Establishment by Faith

James Smith

"By faith you stand!" 2 Corinthians 1:24

"It is a good thing that the heart is established with grace."

"But if you will not believe--surely you shall not be established."

"We walk by faith--not by sight!" 2 Corinthians 5:7

Establishment consists in holding fast our profession. We profess to believe the gospel--all that it says regarding . . .
our God,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
our foes,
our trials.

We profess to obey all that it requires, in the strength that it promises.

Establishment includes, maintaining our character as . . .
the disciples of Christ,
the holy ones,
the children of God who imitate their Father who is in Heaven,
the friends of God and the light of the world.

Establishment involves . . .
perseverance in the paths of holiness,
pressing toward the mark for the prize of our high calling,
abounding in the work of the Lord.

Establishment supposes the enjoyment of our privileges, such as . . .
peace with God,
realizing the favor of God,
rejoicing in God,
walking in sweet fellowship with God,
receiving grace from God,
and even glorying in tribulation.

Establishment is to include . . .
in Christ--as the branch in the vine;
with Christ--as the wife with her husband;
in Christ--as one in the friend which is as his own soul;
all from Christ--as the member from union to the head.

Establishment is . . .
to stand,
to keep our post,
fulfill our duties,
adorn our profession,
hold fast our principles,
persevere in our work, and
be steadfast in the Savior's cause.

Establishment is only by faith. By faith we live. By faith we walk. By faith we overcome. By faith we receive the salvation of our souls.

Faith looks to Christ for all that we need--in every difficulty, and from every foe.

Jesus says, "Look unto me--and be saved." Here is the warrant of faith. Faith says, "Therefore I will look unto the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me." Here is the purpose of faith. The Lord hears, approves, and answers; and then faith bears testimony, saying, "You have dealt well with your servant, O Lord, according to your word!"

Faith leans on Christ. The strongest believer feels his weakness most, and therefore, like the spouse, he comes, "up out of the wilderness, leaning upon his beloved."

Faith carries everything to Christ--which keeps up a constant fellowship with Him.

Faith receives everything from Christ--which keeps alive a sense of dependence and obligation.

Faith uses the strength of Christ--which renders it necessary to realize union, and walk close with Him.

Faith lives upon Christ--for wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, and whatever else may be needed.

When faith rules, Christ is all! Thus it is, that faith establishes us, or makes us to stand--for faith is an active, growing, imperishable principle.

True faith brings us to Christ as sinners, and keeps us near Christ as saints. Though shaken and weakened by backsliding--true faith will recover its hold and maintain its standing. True faith sticks to the cross--like the limpet on the rock! Nor can waves, or winds, or storms, cause it to relinquish its hold.

Our stability is as our faith is; if faith is strong and active--then our souls will be steady, being stayed on the Lord. But if our faith is weak and sickly--then our hearts will be dull and wavering.

Faith should be fed--by frequent meditation on the promises, and the person and work of Jesus; or our perseverance will not be apparent or comfortable. Unless faith be vigorous, we shall neither be active nor happy in the Lord's ways--but duty will be drudgery, and privileges a task. Unless our faith is fixed on the person and work of Jesus, and have much to do with the gospel as a display of rich, free, and sovereign grace--we shall neither be . . .
happy in the love of God,
holy in our spirit, temper, and conduct,
nor be established in the truth.

Everything is to us--as our faith is. Jesus said, "According to your faith--be unto you!" And it is still so to a much greater extent than many even of the Lord's people think. May the Lord increase our faith!