Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19
True faith requires that we believe everything that God has said about Himself, but also that we believe everything He has said about us!
Until we believe that we are as bad as God says we are, we can never believe that He will do for us what He says He will do. Right here is where popular religion breaks down. It never quite accepts the severity of God or the depravity of man. It stresses the goodness of God and man’s misfortune. It makes sin a pardonable frailty and God is not too much concerned about it—He merely wants us to trust in His goodness.
To believe thus is to ground faith upon falsehood and build our eternal hope upon sand. God has spoken. We are all under solemn obligation to hear the affirmations of the Holy Ghost.
To manipulate the Scriptures so as to make them excuse us, compliment us and console us is to do despite to the written Word and to reject the Living Word. To believe savingly in Jesus Christ is to believe all He has said about Himself and all that the prophets and apostles have said about Him.
A dreamy, sentimental faith which ignores the judgments of God against us and listens to the affirmations of the soul is as deadly as cyanide. A faith which passively accepts all of the pleasant texts of the Bible while it overlooks or rejects the stern warnings and commandments of those same Scriptures is not the faith of which Christ and His apostles spoke!