Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Saints' Walk by Faith - Chapters 22 to 24

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, Chapters 11 to 13 here, Chapters 14 to 16 here, Chapters 17 to 19 here, and Chapters 20 to 21 here.

In Chapter 22 Mr. Burroughs gives direction for the exercise of faith in the want of sense:
  1. "Be afraid of unbelief as much as you are afraid of presumption...the truth is that unbelief is a more secret sin, and that which we may fall into before we are aware, sooner than the other," (p. 225).
  2. "At any time when you have a word that seems to make a case for you, take heed that you do not hearken to anything against that word, but require proof for it out of the Word," (p. 227).
  3. "If you have any one sign that may encourage you, you may take comfort from that though you do not find another," (p. 229).
  4. "Labor to treasure up some principles, or some certain conclusions and truths that you will stick to, and resolve upon whatever temptations come against them," (p. 230).

In Chapter 23 he continues to give direction for the exercise of faith in the want of sense:
  1. "When reasoning and temptations grow strong, the way is not to answer them with reasoning and to seek to satisfy those temptations, but rather to fall to prayer and to spread them before the Lord," (p. 236).
  2. "In the time of desertion, the direction that we should take is this: Labor to keep in your eye the object of faith so as to behold and look upon that which may help your faith.  Set before you the covenant of grace, the freeness and the fullness of God's grace in Christ as it is revealed in the covenant, the plentiful mercy that is there; keep that in your eye," (p. 238).
  3. "In the want of sense and sight, let it be your great care, if you think you have not the faith and repentance before, yet now afresh to act on it," (p. 239).

In Chapter 24 Mr. Burroughs outlines helps to walk by faith when God appears as an enemy to the soul.  He contends that a Christian's main care should be to activate faith in all duty: to walk by faith not only when God is withdrawn, but also when God shall appear to be an enemy because:
  1. "This is not such a condition but other dear saints of God have been put into heretofore," (p. 244).
  2. "[You] know that it may be that these are but the dark apprehensions of unbelief, and not indeed that God really is as an enemy to you," (p. 245).
  3. "[N]othing can be gained by flying from Him," (p. 246).
  4. "[I]f your soul is at enmity with sin, certainly God is not your enemy, whatever He appears to you to be," (p. 246).
  5. "[You] suppose that was a reality that God was an enemy.  Yet know there is enough in Christ to reconcile enemies," (p. 246).
  6. "It my be it is because your heart is loose and careless and negligent in your way that therefore God seems to come against you as an enemy," (p. 246).
  7. "[You] let God's appearance be never so terrible, it's fitting for you to trust in Him," (p. 247).

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life," (Rom. 5:8-10).