|From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase|
Part six of a series of selections from chapter three of
Profiting From the Word by Arthur W. Pink
Edited by Dr. Paul M. Elliott, President, TeachingTheWord Ministries
Christ cannot be trusted at all unless He is known, and the better He is known the more He will be trusted.
In our last article, Arthur Pink dealt with the the need for Jesus Christ to become more precious, to be prized above all else, in the believer's thinking and living. In the next section of Profiting From the Word, Pink deals with the need for the believer to grow in confidence in Christ through the study of the Scriptures:
An individual who is profited from the Scriptures has an increasing confidence in Christ. There is "little faith" (Matthew 14:3) and "great faith" (Matthew 8:10). There is the "full assurance of faith" (Hebrews 10:22), and trusting in the Lord "with all the heart" (Proverbs 3:5). Just as there is growing "from strength to strength" (Psalm 84:7), so we read of "from faith to faith" (Romans 1:17).
The stronger and steadier our faith, the more the Lord Jesus is honored. Even a cursory reading of the four Gospels reveals the fact that nothing pleased the Saviour more than the firm reliance which was placed in Him by the few who really counted upon Him. He Himself lived and walked by faith [not saving faith, to be sure; but faith in the Father that, since He had been true to the Father's commission, the Father would restore Him to the glory that they shared before the world existed (John 17:5)], and the more we do so the more are the members being conformed to their Head. Above everything else there is one thing to be aimed at and diligently sought by earnest prayer: that our faith may be increased. Of the Thessalonian saints Paul was able to say, "Your faith groweth exceedingly" (2 Thessalonians 1:3).
Now Christ cannot be trusted at all unless He be known, and the better he is known the more will He be trusted: "And they that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee" (Psalm 9:10). As Christ becomes more real to the heart, as we are increasingly occupied with His manifold perfections and He becomes more precious to us, confidence in Him is deepened until it becomes as natural to trust Him as it is to breathe. The Christian life is a walk of faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), and that very expression denotes a continual progress, an increasing deliverance from doubts and fears, a fuller assurance that all He has promised He will perform.
Abraham is the father of all them that believe, and thus the record of his life furnishes an illustration of what a deepening confidence in the Lord signifies. First, at His bare word he turned his back upon all that was dear to the flesh. Second, he went forth in simple dependence on Him and dwelt as a stranger and sojourner in the land of promise, though he never owned a single acre of it. Third, when the promise was made of a seed in his old age, he considered not the obstacles in the way of its fulfillment, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. Finally, when called on to offer up Isaac, through whom the promises were to be realized, he accounted that God was able to "raise him up, even from the dead" (Hebrews 11:19).
In the history of Abraham we are shown how grace is able to subdue an evil heart of unbelief, how the spirit may be victorious over the flesh, how the supernatural fruits of a God-given and God-sustained faith may be brought forth by a man of like passions with us. This is recorded for our encouragement, for us to pray that it may please the Lord to work in us what He wrought in and through the father of the faithful. Nothing more pleases, honors and glorifies Christ than the confiding trust, the expectant confidence and the childlike faith of those to whom He has given every cause to trust Him with all their hearts. And nothing more evidences that we are being profited from the Scriptures than an increasing faith in Christ.
Next: Do You Have a Deepening Desire to Please Christ?