“We do not have a strong church today, nor do we have many strong Christians. We can trace the cause to an acute lack of sound spiritual knowledge. Why is the church weak? Why are individual Christians weak? It is because they have allowed their minds to become conformed to the “spirit of this age,” with its mechanistic, godless thinking. They have forgotten what God is like and what he promises to do for those who trust him. Ask an average Christian to talk about God. After getting past the expected answers you will find that his god is a little god of vacillating sentiments. He is a god who would like to save the world, but who cannot. He would like to restrain evil, but somehow he finds it beyond his power. So he has withdrawn into semiretirement, being willing to give good advice in a grand-fatherly sort of way, but for the most part he has left his children to fend for themselves in a dangerous environment.
Such a god is not the God of the Bible. Those who know their God perceive the error in that kind of thinking and act accordingly. The God of the Bible is not weak; he is strong. He is all-mighty. Nothing happens without his permission or apart from his purposes—even evil. Nothing disturbs or puzzles him. His purposes are always accomplished. Therefore, those who know him rightly act with boldness, assured that God is with them to accomplish his own desirable purposes in their lives.”
James Montgomery Boice, Foundations of the Christian Faith: A Comprehensive & Readable Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986), 25–26.
The hypocrite, or best of the unregenerate, believeth but either with a human faith, which resteth but on the word of man, or else with a dead, opinionative faith, which is overpowered by infidelity, or is like the dreaming thoughts of man asleep, which stir him not to action. He liveth by sight, and not by faith: for he hath not a faith that will overpower sense and sensual objects; James 2:14. Matt. 13:22.
Richard Baxter and William Orme, The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, vol. 8 (London: James Duncan, 1830), 384.
James 2:14 (ESV) 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?
Matthew 13:22 (ESV) 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.