Faith: the Access Point to God’s Kingdom

The righteous will live by faith.jpg

Romans 1:16-17 (NIV)   I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Biblical faith is the access point to God’s kingdom. There are several words associated with faith, such as: trust, confidence, believing and persuasion. Biblical faith is based on two but related factors:

On who God is (His Character or Attributes)

We can trust God because He is good, faithful, powerful, unchangeable, etc. It’s hard or even impossible to trust someone whose character questionable.

On God’s promises  (His Word)

We can trust God because He fulfills what He promises.  There are universal promises for every one, for instance the promise of f salvation “of everyone who believes.” (verse 16). We receive God’s free gift of salvation by trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ died for us so that everyone who trusts in Him shall live. God has promised in His Word “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame””  (Romans 10:9-11 NIV)

God also gives us specific promises for specific situations. We need specific guidance for specific circumstances. That’s why we need the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Faith is always a response to God’s specific word for a specific situation. We do not initiate faith, we respond to God’s promises by agreeing with what He says; that’s faith. Faith is different from positive thinking. It is also different from sheer optimism. Faith is not a  means of getting what we want but rather what God wants of us.  We need to remember that God’s ways are not our ways.

The Bible portrays Abraham as a classic example of people of faith.  “What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness”” (Romans 4:3). Abraham responded to God’s promises. He believed God.   He knew that God is true and able to fulfill what He promised.

Faith does not deny reality or attempt to run away from it.  “Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead– since he was about a hundred years old– and that Sarah’s womb was also dead” (Romans 4:19). Rather, Faith looks at reality from God’s perspective. “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:20-21).

My prayer is that you will live a life characterized by faith. After all, “without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6).

 

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