By Steven Merten
All biblical quotes are from the New American Bible.
All bolding, color and underlining of scriptural quotes have been added.
Jesus' words are in red. Bible Abbreviations
If God commands that a rock is hard, the rock is hard. The rock has not been commanded by God to be hard and then faithfully chooses to be hard. No, the rock has no option in the matter. God wills that rocks be hard and rocks are as hard as He wills them. A pepper plant does not decide to be unfaithful to God by growing thistles instead of peppers. Yet the same words of God, which commands the pepper plant to produce peppers, commands man to produce faithfulness to his wife. Man unlike the pepper plant can choose to produce the thistles of divorce as faithless hate for God.
NAB2 MAT 24:9Then they will hand you over to persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of my name. And then many will be led into sin; they will betray and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and deceive many; and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
NAB 1TH 3:2. . . .and send you Timothy. He is our brother and God's fellow worker in preaching the gospel of Christ, and so we sent him to strengthen and encourage you in regard to your faith lest any of you be shaken by these trials. (1TH 3:4-3:8)
NAB ROM 11:17If some of the branches were cut off and you, a branch of the wild olive tree, have been grafted in among the others and have come to share in the rich root of the olive, do not boast against the branches. If you do boast, remember that you do not support the root; the root supports you. You will say, "Branches were cut off that I might be grafted in." Well and good. They were cut off because of unbelief and you are there because of faith. Do not be haughty on that account, but fearful. If God did not spare the natural branches, he will certainly not spare you.
Consider the kindness and the severity of God severity toward those who fell, kindness toward you, provided you remained in his kindness; if you do not, you too will be cut off. And if the Jews do not remain in their unbelief they will be grafted back on, for God is able to do this. If you were cut off from the natural wild olive and, contrary to nature, were grafted into the cultivated olive, so much the more will they who belong to it by nature be grafted into their own olive tree.
NAB 2PE 2:20When men have fled a polluted world by recognizing the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are caught up and overcome in pollution once more, their last condition is worse than their first. It would have been better for them not to have recognized the road to holiness than to have turned their backs on the holy law handed on to them, once they had known it. How well the proverb fits them: "The dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow bathes by wallowing in the mire."
Trees, rocks, stars, light, cows, and mountains are not unfaithful to God. The difference between a rock being not unfaithful and doing the will of God and man being faithful to God is that man, unlike the rock, chooses faithfulness. Some think of man like a rock in that the only way he is not unfaithful is by God making him so. They are wrong. You cannot be obedient unless you have the option to be disobedient. You cannot love God unless you have the option not to love God. You can not have faith unless you have the option not to have faith.
Faith is a marvelous equilibrium that God has allowed us. To love God we are to obey Him, but when we fail, our zeal to obey and be His followers stands in obedience's place because of Jesus' blood. In the following scripture you will see sinners coming through Jesus mercy into eternal life by faith. This whole story is a grand view of free-willed acts of faith and how faith interrelates with obedience, love and salvation.
Faithful men becoming saints offer up their very lives to remain faithful to God's covenant, the Ten Commandments. To fulfill any of God's laws is to give love, reverence and faithfulness to Him.
NAB 2MC 7:1 Martyrdom of a Mother and Her Sons.It also happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law. One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said: What do you expect to achieve by questioning us? We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.
Those who have trust in the Lord our King Jesus Christ will raise up to life again forever. Jesus will have pity on his servants who hold to faith and obey the precepts of Jesus and his Father.NAB 2MC 7:3 Continued: At that the king, in a fury, gave orders to have pans and caldrons heated. While they were being quickly heated, he commanded his executioners to cut out the tongue of the one who had spoken for the others, to scalp him and cut off his hands and feet, while the rest of his brothers and his mother looked on. When he was completely maimed but still breathing, the king ordered them to carry him to the fire and fry him. As a cloud of smoke spread from the pan, the brothers and their mother encouraged one another to die bravely, saying such words as these: "The LORD God is looking on, and he truly has compassion on us, as Moses declared in his canticle, when he protested openly with the words, 'And he will have pity on his servants.'"
When the first brother had died in this manner, they brought the second to be made sport of. After tearing off the skin and hair of his head, they asked him, "Will you eat the pork rather than have your body tortured limb by limb?" Answering in the language of his forefathers, he said, "Never!" So he too in turn suffered the same tortures as the first. At the point of death he said: "You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever. It is for his laws that we are dying."
