The Kind of Faith – 4-28-22

Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;” Romans 4:16-17 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Romans chapter 4 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Abraham Justified by Faith

What then shall we say that Abraham our father[a] has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was [b]accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted [c]as grace but as debt.

David Celebrates the Same Truth

But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

Abraham Justified Before Circumcision

Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.

The Promise Granted Through Faith

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be [d]sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

Footnotes

  1. Romans 4:1 Or (fore)father according to the flesh has found?
  2. Romans 4:3 imputed, credited, reckoned, counted
  3. Romans 4:4 according to
  4. Romans 4:16 certain

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Isaiah 41:10- “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Thank you for returning again today. Not only is it a hard book – I am making claims that I do not hear from pulpits, of people who misplace grace, grieving it and forget that the Law of Faith is a thing AND that it’s not new or the continuation of the Law of Atonement! It actually predates Moses. But first, let’s not forget our commitment to work on healing our roots:

On Monday, I challenged us all to take a few actions daily to help get us some healthy roots and to root out any sins within us. Again, I copied it here for all of our ease of use.  I hope you, like I am, are serious about making more changes in our lives and becoming more Christ-like.

PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS:
Dear God, I am sorry for being filled with all/any unrighteousness, and/or sexual immorality, and/or wickedness, and/or covetousness, and/or maliciousness, and/or envy, murder, and strife, and/or deceit and evil-mindedness, and/or being a whisperers and  backbiters, and/or haters of God, and/or violent, and/or proud and boasting, and/or inventors of evil things, and/or disobedient to parents, and/or undiscerning, and/or untrustworthy, and/or unloving, and/or unforgiving, and/or unmerciful, and/or for practicing such things are deserving of death. Please forgive me even though I knew better and I understand the righteous judgment of You, God. Please wash me with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me and help me turn from my evil ways – convict me strongly when I do wrong that I may notice and stop. And send a fresh filling of your anointing to break the yokes of bondage and help me destroy the roots with a mindful effort and focus on you. Please reignite the fire in my belly that I may burn for you in boldness. In the name of Jesus we pray ~amen

HEALTHY ROOTS CHALLENGE: this challenge is to heal and strengthen our roots
One – Give God ALL the Glory
Two – Dedicated time for Thanksgiving, and be thankful for all things!
Three – Guard our hearts and mind, rebuking and stopping sinful or not godly thoughts, not letting our minds wander and be prayerful and intentional in thinking.
Four – And finally, let us be humble. Humble enough to say I do not know it all and God has something new to reveal to me in this book and in this day.
(Please review the blog post from 4/25/22 for an explanation as to why we are doing this daily and for the scriptural reference instructing us to make these things a practice in our lives. Until they flow from us naturally, we can intentionally and with all of our hearts, scheduled them into our lives and watch them heal and reroute our unhealthy roots that gave sinful/evil fruits.)

Now, staying humble and honest with ourselves – let us look at chapter four and Abrahamic faith which arguably could have been the birth of the Law of Faith. I could ask about Noah’s faith to build an ark, and a promise, and a rainbow, and a covenant we still see the symbol of even today. But Paul went back to the Covenant with Abraham, because it is under the fulfillment of the covenant to save all of the nations from Abraham’s loins that gentiles are included – and that was exactly what was happening in Rome. The Roman Jewish believers were struggling with legalism, acceptance of others, understanding repentance, forgiveness and sin, and understanding who they are now in Christ. Later letters Paul simplifies some of these concepts and says: “In Him…” But to the Roman church he explains why and how in detail.

So yesterday Paul introduces us to the Law of Faith and today he explains what kind of faith that is.
“1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
First of all, faith is not a work. Faith often is tied hand in hand with an action that shows our commitment to our belief, but it is NOT a work. Faith is believing. It is not hoping. It is not saying you believe while you sit back and hope you are right. Do not confuse Hope and Faith. It is very clear here that faith is NOT something we can even do, without God. Otherwise we could boast that we had great faith. Abraham believed God, not believed in Him but believed Him. God counted that to him for righteousness.
I come to God saying I believe, help my unbelief like the father we read about in Mark. Because belief is simple but difficult. God said it and we believe it and that settles it. And the time in between when God said it and we receive it – everything gets soggy in the waiting and faith gives way to hope and none of us can make it all the way on our own, or we could boast! So, Lord replace hope with belief again. You said it and we believe it and that settles it.

Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.”
In my personal studies, I have been studying God and finances. We all know I need a break through in that area so I am studying it. The Bible surprisingly overflows with financial metaphors. We often miss them as we think of money, saving, equity, credit and such when the Bible uses terms like sowing and reaping and give and receive. The multiplication of God and money is really about prosperity in wealth: financial, physical & health, and spiritual / eternal. Without getting into a long explanation which could hijack this blog for a very long time – Here we see evidence of our checking accounts with God. When we do works, we withdrawal. When we believe, we deposit into this account to later be able to draw from when we need miracles, signs, wonders, bills paid, etc. We cannot just grab any “prosperity” scripture and cling to it for dear life, when our account in heaven in over drawn from works. We need to put some seed in that account and watch it grow into some grace (transformative power) to use later.
I can cry out to God: I have tithed and given offerings in obedience when I hear you and knew it was you. Forgive me if I disobeyed by missing your voice.  But I have sown my seed, now where is my harvest? The bills are due in 2 days!! And that would be counted as a withdrawal because I sowed in hope of a harvest and not in belief. Instead, even when the bill is due in two days, say: God, you said it, and I believe it and that settles it! Glory to God and Thank you Jesus! ~amen and amen! (p.s. help my unbelief in the name of Jesus!) And then it keeps the wealth growing in the account for my actual time of need which is two days from now. And in two days, I will look to heaven and say: I receive all that you have for me. And I will praise and thank Him no matter what my eyes see.

But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,”

Paul goes on afraid we did not understand using Abraham as the example of the fact that none of this is new and faith was the point right from the beginning of time. So Paul pulls from David’s life.
just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

You see when we understand our forgiveness – we are blessed. Maybe not financial but there is more in our heavenly accounts. David understood well, what Paul was saying.
But these Holier than Thou Jews he was writing to, may not because everyone was getting hung up on the gentiles NOT getting circumcised. This argument over circumcision or not stretched over time and space and was so far reaching, that “Christian nations” like the USA circumcise your child in the hospital as standard practice. What does it have to do with being a “Christian nation”? Well, even though Peter and Paul and the first century church says only the Jews get circumcised and the Christian do not – the inside division in the church over this eventually led to everyone getting circumcised, the Jews according to religious practice and the Christian in the hospital the morning after you are born.
Not knowing this was going to be the outcome Paul continues to explain that you do not need to be circumcised to have faith – that the kind of faith required here has nothing to do with works, including the work of circumcision. Let’s take a look:

Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.”

OK, people, stop getting hung up on the wrong thing here. I can feel Paul’s passionate frustration as he is trying so hard to fight every argument that they could possibly have to distort and corrupt what He is teaching.

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.”
He is saying a system where I do good to avoid wrath while my mind does bad and no one sees is corrupt and would not work. It has no truth in justice. No one can be counted as righteous, because the heart is not judged – only the actions.

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17a (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”)”
I see how people who do not understand what grace truly is, and think it is only favor, get confused and say we are under grace and not the law as if they are opposite of that grace somehow threw away the law. Grace is a transformative power when God’s favor touches us. Grace is an action. Grace has been upon mankind since the conception of Adam. Therefore Grace is not the new covenant.
I always say there are 3 covenants: the first covenant was with Abraham, the second was the Mosaic Law, and the third is birthed in the blood of Jesus. Well, there are certain things that have been consistent in all three – Paul is saying those things are the foundational core of what we stand for. The Law of Faith – has always been.

So – do you believe? Do you have this kind of faith? Are you unshakable in faith?
17b in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;”
In God’s presence – not on earth, in spirit – God gives life to the dead and God calls those things which do not exist as though they did. I am here in the flesh saying I believe but I do not see it and God says – draw closer to me, come into the spirit and look and see! It is finished, even though it has not yet broken through into the physical.

