Faith In Every Era

 

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Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:1-5, and Hebrews 11:1-6 prove that trusting faith in God is His requirement for all people at all times and living under all of His covenants, not just the New.

Hebrews 11:6 says: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Many people glibly quote this verse as though it only related to the New Covenant. But in its context in Hebrews 11:1-39, it is primarily related to Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the Old Testament prophets and others who lived from the time of Adam’s fall to the time of Jesus’ death. This proves God has always been looking for a trusting faith response from humans at all times and during all covenants.

King David had a wonderful revelation of how people were saved by God from condemnation through a trusting faith in Him. In Psalm 34:22, David said: “The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.”

 

The period from Adam’s fall to the giving of the Law of Moses

 

Hebrews 11:4-28 reveals from the time after Adam’s fall to the time of the giving of the Mosaic Law, people were saved through faith which resulted in sincere continual though imperfect obedience to God’s revealed will.

 

Abel and Enoch

 

Hebrews 11:4 shows Abel was commended by God as righteous because of his faith which resulted in the fruit of godly action. So prior to Jesus’ death and without being perfectly obedient to the Law of God on his conscience, Abel was accounted by God as a righteous man.

In Matthew 23:35, Jesus also speaks of Abel as being righteous. Jesus said this of him despite Abel having Adam’s sin and associated condemnation accounted to him, an inherited sinful nature and actual personal sins.

Hebrews 11:5-6 speaks of Enoch having faith that pleased God and which involved earnestly seeking Him. Genesis 5:22 shows Enoch’s faith was not some mere abstract acceptance of truths about God. Instead Enoch’s faith resulted in an intimate walk with Him. Genesis 5:22 states: “After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years…”

 

Noah

 

Hebrews 11:7 states Noah was accounted righteous by God through his faith: “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” This verse shows Noah’s faith was linked to a holy fear of God and resulted in his obedience to God’s command to build an ark.

Genesis 6:9 states: “…Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” Noah had a living faith which resulted in him daily walking with God. Genesis 6:22 records how obedient he was in relation to what God had previously commanded him: “…according to all that God commanded him, so he did.”

Noah was not sinless. For example, he sinned once by getting drunk (see Genesis 9:20-21). But generally his faith resulted in obedience.

 

Abraham

 

Hebrews 11:18-19 speaks of Abraham’s faith in God. These verses emphasise his faith:

 

·         partly expressed itself in believing God’s promise (see verse 9)

·         resulted in him obeying God’s revealed will.

 

Romans 4:1-4, 9-16 and 20-23 reveal Abraham’s faith and the righteousness God accounted to him. Romans 4:2-3 states: “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something of which to boast, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

 

The prostitute Rahab

 

Hebrews 11:31 speaks of the faith of a prostitute named Rahab: “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.” Rahab had been previously exceptionally disobedient to God in her life of prostitution. But before her city of Jericho was conquered by Joshua’s soldiers, she turned from her sin to God.

James 2:25 reveals Rahab’s actions outwardly showed evidence of the fact she was justified by God: “Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?” Her actions were a result of her new-found faith in God and accompanying repentance which had both been birthed in her heart by the Holy Spirit.

Rahab not only had Adam’s sin and condemnation debited to her. Her acts of sexual immorality made her worthy of the death sentence according to Deuteronomy 22:21. So she could never have earned or merited being accounted by God as righteous. But note her new-found faith was not just in her intellect but affected her whole heart and actions also.

 

Moses the lawgiver was saved through faith

 

Moses was the person through whom God gave His written Law. But his own life is proof he was not saved through perfect obedience to the Law. Exodus 2:11-12 shows Moses committed murder. He broke the 6th Commandment (see Exodus 20:13). Moses was saved from eternal punishment by God’s grace received by faith. Moses’ faith is spoken of in Hebrew 11:23-28.

 

Bible Study Questions

 

1.         What does Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:1-5 and Hebrews 11:1-6 teach us about God’s requirement of faith by humans in Him?

2.         What does Psalm 34:22 teach us?

3.         Which verses show that Abel and Noah were righteous before God through faith?

4.         What do Hebrews 11:18-19 and Romans 4:1-4 reveal about Abraham’s relationship to God?

5.         Was Rahab saved by God’s grace through faith or by works of obedience to the Mosaic Law?


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