It is the faithful who hold tightly to the will of God until the end, even in the face of mutilation of their bodies, as they hope for their resurrection into the eternal Kingdom. Although the martyrs have sinned it is the zeal in their hearts to love God through the commandments which is faith that brings them into Christ's mercy after death.NAB 2MC 7:10 Continued: After him the third suffered their cruel sport. He put out his tongue at once when told to do so, and bravely held out his hands, as he spoke these noble words: "It was from Heaven that I received these: for the sake of his laws I disdain them." Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man's courage, because he regarded his sufferings as nothing.
After he had died, they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way. When he was near death, he said, "It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the God-given hope of being restored to life by him; but for you there will be no resurrection to life. "
They next brought forward the fifth brother and maltreated him. Looking at the king, he said: "Since you have power among men, mortal though you are, do what you please. But do not think that our nation is forsaken by God. Only wait, and you will see how his great power will torment you and your descendants. "
After him they brought the sixth brother. When he was about to die, he said: "Have no vain illusions. We suffer these things on our own account, because we have sinned against our God; that is why such astonishing things have happened to us. Do not think, then, that you will go unpunished for having dared to fight against God."
NAB 2TH 1:3It is no more than right that we thank God unceasingly for you, brothers, because your faith grows apace and your mutual love increases; so much so that in God's communities we can boast of your constancy and your faith in persecution and trial. You endure these as an expression of God's just judgment, in order to be found worthy of his kingdom - it is for his kingdom you suffer - even if strict justice would require that God visit hardships on those who visit them on you. He will provide relief to you who are sorely tried, as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels; when "with flaming power he will inflict punishment on those who do not acknowledge God nor heed" the good news of our Lord Jesus. Such as these will suffer the penalty of eternal ruin apart from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his might on the Day when he comes, to be glorified in his holy ones and adored by all who have believed - for you already have our witness to you.
INT PRO 16:6Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.
Upon Jesus resurrection he is born again. The mother tells her son to choose to remain faithful to God's will to the end and she will receive him, the fruit of her womb, for a second time. The mother tells her son that after death the Creator will breath life into him for a second time. In fulfilling faith and obedience to God the son will be born again and resurrect into his mothers arms for a second time.NAB 2MC 7:20 Continued: Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother, who saw her seven sons perish in a single day, yet bore it courageously because of her hope in the LORD. Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly heart with manly courage, she exhorted each of them in the language of their forefathers with these words: "I do not know how you came into existence in my womb; it was not I who gave you the breath of life, nor was it I who set in order the elements of which each of you is composed. Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe who shapes each man's beginning, as he brings about the origin of everything, he, in his mercy, will give you back both breath and life, because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law."
NAB JOH 3:3Jesus gave him this answer: "I solemnly assure you, no one can see the reign of God unless he is begotten from above." "How can a man be born again once he is old?" retorted Nicodemus. "Can he return to his mother's womb and be born over again?" Jesus replied: "I solemnly assure you, no one can enter into God's kingdom without being begotten of water and Spirit."
NAB 2MC 7:24 Continued: Antiochus, suspecting insult in her words, thought he was being ridiculed. As the youngest brother was still alive, the king appealed to him, not with mere words, but with promises on oath, to make him rich and happy if he would abandon his ancestral customs: he would make him his Friend and entrust him with high office. When the youth paid no attention to him at all, the king appealed to the mother, urging her to advise her boy to save his life.
NAB MAT 16:24Jesus then said to his disciples: "If a man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross, and begin to follow in my footsteps. Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would a man show if he were to gain the whole world and destroy himself in the process? What can a man offer in exchange for his very self? The Son of Man will come with his Fathers glory accompanied by his angels. When he does, he will repay each man according to his conduct." (JOH 12:25) (LUK 17:33)
NAB MAT 10:28"Do not fear those who deprive the body of life but cannot destroy the soul. Rather, fear him who can destroy both body and soul in Gehenna." (LUK 12:4)
NAB 2MC 7:26 Continued: After he had urged her for a long time, she went through the motions of persuading her son. In derision of the cruel tyrant, she leaned over close to her son and said in their native language: "Son, have pity on me, who carried you in my womb for nine months, nursed you for three years, brought you up, educated and supported you to your present age. I beg you, child, to look at the heavens and the earth and see all that is in them; then you will know that God did not make them out of existing things; and in the same way the human race came into existence. Do not be afraid of this executioner, but be worthy of your brothers and accept death, so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with them."
