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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

May 22 2024


Wednesday May 22

A Confident Saving Faith

 

Joshua 2:8-11

8 Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof,

9 and said to the men: "I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.

10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.

11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.

 

Yesterday we learned how that Rahab the harlot expressed a courageous faith in the God of Israel when she risked her life to hid the spies that God in His divine sovereign providence brought to her house. Today we will be looking at the source of Rahab’s confident faith that proved she had a genuine faith. Remember that the Book of Joshua is about living by faith as we face the giants and Jericho’s in our life.

 

Faith is only as good as its object. Some people have faith in faith and think that just by believing they can make great things happen. Others have faith in lies, which is not faith at all but superstition. A genuine faith will show itself in the whole personality. True saving faith isn't just a feat of intellectual gymnastics by which we convince ourselves that something is true that really isn't true. Nor is it merely a stirring of the emotions that gives us a false sense of confidence that God will do what we feel He will do. Nor is it a courageous act of the will whereby we jump off the pinnacle of the temple and expect God to rescue us (Matt. 4:5-7). True saving faith involves "the whole personality": the mind is instructed, the emotions are stirred, and the will then acts in obedience to God.

 

"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet [the intellect], moved with fear [the emotions], prepared an ark [the will]..." (Heb 11:7). Rahab's experience was similar to that of Noah: She knew that Jehovah was the true God [the mind]; she feared for herself and her family when she heard about the great wonders He had performed [the emotions]; and she received the spies and pleaded for the salvation of her family [the will]. Unless the whole personality is involved, it is not saving faith as the Bible describes it.

 

Of course, this doesn't mean that the mind must be fully instructed in every aspect of Bible truth before a sinner can be saved. The woman with the hemorrhage only touched the hem of Christ's garment and she was healed, but she acted on the little knowledge that she did possess (Matt. 9:20-22). Rahab's knowledge of the true God was meager, but she acted on what she knew; and the Lord saved her.

 

Rahab showed more faith in the Lord than the ten spies had exhibited forty years before, when she said, "I know that the Lord has given you the land" (Josh. 2:9). Her faith was based on facts, not just feelings; for she had heard of the miracles God had performed, starting with the opening up of the Red Sea at the Exodus. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans10:17).

 

Rahab said, "The Lord your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath" Josh. 2:11). What a confession of faith from the lips of a woman whose life had been imprisoned in pagan idolatry! She believed in one God, not in the multitude of gods that populated the heathen temples. She believed He was a personal God ("your God"), who would work on behalf of those who trusted Him. She believed He was the God of Israel, who would give the land to His people. This God whom she trusted was not limited to one nation or one land, but was the God of heaven and earth. Rahab believed in a great and awesome God!

 

Our confidence that we are God's children comes from the witness of the Word of God before us and the witness of the Spirit of God within us (1 John 5:9-13). However, the assurance of salvation isn't based only on what we know from the Bible or how we feel in our hearts. It's also based on how we live; for if there hasn't been a change in our behavior, then it's doubtful that we've truly been born again (2 Cor. 5:17-21; James 2:14-26). It isn't enough to say "Lord, Lord!" We must obey what He tells us to do (Matt. 7:21-27). Rahab's obedience gave evidence of a changed life.


Rahab's conversion was truly an act of God's grace. Like all the citizens of Canaan, Rahab was under condemnation and destined to die. Rahab was a Gentile, outside the covenant mercies shown to Israel. She didn't deserve to be saved, but God had mercy on her. If ever a sinner experienced Ephesians 2:1-10, it was Rahab!

 

Today, are you confident that your faith is the real thing?

 

God bless!

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