FAITH IS RECEIVING
God has prepared and accomplished everything in Christ. He has also put Christ into the Holy Spirit so that everyone can henceforth enjoy Him anywhere and anytime. All that it takes is for man to receive Him. But how does one go about receiving Him? It is by faith. Faith is the receiving. When man believes, he receives everything of Christ into him.
Actually, the five senses also receive. The ears receive sound through hearing, and the eyes receive color through seeing. By constant contact with the outside world, the five senses receive everything into the inside world.
Faith then is an act of receiving. Christ has shed His blood to take away our sins. When we believe in this, we receive the same into us. God has put us into the death of Christ. By faith this solution of the old man is received into us. Other facts such as His resurrection and the initiation of a new life are all received by faith. I do not know how these items get into us. But I do know that when we believe in God’s word and works, they come into us. This is the function of faith.
FAITH IS NOT AGREEMENT
I have to mention an important point: faith and agreement are two different matters. Faith is living, while agreement is an exercise of the mind. Only faith will inherit all the things in the spiritual world. Mental consent has no part in it. To perceive spiritual things through mental consent is like using the eyes to see sound or using the tongue to taste color. You will never receive anything that way.
For example, everyone agrees that Hwang Mountain is a very scenic place. It says so in books, and we see it in pictures. We give our consent and agree that it is very scenic. But Hwang Mountain has never been received into us. None of the beauties there are real to us. The receiving of spiritual matters is not a matter of consent but of faith. We need faith in the words of God. We have to mix His words with our faith. Do not doubt or argue against the words of God. Rather, we should identify ourselves with them and be saved.
If you have this living faith, you can be saved whether you are at home or in the church, in the wilderness or anywhere. Today Christ is in the Holy Spirit. He is omnipresent. Wherever you may be, you can be saved simply by touching Him by faith. Just as the electricity in this room is fully installed and will light up at your touch of the switch, so salvation will be immediately realized when you exercise your faith to receive Him.
Perhaps you have heard about the doctrines of Christ for more than ten years. But all the time you have simply stored them up in your mind. This is merely a mental consent. Up till today, you are still a fallen man. Your consent has done you no good. You must confess that you believe. You must proclaim, "I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. I believe that He is now in the Holy Spirit. I also believe that on the cross He has taken away my sins and that He has crucified my old man and given me a new life." With this faith, you will be brought face to face with God. You will touch Him, and salvation will be accomplished in you. It is a matter of faith and not of agreement.
(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 13, by Watchman Nee)