Having Enough Faith
The only requirement of salvation is having enough faith to enter the salvation covenant and to live according to His covenant ways for us to be transformed into His image. Faith is the entry requirement for our transformation.
We all must answer the question; “Do I have enough faith in God that I would be willing to do whatever God asks of me?”
The Transformation That Comes with True Faith
Faith is the acceptance of God’s declaration that we need to be transformed (or born again.) It is His salvation covenant that provides the instructions for that transformation.
The power of our faith lies in our steadfast commitment to trust Him and to learn His ways. It is a journey of falling and repenting, praying and crying and learning to seek the guidance of His inspiration and His Holy Spirit.
Finally, amid our constant struggle, persistence, and commitment, we adopt an attitude, forged in fire, to kill off our selfish wants and desires and to live fully in accord with His will.
This becomes our life when we decide by faith to commit to His salvation covenant.
In this blog, we shine the light on exactly what the salvation covenant is and how it goes about to transform us.
Other writers have compared the salvation covenant to a Ketubah (a Jewish marriage contract). It is an interesting perspective because God does call us His bride. Others favor a comparison to a Suzerain Covenant between a Suzerain (king) and his Vassals.
I want to state the obvious: the salvation agreement is an outline for our relationships.
It tells us how to have a good, prosperous, and healthy relationship with God, but also with others.
First, a relationship with God.
God tells us in Exodus 19:5: “Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples….”
God is telling us that if we follow His instructions, we can enter a mutual give-and-take relationship with Him.
Relationships dominate who we are and what we think about. We spend our lives seeking to connect with others and to belong. We want to be heard, touched, and valued by the special people in our lives. We need it to live.
Our earliest relationships are with our parents – it forms us. Relationships are the key to our successes and failures.
God designed us to prosper inside of good relationships. We were designed to be in contact with Him and those around us.
The very first meeting with the Hebrews
God told the Israelites in His very first meeting with them that they needed relationships that were built on a principled set of instructions if they were going to not only survive but to prosper.
He gave them His instructions on not only how to have healthy relationships with those around them, but even more importantly with Himself. In loving relationships, He said, lies the answer to all our problems as a society.
There is just one problem.
Our natural selfish instinct
God gave us our free will. We need free will to form relationships and for those relationships to be recognized as valuable, so He will not cure us of this natural instinctive selfishness.
Our natural selfish instinct is what seeks our wants and desires over the instructions of God and sometimes over the needs of those around us.
It takes faith like Abraham to be able to recognize the truth of who God is and the immense value of His instructions and our connection between Him and us and those around us.
Fix our relationships and we fix what plagues the world!
Imagine the all-knowing genius of God’s infinite mind laying out the instructions that would save us, if only we would listen.
In order, to fix our relationships we must transform ourselves with His guidance according to His instructions.
His ways will lead us to into good, selfless relationships. Our ways we lead us back down the paths of destruction to a place where our relationships exist to serve our own wants and desires.
We have no one to blame but our lack of understanding and trust in Him and His ways. In other words, we can only blame ourselves.
Still time to decide, but …
God is patient with us. He wants us to realize the wisdom of His ways, to see our relationships as opportunities to serve Him and others, and to value our relations as His gifts to us.
Understanding His Word and trusting in it is the foundation of all our interaction between Him and others.
Since the beginning of time (and often without people even realizing it) God’s word has penetrated the world. Over the time, family by family spread out around the world it has became the foundation of every civilized society that exists.
God’s word dictates how civilized societies interact – even people without faith follow it unconsciously! However, for us to be His people, we must be able to recognize that His instructions are designed to make us valuable members of His society, that we are to trust in these instructions and to carry them out according to His word.
And, because God wishes that no one should perish, He has given us time to perfect our ability to follow His instructions during the 1,000-year reign of Jesus and His priesthood when both the righteous and the unrighteous will be resurrected.
Paul said in Acts 24:14-16: “But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect. I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.”
There will come a day when every one of us will be held accountable for what we’ve done. For some, the draw of the natural selfish inclinations will have been too high.
Most of the world, who do not follow God’s ways, look inward for their guidance and act according to their selfish desires which leads to the destruction of themselves and those around them. When we live for ourselves, always looking inward for meaning it will lead us to find anxiety, depression, and emptiness.
However, this is not the way of His people who live according to His ways and trust Him for their guidance.
His people choose Him and His ways. They look outward seeking to know God and His word. They love and serve others according to God’s word, and their lives have inspired, delivered, and lifted people throughout the ages.
These people found in His instructions their worthwhile duty and responsibility and without seeking it, fulfillment. This cannot be seen from within but from only something more significant than themselves.
A relationship with the Living God
The most exceptional relationship that God wants for us is with Him.
He is loving us and serving us correctly, always ready to direct us and lead in His paths of righteousness, or right living.
We can read in Isaiah 30:21: “Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.”
He speaks to us through His word and He will guide us when our hearts trust in Him and His ways.
The questions are their for us to answer; “Whose ways are we going to decide to trust and to follow? In whom do we have our faith?”
