Bible Stories About Faith: 5 Great Scripture Summaries

by David Peach on April 9, 2011 · Print Print · Email Email

The Bible is full of stories about faith. Here are just five of my favorites.

Abraham- Old Testament  Bible Story of Faith

Abraham is mentioned several times in the Bible for some of the great things he accomplished, but Romans 4 says that he was saved because of his faith and not because of this works. Hebrews 11 says that he followed God even though he was not sure where he was going. Abraham is known as a man of faith who faithfully followed the Lord’s leading.

God gave Abraham the promise that the Redeemer would come through his family. Abraham and his wife Sarah were past child-bearing age when God gave them a child named Isaac. Even though God had promised that Abraham’s descendants would one day be a great nation, He asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac in Genesis 22.

God told Abraham to take Isaac to a mountain to sacrifice him to the Lord. God never intended for Abraham to kill Isaac. This was merely a test to show to us the type of faith Abraham had.

As we read the story of Abraham and Isaac we are reminded that God is faithful and that we can place our trust in Him.

The Bible Story Of Abraham is found in the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament

Moses- Followed God’s Call Through Great Faith

Moses was born to a Hebrew family, but because the Jews were growing in numbers and strength, the Pharaoh of Egypt ordered that all their male babies be killed. Moses was spared this fate because his mother placed him in a basket on the river. The Pharaoh’s daughter found the basket and rescued the baby to raise as her own.

Moses grew up in the palace among Pharaoh’s family. As he grew he learned of his own family’s plight as slaves. Moses chose to renounce his royal family and assist his Hebrew family. He was banished from the kingdom. God later called him back to Egypt to lead the Israelites from slavery into the land promised to Abraham’s family.

Moses did not see himself as the man God could use to take on such a task. However, through faith he led the Israelites as God desired.

The story of Moses can be found in the Old Testament of the Bible in the books Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy

Joshua- Inspirational Bible Story of Faith

After Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they came to the edge of the Promised Land. As a preparatory step to entering the land, Moses sent twelve spies to learn how best to conquer. The spies brought back news that the land was as good as God had promised. However, ten of the spies reported that there were giants in the land and that they would not be victorious in the battle. They had no faith in the God who had miraculously delivered them from Egypt.

The two spies who trusted the Lord, Joshua and Caleb, were the only two adults who entered the Promised Land forty years later. Joshua became the leader of Israel because of his faith.

Bible Stories About Faith

... and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat... (Joshua 6:20)

Joshua was the general who guided Israel in their victorious battles with the inhabitants of the land. When the walls of Jericho fell, it was because Joshua trusted God and His Word. Joshua led the nation of Israel as a man of faith.

The Joshua Bible Story of Faith can be found in the Old Testament books of Exodus, Numbers and Joshua

Gideon- Bible Story of Great Trust In God

After Israel inhabited the Promised Land God sent various prophets and leaders to speak His Word and lead the people before they had a king. Part of this time period is narrated for us in the book called Judges. Gideon was one of these judges. God called him to lead Israel into battle with the Midianites.

The Midianite army had about 135,000 men. Gideon gathered an army of 32,000 men. However, God told Gideon that there were too many men in the army. Through a selection process, God whittled the Israelite army down to just 300 men.

Though Gideon was scared, he trusted God to prove His promise. God said they needed a smaller army so that people would know that it was God who won the battle, and not a large army.

The night of the battle Gideon and his servant sneaked into the camp of the Midianites and overheard the telling of a dream. The two Midianites interpreted the dream to mean that Gideon’s small army would wipe out their larger army. With new assurance Gideon return to his camp to begin the battle. The Midianites were so scared that many of them started fighting and killing one another thinking that Gideon’s army was all around them.

Through faith Gideon, with a small army, conquered the Midianites.