NAB HEB 11:35Women received back their dead through resurrection. Others were tortured and would not receive deliverance, in order to obtain a better resurrection.
NAB DAN 12:13Go, take your rest, you shall rise for your reward at the end of days.
NAB PSA 41:11"But you, O LORD, have pity on me, and raise me up, that I may repay them." That you love me I know by this, that my enemy does not triumph over me, But because of my integrity you sustain me and let me stand before you forever. (PSA 71:20-23)
It is under God's covenant of creation to Adam, covenant of circumcision to Israelites and covenant of baptism to Christians that we become fleshly Children of Heaven. A Child of Heaven has the option to turn away from God in times of adversity and lose the eternal life-saving covenant. It is those remaining faithful and obedient to God's covenant till death, like the martyred mother and seven sons, who will be reborn to eternal new life through the mercy of Jesus Christ.NAB 2MC 7:30 Continued: She had scarcely finished speaking when the youth said: "What are you waiting for? I will not obey the king's command. I obey the command of the law given to our forefathers through Moses. But you, who have contrived every kind of affliction for the Hebrews, will not escape the hands of God. We indeed, are suffering because of our sins. Though our living LORD treats us harshly for a little while to correct us with chastisements, he will again be reconciled with his servants. But you, wretch, vilest of all men! do not, in your insolence, concern yourself with unfounded hopes, as you raise your hand against the children of Heaven. You have not yet escaped the judgment of the almighty and all-seeing God. My brothers, after enduring brief pain, have drunk of never-failing life, under God's covenant but you, by the judgment of God, shall receive just punishments for your arrogance."
NAB 1JO 3:1See what love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God!
You cannot love God yet think it all right to choose disobedience. You cannot choose the option of disobedience yet claim fidelity. Without fidelity in ones heart what love can you have for God? Faith, obedience and love are all tied together. Some people cast out love and obedience and claim that only faith is needed to inherit salvation. I ask them though how can your faith in Christ grow while you choose to hate Him with all your heart? How can your level of faith in Christ remain unchanged when you choose to betray and disobey Him?NAB 2MC 7:37 Continued: "Like my brothers, I offer up my body and my life for our ancestral laws, imploring God to show mercy soon to our nation, and by afflictions and blows to make you confess that he alone is God."
NAB MAT 5:16"In the same way, your light must shine before men so that they may see goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Father."NAB 2MC 7:38 Continued: "Through me and my brothers, may there be an end to the wrath of the Almighty that has justly fallen on our whole nation." At that, the king became enraged and treated him even worse than the others, since he bitterly resented the boy's contempt. Thus he too died undefiled, putting all his trust in the LORD.
Could Abraham be faithful to God and disobey Him in the same act? Because Abraham had faith it was accredited to him as justice. How did Abraham have allegiance, fidelity, trust, and confidence - all of which are faith in God? Abraham showed God faith through obedience. God commanded that Abraham sacrifice his son and Abraham had faith in God through his obedience. Abraham could not have maintained or increased his level of faith in God had he chose to disobey. Abraham had the opportunity to love God and the option to hate God. Abraham did not lose these options when he acquired faith. Abraham could have had faith strong enough to move mountains, yet if he had used his option not to love God, of what value would his faith have been (1CO 13:2)?
Love, obedience and faith are one, and one are three as the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are One. Three are one and one are three as our loving Father, obedient Jesus and faithful saints, when begotten into the Holy Spirit, will be One in heaven. God accepts Abraham's faith as obedience and love. And Abraham's obedience is love and faith for God. Israelites or Christians who are faithless and disobey but repent will be seen faithful and obedient because they now love.
NAB JAM 2:18To such a person one might say, "You have faith and I have works is that it? Show me your faith without works, and I will show you the faith that underlies my works!" Do you believe that God is one? You are quite right. The demons believe that, and shudder. Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that without works faith is idle? Was not our father Abraham justified by his works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? There you see proof that faith was both assisting his works and implemented by his works. You also see how the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as justice"; for this he received the title "God's friend."
