En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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The True Character of Unbelief

Posted by Scott on January 19, 2008

by Horatius Bonar


In all unbelief there are these two things – a good opinion of one’s self and a bad opinion of God. Man’s good opinion of himself makes him think it quite possible to win God’s favor by his own religious performances; and his bad opinion of God makes him unwilling and afraid to put his case wholly into His hands. The object of the Holy Spirit’s work (in convincing of sin) is to alter the sinner’s opinion of himself, and so to reduce his estimate of his own character that he shall think of himself as God does, and so cease to suppose it possible that he can be justified by an excellency of his own. The Spirit then alters his evil opinion of God, so as to make him see that the God with whom he has to do is really the God of all grace.

But the inquirer denies that he has a good opinion of himself and owns himself a sinner. Now a man may SAY this, but really to KNOW it is something more than SAYING. Besides, he may be willing to take the name of sinner to himself, in common with his fellow-men, and yet not at all own himself such a sinner as God says he is – such a sinner as needs the cross, and blood, and righteousness of the Son of God. It takes a great deal to destroy a man’s good opinion of himself; how difficult it is to make a man think of himself as God does! What but the almightiness of the Divine Spirit can accomplish this?

Unbelief, then, is the belief of a lie and the rejection of the truth. Accept, then, the character of God as given in the gospel; the Holy Spirit will not give you peace irrespective of vour views of God’s character. It is in connection with THE TRUTH concerning the true God. “the God of all grace,” that the Spirit gives peace. That which He shows us of ourselves is only evil; that which He shows us of God is only good!

-Scott Bailey 2008

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2 Responses to “The True Character of Unbelief”

  1. Reynvaan said

    What, then about atheists and other non-Christians who are perfectly content and happy? Satanic deception?
    What about Christians who experience everything but peace and joy? Trials of faith?

    Both rather doubtful.

  2. qbaileys said

    I would dare say that non-Christians and athiest who think themselves to be perfectly content and happy cannot know true contentment and joy apart from Christ. How would anyone know if they are “perfectly” content and happy otherwise? The children of this world who are under satan’s deceptive plan will not know true contentment and happiness either as they are “deceived”.
    Now, “Christians” in the authentically true meaning will always know true peace and true joy. I have experienced enormous amounts of trials in my life and very unhappy times, but always I had true peace and wonderful joy that even in the worse of times I knew my sovereign Lord was and is still with me and in full control. You cannot know this or experience this apart from a loving relationship with Christ. Anyone doubting this cannot know until they have lived it…not just “tried” it, but actually live and experience God on a daily, moment by moment basis. I am sure this is rare to find a believer who actually lives this way, but I can tell you from my experience that many cannot understand. I know how big my God is and He is far bigger than any box anyone can think of. He is far bigger than any doubt, any trial, any tribulation, any non-belief, any scientific formula, or any other negative thought one can conjur up…my God is sovereign and fully control of all things.
    It boils down to really one thing…if man is more into himself he will not be for God, thus not experiencing God in a way that would give him true peace and joy. Christians who you say experience anything but peace and joy I would lean towards the point that they are actually non-believers. They may be deceived into thinking they are believers by a church or minister that thinks all you must do is say a particular prayer and you have “fire insurance”. Belief comes from deep within a persons heart and mind not a magical prayer of words…Christ is looking for true confession and scenecere heart felt words…God peers deep into the heart.

    Thanks for the comments.

    SB

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