ow this is the first Sunday I get to talk to my people—this
class of students—the regular way we do it every
Sunday. No special day, no special subject—for the
subject that I return to periodically, Genesis 13. Now,
my usual 3 hours will be cut down to about 30–40 minutes
so relax. This’ll be the first time I’ve heard those
Bible leaves ripple in this building.
Genesis 13. Now let me tell you the context. Abram has
just really messed-up down in Egypt. And this ‘Father
of Faith’—both the Hebrew and the Christian to which the
Scriptures looks for it’s spring of beginning—if he
doesn’t prove anything else he proves that God’s kind of
used to dealing with ‘bleep-ups.’ My editors out there
in the truck will feel real good about that; I saved
them all the work.
Faith. What is Faith? ‘A’—action, based upon belief,
by confidence. We have a problem in the English
language—this is old-hat to you but I’m gonna lay it
down for the two or three that are here—we have a
problem in the English language that when they
translated both the Old Testament Hebrew words and the
New Testament words that we call ‘faith,’ they picked a
noun in the English language and totally destroyed the
meaning of trust and faith as the Biblical words
communicated. You know this too.
Faith or trust in the Old Testament comes from two
words. One: ‘to run to the shelter of a rock or a
mother bird’s wings for shelter.’ Now you can stand all
day and look at the rock and know it’ll shelter you, but
it’s not trust or faith as the Old Testament word
conveyed the meaning until you hang your body on that
belief and confidence and run to that shelter. The
other Old Testament word is ‘to lean your weight upon a
staff.’ You can believe the staff will hold you but
until you put your weight on it you’re not trusting or
as I’d make the word up, ‘faithing.’
The New Testament word pisteo in the Greek, in
English letters.… I had somebody say last week “Could,
could you drop the shade or something, write a little
bigger? We can’t see.” It must have been a stranger.
When have you ever been able to read anything I write on
the board? I don’t go write on it for you to read.
Let’s get that straight. It’s to organize my thoughts,
and I can read what I write, and you already know what
I’ve said thus far.
is where we get that full meaning: ‘Action, based upon
belief, sustained by confidence.’ When they translated
that word and the other two Old Testament words as
belief they destroyed the meaning. And they reduce
Faith down to something you can park in the corner of
your cranium and if it’s accurate you have faith. Not
in the Old or the New Testament! Faith is an action
where you hang your body on a belief, sustained by
confidence, and put yourself at risk on that which you
believe and have confidence in.
Now the whole world had gone awry under Nimrod the great
rebel. The Apocryphal Scriptures have a prophecy of
Abram’s birth that frightened Nimrod. His father Terah
sent him away—I believe and the Apocryphal Scripture
supports—to be trained by Shem and Noah who were still
alive. Be that as it may—and it may provide an
explanation of why the whole world had gone awry and God
could find one man that would trust Him.
And he called Abraham to leave his family and his city
and go to a place that God had called him to but He
hadn’t yet identified. He