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Page 210

Which of these types of faith are fruits of the Holy Spirit's common workings and produce temporal outward blessings? Which reflects the Holy Spirit's saving work and produces inward, eternal blessings?

To a person possessing historical faith but lacking true saving faith, how is the Bible similar to an ancient history book? How is church or Bible teaching like a history class?

Scripture does not always speak of faith in God and His Word in the same manner. It testifies of four kinds of faith:

    1. Historical faith
    2. Temporary faith
    3. Miraculous faith
    4. True saving faith


Historical faith is believing the history of God's Word to be true. Historical faith is a believing with the mind only. It agrees that the Bible is true, but the truths of Scripture do not produce any deep interest or change in the person's emotions or will. No heartfelt need for God nor sorrow over sin is experienced. Historical faith includes mental agreement but lacks a deeper power of inward persuasion, spiritual turning of the person's will, and saving communion with Jesus Christ.

    "Historical faith," Ted's teacher explained, "is like a student studying a certain event in history -let us say Henry VIII's reign. He is interested in learning more about this king and his governing.

    "The student's learning more facts about Henry VIII's reign is interesting, and he believes that all the facts he has learned are true. However, these facts do not personally affect his life; they do not influence his personal desires, outlook, or will.

    "Now historical faith in God's Word is like that. A person can enjoy learning more facts about God and His truths and intellectually believe that these doctrines are true. Yet these truths do not personally affect his life; they are not taken seriously; they do not change the person's desires, outlook, or will.

    "To one possessing only historical faith, God and His words are interesting, but it is like Henry VIII -He is not real in the person's life. No real fear, joy, or realization of personal importance is generated. The knowledge gained remains 'historical,' divorced from the reality of the person's daily life."

    Is Jesus Christ an historical figure or a living reality in your life?

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