“We walk by faith and not by sight.” 2 Cor. 5:7
How do we do this, ‘walk by faith’? How was Abraham’s willingness to physically sacrifice his son an act of faith?
God had given him specific, explicit instructions concerning the sacrifice of Isaac. Yet this seemed contradictory to God’s previous proclamations of His planned intentions to make a great nation from Abraham through Isaac. If Isaac died, how could God accomplish what He had previously said He was going to do? Why would God require Abraham to sacrifice the son He had given to him in a miraculous way for a specific purpose which was given to him by God Himself?
How does this help us understand our walk by faith?
First, Abraham had come to saving faith in Christ.
Both in Hebrews 11:8-10 and Romans 4:3 we are told that Abraham trusted in God’s Word according to the promise given to him by God. (See also John 8:56.) No one can trust the Lord for specific aspects of their life unless they have already dealt with their own sin before God. They must have turned from their personal disobedience toward God and trusted in Jesus Christ alone by faith alone.
Second, having received the faith to trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his sins, Abraham was now learning how to express that faith in everyday living.
The Christian faith does not separate believing and living. James stated it clearly: “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead” (James 2:26). Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him” (John 14:21).
In John’s first epistle he wrote, “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3) and “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18).
The Bible teaches this truth in two ways.
First, positively by stating what will be evident in the life of each believer, that is, obedience to the Scriptures. The Scriptures quoted in the previous paragraph testify to that.
Second, negatively by condemning anyone who says they are a Christian but does not obey the Bible.
This is called hypocrisy. Some of Jesus’ harshest words were spoken against those who were hypocritical. Read through Matthew 6:1-18 and Matthew 23:1-36, which provide strong evidence against anyone who professes Christ but lives opposite to the clear teaching of the Scriptures.
Don’t put a question mark where God put a period.
So each person who has been regenerated by the Spirit of the Lord will be walking by faith. It is important to recognize that what the Bible calls ‘sanctification’ is actually each believer learning how to take the truth he learns and live it out by faith. As each Christian does that more and more, the purpose of God to conform each believer into Christ’s image will actually occur day by day.
Faith is obeying God’s Word in our thoughts, words, and actions by relying on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to obey as we need it (Ephesians 3:16).
Faith is seeing all of life and each part of life the way God sees it. It is trusting Jesus Christ in every circumstance and believing that He knows what is best all the time.
Faith is hope placed on the certainty of the character of God the Father, and hope placed in the certainty that what He has promised concerning our new life in Christ and our future resurrection to eternal life (Hebrews 11).