By Faith Abraham Obeyed

Hebrews 11:1,6 ESV

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen… And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

The faith that it takes to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation from sin comes from God. Jesus Christ is the author and perfecter of our faith, and faith is gifted to us by God. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ, i.e. unless he first persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness, and as to our sinfulness, and as to our need to repent of (turn away from) our sin to follow Jesus in obedience to his ways.

[Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3-4]

Faith is also action and it is obedience. It is not a mere intellectual or emotional assent to who Jesus is and to what he did for us on that cross in dying for our sins. And Hebrews 11 gives us many examples of people of faith and of the things that they did by faith. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain. And by faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

And there are many more examples of faith in action listed for us here in Hebrews 11, only a few of which will I cover in this devotion.

Hebrews 11:7 ESV

“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”

Now, what if Noah told God, “I believe you,” but then he didn’t do what God said to do? Would his faith have been genuine? I mean, he obeyed God, and he did what he said, and he built the ark under God’s instructions, and he and his whole family and two of every kind of animal, fish, and bird, etc. were saved from the flood that destroyed everyone and everything on the earth. But what if he had not obeyed? He and his whole family and all the creatures of the earth would have perished in the flood. His faith, therefore, would have done him no good.

And we can certainly parallel this over to our own salvation. For, like James said, “Faith without works is dead.” It is just like Jesus said when he said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will inherit the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God. And he said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. Our faith is shown by what we do.

So, just like if Noah had not obeyed, he and his whole family would have perished in the flood, if we do not obey Jesus Christ with our lives, we also will perish. We will not inherit eternal life with God. It is what the Scriptures teach. We not only must walk in obedience to our Lord but we must also NOT continue walking (in conduct, in practice) in sin. For this is the essence of the gospel message that Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).

Hebrews 11:8,12 ESV

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going… Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”

And what about Abraham? How good would his faith had been if he had not obeyed the Lord? The nation of Israel of the Old Covenant would not have been birthed, and Jesus would not have been born through that nation. Now, God certainly is not hindered by the disobedience of humans. So, God’s plans for humanity would still have taken place, but Abraham would not have been the one through whom these things came.

But the point of this is that faith must be accompanied by obedience or it is not genuine faith. And that is what we are taught all throughout the New Testament with regard to our faith in Jesus Christ, too. For, genuine faith in Jesus Christ results in us dying with Christ to sin and being raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him. And our faith is proved genuine by our obedience, for if we continue living in deliberate sin we will die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life with God. But if we walk in obedience to our Lord, then we do have eternal life with God. So, faith = obedience.

And then we have many more examples here of such faith in action, such as Moses obeying the Lord and freeing the children of Israel from their captivity in Egypt and then him leading the people for forty years in the wilderness and him giving them the laws of God. And then the children of Israel crossed the Red sea as on dry land by faith, and by faith the walls of Jericho fell down after the people had encircled them for seven days, etc.

And then there were many who were tortured, who suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. And some were stoned, and some were sawn in two, and some were killed with the sword. Many were destitute, afflicted, and mistreated, some wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. They all endured such suffering by faith in God (in Christ) and because of their faith.

So, just know that faith in God, in Christ, if it is genuine, results in action and in obedience to the Lord or else it is not genuine faith. So, we can’t just profess with our lips that we have faith and then continue living in sin and in willful disobedience to our Lord. For Jesus died on that cross to free us from our slavery to sin so we will now live holy and godly lives, pleasing to him.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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