By The Book #17: Faith Through the Gate and the Way
Faith is a principle of our Christian walk. Faith is governed by two rules that are represented by a gate and a way. All who are familiar with spiritual experience that faith is composed of “believe” and “trust”. There is a difference between the act of faith and the attitude of faith. To believe once and for all is what we call passing thru the crisis, but to trust continually afterwards is what we call making progress. Exercising a single-minded act of faith is entering the gate, but maintaining an attitude of faith thereafter is walking in the way. In order for a Christian to truly believe in God in a particular matter, he must with singleness of heart first exercise an act of faith by which he truly believes in God before he can ever walk the way of faith. In entering the gate of faith he crosses a threshold of doubt, and thus with a single heartedness he receives from God a promise. This is passing thru the gate or going thru a crisis. Please remember that believers must enter thru such a gate of faith, and then they must advance in the walk of faith by maintaining and attitude of faith.
Many people speculate that they can believe in God by maintaining and attitude of faith without ever crossing the threshold of faith by means of a single-minded act of faith. They do not know that without entering the gate there is no possibility of their walking in the way. Without going thru a crisis there can be no opportunity for making progress. It is imperative that there be a clear break with the past and a definite acceptance of the testimony of God. This is entering the gate; otherwise, there can be no spiritual advancement. Hence in the area of faith, first enter the gate, then walk in the way.
Among the many truths we have come to believe, there is none higher than that of our being “in Christ”. This is the position of the redeemed of the Lord obtain. Nothing can be higher than this position, since the forgiveness of sins is in Christ, justification is in Christ, and sanctification is also in Christ. All spiritual blessings are in Christ. Everything is in Him. So that our being placed in Christ is a higher grace than any other we can receive. All that God gives to us is in His Son.
The most important question for us today, then, is how can we be in Christ. The English missionary to China, Hudson Taylor, admired the victorious life, and he knew that all was to be found in Christ.
Yet in the beginning of his Christian walk, he struggled to abide in Christ, and found that he could not do so because he often seemed to fall out of Christ. This struggle went on until one day God gave Hudson Taylor a revelation that showed him that he was already in Christ. His need was not going to be remedied by his asking to be put in Christ. On the contrary, he was a regenerated person and therefore he was already in Christ. The answer to his need was simply to rest upon this fact, for such was the meaning of abiding in Christ. Since he was already in Christ there was no way to be more in Christ. Thus he entered into victory. And such is the gate of Faith. Hudson Taylor now entered the gate. And after the entry by the act of faith, He could learn to lay hold of this fact day by day and trust God with an attitude of faith. Otherwise, even if he wished to trust in God, He would find no strength to so trust Him.
Though “in Christ” is such a simple phrase, it truth is exceedingly vast. It is so all-encompassing that it is almost beyond measurement. God ”hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ”(Eph. 1:3). All the blessings in Him are so abundant, why is it that many who seemingly believe do not obtain these blessings? This is because they are ignorant of the two aspects of faith. There must be an act of faith as well as an attitude of faith. Many have believed and seemingly have exhibited the attitude of faith, yet the lack the act of faith. In other words, they have not crossed the threshold of faith at one time with a singleness of mind believed in God’s fact. They mistake the attitude of faith for faith itself. If they pass thru the crisis of faith, however, they shall experience many of the blessings of Christ by thereafter maintaining the attitude of faith.