You must perceive that a person is justified by his works and not by faith alone. Rahab the harlot will illustrate the point. Was she not justified by her works when she harbored the messengers and sent them out by a different route? Be assured, then, that faith without works is as dead as a body without breath.
NAB GEN 22:15Again the LORD's messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said: "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your beloved son, I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing - all this because you obeyed my command."
NAB HEB 11:17By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac; he who had received the promises was ready to sacrifice his only son, of whom it was said, "Through Isaac shall your descendants be called." He reasoned that God was able to raise from the dead, and so he received Isaac back as a symbol.
NAB REV 14:12This is what sustains the holy ones, who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. I heard a voice from heaven say to me: Write this down: Happy now are the dead who die in the Lord! The Spirit added, "Yes, they shall find rest from their labors, for their good works accompany them."
Faith, love and obedience do not function independent of one another. A choice of disobedience results in a decrease of faith. An act of obedience increases your faith. An act of faith is seen as an increase in obedience and love. Repentance to love can override faithlessness and disobedience. However, love is an obedient and faithful heart.
God tests one's faith by testing one's obedience. As gold is tested in fire so is man's faith tested through obedience. Jesus tests our faith through the fires of, temptation, obstacles and difficulties, on earth.
NAB 1TI 1:5What we are aiming at in this warning is the love that springs from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. Some people have neglected these and instead have turned to meaningless talk, wanting to be teachers of the law but actually not understanding the words they are using, much less the matters they discuss with such assurance.
NAB GAL 5:6In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor the lack of it counts for anything; only faith, which expresses itself through love.
NAB 1TI 1:19and hold fast to faith and a good conscience. Some men, by rejecting the guidance of conscience, have made a shipwreck of their faith,
NAB LUK 7:47"I tell you, that is why her many sins are forgiven - because of her great love. Little is forgiven the one whose love is small." He said to her then, "Your sins are forgiven"; at which his fellow guests began to ask among themselves, "Who is this that he even forgives sins?" Meanwhile he said to the woman, "Your faith has been your salvation. Now go in peace."
NAB JOH 14:14"Anything you ask me in my name I will do. If you love me and obey the commands I give you."
NAB MAT 21:22"You will receive all that you pray for, provided you have faith."Faith Love and Obedience, three as one, bring sinners into the saving merciful hands of Jesus Christ.
NAB REV 3:15'I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, 'I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,' and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent.
NAB 1PE 1:6In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of (your) faith, the salvation of your souls.
NAB WIS 3:1But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the LORD shall be their King forever.
NAB ZEC 13:8In all the land, says the LORD, two thirds of them shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left. I will bring the one third through fire, and I will refine them as silver is refined, and I will test them as gold is tested. They shall call upon my name, and I will hear them. I will say, 'They are my people,' and they shall say, 'The LORD is my God.'
NAB SIR 2:1My son, when you come to serve the LORD, prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart and steadfast, undisturbed in time of adversity. Cling to him, forsake him not; thus will your future be great. Accept whatever befalls you, in crushing misfortune be patient; For in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation. Trust God and he will help you; make straight your ways and hope in him. You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy, turn not away lest you fall. You who fear the LORD, trust him, and your reward will not be lost. You who fear the LORD hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy. Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed? Has anyone persevered in his fear and been forsaken? has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed? Compassionate and merciful is the LORD; he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble. Woe to craven hearts and drooping hands, to the sinner who treads a double path! Woe to the faint of heart who trust not, who therefore will have no shelter! Woe to you who have lost hope! what will you do at the visitation of the LORD? Those who fear the LORD disobey not his words; those who love him keep his ways. Those who fear the LORD seek to please him, those who love him are filled with his law. Those who fear the LORD prepare their hearts and humble themselves before him. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD and not into the hands of men, For equal to his majesty is the mercy that he shows.
It is through a man's loving, obedient, faith in God that he is approved by God and made just by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is through faith that the sons of Abraham and Christians come to eternal life through Jesus. Through the scriptures, let us seek out how to have faith in God.
