Keith Hunt - Saving Faith - Part 2 Restitution of All Things


Saving Faith - Part 2

                    EXAMPLES OF LIVING FAITH

Abraham

     Gen.12:1-7

     1) When God called Abraham out of the land he was residing   
        in, did he ARGUE with God about leaving? Did he, in       
        FAITH, simply obey God?
     2) Did  God  promise  to  make of  Abraham  a GREAT NATION   
        and bless him abundantly?
     3) Did he BELIEVE God (see Gen.15:5-6)?
     4) Was the land of Canaan promised to Abraham(see also       
        Gen.15:7, Acts 7:1-5)?
     5) Did he have FAITH in God and His promises (Heb.11:9-10)?
     6) Was there certain CONDITIONS Abraham had to meet in order
        to inherit these promises (Gen.17:1-8)?
     7) Was this promise of eternal inheritance of the land of    
        Canaan to expand and  ultimately include the whole earth
        (Rom.4:13; Mat.5:5; Rev.5:8-10)?

Note.   In making His original promise to Abraham, God
conditioned it upon OBEDIENCE. The marginal reading for the word
"perfect" in Gen.17:1 is "upright" or sincere.
     Jesus told his followers that they should strive to be
perfect(or mature) just as God in heaven was perfect or mature
(Mat.5:48).
     Abraham met those conditions - he OBEYED God - Gen.26:5.
Abraham had faith in what God promised and he demonstrated that
faith - he performed that faith as James tells us (James 2:22) by
his WORKS - his OBEDIENCE to the Eternal's commands.
     Abraham BELIEVED God, so God could JUSTIFY him, forgive him
of his past sins - declare him to be righteous, because the KIND
of belief or FAITH Abraham had led him to OBEY God (James
2:23-24; Rom.2:31).
     The works that Abraham had were the works of OBEDIENCE to
the laws and commands of God.


     Ge.17:15-19

     1) Did God promise Abraham a SON through whom his family     
        would grow great?
     2) How old were Abraham and Sarah at the time?
     3) Did Abraham and Sarah TRUST God in FAITH, that what He    
        said He was able to perform (See Rom.4:18-21;             
        Heb.11:11-12)?
     4) Did God fulfil His promise to Abraham (Gen.21:5-7)?

Note.   The promise of God to make Abraham into a great nation,
was given when God called him out of Haran into Canaan
(Gen.12:1-4).  Abraham was 75 years old at the time. He had to
wait patiently for 25 years for the son through whom his family
would grow as numerous as the sand on the sea shore. During those
25 years Abraham demonstrated faith in his obedience to His will,
though at times he did sin, for he was not perfect as God is
perfect.


     Gen.22:1-19

     1) Did God tell Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac?
     2) Did he argue or rebel against the Lord, or did he obey    
        willingly?
     3) Was Abraham ready to slay his son?
     4) Did he have complete faith in God, that if necessary the
        Lord would resurrect Isaac (See Heb.11:17-19)?
     5) Did God stop Abraham from slaying his son?
     6) Why did the Eternal test Abraham this way?
     7) Because of Abraham's unquestioning obedience, did God     
        make His promises to him UNconditional (verses 15-18)?


Note.   Abraham did not hesitate to obey God - he did not argue
with God, or try to reason around the command of the Lord. 
Abraham simply OBEYED. He knew - he trusted God, had FAITH in God
that if Isaac was to be sacrificed, the Lord could raise him up
or give him another son to fulfil His promises.
     Abraham was FULLY PERSUADED that whatsoever God had
promised, He was able to PERFORM.
     Abraham's FAITH, trust in God, was COUPLED with WORKS - the
works of OBEDIENCE!
     God had tested Abraham's willingness to obey in and through
FAITH. After he had been put to the test and found faithful,
God's promise then became UNCONDITIONAL (verses 15-18).
     Abraham did faithfully obey God's commandments (Gen.26:5).
He is one of the great examples of LIVING FAITH.

     I found this in religious magazine: "A noted Bible teacher
once explained the reason so many Christians get a let-down after
a great spiritual experience. ' They get their eyes on the gift,
and take them off the giver ' he said. ' This is the meaning of
the dramatic story of God asking Abraham to offer up his only
son, Isaac. God wanted to see whether Abraham loved the Giver,
God, more that the gift, Isaac. When He saw that Abraham's love
for the Giver was greater than his love for the gift, God allowed
Abraham to keep the gift as well.' "



NOAH'S FAITH

     Gen.6:1-22

     1) Was the world in Noah's day full of wickedness, evil and  
        corruption?
     2) What did God say He would do?
     3) How would God destroy mankind?
     4) Who found grace - favor- with God?
     5) Why did Noah find mercy with God?
     6) What did the Lord instruct - command - Noah to do?
     7) Did Noah OBEY God?


