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Do you have faith?

April 18, 2016

The story of Abraham offering Isaac on Mt. Moriah stands out among the great stories in the Old Testament as one of the most beautiful illustrations of salvation. The story gives a vivid illustration of substitutionary atonement. Genesis 22 also shows an incredible example of living by faith. Despite instances of unbelief and failure Abraham stands out in the Bible as a great model of faith. Hebrews 11 lists Abraham twice in the record of faithful men. The second reference points to Abraham’s faith in obeying God and offering up Isaac. “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”

When Abraham placed Isaac on the altar he was not only preparing to put his son to death he was also giving up his own attempts to make the promises of God come to fruition. Abraham did not know how God was going to keep His promises, but he was convinced He would so. This great spiritual forefather is a model of faith. Abraham was convinced God would keep His promises even if it required bringing Isaac back from the dead.

Faith does not just profess to believe God. Faith obeys God. This does not mean that a person is saved by obedience. Saving faith produces faithful obedience, but obedience never produces, or secures, salvation. Faith is so convinced of the faithfulness of God that it will follow God’s commands though it cannot see the course God has set. Abraham did not know where he was going when he left for the promised land, but he obeyed. Abraham did not know how God was going to keep His promises when he went to sacrifice Isaac, but he obeyed.

Far too often circumstances dictate the extent of obedience. Trust in God often wanes when confronted by giants, the lack of water, the lack of food, the armies of the Egyptians or some other unexpected, difficult obstacle. A lack of faith starts trying to help God fulfill His promises. Like Abram and Sarai, doubt sees the lack of a child and supplies a Hagar in a futile attempt to produce the heir God promised.

Faith reads the commands of God and obeys. Whether it be loving your wife, submitting to your husband, obeying your parents, working diligently for your employer, speaking graciously, preaching the gospel, studying the Word, attending church, serving others selflessly, rebuking evil, praying always or any of the dozens of other commands given in the New Testament, faith simply obeys. Faith doesn’t have to figure out how things are going to work out. Faith doesn’t first discover how God is going to work out all things before obeying. Faith obeys. Faith doesn’t have to understand exactly how God is fulfilling His promises in the particular circumstances. Faith knows the commands of God and obeys.

Do you have faith?


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