"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.
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 and let us see the promises made in these verses. "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 everything and left his country, believing what God has said. This shows that Abraham was a man of faith, since he did what God told him to do immediately. However, when Lot went with him, he did not deny Lot, but took Lot with him. They came to Canaan. God appeared to Abraham and promised the land of Canaan to his descendants. "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." Then, Abraham separated himself from Lot. Abraham lived in Canaan and Lot lived in Sodom. God came to Abraham after Lot left him, and promised to give all the land to him. "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." Until now, it is not explained how, or which manner God appeared to him. But Abraham believed what God told him, and proved it by doing what God told him to do.
Abraham had a visitation from God in his dream. "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, "6 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 everything 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 a son, Ishmael from his Egyptian maid Hagar. It suggests that Abraham had more faith on Sara, than what he had in God. When he was 99 years old, he gave up the idea of having a son from Sara, his wife. He was satisfied with Ishmael. Please, you may read Genesis 17:1-16, and here God tells his plan and blessings that he has for Abraham and Sara, with their generation. Then 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!" What happened to his faith? It seems that Abraham had no faith of our kind, but he did whatever God told him to do, which is a different kind of faith. "Genesis 17:19 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." If we read the rest of the chapter, we will see that Abraham did what God told him to do immediately. So, if we will, we may see that our emphasis of faith is the condition of our mind to believe, and the emphasis of Abraham's faith is, in obeying God immediately.
God told Abraham to keep the covenant of Circumcision when he was 99, and Abraham obeyed God immediately. Paul used the word circumcision in two ways. It meant the group of people, who did the circumcision, in this case it refers to the Jews, and it also refers to the act of circumcision. Jews used to boast themselves, calling themselves circumcision and the Gentiles as uncircumcised. They assumed that they are blessed of God because of circumcision. Paul was telling them that God loved Abraham and all others because they obey God, Abraham was loved before circumcision, and circumcision has nothing to do with God's love. "Romans 4:9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised." Notice, in verse 9, Abraham's obedience to God in the Old Testament, is referred as faith in New Testament, and it is also refered as righteousness, which is obedience to God. So, faith is measured as how intensly we obey what God tells us to do, and it is not how intensly we believe in certain things. So also, if we walk like Abraham walked, that is if we obey as Abraham obeyed God, as in verse 12, we also have faith as Abraham had faith.
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 the mind power and somehow they include God in there, and we include Jesus Christ. Let us forget other religions, like we have seen before, Abraham's faith in God is 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 it is not pointed to how strong midedly he pursue his dreams. We Christians call mind power and psycology as faith. Faith has nothing to do wit what we desired, but what God tells us and how we do what he tells us to do. "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: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." Here, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, and Abraham obeyed it without asking any question, or any doubt. He thought that God may give isaac back, but even that Abraham did not confirm it with God. Abraham was on the process to kill his beloved son, and this act of obedience is called as faith of Abraham. It is not mind power or psycology. "Hebrews 11:7 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 obeying or doing what God told him to do, without asking any thing.
You may read another article on this topic from this link: "Faith." Thank you.
God Bless You