TRIUMPH OF FAITH.

June 27th, 2009

Andrew Murray

XI.

John 4: 50.--And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto
him
.

Let me quote from the Gospel according to St. John, the 4th chapter,
beginning at the 46th verse: "So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee,
where He made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son
was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come up out of Judea
into Galilee, he went unto Him, and besought Him that He would come down
and heal his son; for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto
him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." There you have
the word "believe" the first time. "The nobleman saith unto Him, Sir, come
down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth.
And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went
his way." There you have that word the second time. "And as he was now
going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.
Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said
unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father
knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy
son liveth; and himself believed, and his whole house." There you have the
word "faith".

This story has often been used to illustrate the different steps of faith
in the spiritual life. It was this use made of it in an address that
brought the sainted Canon Battersby into the full enjoyment of rest. He had
been a most godly man, but had lived the life of failure. He saw in the
story what it was to rest on the Word and trust the saving power of Jesus,
and from that night he was a changed man. He went home to testify of it,
and under God, he was allowed to originate the Keswick Convention.

Let me point out to you the three aspects of faith which we have here:
first, faith seeking; then, faith finding; and then, faith enjoying. Or,
still better: faith struggling; faith resting; faith triumphing. First of
all, faith struggling. Here is a man, a heathen, a nobleman, who has heard
about Christ. He has a dying son at Capernaum, and in his extremity leaves
his home, and walks some six or seven hours away to Cana of Galilee. He
has heard of the Prophet, possibly, as one who has made water wine; he has
heard of His other miracles round Capernaum, and he has a certain trust
that Jesus will be able to help him. He goes to Him, and his prayer is that
the Lord will come down to Capernaum and heal his son. Christ said to him,
"Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." He saw that the
nobleman wanted Him to come and stand beside the child. This man had not
the faith of the centurion--"Only speak a word." He had faith. It was faith
that came from hearsay, and it was faith that did, to a certain extent,
hope in Christ; but it was not the faith in Christ's power such as Christ
desired. Still Christ accepted and met this faith. After the Lord had thus
told him what He wished--a faith that could fully trust Him--the nobleman
cried the second time, "Sir, come down ere my child die." Seeing his
earnestness and his trust, Christ said, "Go thy way; thy son liveth." And
then we read that the nobleman believed. He believed, and he went his way.
He believed the word that Jesus had spoken. In that he rested and was
content. And he went away without having any other pledge than the word of
Jesus. As he was walking homeward, the servants met him, to tell him his
son lived. He asked at what hour he began to amend. And when they told him,
he knew it was at the very hour that Jesus had been speaking to him. He
had at first a faith that was seeking, and struggling, and searching for
blessing; then he had a faith that accepted the blessing simply as it was
contained in the word of Jesus. When Christ said, "Thy son liveth," he was
content, and went home, and found the blessing--the son restored.

Then came the third step in his faith. He believed with his whole house.
That is to say, he did not only believe that Christ could do just this one
thing, the healing of his son; but he believed in Christ as his Lord. He
gave himself up entirely to be a disciple of Jesus. And that not only
alone, but with his whole house. Many Christians are like the nobleman.
They have heard about a better life. They have met certain individuals by
whose Christian lives they have been impressed, and consequently have felt
that Christ can do wonderful things for a man. Many Christians say in their
heart, "I am sure there is a better life for me to live; how I wish I could
be brought to that blessed state!" But they have not much hope about it.
They have read, and prayed, but they have found everything so difficult, If
you ask them, "Do you believe Jesus can help you to live this higher life?"
they say, "Yes; He is omnipotent." If you ask, "Do you believe Jesus wishes
to do it?" they say, "Yes, I know He is loving." And if you say, "Do you
believe that He will do it for you?" they at once say, "I know He is
willing, but whether He will actually do it for me I do not know. I am not
sure that I am prepared. I do not know if I am advanced enough. I do
not know if I have enough grace for that." And so they are hungering,
struggling, wrestling, and often remain unblessed. This state of things
sometimes goes on for years--they are expecting to see signs and wonders,
and hoping that God, by a miracle, will put them all right. They are just
like the Israelites; they limit the Holy One of Israel. Have you ever
noticed that it is the very people whom God has blessed so wonderfully
who do that? What did the Israelites say? "God hath provided water in the
wilderness. But can He provide the table in the wilderness? We do not think
He can." And so we find believers who say, "Yes, God has done wonders. The
whole of redemption is a wonder, and God has done wonders for some whom I
know. But will God take one so feeble as I, and put me entirely right?" The
struggling and wrestling and seeking are the beginnings of faith in you--a
faith that desires and hopes. But it must go on further. And how can that
faith advance? Look at the second step. There is the nobleman, and Christ
speaks to him this wonderful word: "Go thy way; thy son liveth;" and the
nobleman simply rests upon that word of the living Jesus. He rests on it,
and without any proof of what he is to get, and without one man in the
world to encourage him. He goes away home with the thought, "I have
received the blessing I sought; I have got life from the dead for my son.
The living Christ promised it me, and on that I rest." The struggling,
seeking faith has become a resting faith. The man has entered into rest
about his son.