The Faith Bible Story on the life of Gideon can be found in the Old Testament Bible book Judges

Esther- Faith Story With Famous Bible Quote “For Such A Time As This”

Though Esther was a Jew she was taken as the wife of Ahasuerus, the king of the Medes and Persians. This king had a minister in his court named Haman who devised a plot to eliminate the Jews. Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, learned of the plot and told Esther to talk with the king about the wicked plan. Though Esther was the queen, their relationship was not like that of husbands and wives today. She needed to request an audience of the king just like anyone else would. To enter the king’s presence without an invitation could get Esther killed.

Mordecai said that Esther was brought to the position she had “for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14) She was the one who could alert the king of Haman’s plan. Esther responded that she would stand up for her people even if it meant death. She trusted God to guide her in revealing the evil plot against her people.

By faith, Esther boldly revealed her heritage as a child of God’s people, the Jews and stopped wicked Haman’s plan.

Esther’s Bible story on faith is found in the Old Testament book Esther

What’s Your Favorite Bible Story of Faith?

If you have another favorite Bible story on faith, please add it to the comments so this can be shared with all that come across this article.

Resources:

The Holy Bible, King James Version

Youtube: “Find Us Faithful” by Steve Green

Image: Lavoview / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

CATHY June 26, 2011 at 3:11 am

dAVID ^& gOLIATH IS A STORY OF GREAT FAITHlllllll

dAVID KILLED GOLIATH WITH A TINY STONE, BUT HIS FIATH IS WHAT KILLED GOLIATH. HE WAS A TINY 14 YR OLD BOY WHO CAME AGAINST A GIANT WHO CAME IN THE NAME OF A DEAD , FALSE GOD,

DAVID CAME AGINST GOLIATH IN THE NAME OF JESUS, HIS RISEN SAVIOUR.. GREAT FAITH!!!

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J September 16, 2011 at 10:42 pm

My daughter is the most precious thing in the world to me, and if ANYONE asked me to sacrifice her as burnt offering, I would said “Sorry, NO!”

Moreover, if I was in a jury at a trial of someone who killed their child because God told them to . . . I would consider them CRAZY, not faithful.

I do not believe that either of these things makes me a bad person.

Grrrrrr. I can’t express my anger and frustration directly at my christian “friends,” so I’m venting in an anonymous forum. Thanks.

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Luke October 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Thank God we will never be in that situation because God sent his only son to die on the cross for our sin.

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Pastor Derek Hubbard May 5, 2013 at 8:07 am

It DOES NOT make you a bad person it makes you HUMAN. We all have different levels of faith 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 tells us we all receive different spiritual gifts and each character in the bible had different levels of faith at one time or another. Many Christian “FRIENDS” forget Luke 6:37. Keep on growing in faith and if and when those friends hurt you remember you will always have a friend in Jesus who promised that he would NEVER leave us or forsake us.

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Sara October 20, 2011 at 8:52 pm

J, i dont know if you’re ever going to check this site again but i understand your frustration and confusion. I thought i might as well try to explain. The thing many people dont understand is that God is supposed to be the most important thing to you. We only love because He loved us first. The reason it is an example of faith is because Abraham loved Isaac a lot but he loved God more. He followd God’s orders and was willing to sacrafice his only son for God. Its similar to how God sacraficed His only son (Jesus) for us because He loves us. God tests people’s faith and Abraham had so much faith that he trusted God had a plan for him even though he couldnt see it yet.
Youre not a bad person. Loving your daughter is a wonderful thing. You just didnt understand something. There is a difference.
I hope that helps.

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Gabriel March 25, 2012 at 10:09 pm

I’m not quite sure how to say this, but I believe Christ is my Savorior…and King of all. recently I had my daughter taken away from me, even though she lived with me over half her natural life. I go to court to try to get her back and I am finding it so hard to to let go of my pride and place all my worries on to God. He took on so much to save us, I don’t want to put more on there…my heart aches for her safety and her return, my wife and I miss her so very much.

