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Why Do You Not Believe?
 
by
 
Robert Woeger

 

A new, revised book, based on the classic work by Andrew Murray.


First Edition
 
Copyright © 2010 by Robert Woeger.
 
All rights reserved.

See my rights and permission license for important notices about permitted uses.
Unauthorized duplication, modification or distribution of this work is prohibited.

Publisher: Robert Woeger

This is a new, extensively revised and expanded Christian book, that is based on Andrew Murray's book Why Do You Not Believe?, originally published in 1894. This new book is intended to answer many of the questions people may have, who are unsure about putting their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and accepting Him as both their Lord and their Savior. This is a life-changing book on faith.

"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Matthew 24:12-14.

All Scripture references in this writing are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
U.S. Copyright Office Registration Number pending. Published on 12/21/2010.


Introduction

Beloved friends, who are seeking the Lord, but have not yet found Him, this book was written just for you. Many people living today have a spiritual desire and a willingness to seek salvation, yet for whatever reason have not yet arrived at the wonderful place of having faith in Jesus Christ for the salvation of their soul.

The enemy has confused and deceived many people into believing that evil is good, and that good is evil. There is much deception and error rampant in the world in these end times, yet we are to be overcomers, in whom the world does not hold any fear, control, or sway over. It is only when we have faith in our abiding relationship in Jesus Christ, that we can withstand all the attacks of the evil one. Be encouraged, and of good cheer, for Christ has overcome the world, and the devil, and has secured eternal life for each one who will truly believe in Him, being forever in communion with Him, and with The Heavenly Father. For those who continually demonstrate fruit of their faith, by their profession and testimony of Him, with their words, thoughts, actions, and lifestyle, believing in Jesus Christ is the pinnacle of a successful journey in life.

CHAPTER 1 - The Absolute Necessity of Faith

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16:16.

Hear this word of the Lord, all of you who have decided to seek your salvation. He that believes will be saved; simple faith is enough: God does not require more than that. With less, however, God will not be content. Faith is the only way: there is no other way that leads to salvation. He that does not believe will be condemned. Outstretched before you is the choice to choose either God's right or left hand, on the one side being the attractions and charms of His grace, but on the other the menace of His wrath. God seeks to move us to faith in Christ, as the one indispensable condition of salvation.

However, many people may be opposed to God's method. The time will come, however, when the lost in hell, as well as the saved in heaven, will justify God in this predetermined plan of His. The whole universe will acknowledge the equity of this sentence: he that does not believe will be condemned. Our gracious Lord is meeting the sinner with the wonderful offer of having the remission of all one's sins and offenses, and forgiveness of the penalty that the law was demanding. Jesus bestowed upon the sinner all that was necessary for an everlasting salvation. He required no worthiness or merit, but simply this, that man should accept what was offered to him, and believe what was said to him. And, in order to remove every impediment to faith out of the way, and win the man's heart, God sent the glad tidings of salvation through His Own Son, Jesus Christ, who manifested Himself in the most loving and attractive form, and sealed His love with His own precious blood. A person who still does not believe will be condemned, and the whole of creation will agree with this sentence from God, because the person has refused to renounce his sins, and he will not allow himself to be redeemed from them. To his existing sins, he has yet added this, the greatest of all; that he has affronted the authority of God, despised the love of God, lightly esteemed the Son of God, defied God's vengeance, and thrust away from him God's Salvation. By unbelief he has shown his blatant hatred against God, and his rejection of God. It cannot, it may not, be otherwise: he that does not believe will be condemned.

There is nothing more essential than the absolute necessity of faith, which is confirmed by meditating and abiding on the other side of God's promise, which is: he that believes will be saved. Man has nothing, absolutely nothing, whereby on his part he can be in a position to contribute something to the attainment of salvation. It can not be earned! And yet the Lord will do nothing but reign over a willing people. Man is no stone or robot. He must play his own part. It is faith that solves the difficult enigma, that man who can do nothing should yet do something: faith which is manifested in the acknowledgment of poverty and misery, in the confession of inability and helplessness, in consent, submission, and surrender to that grace of God which is to be everything in us. More God could not require; less He would not require, for He will not inflict wrong on His own honor and the freedom of man. God requires faith: faith alone. What grace it is that thus bends to our weakness: he that believes will be saved.

Reader, behold, then, these two ways: make your choice. Pray, and do not try to reason it out any longer, nor ask the question if there could be yet another way; but, come, submit yourself to God, and to the word of His grace: he that believes will be saved.

