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Category Archives: The attributes of God

What Is Faith Part 2

 


On my previous post, I wrote about faith and why we should place our faith in God alone. I wrote about the different attributes of God and no other deity past, present or future exhibits the qualities that God alone possesses.

For today’s post, I’m going to share the different Bible characters who exemplified faith and which is the compilation of what faith really means.

Hebrews 11 shows us great examples of faith:

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.

By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.

It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying – “he disappeared, because God took him.”  For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith-for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.

It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man who as good as dead-a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.

All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.

It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau.

It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff.

It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left.

It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command.

It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons.

It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red  Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned.

It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.

It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death.

But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.

All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.


REFLECTION:

The characters in the Bible showed exemplary faith but did not receive the promises of God. An example is the promise of Abraham where his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. (Genesis 22:17). We can all testify that this promise was just fulfilled in our lifetime. But look at how Abraham’s faith is. He did not see God but aligned his life to following God’s will.

Another is Joseph. He died with the promise that his people, Israel would go back to their promised land. He was so sure of the promise that he even told his people to carry his bones when they leave Egypt.

These people did not have the Bible to rely on nor other people before them to emulate. They each showed such faith that they were willing to die for it. Some were tortured, thrown into the lion’s den and even sawed in half. They were willing to give up their lives and not enjoy the momentary pleasures of this life but were looking for the great price ahead.

In our time, we have numerous Bibles, examples of faith-filled people but oftentimes we still fall short of our belief in the Almighty. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). So whatever he did in the past, He will surely follow through because he has no sin, can’t lie and is perfect. There is no shadow of him turning. (James 1:17).  Whatever He says in his word, he will complete it with surety.

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What is Faith?

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What is faith? Faith is often heard in churches and in conversations among Christians. But do we really know what faith means?

Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (Hebrews 11: 1 and 3).

Faith is based on the person of Jesus Christ, the source of Truth. For Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).

God has given everyone a measure of faith. That means that the level of each person’s faith is different from that of another person. You may have little faith while the other might have more faith than you do. But whatever the case, whatever measure you’ve been given, we each have to nurture it for God’s glory and for our own benefit.

A story depicts this example.

A boy was demon possessed and the disciples couldn’t drive him out. When the boy’s father came to Jesus for healing, Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of him and was healed at that moment. Then the disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” Then Jesus replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing is impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:14-20).

A mustard seed is the smallest seed of all and Jesus said that if we have faith as small as the seed, we can move the mountain from its place. This doesn’t mean the actual mountain, though God can do that but this could be referred to sickness, habit, attitude or anything that holds you back. If you put your faith towards your healing, change in habit or attitude and you ask it in Jesus name with faith that He will do it without any doubt in your heart, then He will do it. Your faith should not be on yourselves but on the Lord who will do the work on your behalf.

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Why should we have our faith in God alone?

Let us examine God’s attributes who is the object of our devotion:


1. Omniscient
– God is all-knowing. He knows the end from the beginning. The psalmist said that God’s understanding has no limit. (Psalm 147:5). The riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God is so deep. His judgments are unsearchable and his paths are beyond tracing out. (Romans 11:33).

2. Omnipotent – God is all-powerful. Nothing is impossible for Him. Job 42:2 says God can do all things; no purpose of His can be thwarted. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. (Genesis 18:14).

3. Omnipresent – God is everywhere. He is not contained in one location. Proverbs 15:3 says that the eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. God is both far and near. No one can hide in secret places that the Lord can’t see them. He fills both heaven and earth.

4. Immutable– The Lord changes not. He is God from everlasting to everlasting. He existed before the mountains were brought forth and even before the earth and the whole world was formed. (Psalms 90:2).

5. Holy – There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. (I Samuel 2:2). When God revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush God told Him, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:5-6).

6. Righteous – The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. (Psalm 145:17).

7. Sovereign – God’s sovereignty represents his holy will and will do whatever he pleases. This is the attribute by which He rules his entire creation being all-knowing and all-powerful.  In His Word, God declares: “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me … I say: ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.'” (Isaiah 46: 9-10). The sovereignty of God is infinite and the use of His power is defined by His other attributes. Characteristics such as truthfulness, goodness, faithfulness, righteousness, and love define God’s every action. While we are given a free will and are able to make choices and decisions that shape our lives, we can surrender our hearts, souls, minds to ways that are consistent with His holy will. In this way, we honor the Creator and Sustainer of all things, recognizing that  God is truly sovereign.

8. Love – God is love. This is exemplified at the cross in Calvary. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13). We only have a glimpse of His love but can’t fully comprehend the depth and height of God’s love for us.

9. Merciful – It is through God’s mercy that we are not consumed. God did not give us what we deserved as sinners but offered a way of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:4-5).

10. Trinity – God manifests Himself in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. All three are a hundred percent fully God. Romans 1:7 speaks of the Father, Hebrews 1:8 refers to the Son, Jesus Christ. And the verses the speak about the Holy Spirit are Acts 1:8, Galatians 5:22 and John 14:26.
With these incredibly wonderful God’s attributes, it sure makes sense to put our trust in God alone.

If you still have some doubt about it, let Romans 10:17 speak to you which says, Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Knowing the Lord through His Word every day is the proven way to improve your faith. So gear up and dig deep and enjoy the journey.

 

References:

Peach, David. (2012, February 29). Re: 10 Awesome Attributes of God. Retrieved from http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/10-awesome-attributes-of-god

Attributes of God.(n.d) Retrieved from http://www.allaboutgod.com/attributes-of-god.htm

 

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