Faith, by which a man is justified, is the great theme of the Reformation. Faith, however, has become a word in the mouth of ignorant religionists and unethical charlatans that bears no resemblance to the true Biblical doctrine. One’s ears have become accustomed to hearing such terms as “seed faith” (by which you give the preacher some money, and God, in turn, makes you rich), “faith promise” (in which you pledge to give a specific amount to a religious cause, believing that God will provide), “turning your faith loose,” and “putting God on the spot” by an act of faith. Faith, in this modern age, is a commodity through which to work miracles, attain riches for yourself, heal the sick, and raise money. It has become a coveted accessory to Christianity because those who can discover the secret to obtaining and using it believe there are no limits to their potential or what they can achieve.
Consequently, we see a multitude of preachers and writers focusing on faith. Some of them are overzealous, woefully ignorant men. Others are nothing less than (forgive me) religious pimps! They are purveyors of religious nonsense, catering to the carnal lusts of unconverted men or childish Christians. The racket is enormously profitable; for while the audience is being preached to about faith, caught up in the throes of irrational excitement generated by the promise of great things ahead, the charlatan is preying on their eager audience. They give you an opportunity to “try your faith” by giving everything you have to them. By the time you find out it doesn’t work as promised, they are long gone with your money in their pockets.
All of this is wicked enough, but it is not the chief mischief. The worst thing about it is that it has befouled the waters around the very fountain of life. It has clouded the most important subject of the Bible: faith. It may be well argued that love is greater than faith and that Christ is the most important person of the Bible, but the sinner has access to neither except through faith (Romans 5:1-5). Faith is not an accessory to Christianity; it is its very essence. Four times the Bible declares the just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). We are not justified by a “profession of faith,” as modern evangelism asserts, but by a walk of faith. Faith in God is the whole life of the believer in Jesus Christ, not something he picks up on option. It is impossible to please God without it (Hebrews 11:6). All his devotions, prayers, sacrifices, tears, penances, and services mean nothing until a man believes God; and the value of his work can be measured in exact proportion to how much faith in God is involved in it. “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:29, LSB).
Do you desire to know what work it is that God wants you to do? Then this is it. Believe Him. Nothing else matters until you do―and when you do, you will find yourself in a work of faith. If the religious work in which you are engaged can function without the supernatural hand of God, then it requires no faith on your part and is worthless in God’s sight. The Christian life begins, continues, and culminates in faith. Nothing less pleases Him, and you are capable of nothing greater.
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Conrad Murrell served in evangelistic ministry for over 50 years and was powerfully used by God in many Assemblies of God and Baptist churches in the United States and around the world. Throughout that time, Conrad pastored churches in Texas and Louisiana, successfully hosted numerous Bible conferences, engaged in continuous itinerant preaching, and diligently evangelized throughout the United States and Mexico. In addition to his fruitful ministry, he also wrote several books, many of which are read worldwide today. Mack Tomlinson's biography of Conrad Murrell is a testimony of God's grace and truth in the life of a man called by God for the proclamation of the Gospel.
Conrad Murrell was a significant contemporary and friend to two of the 20th Century's leading experts on revival, Leonard Ravenhill and Richard Owen Roberts, as well as a dearly loved co-laborer and associate of several other significant evangelists of our age, such as Manley Beasley and Al Whittinghill. Like them, he was a committed, passionate, and anointed itinerant minister. He was a man's man, a man of conviction and grit, but most importantly, he was God's man—a man completely devoted to his Lord and Savior.
September 29, 2023
More from Conrad Murrell
When God speaks to wicked men, they hear no voice from heaven. Rather, they experience His displeasure. He terrifies and troubles them.
The blessed man rests under the shadow of the wings of the Almighty. The righteousness of Christ is his hope and refuge.
The Bride of Christ is not declining. If anything, she is becoming more glorious. Christ is doing to her according to his unchanging and indefeatable purpose and presenting her to Himself unblemished without spot or wrinkle. This MegaMystery is not something created out of time and mortality. She and her Husband are eternal entities. She has ever existed in the Mind of the Almighty, having been brought into manifest light in the fullness of time. And because she always has been, she forever will be.
It is significant that this book of blessed meditations, often set to music and sung, begins with a contrast between the two men who make up the whole of humanity. While there is an infinite variety in the human race, the contrasts set forth here are the only ones that matter in the end.
There is a principle of hermeneutics (the science of Scripture interpretation) that states the first time a subject is mentioned in the Bible, all its foundational principles are present. How valid this is in all cases we are not prepared to argue, but it seems to hold well in the subject of faith.
Faith is often preached as a tool to obtain blessings from God. It is a gimmick which, when used correctly, can produce an abundance of worldly possessions. Prosperity and success are indicative of nothing. They certainly do not testify of faith.
All the false ideas of faith must be cast down, or they will constantly rear themselves up in the reader’s mind, taking exception to revealed truth.