1. God cannot be known but as a promising God. There is no saving knowledge of him, but as he reveals himself in the promise of life through Christ Jesus.
2. There is no worshipping of him but in this way. The apostle joins them altogether, Rom. x. 13-17. How can they call on him of whom they have not heard? How can they believe on him? The cannot pray, they cannot believe, they cannot know him, unless it comes by the word of God. Faith, says he, cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, that is, the word of promise: Faith never comes by the word of command; but it comes by the word of promise. God commands faith; but God never works faith by the commanding of faith as any duty, but by the promise of faith as it is heard. The giving of faith, is the performance of the grand promise of faith.
“Faith never comes by the word of command; but it comes by the word of promise.”
3. There is no believing on God, but as a promising God. If you suffer your hearts to take a view of God out of a promise, you wander in a maze and wilderness: he is a consuming fire, except in a promise. The Lord hath framed us in that manner, that it is impossible that God can be loved, but by a person that takes up this God as a promising God. All mankind have either to do with God as promising, or threatening. The threatening God threatens the most dreadfully: the promising God promises the greatest good. It is impossible that there can be true and strong love fixed on that person from whom we do dread the greatest evil: therefore the Lord hath framed the matter so in the dispsensing of his grace, in the call of the gospel, that he still tenders himself to his people, and at all times hath done since sin came into the world, under some gracious discovery of himself.
“It is impossible that there can be true and strong love fixed on that person from whom we do dread the greatest evil…”
(Robert Traill, “Sermon III: The Steadfast Adherence to the Profession of our Faith, Hebrews x. 23,” in The Works of Robert Traill, vols. 3 & 4, pp. 40-41.)