Torrey -Man -10.5- How to get faith

V. HOW TO GET FAITH. Romans 12:3 — "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." 1 Corinthians 12:4, 8-9 — "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. ... For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit." 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 — "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."

First Proposition: Faith is God's gift.

Like all of God's gifts, it is at the disposal of all who wish it, for God shows no partiality among people. It is given through a certain instrument that is within reach of all and upon certain conditions that any of us can fulfill. Romans 10:17 — "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Acts 4:4 "Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand."

Second Proposition: The word of God is the instrument God has appointed for, and that he uses in, imparting faith.

This is true of saving faith. When Paul and Silas told the Philippian jailer to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and he would be saved, they immediately spoke the word of the Lord to him ( Acts 16:31-32).

It is true of the faith that prevails in prayer. If we wish to believe that our prayer is heard, we should search the promises of God and just rest our faith on them. Feeding on the word makes a mighty man of prayer.

It is true of faith in all its aspects. Faith comes through the word and grows by feeding upon the word. If we wish others to have faith we should give them the word of God. If we wish faith ourselves, we should feed on the word of God ( 2 Timothy 3:15; James 1:21; John 20:31). No amount of praying for faith will bring it if we neglect faith's proper nourishment, the word of God, any more than praying for physical health and strength will bring it if we neglect wholesome food and live on mince pie and candy. Galatians 5:22 — "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith."

Third Proposition: Faith is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Faith is part of the fruit of the Spirit. The word is the instrument by which it is produced, but it is the word carried home and made to be a living thing in the heart by the Holy Spirit's power. Hebrews 12:2 — "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despised the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Fourth Proposition: Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. Romans 4:19-20 RV — "And without being weakened in faith he considered his own body now as good as dead (he being about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb: yea, looking unto the promises of God, he wavered not through unbelief, but waxed strong through faith, giving glory to God."

Fifth Proposition: If we want to have faith we must fix our eyes upon the promise of God. (If we want another person to have faith we must hold up the promise of God before him, and hold his attention to it.) Luke 11:9,11,13 — -"And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you .... If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?... If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Mark 9:24 "And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (The context shows that Christ at once answered that prayer.) Luke 22:32 — "But I have prayed for thee; that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."

Sixth Proposition: We should pray f or faith.

As already seen, faith is God's gift. He bestows His gifts in answer to prayer. It is the Holy Spirit's work, and the Holy Spirit is given in answer to our prayer. Prayer is an expression of our helplessness and dependence on God. Matthew 25:29 — "For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath." (Note preceding context, verses 14-28.)

Seventh Proposition: If we wish more faith, we should use the faith we have. John 5:44 RV — "How can ye believe, which receive glory one of another, and the glory that cometh from the only God ye seek not?"

Eighth Proposition: A great hindrance to faith is seeking glory from men and not the glory that comes from God only.

This and all hindrances must be put away if we would have faith. Hebrews 12:2 — "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Ninth Proposition: If we want to have faith, we must look to Jesus.

Peter's faith failed when he took his eyes off Jesus and began to look at the wind and waves. ( Matthew 14:30-31 — "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?") John 8:12 — "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

Tenth Proposition: If we are to have faith, we must follow Jesus.

The more closely we follow Him, the more our faith will grow. Those who follow most closely in the footsteps of Christ have the most faith. When Peter began to follow Christ "afar off" his faith failed rapidly. The more of Christlike denial of self and of true cross-bearing and humility there is in our lives, the more our faith will grow. Faith cannot flourish in an atmosphere of self-indulgence, self-will, and pride. Selfishness and faith cannot walk together. They are not agreed.

They are mutually dependent upon each other.