Romans 4:1-5: What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 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 credited to him as righteousness." Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness ...

For the sake of focus, let me begin with some disclaimers. What I now share is not about a "faith only" concept, not about a "mental affirmation" faith, and not about the transition from Satan's kingdom to God's kingdom. Paul wrote the above statement in a letter to Christians in Rome, not to those ruled by Satan.

Of all people, Christians should be faith-filled. Those in Jesus Christ have greater reasons for faith than anyone else. Faith in Jesus' resurrection and enthronement began our journey from Satan's rule to God's rule. Faith in what God did (does) through Jesus allows us to be recreated by God Himself. Faith in God's work through Jesus leads us to change our emotions, our minds, our behaviors, our purposes, our values, and the nature/character of our relationships. Faith leads us on our journey through life. Through faith we come before God as part of His family in judgment. Faith is the heart and soul of a Christian's nature, existence, and commitment. Without faith, there cannot be a Christian man or woman. If you destroy faith, you destroy who we are.

THE question: faith in what? My accomplishments? A system? Compliance with a few commands? Membership? A performance imposed on me? Compliance with others' expectations? A movement? Traditions? Human reasoning? A select group of people?

Scripture urges none of those. Scripture urges faith in God. People can be good influences on us, but God is the focus of our faith. Jesus teaches us how to do good, but God is the focus of our faith. Scripture enlightens our understanding, but God is the focus of our faith. When we are Christians, we are part of the church, but God is the focus of our faith.

Why? God promised Abraham to bless all families through his descendants (Genesis 12:3). Because of Abraham's faith, God accepted him as righteous (Genesis 15:6). God sent Jesus. God sacrificed and resurrected Jesus. As Jesus died, God allowed our sins to be placed on his body so we could become righteous (1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:21). God resurrected the dead Jesus and enthroned him at His right hand (Ephesians 1:20) to be Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36) until Jesus returns all things to God to restore Him to the position of the "all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:28).

Faith in God saves, not faith in the church, not faith in our deeds, not faith in a movement, not faith in a religious system, not faith in traditions, not faith in human endeavors. When our faith is focused in God, the power that resurrected Jesus protects us as God's property and designs us to live eternally (1 Peter 1:5). Place faith in God!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 7 December 2003

 Link to next article

 Link to other Writings of David Chadwell