Friday, June 10, 2016

The Saints' Walk by Faith - Chapters 14 through 16

I'm reading Faith by Jeremiah Burroughs and decided to blog the hidden treasures within this book. It is one book that contains two of Burroughs' treatises: (1) Precious Faith and (2) The Saints' Walk by Faith on Earth and by Sight in Heaven.  Both treatises were first published in 1654. In 2011, they were edited by Dr. Don Kistler and reprinted into one book by Northampton Press.  In his second treatise on The Saints' Walk by Faith, Mr. Burroughs expounds 2 Cor. 5:7.  You can see my summary for Chapters 1 to 4 here, Chapters 5 to 10 here, and Chapters 11 to 13 here.

In Chapter 14, Mr. Burroughs shows that the saints in all ages have walked by faith as he looks at Hebrews 11.

In Chapter 15, he gives eleven headings showing that a Christian who does not walk by faith will certainly miscarry in his way.  The necessity of walking by faith is because:
  1. "...the great things of the gospel are foolishness to a carnal heart," (p. 160).
  2. "...there may be an agreement between us and God...How can there be an agreement between God and our souls but by faith?...Our peace with God does not come from any obedience to the commandments, but by faith," (p. 161).
  3. "...many things that are to be the rule of our lives depend merely upon the will of God as it is revealed in the Word without any reason given for it," (p. 161).
  4. "...we might come to see the authority of the rule by which God would have us to walk," (p. 162).
  5. "...we might come to see the reality of spiritual things," (p. 163).
  6. "...we may be able to see through the colors and vain shows and pretences that are upon the ways of sin...Sin will appear very fair and specious; the most dangerous and desperate way sof sin will present themselves seemingly desirable to us unless we have a piercing eye of faith to look beyond present things," (p. 163).
  7. "...God seems in His way to go often so contrary to what He speaks in His Word," (p. 164).  For example, God promises to bring Israel into a land flowing with milk and honey, but they were bought into the southern part first, which was barren.
  8. "...of the strong opposition that the saints meet with in their way...There are inward oppositions that come from temptations within, from strong corruptions that are within the soul, and unless faith comes in the soul will soon fade away," (p. 165).  "It is faith that quenches the fiery darts of the devil," (p. 166).
  9. " is by faith that we come to please God, and without that it's impossible to please Him," (p. 167).  "You think you walk with God in this duty and the other; you pray continually, you hear the Word, receive sacraments, converse with saints, and do such and such good actions.  These are well to do, but unless faith comes in and mingles, none of them please God," (p. 167).
  10. "...the happiness of a Christ, the last end that a Christian has is supernatural," (p. 168).
  11. "...the efficacy of all means that we use for any good depends upon faith," (p. 168).  "You have prayed against such and such corruptions, but when a temptation has come you have been overcome as before and you wonder at it and think, 'Lord, what shall become of me?  I have prayed against this sin I know not how many times, and thought that Thou hadt [sic] come in sweetly to my soul at such a time.  I had such enlargements, and I went out in the strength of my prayer and thought that verily I should be able to overcome my sin, but I find I am as weak as ever.'  It's because you trusted in the means.  It's true, God appoints such and such means, but did you believe in your prayer and act your faith on Christ, the promise, and the covenant of grace in prayer?  Oh, it is faith that is necessary in the use of all means to make one to have profit and benefit them," (p. 169).

In chapter 16, Mr. Burroughs notes the excellency of faith.
  1. Faith has a great excellence because "a saint who walks by faith has higher apprehension of God and the work of God than others have," (p. 170).
  2. "That soul that walks by faith carries on all actions in a high and supernatural way, and makes his very civil and natural actions to become heavenly and supernatural," (p. 170).  "So the meanest work of your callings, if it is but done by faith, is excellent and honorable before the Lord," (p. 171).
  3. Faith has a great excellence because it "brings in whatever good there is in Christ, in the covenant of grace, and in the promises, and makes it sweet unto the soul," (p. 171).
  4. "Those who walk by faith converse much with God," (p. 172).
  5. "Faith is the grace that in a more eminent way honors God...because it attributes nothing to the creature, but all to God," (p. 172).  "You think if your hearts were more holy than they are, and more heavenly-minded than you are, you would glorify God.  It's true that would help you, but if you could believe more than you do you would glorify God more, and the other things would follow by themselves," (p. 173).
  6. The walk of faith is an excellent walk "because by it the soul is freed exceedingly from fears, from doubts, and from misgiving thoughts in the course of it," (p. 173).  "Temptations would not prevail as they did if the soul could but act out faith more," (p. 174).
  7. "You shall do great things for God in walking by faith," (p. 174).
  8. "[Y]ou will make great progress in the ways of God," (P. 174).
  9. The walk of faith is an excellent walk because "[i]t's that which cause uprightness in the heart," (p. 175).
  10. "By walking by faith we come to have the present enjoyment of the end of our faith...The saints have heaven now in their hearts," (p. 175).
  11. The excellency of faith is that "[i]t is so useful in all estates and conditions we have need of faith," (p. 176).
  12. "It is that which brings a good report too, a good report even by God Himself...And the truth is, though many will speak ill of you, yet go on in a constant way walking by faith and the Lord will clear your names.  Trust God for your names and liberties and comforts and all, and you shall find your names will be cleared by God and kept by God as boxes of precious ointment," (p. 176).
  13. Finally, the excellency of faith is that "[i]t will make one die comfortably...The great reason why people are afraid of death is because they walk by sight so much," (p. 177).

"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," (Heb. 11:6).