How Faith Works #6 – Pleases God
I serve on our Metro District Licensing and Ordaining/Consecrating Committee to interview candidates for accreditation and ordination in the Christian & Missionary Alliance.
One question commonly asked: “How were people saved in Old Testament times?” A good answer, the right answer is, “By faith.”
When asked for a supporting Scripture, they do well to refer to Abraham in Genesis 15:6, “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (which is also quoted and explained in Romans 4).
A common misconception about the Old Testament way of salvation is that Jews were saved by keeping the Law. But that isn’t true. Abraham, along with all true followers of God, were justified by faith.
God didn’t change how he saved people in the New Testament. It’s always been by faith.
For people in Old Testament times, by faith they looked ahead in time to the Messiah. “This is what the ancients were commended for” (Hebrews 11:2).
For us today – with a more complete understanding of God revealing himself in Christ – by faith we look back in time to Jesus and his redeeming death on the cross.
Not only were the ancients justified by faith. They also lived by faith. Hebrews 11 presents multiple examples of men and women who received God’s approval because of their faith.
Our “faith from first to last” pleases God. “Just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (Romans 1:17). People with faith please God very much.
A small group of Bruce Wilkinson’s “Dream for Africa” volunteers arrived in Swaziland to plant gardens. On the final day of their visit, they came upon the tiny home of an old African woman who had taken on the responsibility of caring for 56 orphans.
A number of little gardens had been dug up all around her home, but oddly, no plants were growing in any of them.
The volunteers learned that earlier that day, the woman had told the children to dig lots of gardens.
When the children asked her why – since they had neither seeds nor money – she responded, “Last night I asked God to send someone to plant gardens for us. We must be ready for them when they come.”
Wilkinson’s volunteers had come with hundreds of ready-to-plant seedlings. God sent them to the very place where one of his servants had asked in faith for God to provide. They were ready when the answer came.
God always responds to faith.
~ Pastor Dave