The Christian life is a life of faith. The righteous will live by faith. Rom.1: 17. The example of the enormous faith in the Bible is Abraham: Know that only those who believe are the children of Abraham (Gal. 3: 7). Abraham set as an example of what it means to live by faith. Abraham is the father of all of us. (Rom. 4:16). We are the seed of Abraham. His offspring characterized by faith. What does it mean to live by faith?
1) God is the initiator of faith. Gen. 12: 1-4a. Faith is our response to what God initiated on our behalf. “By faith, Abraham obeyed when he had to offer his son …”. He obeys God’s call. Faith is our response to what God initiated on our behalf. God took the initiative; we respond. The great heroes in Hebrews 11, like Noah, Moses Joshua, each returned to God’s unique calling for their lives.
Some people teach that their faith causes things to happen. When we believe in something that has not been initiated by God and try to make God respond to what we call faith by giving what we want, we are not in the realm of faith but manipulation. As a pastor, my ministry only applies because I continue to respond to the Father. When I became the initiator and made it as a respondent, I had reversed the role. I am God, and He is my servant.
Jesus shows the life of faith when on earth. “Surely, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything from Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does the same thing. I can’t do anything. From me. ” (John 5:19). Everything Jesus did was in response to what His Father initiated. He chose the disciples He did because His Father told him to. He turns water into wine because the Father told him to. He went through Samaria (John 4) because the Father told him to. He never did anything on his initiative. This is an example of the life of faith. Life of faith consists of learning more about His truth and His ways about our lives and responding to them.
When God told Abraham to move to a foreign land, Abraham was not afraid because God initiated his actions. However, when he moved to Egypt, he was ruled by fear. He told Sarah to pretend he was his sister. He is under the control of fear because God did not initiate the move.
Faith must focus on. People try to live by faith in faith. But faith must have an object to believe. Faith allows me to hold my object. In this way, faith brings us out of ourselves. That you think is not a problem with faith. What you believe is, is the object of your faith worthy of your trust? Does that meet your expectations? The strength of the purpose determines the strength of our faith.
What happens when your object of faith disappoints you? You are reluctant to trust that object again. Faith in God only fails when people have wrong expectations about Him, that is when they want Him to do things for them, not His. True faith believes what God says, not what we want Him to do. See Rom. 10: 17. The certainty of faith comes from the fact that God does not lie.
2) Christ is the main focus of our faith. What is the focus of your faith? To what does God direct Abraham’s faith? He has promised: In you, all families on earth will be blessed (Gen. 12: 3). When God called Abraham, He began His redemptive program throughout the world. All families on earth will be blessed, but how? Abraham and Sarah promised seeds. With that seed, God directs Abraham’s faith. What does the promise of seed mean?
God gave promises to Abraham regarding his natural seed, i.e., the people and the land of Israel (Gen.13:14-16). Isaac was only the beginning of this seed. ii. Abraham also promised a spiritual seed. See Gen.15:1-6. iii. But Christ is the Seed to which God referred. He is the Seed that promised from the beginning, in Eden (Gen.3:15). He is the Seed par excellence. Gal.3:16. See also Gal.3:8; 7-9, 26-29. Abraham believed in Christ and was made righteous. Jn.8:58.
Abraham failed many times. What God told him to do, he often didn’t do. What God him not to do, he often did! Abraham was not righteous because of his obedience, but because He believed in Christ the Seed. To have the kind of faith Abraham had is to become his seed. Rom.9:8; Jn.8:37-40.
The main object of our faith in Christ. In the entire Old Testament, which is about 80% of the Bible, faith only mentioned 15 times. The reason is that the main object of our faith, Jesus Christ, has not yet come to earth. Faith has not revealed (Gal. 3: 2223).
In the NT, 115 verses tell us that when someone believes (verb) he is saved, has eternal life, and is justified. Also, 35 verses tell us that someone saved, justified, or being righteous because of faith (noun). Total = 150 times. In each of these verses, no other conditions added. Nothing is mixed or added with faith as a precondition for salvation. The gospel, according to John, was written so that we could know how to receive eternal life, mentioned 86 times about faith. The NT clearly shows that salvation not based on whether the man has or not, but what or who he believes.
Our faith is not in the Bible but Christ. The Bible is God’s revelation of Jesus Christ. We can know our Bibles but not know Christ, as did the Pharisees (Jn.5:3940). If they understood the Bible, they would have known Him (Jn.5:4647). Many know what the Bible says but do not have a clue what it means. The focus of your faith will determine whether your faith will be rewarded. Abraham was strong in faith, giving glory to God (Rom.4:17-22). Those who have faith highly value Christ (1 Pet.2:7).
3) Grace is the partner to faith. 15:1-6. Grace and faith go hand in hand. They are partners, associates. Faith is the counterpart, compliment to grace. It is by grace through faith. Grace is God’s side; faith is our side. Grace is what He has done; faith is, not what we have to do, but how we receive what He has done. Jn.6:29. These two belong together and cannot be separated. If it is of grace, then it is by faith.
Abraham asked: How will we have children in our condition? The answer is, by grace. We have access by faith to the grace in which we stand. (Rom.5: 2). Without faith, it is impossible to please Him. Whatever is not from faith is a sin. Life by faith, that is, regards God as trustworthy. Because we have accepted Christ (by faith), then let us continue to walk in Him (by faith). See Gal. 2:20.
4) Thanksgiving is the language of faith. Gen.12:7. Abraham gave another promise concerning land. In response to that promise, he built an altar and worshiped the Lord, thanking Him for His commitment, as if he had already received it. The Canaanites were still in the land. See v.6.
We have accepted the sacrifice: Therefore, by Him let us continue to offer sacrifices of praise to God, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name (Heb. 13:15). We are urged: In all cases, say thank you (1 Thess. 5:18). Not only for what He has done but for what He will do, and that He has made us sufficient for all things. Complaining is the language of distrust; Thanksgiving is the language of faith.
Also, in our prayers, the pleading is the language of unbelief; Thanksgiving is the language of faith. We offer “Supplications with thanksgivings” Phil.4:6. Persevere in prayer and keep watch while giving thanks. Col.4:2.