18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 
Abraham, had the struggle, as you remember in the belief, deep in the waiting, He tried to do what He thought was right and took half the promise by having a child with another woman – but the promise was to Sarah as well. Regardless of their error – they repented and believed. And now they are set up high as a great example! Imperfect, but perfect for us who blunder and err along our way. We fall, but always get back up and try again and again – hungry for God. Hungry to get to the end of our race and give Jesus a physical hug! Paul is trying to remind us to build up our faith, as he is building our faith by reminding us.

19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,”
Nothing encourages me more than knowing righteousness was imputed to Abraham despite his shortcomings. His sins were forgiven him and therefore the way the story was told has changed and they left out the fall, and the other child. We can be THAT kind of forgiven – they kind that leaves out the addiction(s), the child(ren) out of wedlock, and all the sins. Our story retold with righteousness imputed – justified. (Also note, I reinserted Abraham’s sin to teach us a lesson and people will always remind us of our sins sometimes to teach and sometimes to be cruel – BUT WHEN GOD TELLS THE STORY THEY ARE OMITTED! Amen!!)

21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”

21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”

21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”

Did you read that?! Honey I am fully convinced that what He had promised, He is able to complete! Build up your faith, here! Are you convinced? You have seen what God has and can do in the Bible – is that enough? Are you in? do you really believe this? and we chase away ‘well, um, I hope so.’ And bring in the banners and parade and celebration – because he is NOT only able! He has done it and we are just waiting for the manifestation in the physical.

22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
Accounted, like and accountant counts your money – your bank account in heaven grows wealth, enough to bless your finances and bless your spirit and bless your health! How to grow that? Well, that is in my personal study. Maybe I will publish it as a deliverance book and call it rags to riches – but right now, it is my lesson to go through and not to teach.  I believe it, even though I have not yet seen the glory of the Lord in the physical yet. Yet.

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.”
Obviously it isn’t written for Abraham’s sake, he passed away many generations ago – But Paul also understood that Abraham is alive in the spirit because our God is a God of the living!  Paul is also trying to emphasize that this should encourage our faith. Because we cannot even have faith enough on our own without God and therefore God sends us encouragement to help build us up so we can be great in faith, counted for righteousness and justified.
Now, let’s jump outside of linear time again. I know some of you expressed that you do not like that and it is uncomfortable – get used to it, because that is where we spend eternity! Take another look at that string of verses.
We believe in him who raised Jesus. Jesus was killed for our sins. Jesus was raised because of our justification.
I don’t know how old you are, but Jesus died and rose again almost 2000 years before I was born (or closer to 1940 something years – calculated by the year I was born, adjusted for the accuracy of year 1 being the year of Jesus’s birth and the approximate 33 years of Jesus’s life and, and and) The point is that I wasn’t here, let alone sinning and in need of justification when in linear time, Jesus was sacrificed for my sins. Only outside of linear time can we understand what Paul is saying – and it is a strong point. If we did not have faith and therefore righteousness imputed to us so we are justified – then Jesus could NOT raise from the dead, destroying death and sin’s grasp on us! Jesus was raised because of our justification. That my friends is the kind of faith we need! The kind that our very first act of saying I believe in God and, like Him, want a relationship with Him, and I believe – imputes righteousness to us and our first action is to raise the dead! Jesus comes out of that grave and into our hearts to be the way to the Father. Hallelujah! If you are not excited and filled with Joy by the fact that YOU and your tiny amount of faith participated in His resurrection then you need to check to see if you are alive.  It is NOT by works – it is by believing. It is not by hoping this is true. It is by saying you believe and letting nothing, not even your own mind convince you otherwise.  We need and have the kind of faith that raises the dead! (and you thought you’ve never had any signs or wonders follow you!)

Today – let us sure up our belief. Not in action. But with all our hearts. Ask for forgiveness of any unbelief and ask for help believing. That we my break through into the spirit and be counted righteousness, begin refilling or increase our filing in our holy bank accounts and bust Jesus out of death! Good stuff.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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