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Walking versus Posing February 16, 2008

Posted by Kevin in Abraham, Hall of Faith, Hebrews 11, Holy Spirit, Isaac, James 2:14-26, Joseph, Moses, Posing, Rahab, Titus 1:16, Walking.
3 comments

If I’m not walking, then I’m just posing.

I guess I need to be reminded of that from time to time. This is especially true in terms of my Faith. I am reminded again of the differences between “Saving Faith” and “idle faith”. James 2: 14-26 reminds me of several kinds of Faith.

There is an Intellectual Faith found in verse 17. Here it talks about knowing the concepts and knowing the lingo, but not putting it in to practice. There is an Emotional Faith found in verse 19. Even the demons have an emotional response to Jesus. These are tragic examples of dead faith or idle faith. Then there is a Living and Active Faith as found in verses 21-26. Abraham and Rahab are great examples of a living and active faith in action. They are recorded in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11. Here is what it says about them and some others.

  • By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice.
  • By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
  • By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.
  • By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
  • By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
  • And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

Now look at all of this in light of Titus 1:16. “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” These are very strong words, wouldn’t you agree?

Here it is clear that profession of faith by itself is an intellectual or emotional response. Without evidence of God at work in our lives there is an implied denial of God’s power and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Without steps of Faith (actions) and walking in obedience (actions) we are just standing still. We are going nowhere. We are just posing.

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Laughter April 25, 2007

Posted by Kevin in Abraham, Isaac, Laugh, Laughter, Sarah.
7 comments

We have been studying the book of Genesis in our Bible study class at church. And we have just crossed over from Abram to Abraham. There have been several instances of “laughing” or “laughter” that have caught my attention. Most of it revolves around Sarah and her response to hearing that she will bear a child. Or it revolves around her joy at the birth of Isaac as she acknowledges that it was God who brought forth this laughter.

Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Genesis 21:1-7 NIV

I am not sure exactly what I think about this passage. But I think that God is amazing in that He turned what was a gentle rebuke at Sarah’s (and probably Abraham’s as well) disbelief into an occasion for joy for the present time and for years to come.

Isn’t that just like our God?