Faith Versus Presumption

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

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The Word of God declares in Hebrews 11:6 that “without faith it is impossible to please Him”.

There is nothing that will haunt a man like the fear that God may be displeased with him, nor any joy comparable to the assurance that He is pleased. It is foolish, however, to suppose that we can please God with the things we think He desires. We must give Him what He says He desires. Thank God, it is not difficult to determine this, for He tells us again and again in His Word that it is faith He desires most of all. He wants us to trust Him, to take Him at His Word.

The Bible tells us at length how God loved us in spite of our sin and gave His blessed Son to die on Calvary’s tree to clear our title to heaven, but alas, instead of taking Him at His Word, thousands turn away from His gracious offer, “going about to establish their own righteousness” (Rom.10:3).

They do “good works” and make great sacrifices, thinking that a God of love will surely accept their efforts and overlook their sins. But this is presumption, not faith. How can a just God overlook sin? We should thank Him that in His matchless love He himself paid for our sins so that we might be free, and that salvation is “the gift of God”, obtained by faith alone.

Cain presumed that God would accept his attractive sacrifice instead of the prescribed one, but God refused both him and his offering. Pharaoh presumed that he could take his armies through the Red Sea as Moses had done, but he perished in the sea for presuming on God. Naaman, the leper, refused God’s way of cleansing, saying, “I thought…”, but the great general remained a leper until he took God at His Word. Will you take God at His Word and trust Christ as your Saviour?

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

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