No one has been more caring, more loving, and more ready to engage us. No one has done more to make our lives fulfilling and valuable. He even laid down His life to give us a future with Him.
Do we understand how He is trying to protect us, the value He places on us, and how important it is for Him to be in a genuinely interactive relationship with us?
His greatest desire is to prepare us so we can finally one day stand in front of Him in His full glory – ready to live for eternity.
Therefore, even in a practical sense those transformed people who keep His covenant, only they can be His people. Inside of His salvation covenant is the essence of everything vital, fulfilling, and promised.
Unfortunately, selfish people do not always understand the results of their self-seeking behavior. Some even view it as a ‘good thing’ – even in communities of professed faith. It is such a part of our social make-up these days: ‘Put your happiness first.’
The mechanism of the salvation covenant
The salvation covenant seeks to correct that premise. It aims to put the service of God and others (even our enemies) above our own happiness.
God’s children can turn off the self-seeking selfishness within them and can become transformed if they can fully trust in Him and follow His instructions.
By faith in God, they must decide to serve Him and others above themselves following the salvation covenant. However, to do this, they must come to know Him and to trust Him fully.
Not of this world
It is in this odd behavior that we become ‘unusual’ people, not of this world.
Social constructionism cannot follow us into this world, because paradoxically to declare this aspect of His word as the truth, you must first acknowledge that it can only exist in someone as an individual act of unique understanding and immense uncommon faith. It is in the our individual understanding of God and in the equally peculiar dedication to His will over our own happiness that makes us strange even bizarre to the world.
God devised His plan in such a way that this faith cannot be taught it must be received individually and its power is in each individual’s understanding and the expression of their loving relationship with their creator and with those around them according to how the Holy Spirit has guided them and inspired them through His word.
We don’t believe because we want to fulfill some inner need or because we need to be submissive to someone. We have faith because we genuinely believe that God exists and that we can have a relationship with Him.
His instructions are designed to set our relationships straight, and we do this, not to achieve something for this life, but for eternity. All this because we trust and believe Him and His word.
His ways touch us in such a manner that it causes us to lay all our hopes, dreams, and our very lives at His feet. What we want become is what HE wants us to become.
Let’s look at love
To understand the basis of the salvation covenant, we need only to look at the most apparent word, which is the foundation of everything that God has done for us: Love.
The English language describes love in terms of feelings. However, in Hebrew, the word love Ahava means “to give.”
Genuine healthy relationships are when people who have given themselves over to serving God according to His word come together to serve one another. They no longer belong to themselves; they live to serve God and those around them.
In marriage relationships, men and women each have their roles as defined by God. Together they can build families and communities that look after and support one another while serving God.
We would be far better of as a society if we were able to reconcile the true intentions of what it means to love.
True love can only be adequately expressed when we can view relationships in terms of what we are able “to give” to others.
We must support, uplift, and share according to the solid foundation of God’s Word and not according to our ever-changing feelings and emotions.
If we decide to live according to the salvation covenant, we are choosing to love and serve others. We are not inclined to serve the wants and desires of others. We serve only the needs of others according to God’s instructions.
To God, His people are not looking selfishly at their own desires, but they serve according to His Word. They have enough faith to give themselves totally to Him, and because of that, they can help those around them.
Love in the Bible
Let’s look at how the Bible explains love to us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
In other words, we must be 1. patient, 2. kind 3. humble, like a servant, 4. according to God’s word, 5. without seeking our desires and wants, 5. as a means of honoring God and His ways, 6. and we never stop!
We must do this without expecting a return. Of course, there will be returns, but it is not our reason to serve. We serve because of our faith in God.
Who is serving who?
His people, those who follow His salvation covenant, will come together in the age-to-come to form the ultimate selfless, loving society where the only one able to out serve us will be God Himself.
Luke 12:37: “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.”
Those who choose to live outside of His covenant according to their own ways are simply eliminating themselves from His people in the age-to-come.
The people left, His people, will be able to understand the beauty, practicality, and the honor of serving Him and those around us, and not ourselves.
On Judgement Day, Jesus will declare what we are according to Matthew 25:32-46: a sheep or a goat.
The Sheep are those who choose to serve according to His covenant ways. They will inherit the Kingdom (and the eternal life) that is promised to His people.
The Goats are those who decided to serve themselves according to their own ways for their own pleasures and desires. For those who treat people and relationships for what they can receive and not for what they can give are found in Matthew 25:41:
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels….'”
God wants to build a society of people who love and value Him and one another. Through it, we are transformed into His image – a little more every day.
Our salvation is based upon having enough faith to enter God’s salvation covenant and then to allow it to transform us (to become born again) into a people who love and serve one another in the same way as He loves and serves us.
The salvation covenant agreement is life-changing. It will make you a new person, created in His image.
We will continue to explore different aspects and needed attitudes of faith to live inside of the salvation covenant successfully. After that, we will have a look at each specific instruction and how we are to follow them. You might be surprised.