"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega .. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, .. they .. have right to the tree of life, and .. enter .. the city."
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
If you prefer to hear the video clip also, please click on this link: "Faith
If you prefer to hear the video clip also, please click on this link: "Faith of Abraham"
Praise the Lord! Alleluia! God made Abraham the father of faith, and God made him very rich. "Genesis 13:2 says Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold." But his eyes were fixed on the kingdom of God, but not on his riches. Hebrews 11 says: 9 "By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For Abraham looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Even though God has made him rich, his eyes were focused on the kingdom of God, but not on his riches.
God visited Abraham when he was 75 years old and told him to leave his country and his father's house. Then God made a covenant with him. Let us see the promises God made to Abraham. "Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came." Abraham left his country, believing what God has said. That is why Abraham was a man of faith. They came to Canaan. "7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him." God appeared to Abraham again and promised the land of Canaan to his descendants. "Genesis 13:14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee." It is not explained how, or which manner God appeared to him. But God talked to Abraham, Abraham trusted God, believed what God told him, and proved it by doing what God told him to do.
Abraham had a visitation from God in a vision when he was ninety-nine years old. "Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. 2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be." Abraham complained that he has no child and God replied that he will have his own child and his generation will be as much as the stars of heaven. Then verse 6 says, "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." Abraham will believe any impossible thing, if God tells him. In verses 7 to 18, God tells Abraham all thing what will happen to his generation, even incidents on and after the red sea and about the land they will inherit, and so on. Genesis chapter 16 tells us how he had his son Ishmael from his Egyptian maid Hagar. When he was 99 years old, he gave up the idea of having a son from Sara, his wife. He was satisfied with Ishmael. "Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. 2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly." Please, you may read verses 3-14, and here God tells his plan and blessings that he has for Abraham, Sara, and their generation, and it is through Isaac. In verses 15 and 16, God tells Abraham, "15 .., As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her." Now, look how Abraham responded to God here. "Genesis 17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? 18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!" Abraham was very satisfied with Ishmael and tried to talk God out of having another baby Isaac. "19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him." Even though Abraham was not for it, since it is the plan of God, he went ahead and had the baby Isaac. It is considered as Abraham's faith in God.
Let us study the faith of Abraham. "Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, ... 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be." That is, God told him that he will be the father of many nations, through his seed or son Isaac. If you look in the old testament, it is through Sara. Abraham and Sara were too old to have children. Even though there was no possible hope, Abraham hoped for it, because God told him. "19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform." That is, he did not allow the fact that he and Sara were too old, and their bodies were dead to produce a baby; to hinder the plan of God. In-spite of their deadness in their physical bodies, they went ahead and had the baby, because of the promise God gave them. What they have done is considered as faith. Don't forget what we see in these scriptures. That is, through Isaac; Abraham will become the father of many nations through Isaac; and it is God's promise. Abraham remembered this. Keeping this promise of God, let us read Hebrews 11. "17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called." When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham did not hesitate, but obeyed God because he knew that Isaac must live. So, he believed that even if he sacrifices Isaac, God will bring him back to life. So, Abraham took his knife to sacrifice Isaac. This intention of the sacrifice was imputed as faith to Abraham. One important thing is here, to notice. That is, the hope is initiated and given by God. Then, we must do what God tells us to do, hoping that God will fulfill his promise. This is faith. By faith, Abraham got Isaac as a baby, as well as he got him back from the altar. Most Christians call their own belief as faith. They plan to do something, hoping that God may bail them out. But bible faith is to trust the promise that God has made. If it was not initiated by God, not even by a verse in the Bible, it is not bible faith. If we venture something with the hope that God may bail us out, is not faith in God, but it is a good try. Secular faith is not faith in God, but it is a gamble.
Faith is now taught in every religion. Usually, Christians think that faith belong to Christianity. Not anymore; now everybody got it. However, faith is taught as mind power; in religion they include God; and Christians include the name of Jesus Christ. But to Abraham, faith is determined by how he obeyed God, and it is called as his righteousness, as well as his faith. "Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." See, Abraham's faith is directly pointed to how he obeyed God; and his vision is kingdom of heaven! Abraham did not have, nor pursue, any personal dreams in life. We Christians call psychic mind power to achieve our dreams as faith. Faith has nothing to do with what we desire, but it is to do what God tells us to do, to achieve the things which God wants us to achieve. "Galatians 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." God has included Abraham also in the gospel, by saying that "they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." Abraham's faith is to do the Will of God, and he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Abraham was doing what God told him to do, without doubting God. Let us also do that.
God Bless You
You may read another article on this topic from this link: "Faith." Thank you.