~by Randy Bushey
What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3).
By any measurement, the patriarch Abraham is a dominant figure in the Scriptures, being mentioned by name over 70 times in the New Testament alone.
In our recent study of Faith in Action from Hebrews 11 we looked at Abraham as an primary biblical example of audacious faith – audacious meaning to be bold, daring, fearless, unflinching, and courageous. In fact, audacious faith sometimes to those looking on, appears to border on reckless.
Here are the 5 Faith Principles we pulled from the story of Abraham’s life. By looking at our own lives through this 5-part lens, we can recognize where our faith needs attention:
#1) TRUST = Obedience: true biblical faith involves obedience to the Word of God. It is inconsistent and hypocritical of me to say I’ve got faith in Christ, when I refuse to live by the standards of holiness contained in the Bible.
#2) It is irrational not to obey: as we grow to better understand the character of the Triune God, it is foolish to disobey Him, because when we do, we remove ourselves from the place of His greatest blessing.
#3) Obedient Faith looks forward, and behind: true CAT faith (content, assent, trust) refuses to retreat. But, Abraham looked forward with faith that was robust, vigorous, assured and audacious because he could also look back to examples in his own life where God had clearly evidenced His faithfulness. These incidents constituted tests of faith and the child of God is emboldened and encouraged when reflecting on such occasions.
#4) Abraham believed God: this one sounds obvious, but often people say they believe in God. Here’s the distinction: Abraham believed God.
#5) Faith is God-given, providing present confidence in future reality. When addressing faith, the Apostle Paul explained: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).
Takeaway: faith is at the heart of the Gospel: to receive it, and to live it. And when we consider the majestic greatness of Christ’s salvation, our response of necessity should be one of humility and worship.
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness (Romans 4:1-5).
*graphic by John Paul Stanley at freebibleimages.org