“And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God.” - James 2:23
Belief is a powerful intangible force. It cannot be held in one’s hand nor be discerned by human senses. Belief is not visible, simply because belief is an inward unwavering trust or confidence in someone or something.
Robert Chesebrough, an American chemist, did work clarifying kerosene from the oil of whale blubber. Once the discovery of petroleum took off this rendered his job obsolete. So Chesebrough started to do research on petroleum in order to find out what new materials might be created from this innovative fuel. This led to the discovery of petroleum jelly. He found that the petroleum jelly refined from rods was the oozes that formed on shafts of oil rigs. Chesebrough continued to study this jelly, which led him to believe in its health benefits. Chesebrough was unable to sell this health jelly to the drug stores, but he so believed in its health value that he became his own guinea pig. Not until Chesebrough started traveling around New York demonstrating his product publicly did his jelly get attention. In front of audiences, Chesebrough would burn his skin with acid or on an open flame, then spread the clear jelly on his injuries while demonstrating the healing of his past injuries by his miracle product. People had only to look at his wounds, now healed, to see the value of his work and the extent of his belief. To further create demand, he gave out free samples and gave this miracle jelly the trade name Vaseline; the rest is history.
Obviously Robert Chesebrough had a deep belief in his jelly – his scars proved it. Abraham had a deep belief in Jehovah his God as Messiah and Savior. In fact Jesus said to the Jews that, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad” (John 8:56). Abraham, and all who follow the faith of Abraham (Romans 4:12,16) have a deep belief in the God that saved them from their sins. Believers are accounted righteous before God, because they, by the eye of faith, can see the scars of the Lord Jesus Christ wounded for them. A belief that saves is one that rests in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone.
Lastly, notice that our scripture does not say that Abraham believed in God but rather “believed God.” There are still many who acknowledge that there is a God, and so they believe in God’s existence, without believing Him. God spoke to Abraham, and now He speaks to us in and through His word, the Holy Bible. Therefore, a person can believe in the existence of God without believing the truths that God declares. Believers go beyond believing in God, they actually believe God and all His word.
David C. Hale, Pastor Email: firstname.lastname@example.org