Faith

Faith – A Series

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They were to fix their eyes on Jesus as the object of faith and salvation.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Hebrews 12:1.

~This is the last in a series of four on faith, with Bible text.~

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Faith – A Series

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True faith is not based on empirical evidence but on divine assurance, and is a gift from God.  Noah treated God’s message with great respect and awe.  His faith was expressed in obedience.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Hebrews 11:1, 7.

~This is the third in a series of four on faith, with Bible text.~

Faith – A Series

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Enoch pleased God because he had faith.  Without such faith it is not possible for anyone to “walk with God” or “please Him”.  Genuine faith does not simply believe that a divine being exists, but that the God of Scripture is the only real and true God who exists.  Not believing that God exists is equivalent to calling Him a liar.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Hebrews 11:6

~This is the second in a series of four on faith, using Bible text.~

Faith – A Series

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The opposite of apostasy is faith.  This is a preview of the subsequent chapter.  It is faith which pleases God.  The individual who draws back from the knowledge of the gospel and faith will prove his apostasy.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Hebrews 10:38.

~This is the first in a series of four on biblical faith, with Bible text images.~

Resisting Compromise

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King Solomon’s life illustrated the peril of compromise (1 Kings 11:1-7).  Concession begins in a seemingly insignificant way.  For instance, someone might want you to make a financial decision that you know in your heart is unwise.  But you go along with the plan because you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings.  You have compromised the message of the Holy Spirit, who warned you.

Small compromises lead to more serious ones.  With each successive concession, our conscience is weakened.  Ultimately, whenever we give way to evil – whether we let go of a doctrinal belief or simply listen to music that taints our thoughts – we always lose.

We compromise for a variety of reasons.  Many do so from fear of rejection or of being unappreciated.  Some choose this route to avoid conflict.  Still others may begin to doubt God’s trustworthiness or goodness; as a result, they give up on Him, compromising their basic beliefs and undermining their reason for assurance.

To be men and women who are strong enough to resist making concessions, we need to develop some essential armor.  First, we must have strong convictions about the Bible and depend on it as a guide for daily living.  Next, we need to have faith in God’s promise to supply all of our needs.  Finally, we must find the courage to trust in Him, even when we are misunderstood, persecuted, or falsely accused.  When we surrender our life to God, He replaces enslavement to compromise with security in Him.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, January 29, 2018

Be Content

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Believers can be content in every situation because of this promise.  Five negatives are utilized in this statement to emphasize the impossibility of Christ deserting believers.  It is like saying “there is absolutely no way whatsoever that I will ever, ever leave you.”

Commentary from the John MacArthur study Bible, notes for Hebrews 13:5.

A Saving Faith

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The greatest tragedy that can befall someone is to think he’s saved, only to discover after death that he isn’t.  We’d all like to believe the claims of those who say they’re Christians, but Jesus gives a harsh warning because He knows many will be deceived.  They will sit in churches week after week, professing that Jesus is the Son of God, but won’t ever really enter into a personal relationship with Him.

Intellectual faith isn’t the same as saving faith.  It’s not enough to know facts about Jesus or to believe He died and rose again.  Even demons believe that (James 2:19).  Salvation involves more than mere knowing.  It requires trusting that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sin, receiving His forgiveness, turning away from old sinful ways, and entering into a relationship with Him.  What matters is not what we say with our mouth, but what we believe in our heart.

Although you probably won’t understand all that happens at the moment of salvation, when Christ becomes your Savior, He also becomes your Lord.  As the Master of your life, He then has the right to govern what you do.  His Holy Spirit takes up residence within you when you are saved, and that means you will change – God’s Spirit continually works to remove sinful attitudes and behaviors, replacing them with His spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

We recognize a person’s salvation not by his profession but by fruit.  If you are truly saved, your character will become more Christlike over time, and your desire will be to obey the Lord.  This does not mean you’ll never sin or stumble, but overall, your life will be characterized by obedience.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, December 18, 2017.