ALL I have to do is believe?

The idea of belief and faith is one that I think Hollywood and others have misappropriated for their own purposes. It seems to be true that when a person is up against the wall that they are told that is the time that they have to have the most faith. The problem is that such faith is generally not based in any real evidence. Consider two passages, one from Romans and one from Hebrews.

In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,
(Rom 4:18-20)

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
(Heb 11:17-19)

The Faith of Abraham is an heralded example for us to follow, as well it should be. However, Abraham did not believe based on nothing. God had already been working with Abraham. For Abraham, the situation was not as we sometimes think, that he just ignored all the facts based on nothing (and the way people sometimes use faith today, it is truly nothing). No,  his faith was in the God who had called him to leave his homeland and had blessed him through the years. So what if 90 year olds don’t have babies and women who are both in their 80’s and barren on top of that don’t suddenly conceive. Those facts he could ignore, the fact he put his faith in was the promise of the Almighty. So what if a childless son who dies can not have children, Abraham could ignore the fact that dead children do not produce heirs, and put his faith in a promise that God had made that through that son, whom he was about to kill, God would make Abraham a great nation. How Abraham jumped to the conclusion that God could raise him from the dead is amazing in its simplistic faith. It may be simple but it was not based on “nothing”.

How do you define belief? In the last post we revisited the idea of  “fact acceptance” vs “actions in alignment with that fact that you accept”. To accept the fact and not live the fact, is of no value. Can that faith save? (James 2:14) However, there is also the idea that I can do whatever I want, as long as I accept that fact. That it can mean to me whatever it needs to mean to make me happy and satisfied. This is also an unfortuanate view.

When God struck down Nadab and Abihu, Moses told Aaron that God is to be sanctified by those who come near to him and glorified among the people. (Lev 10) So many want to do what they think is best and ignore clear Biblical teaching. When we repent, which I would argue is also something we need to do when we believe, we are not simply repenting of our sins, as in being sorry for them, but rather, changing our mind and mindset, doing a 180 degree turn from Satan who we were serving toward God whom we now choose to serve.

If you want to have a faith like Abraham’s, a saving faith, you need to believe and do as Abraham did. He followed God. No, not perfectly (which is a good thing since we would soon be discouraged by our imperfection) but faithfully.

Here is a question to consider: If you had been a Gentile in the day of Moses and came to the temple and wanted to follow God, what would they tell you to do? Why would they tell you to do that?  If you are a spiritual Gentile today and want to come to Christ, what are you told to do? why do they tell you to do that?

Lord, willing I will answer those in later days.


About Steven Sarff

If I were to offer any one piece of advice to one wishing to serve God, it would be to put Hebrews 11:6 and Acts 17:11 into action and let God guide you to grow in the grace and knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ.

Posted on February 1, 2012, in Christianity, Faith and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I like your thoughts and questions. An interesting blog.

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