Although the faith covenant between God and man is often broke, it is never God who has broken it. Man often casts off this faith covenant between God and man and becomes unfaithful to God. Man breaks faith with God either through disloyalty as with St. Peter and Judas. Or through infidelity as did the Israelites who worshiped false gods. Adam broke faith by showing himself untrustworthy and disobedient with God's property of the tree of knowledge. There are many forms of breaking faith with the Father and Jesus. All of them are choices opposing God and choosing not to follow God.
Besides obedience, trust is one of the ways a being can show faith in another being. God trusted Adam with His two most precious possessions, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge. Adam who had been entrusted with the power of free will was to be trustworthy back to God in the garden. Adam had the choice to hold faith in God or break the covenant of faith.
NAB2 PSA 119:157I do not turn from your decrees. I view the faithless with loathing, because they do not heed your promise. See how I love your precepts, LORD; in your kindness give me life. Your every word is enduring; all your just edicts are forever.
NAB 1SA 14:33Informed that the people were sinning against the LORD by eating the flesh with blood, Saul said: "You have broken faith."
NAB 2CH 28:19For the LORD had brought Judah low because of Ahaz, king of Israel, who let Judah go its own way and proved utterly faithless to the LORD.
NAB 2CH 29:6Our fathers acted faithlessly and did evil in the eyes of the LORD, our God. They abandoned him, turned away their faces from the LORD's dwelling, and turned their backs on him.
NAB 2CH 36:14Likewise all the princes of Judah, the priests and the people added infidelity to infidelity, practicing all the abominations of the nations and polluting the LORD'S temple which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.
NAB 2CH 26:16But after he had become strong, he became proud to his own destruction and broke faith with the LORD, his God. He entered the temple of the LORD to make an offering on the altar of incense. But Azariah the priest, and with him eighty other priests of the LORD, courageous men, followed him. They opposed King Uzziah, saying to him: "It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who have been consecrated for this purpose. Leave the sanctuary, for you have broken faith and no longer have a part in the glory that comes from the LORD God." EZE 20:27
One of the ways God the Father is faithful to us is that He puts trust in us. God gave us each other and the universe and then He entrusted us with free will to do as we chose with these gifts. As God put faith through trust in Adam, we can put faith in God by trusting in God. The following verses show faith by putting trust in God, similar to God putting trust in Adam and mankind.
NAB MAT 9:18Before Jesus had finished speaking to them, a synagogue leader came up, did him reverence, and said: My daughter has just died. Please come and lay your hand on her and she will come back to life. Jesus stood up and followed him, and his disciples did the same. As they were going, a woman who had suffered from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. "If only I can touch his cloak," she thought, "I shall get well." Jesus turned around and saw her and said, "Courage, daughter! Your faith has restored you to health. " That very moment the woman got well.
NAB 2MA 8:12When Judas learned of Nicanor's advance and informed his companions about the approach of the army, the cowardly and those who lacked faith in God's justice deserted and got away. But the others sold everything they had left, and at the same time besought the LORD to deliver those whom the ungodly Nicanor had sold before even meeting them. They begged the LORD to do this, if not for their sake, at least for the sake of the covenants made with their forefathers, and because they themselves bore his holy, glorious name. Macabeus assembled his men, six thousand strong, and exhorted them not be panic-stricken before the enemy, nor to fear the large number of the Gentiles attacking them unjustly, but to fight courageously, keeping before their eyes the lawless outrage perpetrated by the Gentiles against the holy Place and the affliction of the humiliated city, as well as the subversion of their ancestral way of life. "They trust in weapons and acts of daring," he said, "but we trust in almighty God, who can by a mere nod destroy not only those who attack us, but the whole world." (HEB 11:32-33)
NAB MAT 15:21Then Jesus left that place and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. It happened that a Canaanite woman living in that locality presented herself, crying out to him, "Lord, Son of David, have pity on me! My daughter is terribly troubled by a demon." He gave her no word of response. His disciples came up and began to entreat him, "Get rid of her, She keeps shouting after us." "My mission is only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel," Jesus replied. She came forward then and did him homage with the plea, "Help me, Lord!" But he answered, "It is not right to take the food of sons and daughters and throw it to the dogs." "Please, Lord," she insisted, "even the dogs eat the leavings that fall from their masters tables." Jesus then said in reply, "Woman, you have great faith! Your wish will come to pass." That very moment her daughter got better.
