What is Faith? It is “Lippen” to Jesus –Dr. S. Lewis Johnson

There is an old story which I like. In the broad Scottish translation of the New Testament, John 3:16 reads something like this, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever listens to Jesus should not perish but have the life of the ages, lippen.” We don’t

use that word anymore. It’s a Scottish word; it means to trust or rely.

Thomas Chalmers is one of the most famous of the Scottish theologians. If you travel to Edinburgh today, you’ll find statues of Thomas Chalmers. Mr. Chalmers was visiting one of the members of his church one day. She was a rather elderly woman, and he was trying to bring her to faith in Christ and the peace that comes from justification, but he couldn’t get her to understand what “believe” was, and he kept using the term, believe, and tried to explain it to her. And finally, he gave up and began to make his way home.

And on his way home, he had to cross over a shaky old bridge. And as he was crossing over this bridge, gingerly making his way across so that he wouldn’t fall into the little stream that was under it, one of his other parishioners saw him and called out to him and said, “Doctor, can ye nay lippen the bridge?”

And he said, “Lippen, lippen! That’s the word that woman needs!” He turned around, he went back to her and said, “I’ve got the word for you.” And she said, what is it, and he said, “Can ye nay lippen to Jesus?”

She said, “Lippen? Is it just to lippen? Aye, I can lippen to him. He’ll never let ye dune, will he?” And that’s true. Lippen. It means to trust, rely. It’s faith.

If you’re here today, and you’ve never believed in the Lord Jesus, he’s died for sinners. And if you can lippen to him, if you can rely upon him and stop trusting in your church, your works, your baptism, and all the other things in which you have put your trust, you may pass from death into the marvelous life of the Son of God. May God the Spirit speak to you. Amen.

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