Note.   In the days of Noah the whole earth had become corrupt
before God. Only Noah and his immediate family were worthy of
God's grace or mercy. Noah walked with God.  He was told by the
Lord to build a ship that would serve him and his family from the
watery destruction that would come to destroy all life from off
the earth.
     Noah BELIEVED God - he had FAITH in what the Lord said. He
willingly OBEYED the command. His trust and faith in God was
demonstrated by his works - his OBEDIENCE!
     There was no physical evidence that a flood would come upon
the earth. It would be 120 years before it would come (Gen,6:3),
but, "Prompted by faith Noah.....took heed and diligently and
reverently constructed and prepared an ark for the deliverance of
his own family....." (Amplified Bible, Heb.11:7).
     Noah's LIVING, active faith, was rewarded. He and his family
were saved from destruction and death.


SHADRACH, MESHACH AND ABEDNEGO

     Daniel 3:1-28

     1) Did Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, build a great image  
        of gold?
     2) Did he command all the people to bow down and worship     
        this idol  at  certain times?
     3) What was to happen to those who would not obey the king's
        order?
     4) Is one of the commands of God against the bowing down to
        idols(See Ex.20:4)?
     5) Did the three Hebrew men obey the king's order or the     
        command of God?
     6) What did the king of Babylon then do?
     7) How did the three men answer the king?
     8) What happened to them for staying faithful to God's       
        commandments?
     9) What did the king see as he looked into the fiery         
        furnace?
     10)Did God help, protect, and deliver, those three men?
     11)What did the king say about Shadrach, Meshach, and        
        Abednego?


Note.   This example of LIVING faith is one of the most thrilling
in the entire Bible.
     King Nebuchadnezzar was probably the most powerful king on
the earth at the time. His very word or nod of the head meant
life or death! He built this image for all to worship.  This was
in direct conflict to God's command that no idol was to be bowed
down to and worshipped.
     What would YOU have done had you been there at this time?
Would you have said: "Well, I have to bow down to this image or
I'll be killed."  Maybe you could have reasoned around it this
way: "God tells us to be subject to the powers of the state
government doesn't He? Then if I am killed for not obeying the
king, what will my wife and children do without me, or my close
relatives. Better to be a live coward than a dead hero."
     It can be easy to excuse ourselves from having to OBEY God
if we are looking for an excuse.

     Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, knew that where there was a
conflict between the laws of man and the commands of God, the
Lord should be obeyed (Acts 5:29). They knew that through FAITH
God makes it possible to obey Him!

     These courageous men were adamant in their display of faith. 
They firmly BELIEVED God was able to save them. They knew God
COULD  save them if He so chose, yet IF God did not choose to
save them from literal death, they still would obey the Eternal
first, before breaking His commandment.
     They had their eyes on the KINGDOM, on Eternal life, not
just this present physical life.  They were not afraid of what
man could do to their physical bodies, but had that right kind of
reverend fear, of what God could do to their eternal life
(Mat.10:28).
     These men refused to break God's commandment against
idolatry, even if it meant their death. They trusted - had faith
- in God for their ultimate salvation. Their faith was
manifested in works - OBEDIENCE to the laws of God.
     God made these men face this trial and test. They were
brought to the door - still willing to die than disobey God -
they were cast in. God allowed them to be tested to the
very end - all the way. They were faithful to the end.  
     Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, had real LIVING FAITH - the
kind of faith that SAVES.



OTHER EXAMPLES OF FAITH
     
     Paul in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews - commonly called
the FAITH chapter - enumerates MANY examples of faith. Such as
JACOB who in faith blessed the sons of Joseph and said they would
become a NATION and a MULTITUDE/COMPANY(or fullness) of NATIONS. 
And that Joseph's descendants would be in the latter days like
a fruitful vine by a well, whose branches would spread abroad -
they would possess the riches of the earth (see Gen.35;
48:22-26). This was a LAST DAYS prophecy (Gen.49:1).
There can be no doubt today that Jacob's faith - his trust in
God's promises - has been rewarded. These prophecies are
fulfilled in the peoples of the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic race,
who have inherited the wealth of the earth and have spread abroad
around the world. Joseph has truly become a company of nations
and a great nation. Jacob knew that what God had promised, HE was
able to PERFORM.

     There is recorded the faith it took to bring down the WALLS
of the great city of Jericho (Joshua 6).  In this account notice
that God told them to DO SOMETHING - walk around the city for
seven days, on the seventh day they were to walk only when told.
There was to be OBEDIENCE to God's commands - the people did obey
- the walls of Jericho fell!  Faith and obedience produced the
right results.