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David Peach May 15, 2012 at 7:42 am

It is hard to understand why God works the way He does sometimes, but it is also a blessing to trust Him and see Him work wonderful things. We also have to remember that sometimes horrible things happen in our lives because we have not always given God the honor and glory. It is not God punishing us, but a natural result of poor choices.

I trust God will give you grace to go through this.

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Bob May 14, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Thanks for putting this together David, this was helpful!

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E. AKPOROWHO May 26, 2012 at 12:39 am

Christian faith is not just getting ‘good’ things from God True Christian faith is accepting ALL that God allows because it will work for our good now and in eternity.Christian growth includes our ability to continually discern the will of God and that of the impostor satan.
God cannot turn his back on his faithful.Death is NOT the end of all things.Death is not the worst thing that can happen to someone.Our death or life can bring glory to God.

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Joyce Atuake May 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Tank Ɣ☺ΰ david Peach for dis compilation!

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Will May 31, 2012 at 11:16 am

I agree with J.
I am an atheist but if for a moment I allow the hypothetical situation in which God exists, I fail to see him in the good light Christians tend to think of him in.

J posted that (s)he would refuse to sacrifice his/her daughter to God even if God appeared and commanded her to do it to prove his/her faith.

Sara then tried to explain to J that we are supposed to love God more than anything, including our own children. Why? Because God commands it of us and he has absolute power? Sara then implied, at least, that since God sacrificed his only son for us, is it so bad for you to sacrifice yours? Didn’t God make Jesus for the purpose of sacrificing him? When lambs are killed for their meat they fulfil the purpose of their conception. It’s not quite the same as, say, killing your own pet whose purpose was entirely different.

My conclusion here is that even if God never intended to go through with having Abraham sacrifice Isaac, why does anyone accept that it could be moral thing to ask of Abraham? Surely the only attributes that describe a god who would ask such a thing of a parent are those of vanity, egotism, insensitivity, and selfishness. If you think the story is literally true, or demonstrates any valuable truth, just try and imagine it:
Abraham is over a hundred years old. Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 and Isaac has since learned to talk. The two of them (and two other guys) wake up early after Abraham is told to sacrifice his only son, they go on a three-day trek (with a donkey to carry the stuff) into the mountains. At no point during the process is Abraham described as showing any kind of hesitation. It occurs to Isaac at some point that they haven’t brought a lamb to offer to God, so he asks his dad where it is, and he replies that ‘God himself will provide the offering’.
Now imagine you are Isaac. The four of you arrive at the place, your dad makes the altar and sets out the wood neatly, then swiftly binds your hands and lays YOU on the wood. Your own father then gets his knife and is about to kill you (and burn your body). It is only at that point that God is pleased with Abraham and stops him before Isaac is killed. Abraham offers a ram to God instead and God for the second time promises Abraham potency in fertility and power for his innumerable offspring.
If this God were a moral god, he would not test Abraham’s faith, especially since it surely should mean Isaac is psychologically scarred for life. Besides, shouldn’t God know how faithful Abraham is anyway thanks to his omniscience?

(I know this is kind of a long rant, but I think it needs to be said)

Gabriel mentioned of his daughter being taken away (not sure exactly by who or why) and that he is trying to get her back through the courts. I find it confusing and particularly distasteful of the author to respond with the suggestion that it is because Gabriel and his wife have not ‘always given God the honour and glory’ that this horrible thing has happened to them. Furthermore, Mr Peach goes on to claim that (assuming he is right in his belief that God exists) it is not God who is punishing them in taking away their daughter, but their choices not to have always given God the honour and glory which have resulted in their daughter being taken away.

Why would anyone want to worship a God who acts like this? For whose benefit do Christians bring glory to God? I am strongly inclined to believe that even if I died to find that I had a soul which went to be judged before God, I would not worship God as an abject slave. I would want to have answered why God cares so much that he would see me burnt in hell for eternity and think that to be just, as punishment for using the rationale and logic of the very brain he gave me. I think I would do this if this were the case in protest of a totalitarian power which is evidently immoral and unjust, even if it were a hopeless effort.

