Old Faith, New Faith, Bold Faith, Few In Faith
I feel like it could be the title of a new Dr. Suess book.
From Genesis to Revelation it is the same faith. But it certainly varies in the way it’s displayed.
Old Testament saints had faith the Messiah would come, and they were charged with setting forth the principles of New Testament Christianity. Speaking went from a direct line of communication, when Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden… can you imagine what that must have been like! And then following the fall and rebellion of men, a priest would have the responsibility and accountability for God’s children. Not a role to be taken lightly. Handled inappropriately would mean certain death!
God’s Spirit would come upon men like Moses, Jacob and others and it was no doubt an awe-inspiring time. Most likely a little frightening too! It’s from their testimonies that we can experience Old Testament faith.
What characters of the Old Testament would you like to question? And what questions would you ask?
What would have been your reaction if God had showed up in the burning bush to you? Or wrestled with you as He did Jacob? Have you ever felt like you did wrestle with God?
Scroll forward to the New Testament and a whole new line of communication came when Jesus, the Son of God walked the earth once again. But only for a short time. Following His crucifixion and resurrection, that act of unconditional love would humbly allow us, the nobody’s and the somebody’s to speak to God through the Holy Spirit.
As I thought on this today, the images of the two different phones came into play. The old faith and the new faith are still one faith. It’s still the same God on the line. It’s just the way of communication differs.
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Old Testament faith was still faith even though they were keepers of the law. Or attempted keepers of the law. 613 of them. I can’t keep ten! Nor could they, so a sacrifice was put into place that would be used year after year. Lamb after lamb. Slain as a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. Did they know that’s what it was? I don’t guess. But they knew it was God’s design and their only hope at the time; and that it all pointed, somehow, some way to the coming Messiah that they hoped for.
Every generation from the days of Adam hoped for.
I think of that old phone as the Old Testament way of communication with God. There was a line you had to go through. The Priest would go into the Holy of Holies and God and he would converse about what the people needed to know. Then he would deliver the message. We too experience that some through the preaching of the Word of God. But the difference is we too can receive a word. That should make you shout! That’s a privilege Old Testament, average Joe’s or Jolene’s didn’t experience.
When God showed up on the mountain, the children of Israel told Moses to go and talk to Him on the mountain. They feared God way too much to want to hear from Him direct.
And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
Have you ever felt that fearful of God? Why or why not?
I must wonder if some Christians still fear God’s voice. Many don’t even make the attempt at communication, or at least not very often.
The words of David used in Romans 4 are from the book of Psalms 32:2
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
David experienced God in a way few people did then, or do now.
Why do you think that was so?
It certainly wasn’t because he was perfect. He acknowledges that he’s a sinner.
Romans 3:23 says
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
David wasn’t sin free, he was bold in his confession because he wanted a right relationship with the Lord. He knew his relationship wasn’t right because he felt the heaviness of God upon him.
Have you felt that? What was going on at the time? Likely something that shouldn’t have been going on at the time. It’s not a feeling we like but we should love it, because it tells us that we’re saved.
Salvation comes from repentance.
David received his forgiveness and a renewed relationship with God when he repented, acknowledged what he did and turned away from it.
We too should be so bold!
David’s relationship with God caused him to take some actions. He trusted God’s guidance for war, or not having war. He composed writings and songs, he played music and was a mighty leader when his relationship was right with God. He was bold!
Are you bold in the faith? If not why?
Few in the Faith
As time goes on, our churches seem to be dwindling in size and number. I pass empty church houses with grown up lawns everywhere I go. It makes my heart heavy and very sad. Because I know at one point there may have been a thriving congregation in that place. But they lost their zeal and their desire to serve God. They also lost the best thing that ever happened to them.
I love missionaries and consider myself a missionary to the United States. When I see folks with burdens for other countries I wonder… when will some get a burden for our own.
I have that.
In just a little over a month I’m traveling to New Mexico to minister in two different churches, if not more. I’m praying the Lord opens doors for me there to encourage the believers to be bold in their faith!
For this trip I ask that you’ll pray too. Pray that God will give me words and songs and that a great Spirit of revival will come upon that place. Pray for our safe travels and pray that our expenses are met.
I’m booked believing that we can’t out give God.