And now, dear believers, this is the one thing God asks you to do: God has
said that in Christ you have eternal life, the more abundant life; Christ
has said to you, "I live, and ye shall live also." The Word says to us that
Christ is our Peace, our Victory over every enemy, who leads us into the
rest of God. These are the words of God, and His message has come to us
that Christ can do for us what Moses could not have done. Moses had no
Christ to live in him. But it is told you that you can have what Moses had
not; you can have a living Christ within you. And are you going to believe
that, apart from any experience, and apart from any consciousness of
strength? If the peace of God is to rule in your heart, it is the God of
peace Himself must be there to do it. The peace is inseparable from the
God. The light of the sun--can I separate that from the sun? Utterly
impossible. As long as I have the sun I have the light. If I lose the sun;
I lose the light. Take care! Do not seek the peace of God or the peace of
Christ apart from God and Christ. But how does Christ come to me? He comes
to me in this precious Word; and just as He said to the nobleman, "Go thy
way home; thy son liveth," so Christ comes to me to-day, and He says, "Go
thy way; thy Saviour liveth." "Lo, I am with you alway." "I live, and ye
shall live also." "I wait to take charge of your whole life. Will you have
me do this? Trust to me all that is evil and feeble; your whole sinful and
perverse nature--give it up to Me; that dying, sin-sick soul--give it up to
Me, and I will take care of it." Will you not listen and hear Him speak to
your soul? "Child, go forward into all the circumstances of life that have
tempted you; into all the difficulties that threaten you." Your soul lives
with the life of God; your soul lives in the power of God; your soul lives
in Christ Jesus. Will you not, like the nobleman, take the simple step of
faith, and believe the word Jesus hath spoken? Will you not say, "Lord
Jesus, Thou hast spoken: I can rest on Thy Word. I have seen that Christ
is willing to be more to me than I ever knew; I have seen that Christ is
willing to be my life in the most actual and intense meaning of the words."
All that we know about the Holy Ghost sums itself up in this one thing:
The Holy Ghost comes to make Christ an actual, indwelling, always-abiding
Saviour.

Lastly, comes the triumphant faith. The man went home holding fast the
promise. He had only one promise, but he held it fast. When God gives me
a promise, He is just as near me as when He fulfills it. That is a great
comfort. When I have the promise I have also the pledge of the fulfillment.
But the whole heart of God is in His promise, just as much as in the
fulfillment of it, and sometimes God, the promiser, is more precious
because I am compelled to cling more to Him, and to come closer, and to
live by simple faith, and to adore His love. Do not think this is a hard
life, to be living upon a promise. It means living upon the everlasting
God. Who is going to say that is hard? It means living upon the crucified,
the loving Christ. Be ashamed to say that is a difficult thing. It is a
blessed thing.

The nobleman went home and found the child living. And what happened then?
Two things. First: he gave up his whole life to be a believer in Jesus. If
there had been a division among the people of Capernaum, and thousands of
them had hated Christ, this man would still have stood on His side. He
believed in the Lord. This is what must take place with us. Let us go
forward with our trust in the living Christ, knowing that He will keep us.
Then we will get grace to carry the life of Christ into our whole conduct,
into all our walk and conversation. The faith that rests in Jesus, is the
faith that trusts all to Him, with all we have. Do we not read that when
God had finished His work, and rested, it was only to begin new work? Yes;
the great work was to be carried on--watching over and ruling His world and
His church. And is it not so with the Lord Jesus? When He had finished His
work, He sat upon the throne to do His work of perfecting the body, through
the Holy Spirit. And now, the Holy Spirit is carrying on that blessed work,
teaching us to rest in Christ, and in the strength of that rest to go on,
and to cover our whole life with the power, and the obedience, and the
will, and the likeness of the Lord Jesus. The nobleman gave up his whole
life to be a believer in Christ; and from that day it was a believer in
Jesus who walked about the streets of Capernaum; not only a man who could
say, "Once He helped me," but, "I believe in Him with my whole life." Let
that be so with us everywhere; let Christ be the one object of our trust.

One thought more,--he believed with his whole house. That was triumphant
faith. He took up his position as a believer in Christ; and his wife, his
children, his servants--he gathered them all together, and laid them at the
feet of Christ. And if you want power in your own house, if you want power
in your Bible-class, if you want power in your social circle, if you want
power to influence the nation and if you want power to influence the Church
of Christ, see where it begins. Come into contact with Jesus in this rest
of faith that accepts His life fully, that trusts Him fully, and the power
will come by faith to overcome the world; by faith to bless others; by
faith to live a life to the glory of God. Go thy way, thy soul liveth; for
it is Jesus Christ who liveth within you. Go thy way; be not trembling and
fearful, but rest in the word and the power of the Son of God. "Lo, I am
with you alway." Go thy way, with the heart open to welcome Him, and the
heart believing He has come in. Surely we have not prayed in vain. Christ
has listened to the yearnings of our hearts and has entered in. Let us
go our way quietly, restfully, full of praise, and joy, and trust; ever
hearing the words of our Master, "Go thy way, thy soul liveth;" and ever
saying, "I have trusted Christ to reveal His abundant life in my soul; by
His grace I will wait upon Him to fulfill His promise." Amen.

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