Tag: Abraham’s faith

Faith and Commendation!

Scripture reading for November 12th: Hebrews 11:1-16

When we believe on Jesus Christ, we join a select group of individuals who by faith pleased God and laid hold of the promise of being close to Him for eternity.  There is no other way to please God than to live by faith in His word!

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Hebrews 11:1-3)  Faith brings understanding of our creation, purpose and the fall into sin.  When we read God’s word in Genesis, light of truth helps us believe and understand today’s problems.

We also look back at the record of those that came before us and see the outcome of their faith.  The writer of Hebrews calls them the ‘ancients’.  This record begins with Abel offering a better sacrifice than his brother Cain.  Abel obeyed God’s revelation of a blood sacrifice for approaching Him.(Genesis 4:3-8)   Cain did not believe.  Abel was commended by God as a righteous man and is still speaking to us today through his record in Scripture. (Hebrews 11:4)  Cain was mastered by the sin of unbelief and killed his righteous brother.  He lost God’s blessing.

Enoch so pleased God that he escaped death by his faith-motivated actions.  (Hebrews 11:5)  Enoch walked with God and was a prophet to his generation concerning God’s coming judgment.  (Jude 14-15)  God simply took him to heaven directly as an example for us of the reward of faith-filled living!  (1st Corinthians 10:11)

Noah was warned by God of a coming destructive judgment of the world by water.  Because he believed God, he built the ark according to God’s direction.  He and his family were saved out of all living on the earth as a testimony of the reward of faith.  (Hebrews 11:7)

Abraham heard God’s word instructing him to leave his country  and go to the land God would show him.  Abraham packed up his family and set out, trusting God’s word.  He ended up living in a tent in the land of promise, trusting that God was faithful.  It is recorded that Abraham was looking for a city built by God!  (Hebrews 11:10)  Faith pleased God and this record encourages us today.

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Faith credit in God’s bank!

Scripture reading for July 17th: Romans 4:1-13

“What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter?  If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about–but not before God.  What does the Scripture say?  “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”” (Romans 4:1-3)   (Genesis 15:6)  Paul begins to explain to the recipients of his letter that Abraham was not justified by works of the law.  He lived over 400 years before Moses and God simply credited righteous to Abraham for his faith.  When someone works, they earn wages and they are not a gift but what is due them.  God owed Abraham nothing and Abraham did nothing to get the credit except believe!

Paul then cites David who said the same thing in Psalm 32:1-2.  “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” Many commentators think that David wrote this Psalm to explain the righteousness that was granted to him in forgiving his sin against God through the incident with Bathsheba.  When he confessed his sin, God forgave him and covered his transgression.  It was a gift and the wages that were due David through the law was death!  David was thankful for the faith credit!

Abraham received the promise that he would be heir of the world and through his offspring all nations on the earth would be blessed.  Abraham had no children at the time and God told him to look at the stars and count them.  His offspring would be as numerous as the stars!  (Genesis 15:5)  It was this promise that Abraham believed.

You might say that our simple trust in God’s promises through Abraham’s offspring–Jesus Christ, guarantees our inheritance as well.  It is our faith in Jesus Christ that causes us to be born again in to the family of God.   It is through our faith that God credits righteousness to us as well.  (2nd Corinthians 5:21)  The righteous inherit the promises!   Isn’t it wonderful to have faith credits deposited in our heavenly account!   Thieves won’t break in and steal it.  We have true riches which we will enjoy for eternity!  Praise the Lord for His glorious grace!

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Justified by Faith

Scripture reading for November 19th: Romans 4-5

Man’s greatest need is righteousness.  His biggest obstacle is sin in his life that brings God’s wrath if nothing is done.  Paul had declared that all had sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.  (Romans 3:23)  Every person has a sin problem that needs attention but man himself cannot fix the problem.  No amount of good works or human effort can eliminate the problem and it’s consequences.  The gospel reveals the answer that comes to each person by faith!

Faith comes by simply trusting God.  When we trust God through Christ, our faith is credited to us as righteousness. (Romans 4:5)  This is what we call justification by faith.   The Jews thought that they could earn God’s favor by keeping the law and being circumcised.  Paul showed them that Abraham was declared righteous by God before he was circumcised.  Abraham lived about 500 years before Moses received the law.  It could not have been through keeping the law that Abraham was declared righteous.  It was by believing God when God promised to give Abraham and his wife a son in their old age.

You might say that Abraham was the first to have “resurrection faith”.   “Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead–since he was about a hundred years old–and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.” (Romans 4:19-21)  Abraham did not deny the physical fact of his or his wife’s body’s age and condition.  They were “dead” as far as childbirth.  But Abraham so put his trust in God’s ability to do whatever was necessary to give them a child that he considered it done.  This faith so pleased God, that they were “resurrected” to living sexual ability and conceived a child as a result of faith in God’s ability!

All who trust in Jesus Christ are made righteous by faith.  We are justified in God’s sight, and no longer under His wrath.  We have peace with God having gained access to the grace that saves us.  (Romans 5:1-5)  God’s love is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.  Faith makes righteousness available to all who will simply believe!

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Considering God Faithful

Scripture reading for November 19th: Romans 4-5

Faith always has an object and that object is God!  God alone is trustworthy and faithful to His word.  If He said it, He will do it!  He has the power to do whatever He says He will and the character of never lying!  Paul writes to us today about Abraham and Sarah and what they discovered in their journey with God.

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it has been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  “Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead–since he was about a hundred years old–and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He had promised. This is why ‘it was credited to him as righteousness.'” Romans 4:18-22

Sometimes things look impossible to the natural eye.  When Abraham and Sara left their home to go to Canaan, God told them that He would give them offspring.  (Genesis 15:4-6)  In fact, their offspring would number more than the stars in the sky!  Abraham believed God and it was counted as righteousness!

Time passed and they tried to produce the offspring.  Nothing happened and they were getting older.  Sarah gave Abraham her maid and she conceived a son, Ishmael.  They thought that perhaps this child was the promised seed, but God visited them again and told them that in their old age that they would have a son from their own bodies!  This seemed so impossible that Sarah, listening to the angelic visitor, laughed out loud!  (Genesis 18:10-15)  However, God restored their bodies and they had the child, Isaac, whose name means “laughter’!  God’s word is good and He is faithful!  He has the power to do whatever He says!

What lessons can we gain from today’s Scripture reading?  Faith is not difficult.  It is simply coming to the point of being fully persuaded that God is faithful!  What He has promised, He will bring to pass!  If you have heard Him promise you a child, believe it and prepare for a child!  If He has shown you it is time to move to a new city and preach the Gospel, pack up and head out!  Your faith is counted as righteousness!  How marvelous is the grace of our amazing God!

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