"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
False preachers also admit that we must have faith in order to be to be saved. But, they have their own versions of faith. Among the many versions, they use the following statement for this context. They say that Jesus Christ has finished the work of our salvation on his cross, since he proclaimed, "it is finished." So, faith is to say this: "We are saved by the finished work of Jesus Christ and by his work alone." They say this and call it their faith. And they think that they are saved through faith. It is deceiving themselves.
God told Abraham that his covenant was with him and asked him to walk perfect before him. He also gave circumcision to Abraham as a sign for the covenant. "Genesis 17:1 … the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect… 4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations… 11And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you." The scripture explains that since God already found Abraham with faith, he made the covenant with Abraham. Here, before his circumcision Abraham represents the entire world and after the ceremony he represents Israel. "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. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe…" Here we see that Abraham had the righteousness of faith even before God made the covenant with him. Circumcision was given to him, as sign or as a seal or token for his righteous faith or living faith. But, Israel took the circumcision, without righteous faith (that is without obedience). So also Christians call themselves as godly people without obeying God. God has rejected Israel from being his people, took away the temple and left Jerusalem to be trodden by their enemies. In the same way, God is rejecting Christians from being his people. But without knowing it, Christians boast themselves by their dead faith or faith without obedience that is righteousness.
Abraham did not consider his own inability, but he considered the promise of God. "Romans 4:19And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead… 20 … but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform." Abraham trusted the word of God about the seed of his son Isaac. So, he did not hesitate to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. "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." We see that Abraham acted upon every promise of God by obedience; even when it came to sacrifice his only loving son. "Genesis 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; 5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." That is, since Abraham kept or obeyed all that God told him, God has blessed him and gave the covenant.
The faith of Abraham was to inherit the eternal kingdom, but not for the things of this world. "Hebrews 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Our belief and faith must be like the belief and faith of Abraham if we want to be the children of Abraham by faith. "John 8:39 … Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham." But, if we do not obey what God tells us to do, we do not have faith.
But, what is the true Faith? "Hebrews 11:1 ... faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Two examples are given here for faith. (1) the substance of things hoped for. (2) the evidence of things not seen.
(1) Substance of the Hope: The hope of a believer is that they will see Jesus Christ on his second coming. "Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" The substance of hope is that they will purify themselves as he was pure. "1 John 3:2 ... but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." They will purify themselves and be pure. Faith is not making just a statement, but the substance of hope, which is faith, is purifying themselves as Jesus Christ is pure, and it is for the hope of eternal life.
(2) Evidence of things not seen: (1) and (2) are the same, since they are synonyms for faith. Things not seen are in eternity, "it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him." But the evidence must be seen by all. Here, it is the pure life of the believer, since he/she "purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
Through faith we will be saved. By the vision of the coming Lord of lords and king of kings, who is the Glorified Lord Jesus Christ, a believer will purify his/her life. This is the true faith and this faith will be seen as a substance and an evidence. The Bible faith is not the mind power. Mere statements without conversion is not faith, but lies. Those who do not have this vision of the Glorious Lord cannot have this faith. Believers are saved only through this faith of the Bible.
If you are interested in a complete lesson on 'faith', please click on this link: Link is "Faith."
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