Examples of faith work
19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?[f] 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[g] And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
1) Abraham worked his faith by his action. He offered his son Isaac on the altar. The same son whom God had miraculously given him. The son through whom God had promised a generation like the stars in the sky. Then, why would God ask this of Abraham? God was revealing His covenant to Abraham. In a covenant, each party will show that everything that they have belongs to the other. Abraham had very little to offer and God had everything to offer. Abraham surrendered himself and demonstrated his readiness to be in the covenant. Then God stopped him from killing Isaac. He promised to give His only begotten son Jesus as a sacrifice for the whole world.
In our covenant relationship with God, we have to give all of ourselves to God. The Bible is full of covenant language. Romans 8:32 is such a covenant verse. He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? All things are ours.
Romans 4:17-22 says 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
It shows how Abraham exercised his faith. Even when he had no reason to believe that he’d have a son, he believed in the promise of God. He began to praise and glorify God. That was his confession of faith. With that, He became strong in His faith. We cannot overcome our problems without becoming stronger in our faith. And how do we get strong? By praising God, believing His promise and giving glory to God.
2) Joshua 2 talks about Rahab’s story. Joshua sends two spies into Jericho. Rahab hides them in her house. When the king’s men come searching for the spies, Rahab misdirects them. She helps the spies escape after extracting a promise from them to save her and her family later. Joshua 2:11 records her confession of faith, ‘for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath’. She showed this faith by her action of hiding them. She took the risk of the king’s wrath and still hid them. She only asked for them to remember her when they came victoriously later. Joshua 6 talks about how Joshua commanded his men to rescue her and her family when they captured Jericho. The Bible says that Rahab went on to become an ancestor of Jesus. A gentile outsider of the Covenant believed in the only true God. She demonstrated her faith with a corresponding action that she could afford at that time.
Many a times our corresponding action to faith could be declaring the promises of God. We must confess what God says concerning our belief.
It is important to our faith. Miracles will happen and great things will come to pass. God’s promises in our lives will be fulfilled.