TO BE A HERO OF FAITH
                                  By: Jerry S. Maneker

"But without faith it is impossible to please him…" (Hebrews 11:6)

All but one chapter of the Bible extols God and His work!  The only chapter of the Bible that extols human beings extols
a certain type of man or woman.  This type of man or woman has faith (pisteo) which is a verb that denotes action based
upon an unfailing hanging of our bodies on God, His Word, and His promises.

Heroes of faith are by no means perfect or holy!  Abraham pimped his wife to the Pharaoh of Egypt when he didn't trust
God to deliver him from the famine in the land of promise; later he did the same thing with Abimelech.  Rahab was a
prostitute and nowhere in Scripture does it indicate that she repented of her profession.  David was an adulterer and
cowardly murderer yet he was called a man after God's own heart.  Moses didn't listen to God and he was thereby not
able to enter the Promised Land. Yet, all of these people are still listed among the heroes of faith.

What made these and others, many of whom are not named, heroes of faith was the fact that the pattern of their lives
tilted toward God's claims upon them, despite their many sins and backslidings.  God is married to a backslider, and
nowhere is this fact better evidenced than in the Passover.

God told Moses to tell the people to put the blood of a lamb upon the lintels and doorposts of their houses and to
remain under the covering of that blood.  If they did as they were told, the death angel would spare their first-born; if
they didn't listen to God, the death angel would kill their first-born.

It didn't matter what kind of people resided in that house! It didn't matter how much theology they knew!  They could
have been murderers, rapists, and all types of predators yet, if they obeyed God and remained under the covering of
the blood, their first-born children would be spared.

Christ is now our Passover!  As long as we remain under the covering of His blood, which can only be done by
exercising biblical faith, we will be spared from the wrath of God.  Exercising biblical faith entails hanging on to God and
His promises despite our life-circumstances!

God's heroes of faith are described as "…strangers and pilgrims on the earth." (Hebrews 11:13)  We are "in" the world
but not "of" the world!  We take God as our compass point as to how to live our lives, and don't look to mere human
beings to define our reality for us or put us into bondage to their ways of thinking.  Their ways of thinking are frequently
antithetical to God's ways; His ways entail dealing with each of His children differently, so that one size doesn't fit all in
the Christian life.

Heroes of faith are not wimps!  Paul withstood Peter to his face (Galatians 2:11) and called on God to damn those who
pervertedly preached a false gospel of legalism, rather than the true Gospel of grace, faith, peace, mercy, compassion,
love, and inclusiveness (Galatians 1:8-9)  He was certainly not a people-pleaser, as he wrote, "…if I yet pleased men, I
should not be the servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10)

David wrote, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." (Psalm 56:3)  He had plenty of reason to be afraid, as not only
did all of his children come to a bad end, but the one whom he forgave for murder and whom he allowed to take a place
of honor, betrayed David and sought to take his life.  Job, despite his losses, torments, false friends, and nagging wife
said, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…." (Job 13:15)

All of God's heroes of faith said, in essence, "Damn the consequences!  I'm following God's call on my life, rather than
allow the world, the flesh, and the devil to define my reality for me."

This certainly doesn't mean that they were without sin!  Quite the contrary!  However, from God's point of view, their sins
were covered over by their yielding to God's call on their lives.

The heroes of faith in Scripture were no different than you and me!  They wrestled with the same demons; they had
serious failings, and frequently tested God and failed God.  Let's face it, all of the Apostles forsook Jesus at His
crucifixion, with the possible exception of John.  Three times Peter denied even knowing Him!  Paul called himself the
chiefest of sinners (1Timothy 1:15), and made it crystal clear how his flesh constantly warred with his spirit, and how his
flesh frequently won the battles. (Romans 7:7-25)

Heroes of faith are fallible, fragile, sinners!  What separates Christians from other fallible, fragile sinners is that we know
we're sinners saved by the only Source of salvation possible, and we seek to enact God's will for our lives amidst our
struggles and failings, hanging on to God and His Word, despite the problems, disappointments, and tragedies that
beset us.
   


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