NAB BAR 4:22I have trusted in the Eternal God for your welfare, and joy has come to me from the Holy One Because of the mercy that will swiftly reach you from your eternal savior.
NAB PSA 21:8For the king trusts in the LORD, and through the kindness of the Most High he stands unshaken.
NAB LUK 7:6Jesus set out with them. When he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him: "Sir. do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter my house. That is why I did not presume to come to you myself. Just give the order and my servant will be cured. I too am a man who knows the meaning of an order, having soldiers under my command. I say to one, 'On your way,' and off he goes; to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." Jesus showed amazement on hearing this, and turned to the crowd which was following him to say "I tell you, I have never found so much faith among the Israelites." When the deputation returned to the house, they found the servant in perfect health.
NAB JER 39:18I will make certain that you escape and do not fall by the sword. Your life shall be spared as booty, because you trusted in me, says the LORD.
NAB PSA 78:5What he commanded our ancestors, they were to teach their children; That the next generation might come to know, children yet to be born. In turn they were to recite them to their children, that they too might put their trust in God, And not forget the works of God, keeping his commandments. They were not to be like their ancestors, a rebellious and defiant generation, A generation whose heart was not constant, whose spirit was not faithful to God, Like the ranks of Ephraimite archers, who retreated on the day of battle. They did not keep God's covenant; they refused to walk by his law. They forgot his works, the wondrous deeds he had shown them.
Other references to faithfulness and trust. PSA 28:7 MAT 9:2 PSA 44:6 ISA 12:2 ISA 26:4 PSA 86:2 PSA 13:5 NAH 1:7 PSA 22:5 JER 49:11 PSA 125:1 PSA 56:3 EXO 19:9 ISA 28:16 PSA 40:3 PSA 146:3 PRO 29:25 PSA 32:10 PSA 37:5 PRO 16:20 NUM 20:12 DEU 1:32 DEU 9:23 1KI 18:30 2KI 17:14 2KI 18:5 1CH 5:20 1CH 29:18 PSA 4:5 PSA 9:10 PSA 19:7 PSA 20:7 PSA 22:8 PSA 22:9 PSA 25:2 PSA 26:1 PSA 31:6 PSA 31:14 PSA 33:2 PSA 37:3 PSA 52:7 PSA 52:8 PSA 55:23 PSA 56:11 PSA 62:8 PSA 62:10 PSA 78:22 PSA 84:12 PSA 91:2 PSA 111:7 PSA 112:7 PSA 118:8 PSA 119:42 PSA 143:8 PRO 3:5 PRO 13:17 PRO 22:19 PRO 28:25 ISA 8:17 ISA 25:9 ISA 30:15 ISA 31:1 ISA 36:15 JER 13:25 JER 17:5 JER 49:4 DAN 6:23 ZEP 3:2 ZEP 3:12 PSA 78:7 PSA 115:9 SIR 2:8 SIR 2:6 SIR 11:21 SIR 32:24 SIR 33:3 SIR 34:15 SIR 45:4 LUK 5:18 LUK 9:40
Confidence defined in a human relationship
It is faith and love that God desires. Just as man's most prevalent desire is to have a loving faithful spouse, so is God looking for a faithful loving partner. As man is to remain faithful to the marriage covenant so also is he to remain faithful to his baptismal covenant. If you love your spouse do you not choose allegiance, love and service to your spouse. Do you not put trust in your spouse and also become trustworthy and loyal to your spouse? These are all forms of faith. Through faithfulness, man and woman share love with one another. Through faithfulness, God and man share love with one another. When a man becomes selfish, wishing faithfulness from God but following every self desire for himself, he is a worthless partner. He has not love or faith for his God. When a man becomes selfish, wishing fidelity from his wife but he sleeps with every prostitute in town, he has become a worthless spouse. He has not love or faith for his wife.
NAB SIR 27:17Cherish your friend, keep faith with him; but if you betray his confidence, follow him not; For as an enemy might kill a man you have killed your neighbor's friendship.
NAB PRO 3:26For the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from the snare.
