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Faith is Powerless

March 16, 2015

In a very real sense, faith does nothing. Faith has no power to save a man from sin. Faith has no power to heal disease. Faith has no power to answer prayer. Faith is not a force that when properly channeled accomplishes great things. Faith is never the cause of salvation. Faith is the means by which salvation is received. Think of the water pipes in your house. Those pipes are the means of getting water to all the faucets around your house. However, those pipes do not produce water. They are means, but the cause is much deeper. For many the cause is a pump in your backyard drawing water from deep underground and pushing it into your home. The cause is the pump, the pipes are the means. In faith, the cause is always the power of God but faith is the means of applying that power effectively to life.

Genuine faith is always a right response to truth. Faith is not just a vague response to an internal prompting, feeling or longing. Faith is a response to truth, not falsehood. An erroneous faith has no connection to the source of power. A faith disconnected from truth is as effective as a garden hose screwed into a stone. Biblical faith is a right dependence on one that is able. As blind Bartimeus sat by the side of the highway, he cried out to Jesus for mercy. If he had pled with the disciples to save him from his sin, his faith would have been meaningless.

If I were to walk out on the thin, melting ice on the lake in front of my house and I had a deep, sincere confidence the ice would support me my faith would accomplish nothing. To act on such a spurious faith is folly that will at best leave me cold, wet and miserable. Biblical faith is proper dependence on the one that is able. Because faith accomplishes nothing, it must be properly place in the one who can do all things. Blind Bartimeus’ faith was effective because it had as it’s object the One who is able to heal and save.

Faith in a proper object responds properly to that One. If Blind Bartimeus had said in his heart that he believed Jesus could heal and that Jesus was the Messiah but did not cry out, Bartimeus’ would never have been healed or saved. Faith receives truth, accepts it as truth and responds rightly to the truth. Faith acknowledge the truth of God’s revelation and cries out for the mercy it knows it needs. As Alexander MacLaren said, “We recognize our need of a Savior and recognize Him to be the Savior we need.” True faith relies on the power of God and results in a life transformed His mighty hand.


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