What is faith and why is it so important?
Faith is the trust you place in a person based on experience and personal connection.
If someone has cheated, lied, and harmed us, it will be difficult to trust that person. If someone is honest, loving, and kind, they will be much easier to trust.
We read in Galatians that Abraham “believed God.” He was able to trust God because he had a personal knowledge of God and knew him to be faithful.
Faith is not a blind “leap in the dark,” but is rooted in knowledge. “To know” in the Bible refers to intimate relations between a husband and wife. Knowledge is more than “head” knowledge. It is knowledge based on a relationship.
Paul knew that Abraham had faith based on personal knowledge of God.
— Galatians 3.6-9 – Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham.
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would reckon as righteous the gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the gentiles shall be blessed in you.”
For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.
Why is faith important? Abraham and everyone who trusts God like him is reckoned as righteous and are part of God’s family.
Abraham had an exciting journey as he followed God’s guidance. In today’s YouTube video, Rudy Ross speaks of Abraham’s journey and the results of his faith.
Part of Abraham’s journey involved the mission God gave him. Notice the last verse of Abraham’s call, where “all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” That includes us.
— Genesis 12.1-3 – “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Before we consider the next section of Paul’s discussion of Abraham, let’s make some practical applications.
(1) Our ability to trust God will deepen as we get to know him better.
(2) Faith in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) transforms our life and makes us members of God’s family. Salvation is by grace and faith alone.
(3) God’s blessing was not to be Abraham’s private possession but was to be given to the world, The same is true for us. God has blessed us, so we can share it with others.
Nothing More is Needed
Nothing more than genuine faith is needed to have a relationship with God. In fact, human efforts to add to our salvation experience dishonor the work of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
— Galatians 3.10-14 – For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law.”
Now it is evident that no one is reckoned as righteous before God by the law, for “the one who is righteous will live by faith.”
But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, “Whoever does the works of the law will live by them.”
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—
In order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
The phrase, “the works of the law,” refers to the boundary markers that were considered necessary to participate in the family of God – circumcision, Sabbath and the Law observance, and food laws.
Anyone who has attempted to keep the commandments for a day knows how difficult that challenge is. Paul is correct when he states that we can’t be counted as righteous before God through human activity. We need something more.
In fact, the human problem is so serious that it took the death of God’s Son to provide a cure.
When faith accepts what Jesus did on the cross an amazing transformation occurs. The Holy Spirit enters our being and we become new humans.
I never tire of seeing God’s transforming work in action. People hear the good news and receive it by faith. The Holy Spirit takes over and changes God’s enemies into friends.
Let’s challenge ourselves to participate in God’s blessing for the world. Ask God to show you someone who needs to know the good news of his love.
Build a relationship with that person and pray for them each day.
When the Spirit prompts you, ask them if you can tell your story to them. Include the following:
— What was life like before meeting Jesus Christ?
— How you came to meet Jesus as your friend, Lord, and Savior. Include the facts of his life, crucifixion, and resurrection.
— What is your life like, since you have been following Jesus?
Ask the person if they have any questions. Then, tell them about how prayer is a way we tell Jesus we are trusting with our lives.
Dallas Willard Video
Each day this week, Rudy Ross and I are encouraging readers of the blog and viewers of our video to listen to Dallas Willard. Please take the time to learn from a spiritual giant.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.