What is faith? How would you define Biblical Faith? Is it the same as hope? Is it a formula? Is it the ultimate Christian "power-tool"?
In Old Testament times, men and women had to rest on the promises of God. God had told them of a coming Messiah, a Deliverer who would take away sin. He told them that one day all Israel would be made clean and be ruled by this righteous Messiah. God's faithful believed God's promises, as incomplete and vague as many of those promises were. They did not have a great deal of specifics, by New Testament standards, but they knew God was in the specifics, so they put their full trust and hope in it.
That is what faith is. Faith is living in a hope that is so real it gives absolute assurance. The promises given to the Old Testament saints were so real to them, because they believed that God was who He said He was, that they based their lives on these promises. All the Old Testament promises related to the future--for many believers, far into the future. But the faithful among God's people acted as if they were in the present tense. They simply took God at His word and lived on that basis.
Hebrews 11:13 tells us that these Old Testament saints "died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them......from afar". They saw the fulfillment of God's promise with the eye of faith, which, when it is in God, has immeasurably better vision than the best of physical eyes.
This week, we will put a definition to true Biblical faith. As you prepare your hearts and minds for the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, I want to encourage you to take some time over the next few days to read the story of Noah, in Genesis 6 and 7, along with the story of Abraham in Genesis 12. As you read these stories, ask yourself this question, "Why did Noah build the ark"? Was it because he prayed for rain and wanted to be ready just in case God answered his prayer? What about Abraham? Why did he leave everything that was familiar and comfortable in order to travel to an unknown land? Was it because he got bored of Haran and wanted a change scenery? Was it because he prayed to God asking God to take him on a great adventure? What motivated these men to act in such a seemingly foolish manner?
Join us on Sunday at 9:00am as we look at the actions of these Old Testament heroes and through their lives, gain a better understanding of what true Biblical faith looks like.
Please Note: Members of FBC are invited to a special time of Q & A next Saturday, June 2nd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm in the Fireside Room. This is an opportunity for members to ask questions regarding the selling of our rental properties and the future direction of our church.
See you Sunday.