You're here: » Articles Home » Norman P. Grubb » The Law Of Faith » 17. Speaking the Word of Faith

The Law Of Faith: 17. Speaking the Word of Faith

By Norman P. Grubb

      NOW all these varied examples of faith from both Old and New Testaments, including a great number more not mentioned, have one focal point. If the process of faith be likened to climbing a mountain (although it is not too good an illustration), then the summit is the same in every single case. To understand the route, reach the top and enjoy the view from it, is to practice living faith. So many on so many occasions stop breathless half-way. They just do not get there. Now the summit is the word of faith.

      Look back again on these incidents in the lives of the men of faith. "Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you," said Abraham to his servant; it was settled in his heart that God would either provide a substitute sacrifice or raise Isaac from the dead. "Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord... for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever," said Moses to the terrified Israelites before the Red Sea and with no visible way of escape. "At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread," said he again to them in the wilderness; and these are only two examples of the word of faith which he was constantly declaring. "Shout, for the Lord hath given you the city," said Joshua, before the walls of Jericho had fallen; and a few days previously: "Prepare you victuals, for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan." "Arise, for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian," said Gideon to his three hundred, when facing an army "like grasshoppers for multitude." "Come up after me: for the Lord hath delivered them into the hand of Israel," said Jonathan to his armor bearer, when the two of them were going up alone against the Philistines. "This day will the Lord deliver thee into my hand; and I will smite thee," was David's word to the giant. Elijah was strongest of them all: "As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before Whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word."

      We reach the heart of the matter when we turn to the Gospels. Most significant is the name that John gives Jesus: "The Word." The Word which created all things. "The Word made flesh." Nowhere does the authority of the spoken word of faith come out so clearly as in His life, which was a constant series of such spoken words with their miraculous results. To the waves: "Peace, be still." To a fever: a rebuke. To the fig tree: a curse. To the evil spirit: "I charge thee, come out of him." To the nobleman: "Go thy way, thy son liveth." To the cripple: "Rise, take up thy bed and walk." To the centurion: "As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee." To the leper: "Be thou clean." At the grave of Lazarus, to His Father: "I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me"; then, to Lazarus: "Come forth." No wonder they were amazed at the authority with which He spoke. No wonder we echo the officer's words: "Never man spake like this Man."

      The centurion seemed to be the one person who sensed the power that resided in that word, when he so boldly broke through the customary idea that the physical presence of the Savior was necessary, and suggested that He need not come in person to his house, but just speak the word and his servant would be healed. It was a penetration into the secrets of faith which just thrilled the Savior, and brought those words of highest commendation to His lips: "Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel"; and gave him a momentary glimpse of the universality of the coming Church: "And I say unto you that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven."

      The Lord Jesus Himself revealed the secret in that vitally important record of His conversation with His disciples after the fig tree incident. (Mark 11:12-24) This is the one outstanding occasion on which He pointed out that He Himself was using the word of faith, and that they ought to do the same. When Peter commented on the withered fig tree to which He had said the day before: "No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever," He told them to "have faith in God" and they could do the same. In other words, that the way He performed His miracles was by this word of faith, which they could use just as much as He; but He then went on to make clear that it was a spoken word of faith, and not just an aspiration, request or hope; for they were to say to a mountain: "Be thou removed", and not to doubt in their hearts, and they would have whatsoever they said. He explained at the same time that such a spoken word of faith was the central act that mattered in the prayer life, for He divided the process of prayer into four component parts:   desire, request, faith that the thing is done, and realization.   But all is made parenthetic to the central emphasis, the summit of the mountain: "Believe that ye receive" then and there. On one other occasion He stressed the same truth when He said that with faith as a grain of mustard seed they could "say" the word of command to a sycamore tree and it would obey.

      That the apostles followed this out is obvious from the early days when the Master gave them authority over evil spirits and to heal sicknesses, telling them later that what they bound on earth would be bound in heaven, and what they loosed would be loosed.

      The actual expression "the word of faith" is used by Paul (Romans 10: 8) when expounding the faith that justifies; and here he brings out exactly the same truth: that faith is something which must have plain spoken expression. Hope or desire is not enough. The prayer of request is not enough. Not even the belief in the heart. What is believed in the inner man must issue from the mouth. "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus" is the summit reached. And this truth is traced by Paul right back to a revelation in the earliest days of recorded history to Moses' comment in the book of Deuteronomy.

