The Bible is clear that we must not depend upon
our own righteousness in order to be accepted of God, but must submit to the
righteousness which is of God by faith:
"And be found in him, not having mine own
righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of
Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:-Phil. 3:9
The righteousness which is of God by faith
works in us so that we approve
things that are excellent; that we may be sincere and without offence
till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness,
which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ justifies us and faith brings forth a
(if we are sowing to the Spirit and not the flesh) from this justified state.
Those who say they are saved by faith but refuse to walk by faith,
walk after the Spirit, walk in newness of life, walk after His
commandments, walk in love, love one another, forgive one another, pray
for the brethren, etc. are not walking in the right kind of faith. The
Holy Bible says if we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit. Do
you live your life in the flesh (in this physical body) by the faith of
the Son of God? Have you ever studied about the kind of faith Jesus
Christ had while on this earth? The kind of faith Jesus had is the kind
of faith we, who are baptized into Christ, and have "put on"
Christ are to have as well.
Jesus did not have perfect communion and faith with his Father in
heaven in order to merit salvation. He had no need of meriting
salvation because He had no sin. "Though he were a Son, yet
learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;"-Heb. 5:8 Did
he suffer in order to obtain sonship? No, but as an example to us who
would become sons of God by faith. (Those who are sons of God are led by
the Spirit of God.)
Likewise, our lives lived here in the flesh
are to be lived by the
faith of the Son of God.-(Gal. 2:20) NOT in order to try to merit
salvation, which we could NEVER do, but because God's word says those
who are dead to the law (Are you saved? If you are, you are dead to the
law) might live unto God.-Gal. 2:19
I found out from the word of God that faith is something to be WALKED
IN. Faith is not something in our hearts and minds ONLY, but is actually
lived out in our daily walk! Paul wrote quite specifically what KIND of
faith believers must walk in. Believers must walk in the steps of that
faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
Look at this again: God's word tells
"And the father of
circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also
walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had
being yet uncircumcised."-Rom. 4:12
Let's look at this verse: "Therefore it is of faith, that is
might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed;
not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the
FAITH OF ABRAHAM; who is the father of us all."-Rom. 4:16 Wow!
Abraham is my spiritual father, and the promises are for me (a Gentile
who is grated into the Tree)
as well if I walk in the steps of the faith of Abraham.
Righteousness was imputed to Abraham because he believed God.
"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was
counted unto him for righteousness."-Rom. 4:3 And the scripture was
fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him
for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God."-James 2:23
Abraham believed the promise of God; he did not stagger at the
promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory
to God. He was fully persuaded that what God had promised, he was fully
able to perform. He believed FIRST, then righteousness was imputed to
him, and then he walked in the steps of that faith, even to the point of
obeying God in offering up his own son.
Look at what this illustrates to us as believers. We believe Jesus
died, was buried, and rose again that we might be saved from our sins,
delivered from the power of Satan, and receive the promised inheritance—heaven. Then, JUST LIKE ABRAHAM, we walk in the steps of
that faith. We don't stagger with unbelief at the promises God has made
in the scriptures regarding the sanctification and power for service he
has made provision for, through the Holy Ghost.
We must not throw up our
hands and in UNBELIEF say we cannot bridle our tongues, we cannot be holy,
we cannot love our brethren, we cannot forgive one another, we cannot walk
in the Spirit, we cannot stop sinning, we cannot stop
loving money, we cannot stop worrying, we cannot stop murmuring, we
stop lusting, we cannot fast and pray, we cannot flee from idolatry, we
cannot take up our cross and follow him, we cannot stop loving the world,
and so on. Yes we can because Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit to live
His life through us. And will do this if we die to our self-will and yield to
Do we have faith to live the real Christian
life—which is walking in the
steps of Abraham—or only faith to believe we can be forgiven while not
living the Christian life? Which of these two kinds of faith is
Just like Abraham believed God and THEN lived in obedience, so must
we. This is the word of God. Our faith must be just like Abraham's
faith. We believe God and he imputes the righteousness of Jesus Christ
to us, and then must walk in the steps of the same kind of faith Abraham
had! Glory to God. We know Abraham obeyed God, but that God justified
him because he believed him. Abraham's walk of trustful obedience was a
manifestation of believing in the truthfulness of God's word. He was
justified, and his sanctification flowed forth from his justification.
This is exactly what the word of God teaches is the normative life of
the believer today.
Those who believe will manifest those
beliefs in their daily walk. Everyone walks by SOME
KIND of faith. Even those who walk by sight (and therefore not by
biblical faith) are still walking in a carnal, worldly kind of faith.
They may not be walking in the steps of the faith of Abraham (which is
essential for the true believer) but they do indeed walk by faith—which
is a trust in themselves and their own carnal reasoning.
"Christians" who live in fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, guile,
witchcraft, adultery, lasciviousness, envy, murder, debate, deceit,
such like, have FAITH that they will not be held accountable for their
actions. Or perhaps—such as is the case of many who consider
themselves to be Christians today—they
have faith that grace covers their willful sin so they will be able to
mock God and not reap corruption.
We all have faith, and our faith is always manifested
in the way we live. Satan is perfectly aware of that and so makes much use of the word
"faith" and hopes that unwary persons with an interest in
Christ would not scrutinize the object, content or expression of their
faith very carefully.
This is why Paul exhorted Christians to:
"Examine yourselves, whether
ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus
Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"-2 Cor. 13:5
What is evangelical, justifying, or saving faith? Webster's 1828
Bible gives a specific definition for this kind of faith. As you read it
check and see if it is reminds you of Abraham's faith:
Evangelical, justifying, or saving
faith, is the assent of the
mind to the truth of divine revelation, on the authority of God's
testimony, accompanied with a cordial assent of the will or approbation
of the heart; an entire confidence or trust in God's character and
declarations, and in the character and doctrines of Christ, with an
unreserved surrender of the will to his guidance, and dependence on his
merits for salvation. In other words, that firm belief of God's
testimony, and of the truth of the gospel, which influences the will,
and leads to an entire reliance on Christ for salvation.
Gary and Lisa Ruby
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