The power of faith

Jesus brought to our sinful world a hope and an opportunity that should cause each one of us to live a transformed life.  When one encounters and responds properly to Jesus, he receives power to become a son of God.   (John 1:11-12 KJV) “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
It’s sad, but it’s true that a vast majority of the world’s population has not responded to this precious opportunity.  We’re not being judgmental when we declare that the alternative to faith in Christ is to die in one’s sins.  Our Lord made it very clear that this is so as recorded in John 8:24 (KJV) “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”
Furthermore, Jesus didn’t leave us helpless in arriving at that faith.  He demonstrated over and again His power and sonship with the Father (John 20:30-31 KJV) “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
The writer of the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 11, defines and illustrates the importance of this faith.  This chapter has been lovingly called “The Hall Of Fame Of The Faithful.  He begins with a declaration that it was by faith that Abel offered the proper sacrifice to God: (Heb 11:4 KJV) “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”  His was the first real example of trusting and obedient faith.  God had apparently given instructions concerning the kind of sacrifice He would accept and Abel obeyed God in offering that sacrifice.
On the other hand, Cain’s offering was unacceptable.  By contrast to Abel it was not offered by faith.  They both had apparently been told what pleased the Lord.  One heard and obeyed.  The other disobeyed.  Faith is a product not of feelings nor of guess work, but of hearing God’s wishes and responding appropriately.   We’re taught in Romans 10:17 (KJV) that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Once one hears God’s desire and requirements and becomes a believer in Him and His Son, Jesus Christ, this one must be obedient to the Lord’s requirements to be accepted by Him.  It’s so today, even as it was with Abel.
We learn of another Old Testament character named Noah.  (Heb 11:7 KJV) “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”  Notice, “By faith Noah...moved... prepared ....”   The only proof Noah had of an impending flood was what God told him (Gen 6:13-22 KJV).  He believed this and obeyed God’s command “to the saving of his house.”  In (Gen 6:22 KJV) “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”  Noah’s “fear” (awesome respect) of God, caused faith that moved him to prepare an ark.  One might argue that Noah was saved by his “faith only.”  He “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”  In fairness to the Bible record, however, Noah’s faith was a demonstrated faith in the preparation of the ark. Had he not so moved, claiming that he believed God would be an empty argument.  It was an obedient faith that made him “heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”  He didn’t merit or deserve salvation from the flood merely by building an ark.   He didn’t merit it at all!  He was given deliverance by a God who saw that His faith was genuine in building an ark.  One simply cannot separate being saved by faith from the word “obedient” faith.  The obedience doesn’t earn the deliverance, but it complies with God’s terms, thus having true Bible Faith.  The faith that saves is a faith that obeys.  

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