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Faith and the Attributes of God (1)


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My righteous one shall live by faith —Hebrews 10:38

The efficacy of faith is not in its strength, but in its object. “The object of faith,” writes David Clarkson, “is God in Christ, as made known in his attributes, offices, relations, promises, and providences.” Just as our trust in any person depends on what we know of his character, our trust in God can only rest on his character as he has revealed himself to us.

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[God’s Divine attributes] are the pillows and grounds of faith, rocks of eternity, upon which faith may securely repose: ‘Though the earth should be removed,’ &c. ‘The name of the Lord’ (i. e., his attributes) ‘is a strong tower, the righteous fly into it,’ and faith admits and there secures them. Hence this is faith’s ordinary plea in Scripture. ‘For thy name’s sake,’ i. e., for the glory of those attributes whereby thou art known to us, as men are known by their names. These are frequently propounded and made use of as the objects and supports of faith.

Power. This is it on which the heroical faith of Abraham fixed: Rom. iv. 21, ‘Being fully persuaded that what he had promised he was able to perform.’

Wisdom. This upheld Peter’s faith, when Christ, so often questioning his love, might have made him doubt of it: ‘Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest I love thee,’ John xxi. 17. And David’s faith acts upon the omnisciency and immensity of God, Ps. cxxxix.

Justice. This was David’s plea: Ps. cxliii. 11, ‘For thy righteousness sake bring my soul out of trouble.’ And Daniel’s, ix. 16, ‘Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee,’ &c.

Faithfulness. This was the foundation on which Solomon raised that prayer, so full of faith, 1 Kings viii. 33, ‘There is no God like unto thee, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants;’ and Dan. ix. 4, Heb. x. 23.

Truth. David useth this, Ps. cxv. 1, ‘For thy truth’s sake;’ and frequently, ‘Do this according to thy word,’ Ps. cxix. 154.

Mercy. Faith never finds more strong support, nor ever fixes with so much delight as here: Ps. cxix. 149, ‘Hear my voice, according to thy loving-kindness;’ Ps. cxxx. 7, ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy;’ Ps. lii. 8, ‘I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.’

—David Clarkson, Of Living by Faith, Works (Banner of Truth, 1988), 1:176.



Posted 2017·09·08 by David Kjos
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Posted in: David Clarkson · Faithfulness (of God) · Justice (of God) · Mercy (of God) · Omnipotence · Saving Faith · Truthfulness (of God) · Wisdom (of God) · Works of David Clarkson

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