Tests of One’s Faith – Kent Bailey

Kent Bailey

Genesis 22:1; James 1:13

In the study of the word of God one will carefully note various requirements placed upon humanity that will test our faith. James makes this concept clear as he indicates by divine inspiration  that an acceptable faith produces works (Jas. 2:14-26). An additional reference of the scriptures concerning this same matter is stated in Hebrews chapter 11.

In comparison of the texts found in Genesis 22:1 and James 1:13 it should be obvious to all individuals that the term tempt is used in two different ways within the word of God. The account as stated in Genesis uses the term indicating that of trial whereas James 1:13 inspiration uses such language to indicate an inducement to do evil. The text plainly states that God cannot be tempted with evil and therefore that he does not tempt any individual, or induce one to accomplish that which is evil in their own personal lives. While God will never engage in any activity that would lead any into sinful conduct he does permit our faith to be tested, tried, and/or proven. Such was indicated regarding Abraham in Genesis 22:1. Such implies several important aspects.

One’s personal faith is essential in attaining fellowship with God. When we discuss the element of faith we speak with reference to that of trust, reliance, and/or confidence (Hebrews 11:1-6). In noting the passage, a Biblical faith is established in the lives of individuals upon the basis of adequate evidence. True faith is not a “blind leap into the dark” based upon subjective existential thinking. Such comes as the result of true knowledge whether such knowledge is based upon empirical or contemplative evidence. If one will ever attain fellowship with God, that of faith, along with obedience, must be developed in one’s life.

This type of faith is also inclusive regarding the Deity of Christ (John 1:1-14) as well as the gospel of Christ (Mark 16:15-16). Paul, the Apostle demonstrated a connecting link between evidence, understanding, knowledge, and obedience (Acts 28:24-28). These essential principles are not only essential in one’s becoming a Christian, such are also essential for Christians in remaining faithful.

When one properly understands the importance of such principles one will readily see that such elements are equally related to Christians and non-Christians alike. God does not have a standard that applies to those seeking to be saved from past alien sins in becoming Christians and then has no set standard in continuing in the faith by living faithful as a Christian. The doctrine of “faith only” is just as wrong for the Christian as it is the non-Christian.

Obedience to God is the true test of one’s faith. Such is a remarkable fact that in all Biblical dispensations, God has had certain tests of faith, various means by which determined the loyalty of individuals to Him and to His word. Such is evidenced in Hebrews 11 concerning the record of those who were faithful. We take note of such in the lives of,

· Noah—11:7.

· Abraham—11:7-10; 11:17-19.

· Isaac—11:20-21.

· Joseph—11:22.

· Moses—11:23-29.

Some divine requirements that are adequate tests are moral in nature. These have ethical and practical aspects. Such even have an application that regulates civilized behavior in all societies. Without a correct application of divine principles that are ethical and/or moral in nature civilized society cannot exist.

These divine requirements are right upon the basis of their existence. As a matter of fact, they are given for our good and are absolute essential. These laws predated Mosaic law and were bound upon humanity during Patriarchy when no written revelation had been given. These principles are eternal in nature and are apply to all accountable individuals today as components of the New Testament law of Christ. If such were not the case it would be impossible to posses anything due to thieves stealing from others. Lack of safety would be worse than what it already is due to the sin of murder. Romans 13:1-7 places a divine obligation for civil government to protect society from these evil doers even to the point of taking human life as a scriptural means of punishment. The Old Testament Mosaic law was give to demonstrate the sinfulness of sin (Rom. 7:7-13).

The ultimate test of one’s faith is positive divine law. Positive divine law exists as divine requirements only upon the basis that God requires such, not because there is moral or ethical value found in such. There is no logical connection in taking the blood of an animal and placing an amount over a door post to save the first born in families from death (Exo. 12:13). There is no logical connection between Naaman’s dipping seven times in the river Jordan to be cleansed from his leprosy (2 Ki. 5:10-14). In the New Testament age there is no logical connection of the requirement of the Eternal Word, the second member of the God-head becoming incarnate, coming to this world and tasting death for all of humanity in the shedding of His blood (Heb. 2:9). There is no logical connection of water baptism unto the remission of past alien sins (Acts 2:38). For the Christian there is no logical connection to the acts of New Testament worship (Acts 2:42; Col. 3:16), or even the worship assembly. This is where the denominational world stumbles because of two reasons: (1) They reject the concept of obedience, and (2) The necessary tests of one’s faith.

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Author: Editor

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