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Abraham’s Faith Was Based on the Ability of God, Not His Own Ability

The Bible speaks greatly of Abraham’s faith:  

  • He inherited the promises by faith
  • He looked for the City of God by faith
  • He became the heir of the world by faith
  • He received the son of promise, Isaac, by faith
  • He became a father of many nations by faith

But what was at the epicenter of Abraham’s faith? At the center of his faith was God’s ability: 

Romans 4:20-25 (faith in God’s ability to perform what He promised): 

[20]  He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, [21] and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. [22] And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”* [23] Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, [24] but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, [25] who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.  

Hebrews 11:17-19 (faith in God’s ability to raise the son of promise from the dead): 

[17] By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, [18] of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”* [19] concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.   In contrast, Abraham’s inability was so great that he was described as “as good as dead”:  

Hebrews 11:12

[12] Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.   Romans 4:19 (NKJV)[19] And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.   

How much ability does a dead person or body have? Zero. We’re talking total inability.   Here’s the second key of Abraham’s great faith:  he did not consider his total inability but was looking to GOD’s total ability! 

(Photo credit: Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash )

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Law Thinking Drives Us Deeper Into Ourselves and Away From God

Law thinking drives us deeper into ourselves, relying on fleshly resources rather than the kind and infinite resources of our Heavenly Father.

For example, it is commonly taught in the church that God requires a tithe — meaning a tenth of all. Then people get into all sorts of debates about what God requires: do we tithe off gross pay or net? What if I’m unemployed? What it I can’t pay my bills?

Meanwhile, statisticians tell us that less than 10% of church-going people actually do tithe. Some recent reports put it at well below 5%* …

The Real Reason Behind Trials: The Testing of Our Faith

The subject of suffering frequently comes up in Christian teachings. Many times the speaker will quote a passage like Romans 5:3-4
3 And not only [that], but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Then they go on and on about “the value of suffering”: God is using suffering, hardship, difficulty to improve our character, refine us, make us stronger, make us “more Christ-like”.
They have it completely wrong.

Redemption: From a Slave to a Son

Redemption means that God purchases us with the blood of His own Son from the slave market of sin, self and Satan. But instead of making us His slaves, in love, He makes us His sons.

The idea here is someone loving a person in bondage and slavery so much that they say, “I’ll pay the price to purchase him, no matter the cost.” And so the redeemer becomes the rightful owner of the slave. But instead of making the slave his own slave, he makes him his son. He adopts the slave into his own family, loves him as a son and gives him the full rights of sonship.

This is redemption of the Bible sort.

Relating to God as a Son, Not a Sinner

I was listening to a Bible teacher and he said, “God wants you to know that God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, that God, Who is the Creator is your Father and it’s important that you maintain a son-Father relationship, a Father-son relationship. When you come to God, you must come to God in the posture, even the emotions, of a son*, not that of a sinner.

It was that last part that really touched me, even awakened something in me: “When you come to God, you must come to God in the posture, even the emotions, of a son, not that of a sinner.” I know what the Bible says about us having the full rights as sons (Gal 3:26-29, 4:5-6, Rom 8:14-17) and the privileges of a son. Yet these words awakened an even deeper awareness: even in my sin, even in my need of overcoming sin, my place is not that of a sinner, but as a favored one, as a son who comes to his Father. …

Happy All Saints Day, All Saints!

To all the saints (those in Christ, made holy by the grace of God) everywhere: HAPPY ALL SAINTS DAY!

Then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we HAVE BEEN sanctified [made holy saints] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Heb 10:9-10) …

Total Forgiveness, Now and Forever

“I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more” (The New Covenant, Hebrews 8:12) Ask the average Christian, “What do you have to do for God to forgive you?” and most will cite 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Their viewpoint of forgiveness is:

  • You are completely forgiven UNTIL you sin.
  • You have to confess every single one of your sins in order to be forgiven and cleansed.

I call this “transient” or “temporary” forgiveness, as it is only good enough until your next sin. That’s the first clue that something is amiss. Another clue is that despite the fact that there are a huge class of scriptures clearly speaking of God’s total and forever forgiveness, they still insist on pointing to only one verse, 1 John 1:9, to back up their “temporary forgiveness” theology. Poor and misleading is the theology that is built on only one verse. …

What Pleases God?

(1)  Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.
(2) Why should the Gentiles say,
“So where is their God?”
(3) But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.
— Psalm 115:1-3

Throughout the scripture we clearly see that the almighty, transcendent and holy God “does whatever He pleases”.  But has it ever occurred to you: What pleases God?

The answer may surprise you.  Look at the following verses: …

Completeness in Christ: We Don’t Need “More”

A popular Christian singer has a song that says,

So I’m praying, Father, help my heart believe
That right now You’re singing over me
And fill me up with Your love…

A contemporary worship song has the lines (sung mournfully),

More love,
More power
More of You in my life….

The sincerity of the Christian writers of these songs cannot be doubted. Both are asking God for “more”. Millions hear and sing these songs, making the lyrics even their own prayer. So we pray for God to fill us up with God’s love. We pray for God to give us more love, more power and more of God in our lives.

What’s wrong with this picture?

How can we ask for “more” of what we already have? It would be like owning and living in a two-story house and asking for God to give you a two-story house. We would tell such a person, “Hey, you already own a two-story house — so enjoy it!” It would be like an incredibly rich benefactor giving someone $100 billion and we hear the recipient moan, “I wish I could pay off my car loan!” Pay off his car loan? He can now buy an entire auto assembly plant!

The Myth of the Christian “Sinner”

One of the most common, unbiblical myths in Christianity is the Myth of the Christian “Sinner”. Almost universally and everywhere I hear (or read of) Christians referring to themselves as “sinners”. A common sentiment is the well-worn phrase, “I’m just a sinner like everyone else”. Or, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace”.

Yet Christians — those that are truly born again by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ — are never called “sinners” even once in the entire Bible. Such a belief that Christians are called “sinners” is not only patently unbiblical, it is unhealthy and downright dangerous to the cause of righteousness, both personal and in the church.

Now at the outset let me say that I am not saying Christians never sin. They can and do sin, sadly and opposed to God’s will.

What I am saying is that you will not find even one verse in the Bible that calls Christians “sinners”. Not a single one. So what are they called? “Saints”. More on that later. …