For all our sakes I hope the God of the bible does not exist, and thanks to its utter implausibility, I cannot seriously imagine it does. That is all.

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David Peach May 31, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Will, thank you for your comments. For someone who is an atheist you certainly know the story of Abraham and Isaac well. Let me start by addressing that story.

First we should see that God was not trying to get Abraham to do something wrong. God does not want human or child sacrifices
(Deuteronomy 12:31, Leviticus 20:2-5, Jeremiah 32:35, Ezekiel 20:26, Isaiah 57:4-5). He was asking Abraham to trust Him.

God had already promised to Abraham that his seed would be multiplied through his son Isaac. Even if Abraham had killed Isaac (I believe this was Abraham’s thinking), God would raise him from the dead so that the promised nation would come through him (Hebrews 11:17-19).

God also used this event to not only test Abraham but to be a testimony of his faith in God. Here we are about 4000 years later talking about the great faith of Abraham as seen through this story.

You asked why anyone would want to believe in a God who would ask something like this of them. I choose to believe because of the contents of the whole Bible. I don’t establish or throw out my faith in God based on a random stories or verses.

Allow me to address my comments to Gabriel which you brought up. I do apologize for the way I stated what I said. I absolutely believe that we suffer the consequences of our poor choices. If I get my leg cut off because of slamming my car into a tree while driving drunk, no amount of begging God will make my leg grow back. I have to live with the consequences of my actions.

I did imply that what Gabriel and his family are going through was a result of poor choices. I did not mean that to be directed at him as an accusation. I have no idea what the situation is nor why they are experiencing this. I am sorry that I worded it that way.

It is also possible that they are experiencing this difficult time so that God would get the glory. Not every time someone loses a leg or arm is it because they did something to deserve it. Sometimes God allows bad things to take place so that we will look to Him and trust Him to work everything out in His plan (John 9).

Whatever is going on in my life I choose to believe God has a purpose. Will, I understand that you don’t see the world in that way. That is a choice you have made that I happen to disagree with.

I do appreciate your comments and thank you for pointing out my lack of sensitivity in my previous response.

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Will June 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm

“I choose to believe because of the contents of the whole Bible. I don’t establish or throw out my faith in God based on a random stories or verses.”

This is problematic. There are 3 possibilities:
(1) The King James Bible is God’s word, and is perfect.
(2) No God was involved in the making of any biblical text.
(3) God had some involvement in the writing of the Bible, but human factors such as translation, politicised editions, uninspired additions and inaccurate accounts cloud the reliability and perfection of the Bible.

It is my impression that if you believed that (3) were the case, the stability of the Bible and God’s perfection would be shaken. After all, since you believe that God chose to spend a relatively short time in history advising the writing of Biblical texts by whoever wrote them (or writing it through them), it would be problematic to think that God’s (from our point of view) one attempt to thrust his message onto human society was not successful in delivering a perfect message for us to have available. What kind of God would write the Bible and then do nothing when he saw people mistranslating or replicating a false edition as His word?

So I would think, then, that you consider it an all-or-nothing situation. Either the Bible is perfect or God was made in man’s image.

Correct me if I am wrong about that, but this is where I start to see an inconsistency in your views. In your response – “I choose to believe because of the contents of the whole Bible. I don’t establish or throw out my faith in God based on a random stories or verses.” To me this appears to be an admission that the Bible is not perfect. If there is one part of the Bible which challenges the consistency of the whole, it would mean, to me at least, that it cannot be perfect. In other words, there are no random stories or verses in the Bible. It is all God’s word. It is all perfect and infallible, and if there is even one verse which you cannot square with your belief of what God is like, the Bible loses its credibility, or at least your belief loses its stability.

I have come across many such verses.

