Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How Important Is Your Faith?

Recently we found out just what Faith Is.  And we also found out what Your Picture Of Faith looked like.  But now we what to know just how important your faith is?  If you remember from our earlier discussion, we defined faith as the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen and it is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us even though we cannot see it up ahead.  Faith is trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof.  It is also trusting in somebody that you consider worthwhile and truthful.  It is also accepting that something exists when there is no physical proof of its existence or of its reality.  But just how important is your faith in all of this?

We then found that according to the scripture, God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.  We know from our discussion, that God has dealt to everyone the same amount of faith.  This means that no one has been given more faith than anyone else has, for we all have been given the same amount and not some random or varied amount of faith.  We also found that you could not get more than the measure that has been dealt to you at birth by God.  We know that faith is something that you increase through exercise, where you sort of develop your faith by building it up.  The only way to increase your faith is through the knowledge gathered through the word of God.  But just how important is your faith in all of this?

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).

From this passage, we see just how important faith is, for without faith, it is impossible to please God.  So, faith appears to play an important part in our ability to please God.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17).

Faith is not only important in pleasing God, it is also something that we are to live by, for the just shall live by faith.  As we read the scriptures, we find a number of Old Testament saints that were able to please God through their faith.  It was by faith that,

Abel made a better offering and more acceptable sacrifice to God than Cain did.  Because of his faith, Abel obeyed God and was able to obtain testimony, witness of his righteousness by God when he received God’s approval of his excellent offering.  And even though Abel is long dead, his voice still comes to us, teaching us about trusting God (Hebrews 11:4).

Enoch was translated, that is taken from the earth and carried up to heaven so that he should not see death.  Enoch was seen no longer nor was he found because God had taken him away.  But before he was taken away, he received testimony, evidence that he was well-pleasing to or had truly pleased God (Hebrews 11:5).

Noah, being warned and divinely taught about the things not yet seen, prepared an ark.  Moved by the fear of God, he reverently gave heed to God’s warning about the future and built the ark for the salvation and safety of his family.  And because Noah’s belief in God was the total opposite of the rest of the world, which was sinful and disobedient, the world was condemned because of Noah’s trust in God.  And because of his actions, Noah became heir of the righteousness, which depends on faith and one of those that God accepted (Hebrews 11:7).

Abraham, when he was called to leave home and go into a land that he was soon to receive for an inheritance, did as God said.  Abraham went out not really knowing where it was that he was going.  Abraham came and made his home for a time in a land that had been promised to him.  And even though he stayed in the land for some time, he lived in tents, as if he was a visitor in a foreign country, with Isaac and Jacob, who both were sharers with Abraham in the same promise.  Abraham did this because he confidently and continually looked forward to God bringing him to that strong heavenly city whose designer and builder is God (Hebrews 11:8-10).

Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed and power to give birth, when she was very old, well past the age of child-bearing, because she had faith in him who gave his word and judged him faithful who had promised (Hebrews 11:11).

Abraham, when he was tested, made an offering of Isaac because he trusted in God and in his promises.  Yes, it was because of faith that Abraham was ready to slay his only begotten son on the altar of sacrifice, even though God had promised Abraham a whole nation of descendents through Isaac.  Abraham believed that if Isaac was to die, God was able to raise him up and bring him back to life again.  In a manner of speaking, as far as Abraham was concerned, God did just that, he raised Isaac up and brought him back to life (Hebrews 11:17-19).

Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come for he knew that God would give future blessings to his two sons (Hebrews 11:20).

Jacob, when he was near death, gave a blessing to the two sons of Joseph and worshipped God while leaning on his cane (Hebrews 11:21).

Joseph, when he neared the end of his life, made mention of the children of Israel going out of Egypt.  He was so sure of what he had spoken; he gave them instructions concerning his bones.  He made the children of Israel promise to take his bones away with them (Hebrews 11:22).

The parents of Moses keep secret his birth for three months because they saw that God had given them an unusual child, one who was proper and fair and because they had no fear of the king’s commandment (Hebrews 11:23).

Moses, when he became a man, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter.  Feeling that it was better to undergo pain with the people of God, he chose to share in their ill-treatment and suffer their affliction rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.  Because he was looking forward to the great reward that God would give him, he thought it better to suffer for the promised Christ than to own all the treasures of Egypt.  And because he trusted God, he went out of the land of Egypt without fearing the wrath of the king.  He endured and kept on going as if he could see the invisible God right there with him.  And because he believed God would save his people, he did as God had instructed him to do and kept the Passover.  He commanded the children of Israel to kill a lamb and to sprinkle the blood on their doorpost so that the angel of destruction would not destroy the firstborn child in those homes as he did throughout the land of Egypt (Hebrews 11:24-28).

The children of Israel passed through the Red Sea as if it was dry land.  However, when the Egyptians, who were pursuing them attempted to do the same, they were overcome by the water and all drowned (Hebrews 11:29).

The walls of Jericho came tumbling down, after the children of Israel walked around them for seven days as God had commanded them to do (Hebrews 11:30).

The harlot Rahab, a prostitute, did not perish with them that believed not because she had taken into her house in peace and gave a friendly welcome to those sent to spy the land (Hebrews 11:31).

And then there were others; Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all of the prophets, who through faith and fully trusting God won battles, overthrew and subdued kingdoms, wrought and did righteousness, obtained or received what God had promised them.  Some were kept from harm’s way in a den of lions and in the fiery furnace.  Some escaped death and others were made strong again after being weak or sick.  Others were given great powers in battle as they made whole armies turn and run away.  Some women received their loved ones back by being raised from death.

Others who trusted God allowed themselves to be tortured and beaten to death, preferring to die instead of turning from God so they could go free because they trusted and believed that they would rise to a better life afterwards.  Some were tested by cruel mockery and scourging, having their backs cut open with whips, while others were held with chains and detained in dungeons.  Some were stoned to death, some were cut up with knives, killed with swords, and others were sawed in two.  Some were even tempted, promised freedom if they would only renounce their faith.

Some wandered about deserts and mountains in sheepskins and in goatskins, hiding in waste places and caves.  They were hungry, destitute, afflicted, tormented, and cruelly attacked.  And because they were not worthy of living in the world, the world was not worthy of them for they were too good for this world.  In condemning these people, the world condemned itself.  By shutting them out, the world shut out a source of blessings for itself.

And even though each of these people had faith, fully trusted God, and won his approval by receiving a good report through faith, none of them received the promise.  They all died in faith, not receiving any of the good things of the promise.  And since they all died in faith, without receiving any of the good things of the promise, God made it so that it was not possible for them to be complete and made perfect without us.

From all of this, we see just how important faith is.  The word tells us that God makes us right in his sight when we place our faith in him.  We see that these Old Testament saints that were able to please God through their faith.  And while they died before receiving the promise, they still walked by faith.  It was by faith that they were able to see the promise with delight afar off.  And in seeing the promise, they were persuaded by it and they embraced it.  The Good News tells us that God makes us right in his sight when we place our faith and trust in him.  So we ask one final time, Just how important is your faith in all of this?

Enjoy your blessings and remember to be a blessing to others - KW

1 comment:

  1. Glory 2 God....what a word of truth...