us can neglect with impunity. Nevertheless,
we believe the Lord did not intend a command here, but made a statement:--
"Ye search the Scriptures: for in THEM ye think ye have aionian life: and they
are they which testify of ME. And ye will not come to ME, that ye might have life"
(John 5: 39, 40).