Showing the state of our nation in the light of God’s Holy Word

26th August 2020

“He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” John 11:25

How can any one who is dead believe? He can, or our Lord would not have said so. I will shew you how. He is a living man as quickened into life by the power of the Spirit of God, and yet he is dead. This is the deep mystery, that though he is dead in law, dead in conscience, dead in helplessness, yet God the Holy Ghost has breathed into him and deposited in him a seed of living faith. By this faith he cries, by this faith he sighs, and by this faith he hungers and thirsts after righteousness; yea, more, by this faith he looks unto and believes in the Son of God. He scarcely knows that he has faith. His faith is so weak and so small in his own estimation, that he dare not say he has faith; and yet he has all the fruits of faith, all the marks of faith, and all the evidences of faith. Take as a parallel case Jonah in the whale’s belly. Had he faith or had he not faith? How low he sank when the waves were heaped over his head, when carried through the boundless deep in the belly of the whale. Yet even there he could say, “I will look again toward thy holy temple.” Had he no faith? Yes, he had; and by that faith he was saved, justified, accepted, brought out, and delivered, and able to say, “Salvation is of the Lord.” Take Hezekiah upon his bed of sickness. Had he no faith? How then could he turn his face to the wall and pray unto the Lord? How could his eyes fail with looking upward, when he said, “O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me?” Take David in his mournful journey, when he went up by the ascent of Mount Olivet, and wept as he went up barefoot, with his head covered, at the time of Absalom’s rebellion. Had he no faith? How then came he to pray, “O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness?” And why did the Lord answer that prayer, if it were not the prayer of faith? In all these men of God, sunk though they were almost to the last and lowest point, there was still the life of faith; and by that faith they called upon God. They looked unto him and were lightened, and their faces were not ashamed. Here, then, is the connection between the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead and the experience of this seemingly dead soul. When Christ died, he bare the sins of this poor dead soul in his body on the tree, and thus atoned for them and put them away. When Christ rose from the dead, this poor dead soul rose with him, as a member of his mystical body. When Christ went up on high, he ascended with him. And when Christ sat down at the right hand of the Father, he virtually and mystically sat down with him in heavenly bliss. Therefore, because Jesus is the resurrection, and because as such he has an interest in him, “he that believeth in him, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869