“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.” 2 Corinthians 13:5
Many might be induced to pray for faith, if they did not presume that because they are not heathens, Muslim, or Jews, they must therefore be believers. Such as have faith often doubt the fact, while such as are destitute boast as if they possessed an abundance. Faith is wrought in the souls of those only who are deeply humbled by a thorough conviction of the greatness and heinousness of their sins, confessing themselves not only with their lips but their hearts, to be the chief of sinners. Without this repentance we do not enter through the right gate, and our faith is only imagination.
Faith is the greatest and most difficult thing even to a child of God. It receives Christ into the heart and overcomes the devil, world, and all sins, which is not easily done. But if the generality of people have true faith, nothing is easier than to believe. For what can be easier than to assent to the Bible as true, which is all that the multitude intend when they say that they believe? There would be no need for men to pray for faith or to examine themselves whether they have it. The wicked, therefore, who live in sin, deceive themselves in thinking that they have faith. For faith gives victory over the world. Those also who trust in their own works deceive themselves; for the prayer of faith is, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” “Lord, save or I perish.” True faith always receives Christ as its Savior, copies the life of Christ as its example, and aims at the honor of Christ as its end.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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