      If it is asked why there must be such emphasis on the spoken word of faith, the answer may be partly beyond our reach. It is hidden in the mysteries of creation. All we are told is that the Son is the Word, and that by the Word are all things made:   The Word, presumably, of the Father. [1] Therefore we know that the spoken word (not the deed) is the creating power; the word is antecedent to the deed, and therefore more powerful and more important. Indeed, the word produces the deed. Thus the first act of God of which there is record is a spoken word which began the creating process: "Let there be light," and there was light. And this was followed by six other "words," each of which produced a corresponding new state in creation.

      Now a word is a crystallization of a thought; we can see as far as that. Thought is fluid, unformed. We turn things over in our mind. The word gives definition to the thought. The spoken word, given in the form of a command or decision, expresses the idea in the mind, digested, clarified, authoritative. A man's word, we say, is his bond. A general's word is his command, after he has weighed all the various possible disposals of his forces. An architect's word is his plan. An engineer's word is his blueprint. It is final, creative. It sets action in motion. James tells us of the power for good or evil of the spoken word which sets the course of nature on fire.

      Exactly what the spoken word of faith effects we do not know. The nearest we can say is that it is the spiritual act of taking and using. Faith is the spiritual hand. Exactly as, in the natural world, nothing is received and put to use merely by wishing or hoping or asking for it, but by taking and using it, so in the spiritual. The hand must reach out and take the food or the book. Faith must reach out and take the promises, and the public evidence of such taking is the spoken word of faith. Probably the effect in the realm of the Spirit is exactly the same as in the realm of matter. God offers all in His promises. The word of faith is the act of taking and applying His power according to need. What we actually take we actually have, and when the decisive word of faith has been spoken, God in His grace begins to work; and as the stand of faith is persisted in, the answer appears.

      That is just why the declared word of faith is so vital and should be so stressed. [2] It is the act of taking in the invisible, and we suggest that the serious lack in so much of our prayer life, both public and private, is that it hardly acts beyond the stage of asking. Hardly ever do we hear a person in a public prayer meeting, having asked, take and thank; yet probably it is much more important to have "taking" meetings than "asking" meetings. Our constant asking must have the same effect on God as would a child on his parents, who keeps asking for food, when they have set his meal before him and told him to take and eat it.

      1. "God in thought, the Father; God in Word, the Son; God in Act, the Spirit." From The Lord as Truth, by Alan Fairweather.

      2. All that is here said of the word of faith needs, of course, the counterbalancing emphasis which the letter of James gives to those of Paul: "What doth it profit though a man say he hath faith, and have not works?... Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works... but wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"

      The word of faith, if a mere word, can be a hollow sham. Faith is the whole man in action, and the word of faith includes the heart and mind that is in tune with the will of God and His written revelation, the voice that speaks the word of faith, and all subsequent action that is in full conformity with the position of faith which has been declared.

      Empty words of faith can be spoken, which have no living faith and thus no saving power in them, such as the Roman Catholic priest who claims that he performs the miracle of transubstantiation by the word of consecration, and that he looses the sinner from his sin by the word of absolution.

Back to Norman P. Grubb index.

See Also:
   The Law Of Faith: Preface
   The Law Of Faith: 1. A Personal Explanation
   The Law Of Faith: 2. Faith - A Natural Faculty
   The Law Of Faith: 3. From Natural to Spiritual Faith
   The Law Of Faith: 4. Inordinate Affection
   The Law Of Faith: 5. Undiscovered Self
   The Law Of Faith: 6. Undiscovered Self
   The Law Of Faith: 7. The Law of Transmutation
   The Law Of Faith: 8. From Elementary to Advanced Faith
   The Law Of Faith: 9. The Swaying Battle of Faith
   The Law Of Faith: 10. Full Assurance of Faith
   The Law Of Faith: 11. Two Testimonies
   The Law Of Faith: 12. The Varied Teachings of the Fullness of the Spirit
   The Law Of Faith: 13. The Centrality of the Will
   The Law Of Faith: 14. Temptation and Its Beneficial Effects
   The Law Of Faith: 15. Temptation Analyzed
   The Law Of Faith: 16. Faith in the Daily Life
   The Law Of Faith: 17. Speaking the Word of Faith
   The Law Of Faith: 18. What Is Clear Guidance In Major Matters?
   The Law Of Faith: 19. What Is Clear Guidance In Minor Matters?
   The Law Of Faith: 20. False Faith
   The Law Of Faith: 21. Strategy In Faith
   The Law Of Faith: 22. Unproductive Faith
   The Law Of Faith: 23. An Example of a Revolutionized Faith
   The Law Of Faith: 24. Harmonious Relationships With Things
   The Law Of Faith: 25. Harmonious Relationships With People
   The Law Of Faith: 26. The Underlying Law of Fruitbearing Faith
   The Law Of Faith: Appendix - The Dialectic of Life and Its Origin


Like This Page?

© 1999-2019, All rights reserved.