If we are to obtain fullness of power in life and service, we must feed upon the Word of God. There is no other food so strengthening. If we will not take time to study the Bible, we cannot have power, any more than we can have physical power if we will not take time to eat nutritious food.
So began RA Torrey last week in this five part series on The Power of the Word of God. In the previous post, Torrey examined the first two aspects of what the Word of God has power for:
- convict us of sin
- to regenerate
Today we are going to look at two more.
God’s Word Has Power to Produce Faith
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
You can never get faith by merely praying, nor can you ever get it by any effort of the will. You can never get it by trying to pump it up in any way. Faith is the product of a certain cause, and that cause is the Word of God.
It is so for example with saving faith. If you want a man to have saving faith, simply give him something definite from God’s Word upon which he can rest. The Philippian jailer asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30), and Paul answered: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31). But Paul did not stop there. Read verse 32: “And they spake unto him the Word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.”
They did not merely tell the Philippian jailer to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and then leave him floundering in the dark without giving him something to believe, or something for his faith to rest upon. They gave that which God has ordained to produce faith.
Here we often make a mistake. We tell people, “Believe, believe, believe,” but do not show them how, do not give them anything definite to believe. Give him Isaiah 53:6, and thus hold up Christ crucified, or give him 1 Peter 2:24. Here he has something for his faith to rest upon. Faith must have a foundation.
God’s Word Has Power to Produce Prevailing Faith
Not only saving faith comes through the Word of God, but prevailing faith in prayer does also. Suppose I read Mark 11:24: “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” I used to say, “The way to get anything I want is to believe I am going to get it.”
I would kneel down and pray and try to believe, but I did not get the things that I asked for. I had no real faith. Real faith must have a warrant. Before I can truly believe I am to receive what I ask, I must have a definite promise of God’s Word, or a definite leading of the Holy Spirit, to rest my faith upon.
We come into God’s presence. There is something we desire. Now the question is, “Is there any promise in God’s Word regarding this which we desire?” We look into the Word of God and find the promise. All we have to do is to spread that promise out before God.
For example, we say, “Heavenly Father, we desire the Holy Spirit. You have said in Your Word, ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?’ (Luke 11:13). And You have said again in Acts 2:39 that ‘the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.’ I am a called man; I am a saved man. And here I have Your Word for it. You have promised it. I ask Thee now to fill me with the Holy Spirit.”
We then take 1 John 5:14-15, and say, “Father, this is the confidence I have in You that, if I ask anything according to Your will You hear me, and if I know that You hear me, I know that I have the petition that I have asked of You.” Then I rise up, standing upon this promise of God, and say, “It is mine.” And it will be mine.
The only way to have a faith that prevails in prayer is to study your Bible, and know the promises, and lay them before God when you pray. George Mueller was one of the mightiest men of prayer. But he always prepared for prayer by studying the Word of God (John 15:7).
Suppose you have a skeptic to deal with, and you wish that man to have faith. What will you do with him? Turn to John 20:31: “But 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.”
Clearly then, this book of John was given that through what is “written” therein, men “might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing they might have life through His name.” “If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak of Myself” (John 7:17).
The faith that gets the victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil; the faith that wins mighty victories for God, is also through the Word. (See 1 John 5:4; Eph. 6:16; Heb. 11:33-34).
Very early in my ministry I read a sermon by Mr. Moody. In it there was something to the effect that a man would not amount to anything if he had not faith. I said, “That sermon is true. I must have faith.” I went to work and tried to work up faith. I did not succeed a bit. The more I tried to work up faith, the less I had. But one day I ran across this text: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17), and I learned the great secret of faith, one of the greatest secrets I have ever learned.
I commenced to feed my faith on the Word of God, and as I have thus fed it, it has kept on growing from that day to this. So in every aspect we see that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. If we are to have faith – and if we are to have power for God, we must have faith – we must feed steadily, largely, daily upon the Word of God.