As you may already be aware, Jones and Waggoner are the two young men who delivered the powerful message of Righteousness by Faith to the church at the 1888 General Conference in Minneapolis. I was recommended a book of theirs entitled, Lessons on Faith.
In this post I'm going to do a quick summation of a sermon and a part of that book.
God, through the apostle Paul, says in Romans 1:17, "The just shall live by faith."
So here we see how those abiding in Christ ought to live...by faith.
Then we turn to Matthew 4:4 and find that Christ, quoting Deuteronomy 6:16, says, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God' "
When we look at these two truths together we must come to one of two conclusions. Either 1.) There are two different ways a follower of Christ may live, or 2.) These two verses are descriptions of the same way of living.
I'd propose that it's the latter, in which case we find that:
Living by faith is the same as living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
What a beautiful and biblical definition of faith: to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Let's look at a second example.
Matthew 8:5-8,10, "Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, 'Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.'
And Jesus said to him, 'I will come and heal him.'
The centurion answered and said, 'Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.'
When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!' "
So here we find Christ Himself identifies what it is to have great faith. What is it that Christ was referring to about the centurion that was not just faith, but great faith?
The centurion said "But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed." The centurion believed that the word of Christ alone had the power to accomplish what it said would happen.
Together, these three passages lead to a solid conclusion about what it is to have faith: To live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God...to believe that word has the power to accomplish what it says it will.
This is why Bible promises are so powerful. This is why Christ upon His triumphal entry said, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19:40) Because the word of God had declared that those shouts would be heard upon Christ's entry (Psalm 118:26) and if the people wouldn't have cried out, the very stones would have...because God's word declared it, and God's word has the power to accomplish what it says.
Isaiah 55:11, "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."
Well...I don't want this lesson to be too long-winded, so I'll stop right here.
God bless, and be faithful.