No longer yield to the secret thought, that something else may after all still be necessary. I am well aware that everlasting salvation appears to you to be too great a blessing, and gift, compared with this seemingly meager and paltry requirement of faith. It appears too hazardous for your sinfulness to venture so far merely upon faith; yet, see, it is God Who has spoken: only by faith. He that possesses this faith, has all; for by it he has Christ. He that does not possess faith has nothing, although he may possess all kinds of other things. Faith is essential and indispensable. Anxious ones, hear both sides of this vital, and so important, promise from God once again: he that believes will be saved; he that does not believe will be condemned.

CHAPTER 2 - The Object of Faith

"For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole." Mark 5:28.

This woman in her simplicity gives us a glorious representation of The Lord Jesus Christ! She regarded Him as so filled with the divine power of life, as He truly is, that it would flow out on everyone that only touched Him in faith -- faith that His Power would stream over any person who truly believed in Him, and in His ability to perform it. She felt assured that even the slightest fellowship with Him would be blessed, and that she would experience the healing power of the life that was in Him. Not for a moment did she have any doubt of His power, nor of His willingness. Had He not come for the sick? Why should she still ask, as if she had no claim? No, she knew the one truth just as certainly as she knew the other -- that in Him there was healing. This healing is also for her. She should doubt her right to make use of the light of the sun sooner than her right to Jesus. She should fear whether it were indeed open to her to take a drink of water from a rushing river rather than to entertain the thought that there was no health for her to be found with Jesus.

Faith is the currency of God's Kingdom. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20. "...The just shall live by faith." Romans 1:17. See Habakkuk 2:4. Faith is required to please God. "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6.

If only all who doubt would think of The Lord Jesus just as this woman thought of Him. It is always the good pleasure of The Father, that in Jesus all fulness should dwell. See Colossians 1:19. All the fulness of The Father's love and life, has He purposely made to dwell in Jesus, in order that it may be truly visible and accessible to us. In Jesus dwells the power of a new and holy life from the dead, which Christ obtained by making atonement for our sins. This life is mighty to impart health to souls who are sick unto death, and also for sinful, dead, and condemned sinners. Understand what the woman is calling out to you; the blessing and the approval of Jesus authenticate the truth of her words. In Jesus is life, life even for the most wretched.

What a glorious representation is given of how true faith is the means of our participating in the fulness of Jesus. The woman knows that she can not earn, that she cannot strive in her own strength, and that she does not have to consider whether she is really in a position to pay the fees that would be demanded, if she was dealing with other practitioners of the healing art. No: she has merely to touch Him, that is, she has to merely appropriate what has been prepared for her. The healing is there as soon as she stretches out her hand to receive it. You who have already been so long seeking to prepare, and make yourself fit, for the great work of believing, let this poor woman cure you of your error. In Jesus everything is ready! You have merely to stretch out your hand. Oh, do understand it! Jesus is given to you by the Father. Here He stands ready for your deliverance. Only touch Him with this firm conviction of faith: Jesus is for me. Simply know -- I have a right to Him, and in Him there is deliverance for me also. Touch Him, and, as truly as His name is Jesus, you will be delivered. This may not always be immediately felt by you. In that case just wait, hold on, say from day to day: If I touch Him, I will be made whole. The healing will be yours.

And what a glorious representation is there also of the blessing which Jesus will give to those who believe. The woman's healing was marvelous in itself, but it speaks of a yet richer blessing -- simply, that Jesus observed her, the poor trembling believer who sought Him in faith amidst the crowd. He gives her the assurance of His good pleasure and His favor. He compels her to confess Him openly. He praises her faith, and thus makes her an example and a blessing for multitudes. Oh, all you who are looking out, and yearning for the salvation of your soul, please learn to understand what is awaiting you with Jesus and what you may hope for from Him. It is not only forgiveness of sins, and rescue from destruction that He will make you partakers of. The friendship and love of the Savior will also be your portion, and by these He will make you become a blessing to others.

Beloved, what more have you need of, to make you say humbly, and with faltering lips, after this woman, "... If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole."

CHAPTER 3 - The Seed of Faith

"...The seed is the word of God." Luke 8:11.

Very simply, as well as strikingly, is the Word Of God set forth to us in this parable. There lies the cold, dead earth, which of itself brings forth either nothing, or only thorns and thistles. It has no power to give man nutritious corn. When the farmer, however, desires to have that corn, he takes good seed and commits it to the ground that had until now brought forth nothing but weeds. The soil receives it, and keeps it in the silent and dark secrecy of its bosom. Encouraged by the sunshine and moistened by the dew of heaven, it shoots forth and grows up, and the cold dead earth now works together with the seed, and becomes the mother of a beautiful crop. The life was not in the earth, but in the seed, and yet the earth was just as indispensable as the living seed, without which these fair fruits could not have been produced. Although the seed did not receive life from the earth, yet without the earth's having its share in the work, the seed could not yield its fruit. The earth must offer the seed the soil, in which the root can shoot, and in its bosom must the seed still be kept until it be ready to make an appearance above ground.

