The Doubt - Dispersing Discovery
Saving faith is not reached by trying to believe in Christ, nor by any religious effort whatsoever. That which effectually disperses doubt is the heart's personal discovery of His undoubted trust-worthiness. When the man, whose blind eyes the Lord had opened, was asked, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” he replied, “Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?” and when he discovered that it was the One whose gracious power had done what no one else on earth could do for him, he said, “Lord I believe, and worshipped Him” (John 9:35-38). Such a Person was well worthy of His trust; and without any trying or striving, or resolving, he trusted Him. Now God's Gospel message to sinful men is His joyful proclamation of the worthiness of His beloved Son to be trusted as a Saviour; and the greatest proof of it being this, that He Himself has found the fullest satisfaction in that which He has entrusted to Him.
Take a simple figure. A certain dairy-farmer, on his return from market one day, is informed by his servant that a stranger had been to the house, and left a large order for a special kind of cheese. He said that this would be called for in due course, and paid for. As it is a very costly make of cheese, and the one who ordered it an entire stranger, the farmer is full of doubt about it; especially in such a day of dishonest trickery as the present. The next day, however, he makes a very welcome discovery—a discovery that completely dispersed his doubts. He found that the gentleman who called holds the highest office in the king's household; and, judging by the many honours conferred upon him, that he is greatly valued and thoroughly trusted by the King! Then why not by me? he says to himself.
Now, to apply the figure, God had, from the beginning, set His heart on man's blessing; and still more, on having him happy in His Own presence eternally. But if God and fallen man were to be happy together two great hindrances had to be overcome. Through the enemy's deception, man had not only defiled himself by sin, but had become suspicious of God. Man's confidence must therefore be won, or he would not be happy with God; his sin must be put away, or God would not be happy with him. The work of meeting this two-fold necessity was entrusted by God to His beloved Son. To win man's confidence, Jesus, the Image of the invisible God—the absolute embodiment of all His divine perfections—came to dwell here below. “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). By a life of freely-conferred benefits and lowly compassionate loving-kindnesses, men of every class got a perfect expression of what God is and Jesus Himself could say, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). Again and again, during His stay on earth, God. made it known, by audible voice from heaven, that He was “well-pleased” with Him (Matt. 3:16-17; Luke 9:35; John 12:28). But even the spotless, devoted life of Jesus did not answer for man's sin. As death is sin's penalty, the Son of Man “must be lifted up”; and to this righteous necessity Jesus graciously submitted. Then when His sin-purging work had been accomplished to God's perfect satisfaction, He was raised from the dead, and taken back to heaven. A few days later fresh discoveries were made. The Holy Ghost descended with tidings of His reception in heaven by the God Who had entrusted Him with His great work on earth. He was asked to take a seat on His Father's throne; and there He was “crowned with glory and honour” (Heb 2:7).
Then, not only has God declared, on earth and in heaven, that He has proved Him absolutely worthy of being trusted, but everything in connection with man has now been committed to Him. “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand ” (John 3:35). Universal sway in the world's government has been entrusted to Him. He will be” King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15). And after His glorious reign of a thousand years, He will take the place of universal Judge. “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22). Surely the discovery of such perfect trustworthiness, in the One Who desires our confidence, should be enough to disperse our every doubt, and turn us thankfully away from seeking satisfaction in ourselves.
The writer once met, in a South Wales town, a man who seemed in deep exercise about his soul's salvation. One question was perplexing him greatly, “ Is my faith in Christ genuine?” But the test he had been making use of to settle the difficulty was this, Can I really find in myself the proper marks of a Christian?
The search, however, had evidently been very disappointing. As he had a small business of his own, a simple question in connection with it was put to him: “When a new customer comes to your shop and wants credit, whose character do you investigate, your own or his ?” “Oh, his , of course,” he promptly replied. Yes. The genuineness of your confidence in the customer could not be determined by any worthy features in yourself. In like manner, therefore, if you want to ascertain the genuineness of your faith in Christ, all you need is to make sure of the genuineness of His title to be trusted. Let any reader in like difficulty consider this. “They looked unto Him and were lightened, and their faces were not ashamed” (Psa. 34:5).
The discovery of His personal trustworthiness disperses every doubt. But should the eye be taken off Him after that, and a doubt intrude; just ask yourself, Do I now consider Him unworthy of my confidence? Let your lips repeat His saving name, the Name of Jesus; look up into His face, and every doubt will vanish.