By Faith

So what is faith? Hebrews 11:1-2 says, “ Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen. For by it the people of old gained approval.”

Let’s take a closer look into faith.

Romans 4:1-5 tells us this, “What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?  For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God.  For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”  Now to the one who works, the wages are not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.”

Hebrews 11:8-10 says this about Abraham, “God called Abraham to travel to another place that He promised to give him. Abraham did not know where that other place was. But he obeyed God and started traveling because he had faith.  Abraham lived in the country that God promised to give him. He lived there like a visitor who did not belong. He did this because he had faith. He lived in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who also received the same promise from God.  Abraham was waiting for the city that has real foundations. He was waiting for the city that is planned and built by God.”

Galatians 3: 6-9 tells us, “Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.  Therefore, recognize that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.  The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.”  So then, those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.”’

Hebrews 11:18-19 goes on to say, “God tested Abraham’s faith. God told him to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham obeyed because he had faith. He already had the promises from God. And God had already said to him, “It is through Isaac that your descendants will come.” But Abraham was ready to offer his only son. He did this because he had faith.  He believed that God could raise people from death. And really, when God stopped Abraham from killing Isaac, it was as if he got him back from death.”

We see that faith is an important part of one’s walk with God. Faith is powerful and without faith we can’t even begin to please God, let alone have Him answer our prayers.

Hebrews 11:5-6 tells us this, “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for before he was taken up, he was attested to have been pleasing to God.  And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for the one who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He proves to be One who rewards those who seek Him.”

James 5:13-16 says, “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray.  Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.  Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Matthew 21: 21 says, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.”

Today, do you have the faith to move mountains? Do you have the faith in God that He will answer your prayers? Can you say that you are a child of Abraham, the father of faith? 

Let’s continue to look at faith.

How about Isaac’s faith? Why does the Bible not recognize the faith of Isaac when his father was going to offer him to God? We see here in  Genesis 22: 7-10 that Isaac questions his father,  “Isaac spoke to his father Abraham and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”  Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. And Abraham reached out with his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.” 

 Did Isaac have faith in God? Did he also have faith in his father, that what he said about God providing the lamb was true? He must have, because we see that Abraham bound Isaac without a struggle. 

Abraham believed that if he killed his son, God would raise him up from the dead. Does this all sound familiar?  How about Yeshua? Does it mention Yeshua’s faith? Does the Scripture say, “By faith the Messiah died for us?” 

Luke 22: 39-44 says, “And He came out and went, as was His habit, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him.  Now when He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you do not come into temptation.”  And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray,  saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.  And being in agony, He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.”

People think that Yeshua was hesitant to go to the cross, but this is not true. The Messiah was broken hearted because He knew that He was going to be separated from the Father. This is what going to hell is like. Yeshua took upon Himself our sins, and in so doing, He died in His sin, which resulted in Him going to Hell, which is total separation from God. When Yeshua said not My will, but Yours be done, He was walking in faith, trusting God to raise Him up again.

 John 10:17-18 says,  “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it back.  No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it back. This commandment I received from My Father.”

As we saw with Abraham, so too with Yeshua, that obedience is a big part of faith.  It is through obedience and faith that righteousness comes.

Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. So too, with Yeshua.

You see, Yeshua, like Isaac, also believed that what His Father said to Him was true, and He also believed that God could raise the dead like Abraham believed.

The shed blood of Yeshua, His sacrifice on our behalf was credited to Him as righteousness, because it was done in faith.

Romans 5:18-19 tells us this, “In other words, just as it was through one offense that all people came under condemnation, so also it is through one righteous act that all people come to be considered righteous.  For just as through the disobedience of the one man, many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the other man, many will be made righteous.”

Isaiah 61:10 says, “I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a groom puts on a turban, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

So we see the faith of Abraham and the faith of Messiah, and we see that they were righteous before God, so how about us? 

1 Peter 2:21-24 says this, “For you have been called for this purpose, because Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you would follow in His steps,  He who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being abusively insulted, He did not insult in return; while suffering, He did not threaten, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself brought our sins in His body up on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness; by His wounds you were healed.” 

Are we following in Messiah’s example? 

Romans 1:16-17 says, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written: “But the righteous one will live by faith.”

Are we walking in the footsteps of the Messiah? Do you have the faith to pick up your cross and follow Him? Today, Christians do not consider the cost of discipleship. (Discipleship means in the true sense of the word to be like the one you are following.) Christians  do not live by true faith. Faith that comes by obedience to God’s will.  We have become weak. 

Let’s read it again Romans 1:16-17 says, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written: “But the righteous one will live by faith.”

When we live by God’s Word, and walk by the True Light, then we will set the example of a true believer, who not only lives by faith, but speaks in faith. We will want to please God in righteous living, and in so doing, we will see great miracles in signs and wonders. We will see prayers answered, and even mountains being removed, and the righteous person living by Faith will  be a true beacon of light to the world.

Paul says in  2 Timothy 4:7-8, “ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;  in the future there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

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