Sometimes we make things a bit too theological, wanting to know all the details of a doctrine, but simple faith is trusting God and believing His word.
How do we obey this call to test ourselves, to know whether we are in the faith? A good place to start is to see how God measures faith, beginning with Abraham.
The first commandment sets the stage for understanding Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac. God wanted to know: Would Abraham put Him first and have no other god?
Faith permitted Enoch, Noah, and Abraham to receive God's personal calling. Like our patriarchs, we were called while we lived in the wicked world.
Faith is simple in concept; it is believing what God says. Yet it is difficult to display in our lives, and it is often tested. Here is some evidence of faith.
Far from being blind, faith is based on analyzing, comparing, adding up from evidence in God's Word, our own experience, and our calling by God's Holy Spirit.
God's calling is personal and individual rather than general, opening otherwise closed minds, replacing spiritual blindness with spiritual understanding.
Using assumptions, some have concocted some nine conflicting calendars. The preservation of the oracles has not been entrusted to the church but to the Jews.
Based on his long friendship with God, Abraham could systematically calculate the reliability of God's promises even in the lack of visual evidence.
Abraham is the only biblical character singled out as a type of God the Father. He is also the only one to be called 'friend of God,' and is a good model.
We learn from Abraham's experience to trust God even when we have incomplete information. When we attempt to take the expedient way out, we will run into trouble.
Faithfulness in a person ultimately rests on his or her trust in God, and if a person is going to be faithful, its because he or she believes what God says.
Abraham embodied living by faith. Through perpetually living in a tent, he demonstrated his complete trust and reliance upon God.
Abraham was willing to lay down his life to rescue his nephew Lot. His sacrifice shows us what kind of effort and sacrifice is needed to wage spiritual war.
The constant tests to which God submits His people enable them to build character by responding in faith. God perfected Abraham's faith through difficult trials.
Martin Collins maintains that of 80% of professing 'Christians' most do not really understand God's Word or the eternally binding, immutable Laws it teaches. Paul, after enumerating the points of his impressive Jewish pedigree in Philippians 3, calls it all rubbish in comparison to Christ. The value of human righteousness can be …
'Grace' is a term that represents God's awesome generosity toward us, His continuously flowing blessings and saving acts. It goes beyond just forgiveness.
Jesus and Abraham rose above their emotional pulls by exercising living faith—a faith built on acts of obedience. Faith can never be separated from works.
Not all waiting is actually waiting on God. We might convince ourselves that we are waiting on God, when He is really waiting for us to move forward.
The virtue of love gets the most attention, yet the life of Abraham illustrates how foundational faith—belief and trust in God—is to love and salvation.
Far more than on any other hero of faith, Hebrews concentrates on Abraham as the father of the faithful, the Bible's premier example of walking with God.
In this keynote address of the 2007 Feast of Tabernacles, John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Abraham's pattern of life, answers the question, 'Why is the Church of the Great God doing what it is doing at this time?' Abraham and Sarah's life of faith is the pattern that God's called-out ones are obligated to follow. Interestingly, …
Abraham, the father of the faithful, did not have a blind faith; it was based upon observation of God's proven track record of faithfulness.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that God based the awesome promises He gave to His friend Abraham on the patriarch's proclivity to believe Him even when he had only partial and sometimes disturbing information. Abraham remained a lifetime sojourner, owning no land except for Sarah's tomb. His offspring, after some 400 years, received …
John Ritenbaugh asserts that the seven "I will" promises given to our forefather Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3 were truly "big deal" foundational promises impacting the lives of multiple billions of lives up to the present day and that Abraham and that Abraham could fathom them only by calculating within his …
Americans (indeed most of the industrialized world) tend to be skeptical, cynical, and jaded, demanding mountains of evidence before becoming convinced of anything. We run the risk of losing our childlike credulity, becoming calloused, hardened, and stiff-necked like our forebears on the Sinai, even though God Almighty supplied …
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that a spiritual Israelite, following Jacob's example, undergoes a metamorphosis in which his own stubborn, self-centered will is broken so that God's creative work can be completed within him. Abraham, whose very name connotes faithfulness, learned to work through fearful catch-22 dilemmas, walking by …
Charles Whitaker, reflecting upon the blessings of Abraham, asks " what is it about Abraham that we should look to him?" As Churchill proclaimed, sometime it is necessary to look backward in order to look forward. The promise given to Abraham was actually the Gospel, extending God's blessing to his family and all the …
The name Isaac—'laughter'—suggests his optimistic disposition, someone not afflicted by fear and doubt. Isaac serves as a type of Christ, honoring his father.
Trials define who we are by placing choices before us, forcing us to have faith in God. Character is built by making right, though difficult, choices.
As a biblical motif, the third day indicates a colossal turn-around from hopelessness to victory. The third day revival motif recurs throughout Scripture.
The dwelling in booths and the sacrifices were the context for rejoicing at the Feast of Tabernacles. The booths depict our current lives as pilgrims.
Contrary to Dominion Theology, the Parables of the Mustard Seed and Leaven are not about the church but describe the history and condition of Israel.
Martin Collins, reflecting on Abraham's obedience to God, observes that character is determined by response to tests. Obedience and concrete works must follow and prove the existence of faith. Real saving faith is a gift from God, but we are obligated to walk by this faith, developing incremental levels of faith through …
We must emulate Christ, who learned through suffering, preparing Himself for His role as High Priest. Giving in alienates us from the fellowship with God.
Selfishness in any form turns Christianity on its head, making a mockery of the many sacrifices that form its foundation and the grace of God that makes it possible.
The timing of Christ's crucifixion does not coincide with the Passover, but instead lines up with the covenant God made with Abraham, marking a major fulfillment.
Richard Ritenbaugh, citing Mark Twain's aphorism, "The art of prophecy is difficult, especially with respect to the future," points out that there are too many variables for any human to predict accurately. We can be thankful that God's prognostications and prophecies are totally trustworthy, many of which have already …
Commitment to a course of action is essential for physical or spiritual success. Faith motivates and sustains right action, protecting us from the yo-yo like fits of starting and stopping. Shallow or incomplete faith is contrasted with complete or mature faith. Our simple faith must transform into mature or enduring faith, which …
Vision is a picture in the mind's eye that is undergirded by faith and scriptural revelation, enabling one to anticipate events that have not yet occurred.
The New Covenant, which writes God's law onto the heart, in no way does away with any aspect of the law. Works do not justify us, they sanctify us.
Christ will empower us, but will not live our lives for us. The marching orders for our pilgrimage derive from God's Word, containing His holy law.
Like Jesus and other heroes of faith, we need to look beyond the present to the long term effects of the trials and tests we go though, seeing their value.
Martin Collins, describing different reactions of certain substances to fire, uses this variation of reaction as a metaphor of our differing reactions to fiery trials. As Christians, we can be conditioned to rejoice in trials, paradoxically having joy in the midst of grief and heaviness. Trials come in great variety, from …
The Kingdom of God is our goal, and our vision of what it means gives us compelling motivation to overcome, grow, and bear fruit in preparation for eternal life.
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that this book was given to our forebears standing on the boundaries of a physical kingdom as it is now given to us standing on the boundaries of our spiritual inheritance encompassing all of creation. As time is closing in on all of us, we need to develop vision (the ability to see in the mind's eye …