Is Faith a Gift to God?
Is faith a gift from God or is it a gift to God? Abraham and Sarah were both living in old bodies and yet…
With respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God. ~ Romans 4:20
Sometimes Our Faith Causes us to Separate Ourselves from the Crowd.
Abraham did not waiver which in the Greek means to separate thoroughly, to withdraw from, oppose or discriminate. By implication it is to separate oneself. There must have been many doubters surrounding him. He was 100 years old before Isaac was born, but he obviously separated himself from those who doubted. He went against the crowd. He was likely alone in his belief that he would be the father of a nation.
Unbelief in Greek, surprisingly means disobedience. So if we look at this verse using that word, we see that Abraham didn’t stagger in doubt. He stood firm expecting a son to be given solely because God said there would be a son born. Believing was a form of obedience. His wife was almost as old as he was and very likely had already gone through menopause, yet Abraham never thought for a second that Sarah would not be the “mother of many nations.” She was able by the power of God to “put on a new self.” She was young in spirit and started to raise her family in her golden years. It occurred to me that in her menopausal state, she heralded the acceptance of a virgin birth that would come thousands of years later.
Giving Glory to God
Not only did Abraham grow strong in his faith, but he gave glory to God. The word glory means a present or gift in the Greek, so are we to deduce that his faith was a gift to God? Before reading this verse, I’d always thought that our faith was a gift from God.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– Ephesians 2:8
But, as I look at this verse, I think perhaps it is the grace that saves us that is the gift of God which cannot be of ourselves. Salvation comes through Christ. We cannot save ourselves because it is a gift of God. Our faith in His grace and belief in His mercy brings glory to His name. It’s a present that pleases Him.
As we head into the Christmas season and celebrate the gift that paid for our redemption, it is my prayer that our faith will separate us. I pray that we honor HIM by not hesitating. I pray that we stand firm and grow strong. I pray that we live out our “Merry Christmas” wishes as a present that pleases HIM.