“God does not want human or child sacrifices
(Deuteronomy 12:31, Leviticus 20:2-5, Jeremiah 32:35, Ezekiel 20:26, Isaiah 57:4-5). He was asking Abraham to trust Him.”
- I would be interested to hear your interpretation of Judges 11, in this case. Jephthah makes a deal with God such that if God helps him (“without fail”) massacre the Ammonites, “whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”
Of course, God agrees (knowing that unless he stops the sacrifice as with Abraham, either Jephthah’s wife, daughter or one of his two servants will die).

Jephthah “smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.”

On his return, “behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.” And after two months her father “did with her according to his vow which he had vowed”. No divine intervention or last minute change of plan. This is a God which criticises other gods for endorsing human sacrifice, while doing so himself.

The differences between Abraham’s story and Jephthah’s story don’t stop at the fact that one of them actually killed their child. Abraham’s sacrifice was to occur before God did anything. It was a display of unquestioning faith which would be rewarded by God, and you argue also that would not have resulted in any real loss on Abraham’s part since Isaac would be raised from the dead. At any rate, I guess you would say it was worth it for what God had promised. The difference with Jephthah was that God had already fulfilled his side of the bargain. Jephthah sacrificing whoever came out of his house to greet him first was merely a fulfilment of his end of the business deal, and as far as I am aware, Jephthah’s daughter was not raised from the dead. Perhaps it was worth it since he had conquered the 20 cities, and he would not have been able to so without God. In the next chapter, the men of Ephraim are angry that Jephthah slaughtered the Ammonite cities without them. So angry in fact, that they fight Jephthah and his fellow men of Gilead, and lose. This is a suggestion, I think, that perhaps if Jephthah had beseeched the men of Ephraim to join the men of Gilead in massacring the Ammonites, they might well have won without God’s help.

One thing that the story of Judges 11 (-12) shows is that God does condone child sacrifice at least in some circumstances, which runs counter to your list of references in your second paragraph.

Ezekiel 20:26 strikes me as an odd one to reference. The whole passage from verse 8 depicts a furious God, whose intent is to “pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.” (-mentioned several times).

At the end of the chapter, “Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein. And all flesh shall see that I the Lord have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.”
The response to this I find quite funny: “Ah Lord God! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?”
Read into Ezekiel 21, too. This is not an all-loving God. This doesn’t even resemble a just God.

Thus I ask you to explain why God allowed Jephthah to sacrifice his only daughter to him for what certainly seems to be no purpose but his (God’s) own satisfaction.
I can only imagine that if you manage to do this, you will end up describing a morally questionable God, so I further ask you to explain how such a story can exist in the Bible and NOT be at odds with the references you gave earlier as evidence that God does not want children to be sacrificed to him. In other words, how is it that such a story be exist as part of this supposedly perfect and flawless Bible?

“If I get my leg cut off because of slamming my car into a tree while driving drunk, no amount of begging God will make my leg grow back.”
- Since this is the case, I wonder why anyone bothers praying at all.

“It is also possible that they are experiencing this difficult time so that God would get the glory. Not every time someone loses a leg or arm is it because they did something to deserve it. Sometimes God allows bad things to take place so that we will look to Him and trust Him to work everything out in His plan (John 9).”
- I wonder whether you can make this point without thinking at some level that you know it’s not a very convincing argument. To argue that bad things occur to undeserving people, and God allows them to happen because it will make us glorify him more and trust that everything will work out in his plan is perhaps the weakest explanation I have come across.
To argue this is to say that God’s number one priority is himself, and that he considers it well worth all the unjust suffering in the world throughout all time as long as we praise him more for it. To argue this is to suggest that all the unjust suffering in the world throughout all time has invariably contributed in some way to humanity’s increased faith in the Christian God, which I strongly doubt is the case.

In light of this, am I correct in thinking that as part of your belief in God, you believe it is worth all the unjust suffering in the world as long as God is praised a little more by us puny humans? If someone slams their car into a tree to avoid hitting a deer, and consequently has to have their legs amputated, God’s position is that he chose not to intervene in some way to avoid the accident, because it would be worth the praise that a few humans would consequently give to him. Furthermore, even though the accident was not a result of poor choices, God would not see fit to grant the victim new legs by the way of a miracle, even though it would inevitably lead to a huge number of people giving a great deal more praise and glory to God as a result. How can such a position be at all logical?