Men are eager to turn faith into a word instead of a free-willed life of allegiance, trustworthiness, loyalty, obedience, and following, and love, that faith truly is. The world can measure proclamations from the lips, and the worldly measure themselves by this. Faith is not something that you wake up one morning and find in your soul. Faith is something that grows or dies, increases and decreases, is discarded or cherished. (1TH 3:2-3) (1TI 4:1)
NAB2 JER 3:6The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah: See now what rebellious Israel has done! She has gone up every high mountain, and under every green tree she has played the harlot. And I thought, after she has done all this she will return to me. But she did not return. Then, even though her traitor sister Judah saw that for all the adulteries rebellious Israel had committed, I put her away and gave her a bill of divorce, nevertheless her traitor sister Judah was not frightened; she too went off and played the harlot. Eager to sin, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and wood. With all this, the traitor sister Judah did not return to me wholeheartedly, but insincerely, says the LORD.
Then the LORD said to me: Rebel Israel is inwardly more just than traitorous Judah. Go, proclaim these words toward the north, and say: Return, rebel Israel, says the LORD, I will not remain angry with you; For I am merciful, says the LORD, I will not continue my wrath forever. Only know your guilt: how you rebelled against the LORD, your God, How you ran hither and yon to strangers (under every green tree) and would not listen to my voice, says the LORD. Return, rebellious children, says the LORD, for I am your Master; I will take you, one from a city, two from a clan, and bring you to Zion. I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently. When you multiply and become fruitful in the land, says the LORD, They will in those days no longer say, 'The ark of the covenant of the LORD!' They will no longer think of it, or remember it, or miss it, or make another.
At that time they will call Jerusalem the LORD'S throne; there all nations will be gathered together to honor the name of the LORD at Jerusalem, and they will walk no longer in their hardhearted wickedness. In those days the house of Judah will join the house of Israel; together they will come from the land of the north to the land which I gave to your fathers as a heritage.
I had thought: How I should like to treat you as sons, And give you a pleasant land, a heritage most beautiful among the nations! You would call me, 'My Father,' I thought, and never cease following me. But like a woman faithless to her lover, even so have you been faithless to me, O house of Israel, says the LORD. A cry is heard on the heights! the plaintive weeping of Israel's children, Because they have perverted their ways and forgotten the LORD, their God. Return, rebellious children, and I will cure you of your rebelling. 'Here we are, we now come to you because you are the LORD, our God'.
Deceptive indeed are the hills, the thronging mountains; In the LORD, our God, alone is the salvation of Israel. The shame-god has devoured our fathers' toil from our youth, Their sheep and their cattle, their sons and their daughters. Let us lie down in our shame, let our disgrace cover us, for we have sinned against the LORD, our God, From our youth to this day, we and our fathers also; we listened not to the voice of the LORD, our God.
NAB2 JER 9:1Would that I had in the desert a travelers' lodge! That I might leave my people and depart from them. They are all adulterers, a faithless band.
On a man's wedding day after he gives a pledge of fidelity to his wife, does the crowd at the feast say that man is faithful to his wife? This would be a foolish thing to say. It has only been a couple hours since they were married. What was he to do between the altar and the banquet hall - stop at a prostitute's house? It is a life of faithfulness to his wife that allows him the title of a faithful husband. After death it is decided whether he has been faithful to his wife or not. To say that a man will die faithful while he is still alive and entrusted with free will is a bit premature.
On a man's Baptism day, after he gives a pledge of fidelity to his God, does the crowd at the feast say that man is eternal because he is faithful to his God? This would be a foolish thing to say. It has only been a couple of hours since he became a Christian. What was the child or adult to do between the altar and the banquet hall stop in and shoot someone while robbing a bank? It is a life of faithfulness to his God that allows him the title of a faithful saved Christian. After death it is decided whether he has been faithful to his God or not. To say that a man will die faithful while he is still alive and entrusted with free will is a bit premature.
Faith is three-dimensional, not two dimensional as many tend to make it. It is not upon the farthest dimension of one faithful act that your faith is scaled. It is the dimension of faithful acts over a lifetime of faithfulness that God uses as a measure of faith. Many times Jesus discussed the different sizes and amounts of faith man can possess. You can be barely faithful to Jesus or you can have a great magnitude of faith in Jesus. When you turn to God, whether it be a small step towards him or falling off a horse like St. Paul, this is the beginning of your faith. Now let us look at the duration of your faith.