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Faith is produced by God's love for you.
When you learn how much He loves you and believe it, this changes you! Therefore your faith in God or not, shows how much you love Him. Like any child who learns to love their earthly loving parents, their faith in their parents grow as they learn that their parents love them, if their parents take good care of them. The child’s faith in their parents is a product of their parents love for them, as their love for them grows. This is how it is with every soul, if they learn more and more of His love, their faith and trust in Him grows! Are you ready dear reader for your love and faith in God to grow? Then read on!
Abraham was called the friend of God:
“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 KJV. Genesis 15:6. If you read the story about Abraham from Genesis 12 to 24, you will see that he was on a journey with God from where he grew up and lived, to where his wanderings would later take him to that would later be called the Promised Land! God was teaching Abraham to trust Him through the time Abraham spent with God, and through the trials and circumstances God tested him with.
Abraham was not chosen to be a friend of God or promised God’s blessings because he deserved it, but because of God’s great love for him and the world. It was God’s desire to save the world and use Abraham and his descendants to do it. “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Romans 4:13 NASB. See also Romans 4:9. “BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT. Is this blessing then upon the circumcised, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say, ‘FAITH WAS RECKONED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ How then was it reckoned? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be reckoned to them, *** but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.” Romans 4:9-12 NASB. Yes, how blessed is he or she whose sin the Lord does not take into account! God made this promise to Abraham before their covenant of circumcision. The point Paul is making here is that the promises that God was making to Abraham were not just for Abraham and his descendants, but were for the whole world to be saved as well! God took pity on everybody in the world, including the gentiles and provided for their salvation through Abraham too, because of His great love. As gentiles we also do not deserve to be chosen by God either, but through the promises made to Abraham we can also be partakers of the Heavenly promises and Heavenly gifts!
Why was Abraham called the friend of God? What does it mean to be called a friend of God?
Think about what you would want in a friend: Love, respect, caring, helpfulness, self-sacrifice, and unselfishness. So if you want to be a friend of God you will do these things for Him too. But that is not all – God is your Heavenly Father too. How should you treat your human Father? Love, respect, and obey him. Then you should also love, respect and obey God too, since He is your Creator, Provider, Heavenly Father and God! Why are we bringing all this up about Abraham and what we should do? So that you can be a friend of God too. Why not? God will be your friend if you will let Him. Don’t you want Him as your friend?
Jesus declared what it means to be a friend of God:
“You are My friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:14 NASB. Let us contemplate again what it takes to be someone’s friend: you must love them. Therefore Abraham loved God, because He was his friend. From this one statement by Jesus in John 15:14 you can be sure that Abraham obeyed God, because James 2:23 says that Abraham was called the friend of God. The Bible in Genesis also records Abraham’s life story, and while it wasn’t perfect, it showed someone who was learning to love and obey God and eventually to have great faith in Him too! (As when he was asked to sacrifice his only son. Genesis 22:12 – read the whole chapter.)
Jesus also said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;” John 14:15-16 KJV. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:10-11 NASB. And: “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.’” John 14:23 NASB. Meditate on Jesus’ words here. You could write many sermons, and yes a whole book on any one of these statements by Jesus, they are quite powerful! What Jesus said here is not for the timid, the doubtful, the fearful or those who don’t want to love Jesus and His Father all the way.
All this was implied when Abraham was called the friend of God: it was because he loved God! Where there is little love for God, there is also little faith and little obedience to Him. This is why so many are ready to excuse themselves from obeying God, because they love Him only but little. Are not all who are Christians forgiven by Him and helped by Him? Why then are there not more who love Him all the way? Aren’t they grateful for what He’s done for them? Haven’t they been helped tremendously by Him? Or do they take His love, help and mercy for granted? Why is it then that there are so few who have much love for God and faith in Him? Jesus declared: ‘But to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.’ Luke 7:47 KJV. This may be the problem or part of it! There are many teachers ready and willing to teach people that obedience is not required by God, because they are saved by grace (which is true by itself, except that it is leaving out other essential truths), and little or nothing is mentioned about the need to obey God, or it is stated that this is works if you try to obey Him. And some even say or imply that it is wrong to obey God. Where have we heard this before? Listen carefully to what Isaiah the prophet says here: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20 KJV. This is a deadly deception! It can NEVER be wrong to want to obey God, even if someone is not born again! Only those who have power from God will be able to obey Him. Yes it is works to try to obey God in your own strength! But we believe that God takes into consideration the desire of every honest soul who wants to obey Him. But He is not pleased with those who do not want to obey Him, or say that they can’t obey Him, or say that they do not need to obey Him, etc. (because they are saved by grace and teach that it is works to obey Him). But God is also not completely pleased with those who are not born again either, because He longs to help everyone have the wonderful peace, love, joy and contentment that all will have who yield to Him all the way. Those who are not born again cannot please God all the way because they do not have the power to obey Him, which only comes to those who yield to Him all the way, love and trust Him. “Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:7-8 NASB.
And God will try to work in their heart before it’s too late, if only they would yield to Him. But He will always hear the prayer of those who confess their sins to Him, even if they have not yielded completely to Him yet. Those who think that they are saved because they are trying to obey Him are gravely mistaken. But if they had it in their heart to obey Him, and failed, then confessed these sins to Him, He will forgive them of this, since *He is always ready and willing to forgive.
* From the Song HE.
In contrast to the above spiritual “non-sense,” stated and believed by many, the soul who is the friend of God and “knows” Him, will have a deep love for Him and would never want to hurt or disappoint Him, and would always want to obey Him! And if they sin or fail Him, they would confess these sins to Him, and get a clean slate with Him again. Amen! Those that love Him will not indulge themselves in sinful doubting that He can do what He clearly declares that He can do in the Holy Bible; they will understand the many precious promises in the Bible for them, and His power and desire to save to the uttermost all who turn to Him from their sins.
So true faith is produced in the hearts of those who have learned to love God as their Heavenly Father, believing in His mighty power to save, as they have followed His guiding voice step-by-step through the Holy Spirit. This is wholly the work of God that He wants to do for every soul who would want it and believe it, but they must choose to humble their heart to Him, confess, and yield to Him all the way, and obey Him in everything He wants them to do.
It is not those who are mighty in will power, mental decision and skill and will, or human belief that will have this true faith in God, but just those who have learned to love Him. This is the work of the Holy Spirit on all who truly co-operate with God; which is those who want to co-operate with Him, and pray for the help and strength to please Him.
If you are having difficulty believing in Him or His desire to save you and do good things for you, then you have not fully learned to love Him yet, because faith in God is the natural result of learning to love Him. Faith is the natural outcome of God’s love, if you receive it into your heart. God’s love provides all that you need to be His child if you will receive it. When your heart fully decides that it loves Him, then you will be born again, born of Heaven! When this happens you will have great faith in Him, like Abraham did, and you would do anything for Him, whom your soul loves. And then you will be flooded with peace, love, and joy, and your life will take on a whole new meaning! This is what it means to be a new creature and to walk in the Spirit.
Only those who have learned to love God (allowed Him to save them) have this saving faith. This is how you can get the faith to please God!
May the grace of God be with you! May you learn to love Him more and more, as you spend much time with Him. As your love for Him grows, so will your faith and your obedience to Him grow too! Amen.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 KJV.
By John Foll, Finished 01/21/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
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