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ronald diomampo July 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm

No amount of explanations by mortal men can make you understand and therefore believe and trust in God. However, for the sake of argument, God has all the right to ask and to command someone to sacrifice his own child because God owns everything. Nevertheless, this was not God’s principle in the case of Abraham. A one time command to Abraham does not constitute that God is pleased with human sacrifices, but God is pleased rather that Abraham trusted in God even if it meant losing his son. When God chose to ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac even if God did not really intend to have Abraham kill Isaac, but only to test him, did not constitute that God is not a loving God or that the Bible is erratic. There are Biblical passages that are hard to understand and hard to accept by man, when a person encounters any of these verses, he should rather choose to trust in God and not his own capacity to understand. God says His thoughts and ways are higher than our own thoughts and ways. It should not be seen that God and Jephtah had a “deal” or that God is pleased with Jephtah’s promise to sacrifice anyone after he conquered the amorites, with God knowing before hand that it would be his own daughter that would suffer the consequence of Jephtah’s oath, when God allowed Jephtah to be successful in conquering the amorites. And it should not be compared with Abraham’s attempt to sacrifice Isaac because it was God Himself who gave the command whereas it was Jephtah’s own mistake to make an oath that would make him regret it later on. The men and women of faith in the Bible also committed mistakes which are all for us to see that God is a loving and a merciful God who can forgive our mistakes. I could give you an explanation on God’s fury against the amorites but unless it would win you over to God it would be useless. It would be your own mistake if you still choose not to believe in God and suffer its consequences but I desire that you would believe and trust in God. God bless you.

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Will July 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I find it impressive that you can be so consciously aware of the problems with the bible and yet still maintain a faith in God.
I notice that you seem to think the fact that in the end the sacrifice was just a test of faith, and Isaac lived, it excuses God of his initial instructions. I submit to you that the test of faith itself was a curious and cruel act and it flies in the face of God’s omniscience. This is to say nothing of the collateral damage undoubtedly caused to Isaac and, I would hope, Abraham. What’s more, what exactly is it that makes Abraham’s ordeal a test of faith? The command to sacrifice his son comes after what sounds like a number of years talking to God – indeed, Isaac himself was only conceived thanks to God (Abraham being 100 and Sarah over 90). What then, would give Abraham cause not to trust God with his son’s life? What is God testing here? From what I can tell, the testing of Abraham boils down to God finding out whether Abraham loves his only son enough to deny the almighty God his sacrifice. Setting aside why God doesn’t know this already, I cannot imagine what is at all dignified about such a sacrifice or the God that ordered it. The only psychological profile I can imagine for a God that commands this level of blind obedience is a profoundly disturbing one. It is one which abuses its position of power and revels in the humility and utterly pathetic submissiveness of its playthings. I hope you can appreciate my distaste, even if you do not share it (in which case, why?).

You raised the point of God’s right to do whatever he wants. I find it hard to even accept that you might actually believe that God has such a right. Most Christians I have heard on this issue argue that it would be against God’s nature to do something immoral, so a hypothetical situation in which God isn’t so great isn’t worth entertaining. You may agree with this, but since you said that “God has all the right to ask and to command someone to sacrifice his own child because God owns everything”, I think it might be useful to address it. As far as I am concerned, a parent does not ‘own’ their child. A child has the right to be independent of its parents and their claims to him/her. Abraham has no more ‘right’ to sacrifice his son as he would any other human being, and to suggest otherwise would surely be a terrible affront to the dignity and rights of the child in question. If your world view has you consider yourself the property of God, and considers your owner well within his rights to do with you what he will, sacrificial rituals and all, I cannot respect it. To want this to be true is to wish to be an abject slave. I consider it about as dignified as BDSM, all things considered.

