“Unbelief in Scripture is spoken of as the sin of sins. As faith is the root of all good, so is unbelief of all evil. God hates it; Christ condemns it; our own hearts cannot but say it is evil. ‘The evil heart of unbelief’ is the most evil of all. … Unbelief is injustice—
- To God—It assumes that He is not to be trusted or credited; that He is not the being that He has said He is. It does gross injustice to His whole character; His love, His grace, His veracity, His unchangeableness. It misinterprets and misrepresents Him in all respects, and so dishonors Him, and separates us from Him.
- To Christ—It rejects the testimony which God has given of Him; it refuses to accept the character which the Father has given of Him, and treats Him as one like ourselves. Every act of unbelief, every doubt, every suspicion is an injustice to Him—to one who has not deserved such treatment at our hands. It keeps us apart from Him, and Him from us; it will not allow us to be satisfied with what Scripture has revealed concerning Him.
- To the Holy Spirit—All unbelief is a rejection of the Spirit’s testimony to the Son; a grieving of the Spirit. It is a doing injustice to His love and power; to His willingness to bless. It is making Him a liar. It is casting discredit on that Book which He has written for us concerning the love of God.
- To the Cross—All unbelief, more or less, directly assails the cross. It says—(1) That Cross is insufficient, it cannot save unless assisted by goodness in us; (2) That Cross may save ordinary sinners, it cannot save me; (3) That Cross is not the place of substitution, but merely of example of a divine self-surrender. Thus it insists that we shall not take our peace from the cross alone.
- To the blood—The special thing which marks the Cross is the blood; and unbelief specially sets aside the blood in its value and efficacy. It refuses to take peace from the blood alone. …
- To the gospel—It makes void the good news, and turns them into evil tidings, or at least into no tidings at all. It makes the faith which receives the gospel a work to be done, a condition to be performed; and upon the right doing of that work, and the right performance of that condition….
“Unbelief checks prayerfulness—Prayer implies expectancy: ‘Ask, and ye shall receive.’ Where unbelief comes in, this expectancy is stopped; and prayer becomes irksome, and in the end brief and infrequent.” —Horatius Bonar