We live in a world that exalts certain beliefs: believe in the capacity for change, believe that things will get better, and most of all believe in yourself.
In my experience, I’m not very believable.
I do believe in God. This faith isn’t a result of my effort or my ability to believe. At the core, it’s based on God Himself, and in His speaking and appearing. In Romans 4:12, Paul describes believers as those who “walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham.” The sign of circumcision God gave to Abraham meant that this faith didn’t stand in human effort, but the faith came before the circumcision. Positively, Abraham simply believed God (v.3). The note on believed God reads:
Believing God was Abraham’s spontaneous reaction to God’s repeated appearing to him. God appeared to Abraham a number of times (Gen. 12:1-3, 7; 13:14-17; 15:1-7; ch. 18; Acts 7:2), each time transfusing something of His glory, something of Himself, into Abraham. Hence, Abraham’s believing was actually the springing up within him of the very element that God had transfused into him. God’s reaction to Abraham’s believing was to justify him, that is, to account him righteous. This accounting was not out of works but was based on his believing God.
The long list of verses in this note take you to the many times God appeared to Abraham, often after a failure on Abraham’s part. Our faith does not stand on ourselves. It stands on the God who calls us, who calls us again, and who appears often when we least expect Him. We’ve been allotted faith that is equally precious as other believers (2 Peter 1:1), and today we can walk in the same steps of the faith of those who came before us.
Here are some excellent Recovery Version footnotes on faith:
- Where faith comes from (the word of the Lord) – Matthew 8:26, note 1.
- The definition of faith – Hebrews 11:1, notes 1 and 2.
- The faith of Jesus Christ – Romans 3:22, note 1.
- All of God’s plan, His economy, being in faith – 1 Timothy 1:4, note 4.