“Trust always operates in the present tense. Hope looks toward the future. Trust looks to the present. Hope expects. Trust possesses. Trust receives what prayer acquires. So, what prayer needs, at all times, is abiding and abundant trust”
– E.M. Bounds
“Faith and works are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God trusts God; and he that trusts God obeys God. He that is without faith is without works; and he that is without works is without faith.”
– Charles Spurgeon
“Faith does not grasp a doctrine, but a heart. The trust which Christ requires is the bond that unites souls with Him; and the very life of it is entire committal of myself to Him in all my relations and for all my needs, and absolute utter confidence in Him as all sufficient for everything that I can require”
– Alexander MacLaren
“There are multitudes in our congregations who are just waiting while they ought to be acting. They must work, if they would have God work in them. There can be no religion without obedience”
– Ichabod Spencer
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments”
1 John 2:3
“…for now I know that thou fearest God”
In the context of this scripture Abraham’s obedience was offered to God in the spirit of faith and wonder. It was in the doing that God acknowledged the validity of Abraham’s Faith. Many hold faith in the intellect but it is in the crucible of doing that God acknowledges the weight of our fear of Him, love of Him and trust in Him.
A faith that does not give birth to works is a faith not worth the words in which it is spoken.
“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth”
1 John 3:18
The deeds are the verification of the substance of the love/faith that birthed them.
God’s declaration of “now I know…” is His testimony, His speaking of divine favor upon Abraham’s faith. The God who never changes is ever ready to give His witness to the reality of our offerings to Him when they proceed from honest and willing hearts.
“And these all, having obtained a good report through faith”
“Now faith is the essence of things being hoped the evidence of things not having been seen”
HEBREWS 11:1 (LITV)
In the book of Hebrews we have this brief description of what faith is in terms of expression. When God seeks to lay out to His Own what faith is He is not the least bit interested in an intellectual definition. He speaks of faith as evidence and expression. He reveals faith by what it produces in terms of reality. We read this of FAITH:
For by this (FAITH) the elders OBTAINED WITNESS (Evidence of pleasing God) By FAITH Abel OFFERED By FAITH Enoch was TRANSLATED By FAITH Noah PREPARED (built) an Ark By FAITH Abraham OBEYED By FAITH Sarah RECEIVED POWER to conceive
When God in His Word seeks to impart to us what faith is He can set before us no other description than what faith produced in the lives of those who have gone on before. The true test of faith is not what we believe; it is revealed in what we do and in what we become. True FAITH is the EVIDENCING of the Life of the Son of God in our lives. Faith is the ability to APPROPRIATE the LIFE of the SON into the world in which we live. Faith without works is an impossibility. For in the holding of faith, a true and living faith, there must always be an accompanying evidence of its authenticity in the life of the true follower of Christ. Believing a thing is simply an intellectual acknowledgement of a prescribed doctrine or teaching but having the faith of God can never be without a living expression of that inward power.
We live in a time when faith is held as a teaching, a holding to some form of doctrine or belief; a religious persuasion. This kind of “faith” is an intellectual commodity rather than a life changing expression of the power of God. The deception of such a notion is clearly communicated by James…
“But become doers of the WORD, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves”
The “deception” James speaks of here is the deadliest and most subtle of all deceptions for the real purpose of faith is to empower us to the DOING of that LIVING WORD. Jesus is that Word made flesh and the intent of Him sending faith into our hearts is to see that same living WORD become flesh in the substance and reality of our lives.
“Who through faith… wrought righteousness, obtained promises”