THE FOUNDATION, CONDITIONS, AND RELATIONS OF FAITH

SERMON BY CHARLES FINNEY

"And he believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness." --Gen. 15:6.

"What shall we then say 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." --Rom. 4:1-5

 

The passage in Genesis 15, refers to Abraham--to the promises God had made to him--to his faith in those promises, and to the Lord's acceptance of that faith. These topics are first brought to our view in Genesis 12, again in Gen. 17, and thenceforward frequently in the course of Abraham's history. The case was highly instructive, and St. Paul could not fail to see its important bearings. Hence the free use he makes of it as an illustration, both of what faith, and of its results.

In treating this subject, it is important,

I. TO NOTICE THE FOUNDATION OF ABRAHAM'S FAITH.

II. SOME OF ITS CONDITIONS.

III. ITS GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS.

IV. ITS NATURAL RELATIONS AND RESULTS.

Read More

GOD UNDER OBLIGATION TO DO RIGHT

SERMON BY CHARLES FINNEY

'Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?' Gen. 18:25.

 

In discussing this subject I will show,

I. WHAT IS RIGHT.

II. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN GOD'S DOING RIGHT?

III. THAT GOD IS UNDER A MORAL OBLIGATION TO DO RIGHT.

IV. THAT ALL MORAL BEINGS ARE BOUND TO BE WILLING THAT GOD SHOULD DO RIGHT.

V. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN BEING WILLING THAT GOD SHOULD DO RIGHT.

VI. THAT THIS STATE OF MIND IS INDISPENSABLE TO SALVATION.

Read More

Tested

On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided. Genesis 22:14 (NIV)

As soon as the pregnancy test showed positive, the search began for a vehicle that could transport our expanding family. With limited funds, the Lord’s hand was upon us as we found a van in impeccable condition with low mileage… in our price range… and even in the color we desired! But we were to be tested. One Sunday afternoon, we commuted into the city for a day of sightseeing and left our van in the parking lot of the train station. With weary feet and cranky children, we reentered the station at the end of the day. Our parking spot was empty! Hearts sunk as we were gripped with the realization that our van had been stolen. We felt a bit like Abraham when asked to give up the son that God had surely provided as part of His promise. Were we, too, being asked to offer this, our gift, back to Him? Friends drove us home that evening and we spent most the week in a haze of decisions. Should we purchase another vehicle on credit? Should we make do with a small car that couldn’t hold us all? Should we save until we could afford something bigger? We called out to God for direction. And then we received the phone call. The local police had recovered our van, out of gas, but otherwise unharmed!

Father, thank You for this ram in the thicket. Thank You for never going back on Your promises and reminding us that everything is a gift from You!

By Kristin (Maryland, USA)

Who is the True God?

Q. Who is the true god?

A. Wow – that is a great question. Although, it is difficult to define God because He encompasses so many different, vast dimensions of the personal, physical, and spiritual realm/world. First of all I think we need to take in account or understand that God exists in the Holy Trinity – God (the Father), the Holy Spirit (which lives in us who have accepted Jesus), and Jesus (God’s Son – who is also our Savior and shed blood). “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” – Revelations 5:13 With that said, God’s name in English is Jehovah (in the original Hebrew it is Yahweh). This name for God is used more than sixty-eight hundred times in the entire Bible. The name means “to be.” This means that God is ever-lasting, self-existing. God is the God who always is. Secondly, God is the Provider (Jehovah-Jireh). Jireh means “he sees ahead.” God sees what you need before you even have a need, and He provides. One story in the Old Testament that references God as the Provider is in Gen. 22 when God asks Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice. When Abraham was ready to take his boy up for the sacrifice, he said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you” (Gen 22:5).

Read More

That's What Friends are For

So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam, no suitable helper was found. Genesis 2:20 (NIV)

Today I had lunch with a couple of friends. We laughed a lot and got caught up on what was going on in each other's lives. Too soon our time together ended and we made plans to "do this again real soon." I hopped in my little red Ford Focus and headed for home. 

Do you realize that of all of God's creations, mankind is the only one who makes friends? We alone have an innate need to share our lives with others. Sure birds of a feather flock together, so the saying goes. But man is the only one with an overwhelming desire to connect with others on an emotional and intellectual level. 

God recognized this when he made Adam. He said, "It is not good for man to be alone," (Genesis 2:18) and so He created Eve. But first, He had Adam name all the animals so Adam could see that there was not another creation like himself in the entire garden. God let Adam discover his need first, then God provided. I wasn't there, but I think this was so Adam would cherish Eve all the more. 

I cherish my friends. I cherish my husband. I had a need for them, and they were provided. And I smile to know that they cherish me, too.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the wonderful gift of friendship. May I never take my friends, or You, for granted. Amen.  

Hundredfold Blessing

"…and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:2-3 (NIV)

God has a great desire to bless us, and when He does, He wants to bless others through us. From when He first promised blessings to the world through the nation of Israel down through history, that has been His desire.

God’s range of blessings is limitless. I can see this variety of blessings within my own family. My grandmother on my Dad’s side, for example, has been blessed with long life. She is presently 100 years old.

Yes, she has become smaller and shorter with age, but she doesn’t really look a day over 75. I have never heard her complain about aches and pains, she takes no medicines (not even when the doctor says to!) and wakes each day feeling good and happy to be alive. She is most definitely blessed.

Grama is also healthy and active. She takes little heed of the age thing until someone else reminds her, often with those pesky birthdays. She bowls three times a week, plays bingo, lunches and shops with her many friends, walks every morning, and goes to church each week. She broke a couple of ribs at 77 while roller skating, got her ears pierced at 94, quit driving (thankfully!) at 98. She loves her church, and her bowling teammates are happy just to have her there. However, she mourns for her diminishing skills; she really wants to win.

She had a hard life, but remained faithful to God, and loyal to her husband and family. Now she blesses everyone around her. No, she’s not a great wealth of wisdom, or overtly sweet-natured, or any other special grandmotherly quality. She just is who she is and she blesses people around her with her age and just by being herself. She encourages others with her positive attitude, her tireless spirit, generous manner and quiet faith. She can’t understand how little is required for her to bring joy and encouragement to others.

It is God who uses us to bless others. It’s never been required that we do the blessing; that’s God’s job. All we ever have to do is be willing to let Him work through us. He can think of a lot more creative ideas than we could. He only wants to make sure we allow Him to get the credit for His good work.

So I still have my little grandma, about a pound for every year, and she is a blessing to me every day. She lets everyone make a fuss over her if they want to, and gets on with the business of living.

Dear Lord, teach me how to let You work through me. Allow me the honor of being the instrument which You use to enrich others. All the glory be Yours forever, Amen.