Insight from Tozer – Faith: The Misunderstood DoctrineJune 2, 2010 at 11:05 am | Posted in A. W. Tozer | 1 Comment
Tags: A. W. Tozer, Man the Dwelling Place of God
This chapter can be found in Man: The Dwelling Place of God, pages 29-33. It speaks to the importance of Christians both understanding and applying faith in their lives. Tozer starts by saying, “In the Divine scheme of salvation the doctrine of faith is central. God addresses His words to faith, and where no faith is no true revelation is possible. ‘Without faith it is impossible to please Him.’
Every benefit flowing from the atonement of Christ comes to the individual through the gateway of faith. Forgiveness, cleansing, regeneration, the Holy Spirit, all answers to prayer, are given to faith and received by faith. There is no other way. This is common evangelical doctrine and is accepted wherever the cross of Christ is understood.”
If we accept the words of Tozer and think about the doctrine of faith, then what do we do? If we accept the witness of the Words of Scripture as more important than the words of Tozer and we do, then what do we do?
First I think we accept the Word of God that says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who come to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). We accept God at His Word and since we enter the relationship with Him by faith, we understand that we will grow in that relationship with Him by faith.
Second, we ask ourselves how do we grow in faith? We find part of the answer in Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We have to get into the Word of God. I would even suggest reading it out loud at times. Literally hear the Word and let it sink into your mind and heart. If you don’t know the Word, how can you really know God who has revealed Himself through His Word?
Tozer goes on to say, “True faith rests upon the character of God and asks no further proof than the moral perfections of the One who cannot lie. It is enough that God said it, and if the statement should contradict every one of the five senses and all the conclusions of logic as well, still the believer continues to believe. ‘Let God be true, but every man a liar,’ is the language of true faith. Heaven approves such faith because it rises above mere proofs and rests in the bosom of God.”
To use an old cliché, “God said, I believe it, that settles it!” Is that enough evidence for today’s Christian? Almighty God has spoken and I believe His written revelation is enough to build my faith and for my faith to help me live. Do today’s Christians want to be known for simple faith or for having answers to other’s objections to faith?
There are many well meaning Christians who seek to be able to answer critics of the Bible with good enough answers. Maybe we Christians don’t want to look stupid or out of touch with culture or society. But Tozer says there is only one real answer.
“What these brethren do not see is that the very fact that they feel a necessity to seek proof for the truths of the Scriptures proves something else altogether, namely, their own basic unbelief. When God speaks unbelief asks, ‘How shall I know that this is true?’ I AM THAT I AM is the only grounds for faith………Faith as the Bible knows it is confidence in God and His Son Jesus Christ; it is the response of the soul to the divine character as revealed in the Scriptures; and even this response is impossible apart from the prior inworking of the Holy Spirit. Faith is a gift of God to a penitent soul and has nothing whatsoever to do with the sense or the data they afford. Faith is a miracle; it is the ability God gives to trust His Son, and anything that does not result in action in accord with the will of God is not faith but something else short of it…….The man that believes will obey; failure to obey is convincing proof that there is not true faith present.”
There certainly is a lot to think about from the selection I’ve chosen from this chapter. My hope is that we will think about our faith in God and His Word and how it is lived out in our thoughts, words and behaviors. May we who say we believe that God’s Word is inspired and without error live lives in faith and obedience to His Word.
Here is a good site I recently learned about: http://awtozerquotes.wordpress.com/. If you appreciate Tozer you will like this site.
Stay faithful and hopeful,
Bill (a fellow-laborer)
Romans 15:13; 2 Peter 3:18