This is a glorious and instructive picture of the new life of grace. Like the seed, The Word has divine power of life. Like the earth, the heart is in itself lifeless, and unfruitful to produce what is good. Like the seed in the earth, The Word is sown in the heart and committed to it, simply to be received and kept there. The living power that God has lodged in the seed, is the security that the ground, although in and of itself it is wholly incapable of bringing forth anything but weeds, will be changed into a fruitful field. However hopeless you may think yourself to be, the living seed of God's Word will send forth its roots in your heart, and will sprout upwards to bring forth fruit. Sinner, yearning for salvation, you have only to acknowledge that a living power is presented to you in every Word of God. With that confidence, you must keep The Word in your heart, and the certainty of fruit depends not on any ability of yours, but on the faithfulness of God. Only endeavor by prayerful consideration, and faithful keeping of God's Word, to prepare a place for it in your heart.

Mourn no longer, then, that your heart is so hard, and so full of weeds, but rather understand what you see every day, that by the keeping of the seed, the dead earth is transformed into a fruitful field. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17. Faith is not a thing that is present in you before you receive The Word, or with which you must meet The Word. No! There is life in The Word, and it is by The Word that faith is first awakened.

Meanwhile, forget not that there are many kinds of seed, and that every kind bears fruit according to its nature. A child of God, for example, longs for comfort in adversity. He chooses one of the promises of God to His people, sows it in his heart, and keeps it. The desired fruit is the comfort of God. As for those who are troubled about their sins, they have need of the promises of God's grace in relation to the ungodly. Seek for seed according to your need. "The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy." Psalm 145:8. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Isaiah 55:7. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37. "...Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5:6. Every one of these words is a heavenly grain of seed containing power for eternal life.

One of them is sufficient to bring forth, when it shoots up, the fruits of faith and peace and life. Let one of them be faithfully kept in the heart, and faith cannot help but be born of it. In the seed is life: the seed of God's Word has divine power of life. Oh, take, then, the heavenly seed, lay it up in your heart, and keep it there. Although you do not actually feel that you believe, resolve at least to hold fast by the thought: It is the living word of God. God will give the increase in His own time. Hold fast to The Seed!

The seed needs time for development, quietly kept beneath the ground until one day it certainly comes up. Day by day, continue absorbing The Word of promise and grace into your heart. The true God, and His Living Word, are the guarantee that your experience will truly be: Faith comes by hearing The Word Of God. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17.

CHAPTER 4 - The Language of Faith

"But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." Psalm 130:4.

This is one of those heavenly grains of seed, that only has to be received, and kept in the heart, to become living, and to bring forth faith, peace, and blessing. Let me have the privilege of sharing it with you today.

It is a simple word, so that everyone can understand it. Everyone knows what it means when an earthly father forgives his children. He tells you that he will no longer remember your sins, and will not keep record of the evil done, and will not punish you. He will deal with you as if you had done no harm. In like manner, the guilty and consciously-condemned soul looks to God on high, and says: "Lord, with You there is forgiveness. My guilt is heavy. I have deserved Your most severe punishment, but with You is forgiveness. Of free grace, You have promised to acquit the guilty of everything, and not to impute his sins to him."

This is the simple, and the only way, people exposed to the curse of sin can be saved. He can not do anything to save himself, and can not depend on his own wisdom or strength. This gift of salvation must be freely received. You can not buy it, or earn it by your works, worthiness, or merit. The person who receives salvation, which comes only by God's grace, receives the divine acquittal from all their guilt.

Is this not a glorious word? Everyone should desire this gift! "If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope." Psalm 130:3-5. God desires us to place hope in His Word.

It is glorious to be able to look up to God with the assurance that God will blot out all these sins, and remove all of the penalty that we would otherwise deserve from our sins. What a blessing it is, to be able to look up to God, out of the distress, misery, and anxiety that one was feeling, and to say: "With You is forgiveness; the Lord looks upon me in grace, His anger is turned away from me, and He comforts me." What heavenly joy!