     David had faith that God would deliver him from the huge
mountain of a man called Goliath.  David had FAITH in God (1
Sam.17:37) for deliverance, but he also had WORKS - he had
practiced for months, years, with his SLING SHOT - he was an
expert marksman.  David did not have BLIND faith - he took FIVE
stones from the brook (verse 40) just incase he missed with the
first. He was humble enough to realize he could miss. 
Interestingly, the number five is used by God in the Bible as the
number for GRACE.  David had trust - faith in God, humility and
WORKS. He loved the law of God and throughout his life had the
attitude of wanting to OBEY and do the will of the Lord. He
was always ready to confess his sins and repent of them. He
wanted God to even reveal to him his secret faults and sins.  All
this can be found in the many Psalms David wrote which are part
of the Bible for us to read, study and meditate upon.

     Daniel was another man full of the LIVING faith of God. A
plot was undertaken to destroy Daniel.  He was to be accused of
breaking the law of the land, because he would not stop praying
to the true God (Dan.6:1-13).  The penalty for such violation of
this law of man was carried out - he was cast into the lion's den
(verses 14-17).  Daniel was, if it was the will of God, prepared
to DIE for his faith - his way of life with the Eternal.  He had
faith that no matter what the outcome, life or death in the
physical, he was God's.  He looked beyond this life to the next
life and the resurrection, to eternity. His faith lead to works
of obedience.  He believed God could deliver him from the lions.
God did choose to send His angel to deliver him from death.
     It does take faith to obey the laws and commandments of God,
even in the face of death. 

     
     On and on we could go, with example after example, of the
people of God who are recorded in the Bible, that exhibited by
their life and deeds they had LIVING FAITH.  There's the examples
of GIDEON, BARAK, SAMSON, RAHAB, MOSES, SAMUEL, RUTH, ESTHER and
many more.  Read their life stories, and as you do note their
faith, their LIVING faith.


     We are indeed saved by GRACE through FAITH and not of our
works(Eph.2:8).  All our good works from the beginning of our
life to the end, cannot pay for one single sin. All the good
works a murderer can do in his life cannot take away the penalty
of death for the one murder he committed. He is still on death
row for that sin. Only grace from the judge of the land, only
pardon from the authorities can release him from the death
sentence that hangs over his head for his sin.  Yet when that
grace is shown to him, he cannot go out and murder again. The law
against murder has not be made void because grace and mercy has
been shown to the guilty murderer. The law is still in effect. 
Grace, pardon, mercy, may be shown to the murderer upon the
CONDITION he deeply repents of his sin, and promises to abide by
the law from that time forward.  He is not saved from death by
works, by any good deeds, but the grace shown to him, and he
having faith in that grace, will and must lead him to LIVING
OBEDIENCE within the law.

     We are not saved by our works, but being saved by grace will
lead us to LIVING obedience to the law and will of God.  That
living obedience takes faith. It is the faith of Jesus IN us that
we live by as Paul said in Gal.2:20.  The life he lived was by
the faith OF Jesus who lived in him.  Actually Jesus promised
that BOTH the Father and He would come and live WITHIN the true
child of God (John 14:23).  They are ALIVE, they live!  So the
faith that is in us, is THEIR faith in us, because they live in
us, and so it is a LIVING FAITH.
     They live within us by and through the means of the Holy
Spirit, which is their NATURE (2 Peter 1:3,4).  One of the fruits
of the Holy Spirit is FAITH (Gal.5:22).  Another basic attribute
of the Holy Spirit is that it is the LOVE of God (Rom.5:5).  And
the love of God is that we will KEEP, OBEY His commandments - 1
John 5:3.
     So it all fits together like a perfect picture in a jig-saw
puzzle, when all the parts are collected and put together we have
a perfect whole.

     Many are not able to put all the parts together, they are
confused over many scriptures that seem to contradict each other,
as to the truth of the matter about being SAVED BY GRACE.  I have
an in-depth article on the subject of being saved by grace
through faith, and it will make the truth plain, so you will
understand about grace and living obedient faith as never before.
Please request it. I can send it to you either E-mail, or Regular
mail. It is free.

     The land of Canaan - the promised land - the land of REST -
was a TYPE of the ETERNAL LAND OF REST that God offers to all
people who will REPENT.  Who will look to God in FAITH for
FORGIVENESS of SIN, through the shed blood of JESUS.  Who will
be BAPTIZED as an outward expression of that repentance and
faith, and who will then live by the faith OF Christ - the same
faith He had - given to them by the indwelling of the very Spirit
and Nature of God. 
     Such persons will have a LIVING - SAVING FAITH - a faith
that BELIEVES all the promises of God, that He is able and will
perform all He has promised, a faith that leads to a humble life
of OBEDIENCE to God's will and commandments.
     That is the faith OF Christ in us. A faith that will ensure
all those who have it, ETERNAL LIFE in the very family and
Kingdom of God.


     Our next study will be ALL ABOUT BAPTISM.  We shall find
truth, inspiration, and also a few surprises along the way.

            .......................


First written in 1989. Re-written and revised in 1997.

 
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