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Faith that Works

Today’s reading:

Genesis 20-22; Matthew 7

Selected verses

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”  So Abraham rose early in the morning…”   Genesis 22:1-3a

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  Matthew 7:24

Reflections

As unsteady as it was, Abraham’s faith translated into action.  Abraham did not withhold his own son, Isaac, but took steps to offer him as a sacrifice to God.  Later in our reading, we will see that Abraham did not expect the outcome that came.  The writer of Hebrews tells us that Abraham had been assuming that God would let him follow through with the sacrifice and, afterwards, raise Isaac from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19).

It is curious, in light of the comment in Hebrews, that Abraham told an anxious Isaac, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son” (Genesis 22:8).  That statement, in light of the New Testament, is loaded with meaning.  God has provided for himself a lamb for a burnt offering, His own Son, Jesus Christ. In that case, the offering was not interrupted but completed.  The resurrection that Abraham anticipated for Isaac occurred for Jesus who not only was raised from the dead but ascended to the right hand of God where He sits in glory and power (Philippians 2:1ff).

Faith Works

Abraham’s actions demonstrate that.  In Matthew, we find Jesus telling His disciples to demonstrate faith in both actions and attitudes.  Faith is not merely holding a correct theological view but of living in the light of that theological view.  This action results in knowing God and being known by Him, so that in the judgment it will be that relationship that carries us into His welcoming presence, not the works that we did.

Think about it

Works demonstrate faith but it is not works but faith that saves us.   Show your faith through works, but trust Him, not those works, for salvation. Remember, Abraham was saved by his faith, demonstrated in his works, and not lost by his failures and inconsistencies (Romans 4).  The grace of God in Christ made the difference. Isn’t that true for you as well?  Think about that.

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#Biblereading #devotional #Learning #Obedience #Faith #discipleship #GodsWill

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