Our next Home Bible Study class has been put off until July 14, 2010. You may expect the next Bible lesson in this series after that date. Until then, I have for you this bonus lesson addressing the requirement of faith/trust in God in order to "please Him."
From our previous Bible lesson, and our study of God’s dealings with Abram, please consider the following:
a. Faith in God is essential for salvation
b. There are seven separate promises contained within the Abrahamic Covenant. (There’s that number seven again…) But this covenant from God to Abram (and his descendants) is actually made up of three distinctive parts:
1. God promised Abram that out of him would come a nation of people.
2. They would live in their own land.
3. These people, in their own land, would need a government. God promised to send His Son, the Messiah, to be their King.
This is the gist of the Abrahamic Covenant. Throughout the O.T. you will find these three promises repeated time and time again even into the book of Acts. Let’s go there so you may see that this is what the BIBLE SAYS.
Here in the book of Acts, forty days after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, Jesus and His apostles are standing on the Mount of Olives discussing the Kingdom just prior to His Ascension.
6: So when they had come together, they (the apostles) were asking Him, (Jesus Christ) saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
Israel had become a “nation of people” long ago; they were in their “promised land,” but what was missing? You guessed it…their King and their Kingdom.
2: Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”
3: And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.”
4: Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.”
5: And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
6: Then he (Abram) believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Abram BELIEVED what God had revealed to him and because of his belief God credited him as RIGHTEOUS. Now that does not mean suddenly Abram was sinless-perfect in every way. Righteous means “right with God.”
Remember this; at no time does God expect His creation to believe anything that has not been revealed. But once God makes something known to His creation, belief is expected and required (See Deuteronomy 29:29).
From Adam and Eve, to this present age, and then beyond, faith has always been an issue with the Creator God. In the beginning, if you’ll remember the Eden experience, God revealed those things that were permissible to Adam and the lone thing that was not permissible. Adam chose independence vs. dependence upon God and therefore sinned.
So this encounter between God and Abram, and its rather positive outcome, was not based on anything that Abram did, his righteousness came by way of faith alone. It’s as simple as that. Not too difficult to grasp.
Believing God has always been an absolute! Now you’ll find many absolutes in Scripture. But from time to time, you are going to hear me mention two of these over and over again while I teach; because Scripture does; and they are:
1. Hebrews 9:22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
2. Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him (God), for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin, per God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God, per God.
Man has always struggled in the area of faith and where it pertains to trusting God and His Word. Yet, God demands it. Lost mankind or “the world” says, “Seeing is believing!” But we who trust God say, “Believing is seeing!”
What does that mean? Good question. For one, the Bible teaches us God the Spirit reveals truth to believers or “people of faith.”
I Corinthians 2
14: But a natural man (or woman) does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are (What?) foolishness to him (or her), (and now here it is) and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Skip back to verse ten please.
10: For to us (believers) God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
For the sake of time, please skip to verse 12.
12: Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know (What?) the things freely given to us by God,
13: which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. (…or as I like to say often, comparing Scripture (Spiritual words) with Scripture.)
Today, Israel is still God’s chosen nation. They simply have been blinded for a time to Spiritual things. The nation of Israel did not recognize Jesus as their Messiah and they still reject Him to this day for the most part.
If you have ears to hear and eyes that see, we are observing Bible prophecy being fulfilled. How so? We have been observing the Jews returning to their promised land (Israel) since the 1940s. The latest statistics reveal thousands of Jews returning to their homeland from every corner of the world. This is why Israel is and has been involved in a building program for years. They need more room and they need the infrastructure to accommodate their own. So, what’s missing? Israel has not achieved peace. And peace will not come until Jesus Christ returns and sets up His earthly Kingdom where He will rule and reign for a thousand years. When the Lord Jesus Christ returns, the second time, Israel will “know Him.”