Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A picture of real faith

It is by faith that we are saved, not by being good and moral person.
Romans 4 v.4-5 (MSG) “If you're a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don't call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it's something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.”

Paul uses Abraham as a good example of someone who was saved by faith. Paul is not suggesting here that God’s laws are unimportant, he is emphasizing faith. It is impossible to be right with God by simply following the law He gave us, we have to obey them. If a person could be set right with God by “being good”, then the salvation Christ offers wouldn’t be free – it would be earned or looked at as an obligation. We can’t be good enough even if we tried. We have to rely on the grace and mercy God gives. We have to trust that He knows what is best for our life even if we wouldn’t agree with what He thinks is best.

The Message puts it this way in verses 13-16. “That famous promise God gave Abraham—that he and his children would possess the earth—was not given because of something Abraham did or would do (emphasis mine). It was based on God's decision to put everything together for him, which Abraham then entered when he believed. If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract! That's not a holy promise; that's a business deal. A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise—and God's promise at that—you can't break it. This is why the fulfillment of God's promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does (emphasis mine). God's promise arrives as pure gift. That's the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father—that's reading the story backward. He is our faith father.”

Abraham pleased God because he trusted, believed and had faith in God and his promises. Even though Abraham made mistakes along the way, he consistently trusted God. His faith was strengthened by the hurdles he faced.

Like Abraham, it is up to me to look at the “mountains” in my life as a way to strengthen my faith in Christ. He can move the “mountain.” Whatever it is I am going – marriage and family issues, job issues, people conflicts - Christ is strong enough to handle it. There is absolutely nothing too difficult for him. If I have faith and trust in Jesus, I can make it through anything and my faith will be strengthened as a result. The same is true for anyone who chooses to trust in Christ and allow Him to “call the shots” in their life.

Related reading: Isaiah 41:10, 13; Romans 8:28; Proverbs 3:5-6; Jeremiah 32:17, 26-27

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