“But My righteous one shall live by faith;
And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.
“But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:38-39 (NASB)
I want a faith that saves. Don’t you? Throughout the Bible, we read about a generation of peculiar people, whose steadfast faith in God and in His promises, despite their circumstances, proved them to be righteous in God’s sight. Like the beggar who cried out to Jesus to make him see again (Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43). Or the Samaritan man healed of leprosy who came back to Jesus, praising God (Luke 17:14-19). Or the men who tore open the roof of the house Jesus was in to lower a paralyzed man inside to be healed (Mark 2:3-5; Luke 5:18-20). Or the sinful woman who cried at Jesus’ feet, wiped His feet with her hair, and poured out all she had in an alabaster jar of perfume (Luke 7:36-50). Or the woman with the issue of blood, who reached out to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment to be cleansed (Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48).
By their faith, all of these people, and many others, were healed of their diseases, their ailments, they were forgiven of their sins. Their faith opened their eyes to recognize Jesus as the Christ, the Savior of the world. Their faith saved their very souls because they believed in the power and mercy and goodness of God.
Another person had this kind of faith—Abraham.
“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.
“Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.” Romans 4:18-20 (NLT)
Abraham believed in God. He believed in the promise God made to him, even when it sounded absolutely crazy. And don’t you know, God will tell you some things that sound absolutely crazy? Like when Jesus told Martha that her brother, dead four days, will rise again. But she believed (John 11:23-27), just like Abraham believed.
And even in the ultimate testing of his faith, when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son, his one and only son, through whom God had promised many nations, Abraham still believed. He believed that God would provide a sacrifice in his place. But he continued to walk by faith, obeying God, and holding on to that promise. He built the altar, arranged the wood, tied up his son and laid him there. And just when he was about to drive the knife through him and slay his son, the angel of the Lord stopped him.
“‘Do not lay a hand on the boy,’ he said. ‘Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.’
“Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.” Genesis 22:12-13 (NIV)
Abraham’s faith was so strong, that he was willing to give up his only son, for whom he’d waited 100 years. I believe this event foreshadowed what God was about to do Himself. Seeing the faith of Abraham, and all who would come after him, God did not spare His own Son, Jesus Christ, but gave Him up for all of us (Romans 8:32), for our faith.
For we have that same firm belief as Abraham had, that God can and will do anything He promises, including sacrifice His one and only Son for our sins and raise Him up again so that we may belong to Him.
If you believe this, like these peculiar people, your faith has saved you.
“And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” Romans 4:23-25 (NLT)
Prayer of Salvation: Heavenly Father, I desire to be of this peculiar people, whose firm belief in your promises has saved them. You said in your word that if I confess with my mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, I will be saved. Father, I confess that Jesus is Lord, I believe that He died on the cross for my sins, and that through His resurrection, I have eternal life. Lord, please forgive me of all my sins. Cleanse me as you did this peculiar nation who’s only hope was that if they could just get close to you, if they could just touch you, they would be free. Touch me now with your Holy Spirit. Fill me with your grace, which you have freely given. Make me a new creature in you, for my old self has passed away and I now live a life of faith in your Son, Jesus Christ, who loved me and gave His life for me. To your name be all the glory for all you have done for me, then, now, and in the times to come. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.