Notes from Norman

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by Norman P. Grubb

The first point is this: Faith must produce reality. Faith is a producer of fact. Now get that home. Faith produces fact or it isn’t faith. The proof of that is Hebrews 11:1, and all of Hebrews 11. Hebrews 11 shows faith producing facts. God said in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance,” that’s fact, that’s reality, that’s experience. “The substance of things hoped for”—it gives substantiality to hope. It makes aspirations realizations. You haven’t faith until you are on the realization level, until you have the thing and know you have it. That’s the whole meaning of faith, because that’s so difficult in attainment. We wangle around and say we have faith when we’re only hoping for a thing. We mix up hope and faith. We often mix them up. Because it’s too difficult to get the other so we, like good fundamentalists, find a way out, as I told you before.

But there you have it squarely. “Faith gives substance.” That’s one translation. Faith is the giving of substance.” I like that because it helps you to see it. “Faith is the giving of substance of the things hoped for.” It makes the vague aspirations actual realizations.

Now our faith is going to do that. That’s exactly what your faith did for justification. It made the desire to be saved the actuality of salvation. So your faith produced the realization of a living Jesus and the efficacy of His Precious Blood a certainty in your heart—that, Praise God, you’ve passed from death unto life. “Praise the Lord, I’ve eternal life. Praise the Lord my sins are forgiven.” That’s substantial in you. And the substance comes out of you in a changed life so that other people see it as well. It’s a faith which has produced actual substance within you, a spiritual substance. Now that is faith. That first step of faith will give us the standard for the rest. We can see there, that faith produced substance. You know perfectly well that if a person says, “Oh, I believe God,” and you ask, “Brother, are your sins forgiven?” And he says, “I hope so.” You say, “Brother you’re not there yet.”

Karuizawa Japan Conference of 1954
Topic: “The Obedience of Faith”