In the face of thoughts of death and judgment, a person can say: "With You is forgiveness." Who would not desire it? It is such a sure word. Everyone may believe it. The whole Bible announces it. Jesus came from heaven to obtain it, and to seal it for us. His blood is the pledge of it. All of heaven confirms it. The certainty of it does not depend on your faith. Whether you believe it or not, whether you despise it or not, with God is forgiveness. As truly as He is God, He also is a God of forgiveness, a God who abundantly pardons. Just as certain as He is God, you may be certain that there is forgiveness with Him. Even before you believe it, it is truth, and you may safely commit yourself to God, rest your soul, and experience God's sure forgiveness.

It is such a powerful word. Every one can receive blessing from it. Although you have as yet no faith, take this word as a living seed into your heart, and it imparts faith. Although you dare not as yet call God your Father, lay up this word in your heart, give it a place there, think over it, and say in spoken words before your God: "Lord, with You there is forgiveness." This word is living and powerful. It will cause hope to rise in your soul. It will inspire you with new thoughts about God, it will instill into you confidence and boldness before Him. You will get to a place and say: "With You there is forgiveness also for me." It will thus awaken the fear and love of God in your soul. It will bind you to Jesus, it will impel you to dedicate yourself wholly to Him. No longer mourn over your weakness. Receive this word. It is both living and powerful. Go with it trustfully to your knees, and, although it be the thousandth time, use it as the language of your heart to God: "But there is forgiveness with thee..." This word will work mightily. Faith, peace, and love will be its fruits.

I offer to you this Word Of God. God gives you freedom to use this word with Him. God commands you to think this way of Him. Your heart may say, "I do not know whether there is forgiveness with God." Come, and let all perverse thoughts of yours go away, and give room for God's thoughts in your soul. Truly know that with God is forgiveness, and also apply it to yourself. Then soon, you will learn to sing, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;..." Psalm 103:2-3.

God desires that we believe in Him, having a simple, childlike faith. "(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)" 2 Corinthians 5:7. We must totally trust in our faith in Him, and not lean on our own understanding or senses. Just as God responded to Abraham, God is seeking people who will totally believe in Him. "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. THEREFORE being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Romans 4:20-5:2. We are called to be the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. God imputes righteousness by our faith. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Corinthians 5:21.

The language of faith starts with receiving God's gift of Salvation and becomes a lifestyle. "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." Romans 1:17.

CHAPTER 5 - The Beginning of Faith

"She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world." John 11:27.

The Lord had said to Martha: "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:" After that He questioned her, "Believest thou this?" What answer was she to give? The thought that her brother was to be raised again was still beyond her ability to believe. Yet she was conscious that she believed in Jesus, and did not doubt Him or His Word. What reply was she to give? With childlike simplicity and sincerity she says: "Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world." Martha confessed Jesus as The Christ and as The Son Of God.

How instructive this picture of Martha's faith is! How frequently it happens that when The Word of the Lord comes to a person with the promise of forgiveness, and God extends the invitation to be His Child, and the question is put, "Believest thou this?" that the person falls discouraged and answers, "Ah! no: this I cannot yet believe"; and then he proceeds to condemn himself -- a thing that profits him nothing, instead of acting in faith as Martha did. She did not yet believe everything, but that which she believed she spoke out before The Lord. She believed in Him as the Son of the Living God: this was the principal thing, and would prove the source of greater faith. In connection with what she did believe, she was diligent in prayer. By this means her faith would be strengthened and become capable of receiving yet more.

Follow that example, Oh thou of little faith. When you are asked: Do you believe that your sins are forgiven, that you are a child of God, that everlasting salvation is yours? -- you are perhaps afraid to answer, "Yes." You see others who can say yes. You read in God's Word that The Lord will give His Grace, that you may say so. But you cannot say yes, and you do not know how you shall ever come to the point of daring to say so. Learn the way from Martha. Do not continue sitting there, mourning over your unbelief, but go to Jesus with that which you know that you do believe. This, at least, you know, that, although you can not yet say, He is my Savior, your whole soul believes that He was sent by God to be The Savior, and that He has proved Himself to be The Savior for others. Well, then, go with this confession to Jesus, utter it before Him in prayer, look to Him, and adore Him as The Savior of The World. Speak out what you believe now, and by this the faith in your heart will be confirmed and increased. Say: "Lord Jesus, help my unbelief. This, I do believe: that Thou Art The Savior, full of love and grace, and mighty to redeem."

Forget yourselves, and worship Jesus, although you dare not say yet that He is yours. In the midst of those exercises, your faith will increase, and eventually you will come to the confidence that He is yours also. Only persevere until you can truly say, "He is mine and I am His." Let yourself be found, this and every day, in the ceaseless adoring confession: "Yes, Lord: this I believe, that Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." He will speedily confirm His True Word to you: "...Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." Matthew 25:21. You will speedily learn to believe, and like Martha you shall see the Glory of God.