"The Faith that depends on another man's mouth is weak.
If I have no other feeling (confidence) in my faith than because a man so saith, then is my faith faithless and fruitless . . ."
I read the above tonight in volume 2 of Tyndale's complete works and felt that it landed on on something a few of us in work have been discussing on and off over the past couple of weeks when we've been filling containers.
Hear it / Experience it.
Our belief in the Gospel should not be rooted in what someone else says. This would be foolishness and laughable, much like the person who believes and joins a cult because of the words of a preacher. The Samaritan's were a great example of this. After the woman at the well told them of Jesus and they had listened to Him they said to the woman:
"It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world." [John 4:42]
We own our faith when our surety of the Gospel is not rooted in the words of an evangelist, but when the Spirit of God writes it upon our hearts.
How many times on Facebook or on some other website we read of some news story, believe it and then find out later it was a total spoof. A bit like the time I read Chuck Norris had died, told a mate and then after we googled it, found it to be nonsense. I believed it because a 'trustworthy' friend posted a link. But further evidence proved it wrong, I was swayed from one way to another.
But if I experience the death of a loved one, weep the tears and yearn deeply in my heart over the loss, no amount of evidence from any other quarter, as solid or trustworthy as they may be, could change my mind about what had happened.
And our ownership of what we believe must be like that. Yes we listen to our Bible teachers, evangelists and others. God has said that it is through the foolishness of preaching that he has chosen to save people. But we must have it written on our hearts by the Spirit of Christ. We must experience His salvation, His filling, His life.