XXXIX. Christ’s Wonder at Unbelief.

MARK vi. 6.
“He marvelled because of their unbelief.”

NO expression in the Gospels shows more strikingly that
Jesus Christ was man.
I. What is the nature of unbelief? The essence is to
refuse to admit the truth of God’s revealed word. It is
the oldest of our many spiritual diseases.
It is the grand reason why multitudes are not saved. It
bars the way to heaven.
It is one of the commonest spiritual diseases in these
latter days. Society seems leavened with it.
Its seat, (1) In the head. Men say they will not believe
what they cannot understand. (2) In the heart. Men
love sin and habits which the Bible condemns. Lord
Rochester said, “A bad life is the great argument against
the Bible.” (3) Most commonly in a lazy, indolent will.
People do not like to make up their minds.
II. Why is unbelief so marvellous? For one thing it was
wonderful amongst the Jews. But we must look deeper.
1. Unbelief is a habit of soul confined to man. Angels
in heaven, fallen spirits in hell, saints in paradise, sinners
waiting the last judgment, all believe.
2. Unbelief is singularly arrogant and presumptuous.
For how little the wisest know, and how superficial is the
knowledge of the vast mass of mankind.
3. Unbelief is singularly unfair and onesided. It dwells
on small things and refuses to look at these great facts—
Christ, the Bible, the effect of Christianity.
4. It is marvellous when you consider how few leave the
world unbelievers.
If you are tempted to unbelief,—
a. Deal honestly with your souls about secret sins.
b. Deal honestly with your souls about the use of means
for acquiring religious knowledge.
c. Deal honestly with the religion of faith and those who
profess it.
After all, if there were more real faith in the earth, there
would be less unbelief.
John Cairns, D.D. Ryle, D.D.

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