Declarative Faith

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him...

Hebrews 5:7-9

In reading these verses from this New Testament sermon-letter, I was reminded of three separate comments from the Unspoken Sermons of George MacDonald, the 19th century British writer, theologian, and pastor who so deeply influenced the developing Christian thought of C. S. Lewis.

Lewis said that he knew of hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the spirit of Christ himself. Here let’s allow MacDonald’s words to act as unvarnished reflection and commentary.

Michael Denham

One is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter dearth of feelings and desires, without a glow or an aspiration, with the weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and say to him, “Thou art my refuge.”

When we no longer feel the truth, we shall not therefore die. We live because God is true. We know we live because we have understood the word that God is truth. We believe in the God of former vision, and we live by that word therefore, when all is dark, and there is no vision.

He could not see, could not feel him near; and yet it is “My God” that he cries. Thus the will of Jesus, in the very moment when his faith seems about to yield is finally triumphant. It has no feelings now to support it, no beatific vision to absorb it. It stands naked in his soul and tortured, as he stood naked and scourged before Pilate. Pure and simple and surrounded by fire, it declares for God.

Author: expositionalvision

Michael Denham has served many years as Director of Music Ministries at The National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC.

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