The Key of Faith
Read Genesis 15:1-6; Genesis 17:1-8; Romans 4:16-25; Hebrews 11:8
In these passages, we find five things. One, enlargement; two, establishment; three, life; four, faith; five, consummation. All this is to be brought into fullness at the end of the dispensation. The Word of God gives us to understand that at the end God will have a state of Divine fullness corresponding to the word "enlargement": at the end, God will have things established,fixed: at the end, God will have things wholly characterized by life: and all this will be through tried and proved faith. You will recall how this end is brought into view in the symbolism of the city - the holy city, new Jerusalem, seen as coming down from God out of heaven in the last chapters of the Bible. Here is Divine fullness: everything brought to a state of finality, establishment, and all characterized by life - - illustrated by the tree of life, the river of water of life, and other symbols. But leading up to this, all the way along, is the matter of tried and proved faith.
As we look at the Christian world in our time, we realize that these are the great things which are supremely necessary. There is need for spiritual, Divine, enlargement - things are so small spiritually; for spiritual establishment - things are so weak and uncertain, so variable and inconsistent, without assurance, without certainty; for Divine life - how great is the need for more life, heavenly life, a greater fullness of life among the Lord's people! But, while we recognize these things to be the crying needs, we should probably all be prepared to admit that the only way to these things is for the Lord's people to be really tested, really tried. We do not like the idea, but we realize that everything needs to be put to the test, to be proved, in order to be established. And we are in fact already very conscious of a new movement of God among His people really to test their faith, to try their faith, to bring faith to maturity.
Now this would seem to to have been God's pathway for His people all down the ages: by tried, tested, proved and established faith to bring to enlargement, establishment and life more abundant. These are laws of the ways of God, principles of His dealings with His people. Let us, then, in the first place, take a comprehensive view of this matter, before coming to the practical applications. The Bible has many angles. If you take it, and look at it from one standpoint, you may think that that is all the Bible is about. You seem to be able to gather up the whole of the Bible into that one thing. It might be sin, judgment, death - it is an aspect, an angle. Or it might be righteousness and life - it is another angle. Give the Bible to another turn, and the same thing seems to be true again. It has many such angles, and every one of them seems to be comprehensive. If the Bible is like that, you can see the whole of it by just turning it a little from one angle to another.
(continued with # 9 - (Faith The Key To Life And Establishment)