The Truth in Jesus

But ye did not so learn Christ; if so be that ye heard him, and were taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus: that ye put away, as concerning your former manner of life, the old man, which waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit .


— Eph. 4:20-22

Do you put your faith in Christ, I ask those who doubt what I have been saying above, or in the doctrinesand commandments of men? If you say, “In him,” is it then possible that you do not see that, above all things and all thoughts, you are bound to obey him? Do you not mourn that you cannot trust in him as you would, that you find it too hard? Too hard it is for you, and too hard it will remain, while the things he tells you to do you do not try! How should you be capable of trusting in the true one while you are nowise true to him? The very thing to make you able to trust in him, and so receive all things from him, you turn your back upon: obedience you decline, or at least neglect.  You say you do not refuse to obey him? I care not whether you refuse or not, while you do not obey. Remember the parable: “I go, sir, and went not.” What have you done this day because it was the will of Christ? Have you dismissed an anxious thought for the morrow? Have you ministered to any needy soul or body, and kept your right hand from knowing what your left hand did? Have you begun to leave all and follow him? Are you being wary of covetousness? Have your forgiven your enemy? Are you seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness before all other things? Have you given to someone that asked of you? If you do nothing that he says, it is no wonder that you cannot trust in him, and are therefore driven to seek refuge in the atonement, as if something he had done, and not he himself in his doing were the atonement.

Commentary

by James House

For today's commentary, a collection of related George MacDonald quotes:

"In God we live every mundane as well as every exalted moment of our lives. To trust in him when no need is pressing, when things seem going right of themselves, may be harder than when things seem going wrong. At no time is there any danger except in ourselves, and the only danger is of trusting in something else than the living God, and so getting, as it were, outside of God"

"He that would always know before he trusts, who would have from his God a promise before he will expect, is the slayer of his own eternity."  (from Warlock o' Glen Warlock)


"If the lifting of one sin off the human heart was like a resurrection, what would it be when every sin was lifted from every heart! Every sin, then, discovered in one's own soul must be a pledge of renewed bliss in its removing. And when the thought came again of what St. Paul had said somewhere, "whatsoever is not of faith is sin," I thought what a weight of sin had to be lifted from the earth, and how blessed it might be. But what could I do for it? I could just begin with myself, and pray God for that inward light which is his Spirit, that so I might see him in everything and rejoice in everything as his gift, and then all things would be holy, for whatsoever is of faith must be the opposite of sin; and that was my part towards heaving the weight of sin, which, like myriads of gravestones, was pressing the life out of us men, off the whole world. Faith in God is life and righteousness—the faith that trusts so that it will obey—none other. Lord, lift the people thou hast made into holy obedience and thanksgiving, that they may be glad in this thy world. "   (from The Seaboard Parish)


"For the peace of your soul serve God so, that, by the time you are my age, you may be sure of Him. I try hard to put my trust in Him, but my faith is weak. It ought by this time to have been strong. I always want to see the way He is leading me—to understand something of what He is doing with me or teaching me, before I can accept His will, or get my heart to consent not to complain. It makes me very unhappy." (from Paul Faber, Surgeon)

"To know God is to be in the secret place of all knowledge; and to trust Him changes the atmosphere surrounding mystery and seeming contradiction, from one of pain and fear to one of hope: the unknown may be some lovely truth in store for us, which yet we are not good enough to apprehend." (from Paul Faber, Surgeon)


"Not to be intellectually certain of a truth, does not prevent the heart that loves and obeys that truth from getting its truth-good, from drawing life from its holy factness, present in the love of it." (Paul Faber, Surgeon)

 

"With all my heart I believe that that Man holds the secret of life, and that only the man who obeys him can ever come to know the God who is the root and crown of our being, and whom to know is freedom and bliss."  (from The Marquis of Lossie)

"Our Lord speaks of many coming up to his door confident of admission, whom yet he sends from him. Faith is obedience, not confidence."  (from The Marquis of Lossie)


"Understanding is the reward of obedience. Peter says 'the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given them that obey him.' Obedience is the key to every door." (from The Marquis of Lossie)

"Faith and obedience are one and the same spirit, passing as it were from room to room in the same heart: what in the heart we call faith, in the will we call obedience. He showed that the Lord refused absolutely the faith that found its vent at the lips in the worshipping words, and not at the limbs in obedient action" (from Thomas Wingfold, Curate)