Galatians 3:8: It has always been GOD's plan to justify heathen through
faith--even before Jesus Christ came on the scene. Notice this passage says,
"...preached before the gospel..." meaning justification (righteousness) through
faith was promised before the Bible was written!
February 4th, 2001, Sunday Evening
"Live by Faith"
THE key to a successful Christian Life
OPENING: Galatians 3:6,8 KJV
James 2:26: Having faith means we not only intellectually believe
but we ALSO take action upon that belief.
- EXAMPLE: Daredevils.
- True story about a daredevil who walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope
without a safety net. Upon making it to the other side, he asked the cheering, believing
crowd how many thought he could walk back with a chair. Most of the crowd believed and
he did so. Now they all believed and cheered for him: "yea! You can do it!! We
know you can!!" But when he asked for a volunteer to sit in the chair for the trip
back to the other side, no one volunteered.
- Jesus--AND ONLY JESUS--can take you across the gulf of hell without danger--but only few
in this world will have the faith in Christ to get into the chair for that one-time ride
- Genesis 22:1,3-13: Review the story of Abraham, at the request
of GOD, to sacrifice his only son Isaac as a burnt offering to GOD.
- Abraham waited until his old age before he had his first son and did not question
GOD when GOD said that he should sacrifice him. Abraham simply believed GOD at His word
and took action immediately thereafter.
- Now examine how the Bible judges Abraham for his Actions. Notice both below
passages make it appear Abraham ACTUALLY sacrificed his son when in actuality
(Genesis 22:10-12) he never did. CONCLUSION: HAVING FAITH
INCLUDES NOT HAVING TO FULFILL A WORK TO ITS END FOR IT TO BE COUNTED AS COMPLETED!!
In other words, if you're tasked by GOD to do something (i.e., follow one of his commandments)
and you tried and believed in your heart to do so but unable to finish, GOD will consider
it a finished work.
- James 2:21: Abraham imputed righteousness (was
saved) simply because he blindly believed GOD and
took immediate action.
- Hebrews 11:17: It was counted as done even through it wasn't followed
WHO lives by faith? The just. (Romans 1:17)
- Those who've placed their concerns and trust in Jesus Christ
- Those whom GOD expects to "live by faith"--which is to simply do what GOD
says to do.
Principle of faith (Galatians 3:11)
- Our rule to live by: live by the Word of GOD
- Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4: This passage is not to be used as
a "good nugget to debate with" but rather to set your heart, mind, and soul to follow
- Hebrews 10:38: The power of faith is so important, it's
reiterated a THIRD time in the bible!
Hebrews 11: This entire chapter is referred to as the
Bible's "Hall of Faith" because it sites all the most powerful examples of the power
- Hebrews 11:1-3: By faith, you can blindly believe in the creation.
It doesn't require explanation. GOD said let there be light
(Genesis 1:3) and there it was! End of explanation.
- Hebrews 11:7: By faith, Noah believed when GOD told him a "flood"
would soon cover the earth (Genesis 6:17). Even though the earth never
had a flood yet, Noah believed in it and took action. He, his wife, and eventual three children,
spent 120 years building the ark to GOD's exact specifications.
- Hebrews 11:8: By faith, Abraham--being in his 70s--left the people,
the kingdom, the town, not knowing where he was going, just because GOD said to; He knew
GOD should eventually reveal the final destination ... but in His own perfect timing.
- Hebrews 11:9-11: By faith, Abraham's wife Sara conceived child
at 90 years old because she believed when GOD said she would. (Today, physicians would
have a different recommendation for a pregnancy at that age ... an abortion or prescription
- Hebrews 11:17-19: By faith, Abraham believed even if he sacrificed
his son's life, GOD would raise him from the dead because GOD--earlier--promised Abraham
that his son will be his seed.
- Hebrews 11:29: By faith, the children of Israel, led by Moses,
passed over the Red Sea. (Today, there is argument they actually passed over the "Reed" sea
which is only six inches high and dries up at certain times of the season. If this were
true, how would the pursuing Egyptian army drowned??)
- Hebrews 11:31: By faith, a harlot (prostitute) was not killed
along with the rest of her city because she helped spies of the LORD (Joshua 2:1-4).
- Hebrews 11:32: By faith, Gideon defeated an opposing army with
just 300 men because he did what GOD told him to without question! (Judges 7:2-7)
There was nothing special about the 300 people but it was that they had the extraordinary GOD.
- Hebrews 11:33: Whom do you suppose "stopped the mouths of lions"?
By faith, because of Daniel's refusal to cease praying at King Darius' decree
(Daniel 6:7-13), Daniel survived being thrown into a dark, closed cage
with no electricity and the roaring of lions (Daniel 6:22).
- Hebrews 11:34: Who "Quenched the violence of fire"?
Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego. Because they would not bow to King Nebuchadnezzar's man-made
idols, they were thrown into a fiery furnace of which they survived
Hebrews 10:25: It is written we are not to miss going to church.
Why? It doesn't explain all the reasons why because we don't need to be explained to.
If we do just what GOD says to do:
- We'll be a happier people
- We will "subdue kingdoms"
- We will "stop the mouths of some lions"
- We will quench some fires
Mark 10:24,27: GOD is saying, in effect, "you don't need
riches and material things; You need to be consumed with my will."