Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 8: Living By Faith

Romans 4:13-25


What might make you uncomfortable:

Followers of Jesus are not simply called to receive their salvation by faith, but also to live by faith in the midst of impossible circumstances.

Today's Devotional:

As we established in our devotional yesterday, "Ole Father Abraham," Abraham serves as an example to modern day believers of salvation by faith.

But Abraham's example does not stop there. Paul goes on in Romans 4:18-25 to describe Abraham's life in detail, writing of how he maintaining a high level of faith in the midst of impossible circumstances. We too, are called to live by faith not only when we think of heaven, but when we need a breakthrough from God in daily life.

Principles from living by faith that we can take from the life of Abraham include:
  • Abraham began his faith journey with promises from God (4:13, 16). A life of faith is a life built on hearing God's voice for promises about the future.
  • Abraham knew the character of God (4:17). Because God is a God who gives life to the dead and calls our future reality into existence, we can trust that His promises will come true.
  • Abraham hoped against hope (4:18). Even when circumstances did not align with God's plan Abraham chose to hope in God's character. Faith must stand strong in the midst of impossibility.
  • Abraham faced the facts (4:19). Abraham's faith was not religious hype. He knew the severity of his impossible situation.
  • He did not waver in unbelief, was strengthened in faith, and gave glory to God (4:20). Abraham's lifestyle of thanksgiving and praise did not permit room for unbelief to enter his heart.
  • Abraham knew the power of God (4:21). He knew that God has the "power to do what He had promised".

These principles were the key to Abraham's living by faith and they remain keys for living by faith today.

Paul closes Romans 4 with one verse that summarizes the entire Gospel message pertaining to justification:
He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification (4:25)
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We are justified (made righteous before God) by faith and today we live by faith. Later in Romans we will learn how we are sanctified (made holy by overcoming sin) by faith, too.

Application

Which of these principles do you need to incorporate into your spiritual journey today?

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