Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Importance of Living by Faith

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted
and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

-Colossians 2:6-7

                We’ve all heard the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. In Daniel 3, king Nebuchadnezzar had set up an image of gold that was ninety feet by ninety feet and he set it up in Babylon on the plain of Dura, which is now located in modern day Iraq. He had all the high officials dedicate the image of gold and ordered the common people to bow down and worship it when they heard the music play. Some astrologers told King Nebuchadnezzar that those he had appointed over Babylon-Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego-were not worshipping his gods or the image of gold. They were brought before the king and given one more chance to bow down and worship the image of gold or be thrown into a fiery furnace. They refused.

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us
from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, o king. But even if
he does not, we want you to know, o king, that we will not serve your
gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

-Daniel 3:17-18

                They had so much love for God and faith in Him that they would not be moved or shaken. They were being loyal to Him and would die in His name, as faithful servants.

“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say,
‘We are unworthy servants, we have only done our duty.”

-Luke 17:10

                King Nebuchadnezzar had the three men bound and thrown into the furnace. Suddenly, king Nebuchadnezzar realized there were four men, unbound and alive, walking in the furnace. He opened the furnace and called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego out of it. There was no sign upon their bodies that they were ever even in the furnace. This caused Nebuchadnezzar to believe in the Most High God.

“They trusted in Him and defied the king’s commands and were willing to give up
their lives rather than serve or worship any God except their own God…
for no other god can save in this way.”

-Daniel 3:28-29

                You may say Romans 13:1-7 says we are to submit to the authorities. But did you forget the first two commandments? You shall have no other gods besides Him and you shall not set up or bow down and worship any idol besides God (Exodus 20:3-6). Through the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, king Nebuchadnezzar saw how good God was, and still is. Through living by faith, we can draw others to God by showing how he works in our lives and protects us. We can’t just expect that living according to the law will save us. That is part of it but it’s not the only thing we need. We need faith behind our actions.

“All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written, ‘Cursed
is everyone who does not continue to do everything written
in the Book of the Law.’ Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because,
‘The righteous will live by faith.’

-Galatians 3:10-11

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