You make an interesting point in explaining God’s dealings with Jephthah as Jepthah’s mistake. Perhaps this does away with some of the horror of the whole spectacle. Perhaps because Jephthah was foolish enough to offer a life so precious to him in return for his victory, we can consider the whole thing to be a moral lesson. But hold on for a second, where have I heard this sort of thing before? Unworldly power in exchange for something you cannot afford to lose, making for a deal which the pact-maker will come to regret. This is a classic deal with the devil (although the initial reward is even less impressive than in Faustian bargains). Even if it is all Jephthah’s fault to make the deal, and for God it is not a business transaction so much as a pitiful incidence of his fallen creation is hopelessly flapping about in its ineptitude, why does God make the deal? Why does he not at least tell Jephthah he is making a mistake he will live to regret? Once Jephthah realises his daughter will have to die for his victory, why did God not show his loving and merciful side, tell Jephthah that the massacre’s on the house, and he can keep his daughter? That way he would have learnt to love and treasure her for the rest of his life. Perhaps God could have offered the possibility of not having to sacrifice his daughter if he commands his army to leave the places they conquered. You would still have to explain why God was fine with Jephthah massacring the Ammonites, but it would be an order of magnitude more respectable and moral if this was reported as happening instead.

Do you not find it bizarre, as I do, that you claim God is “loving and merciful”, while moving towards some sort of explanation of God’s “fury” against the Ammonites? I would love to hear this explanation, but I admit it is unlikely that it will win me over since I don’t think there is any situation in which it is acceptable (let alone loving and merciful) for God to appear to condone any sort of massacre, especially one which he helps Jephthah undertake.

You opened your response with:
“No amount of explanations by mortal men can make you understand and therefore believe and trust in God.”
Later adding:
“There are Biblical passages that are hard to understand and hard to accept by man, when a person encounters any of these verses, he should rather choose to trust in God and not his own capacity to understand. God says His thoughts and ways are higher than our own thoughts and ways.”

This is an interesting line of argument, since it requires you to strip away your perception of your own ability to understand God. It is an indication, as far as I can tell, that you have had to retreat a good deal in your arguments for your religious beliefs, since it seems very close to the admission that your beliefs are irrational. A modern day Abraham would be considered psychologically unstable, subject to cruel hallucinations, schizophrenic, but at least he had firm reason to believe in God. If God spoke to me every now and again as he apparently did with everyone in the Bible, I would certainly have reason to think he exists. I could entertain the possibility that none of us can comprehend God and there are perfectly good explanations for all of these evil things he is reported as doing in the Bible, but I really think at this point you’ve conceded as much as is necessary to prove your beliefs absurd by all measures. What possible logic could you use to defend a belief which you admit is illogical as far as we mere mortals can see? The moment you start down this path – your very first sentence, no less – everything else becomes irrelevant. Perhaps you didn’t realise it but in making those comments you ceased to make arguments for your faith, and began to make them against your faith. Apparently you unwittingly joined the atheist corner in your counter-argument to it.

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David Peach July 16, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Will, I must not have been clear in what I meant when I said “I choose to believe because of the contents of the whole Bible. I don’t establish or throw out my faith in God based on a random stories or verses.” [Embarrassing typo and all].

My point is that to take one story or one verse out of context without seeing it in light of the whole Bible is the wrong way to establish one’s faith. Scripture should be compared with Scripture to have a complete understanding of God. Whole religions have been built out of a small number of verses but rejecting the Bible as a whole.

As for a clear explanation of the story of Jephthah let me point you to Gleason Archer’s work entitled Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. You might find other reading there that interests you.

I doubt I am going to convince you that the Bible is the Word of God.

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ken February 24, 2013 at 11:50 am

Dear Brethren in the lord
i came across your e-mail address as i was going through the internet and i believe by faith that you can help 80 bibles to us for our spiritual growth, I am a pure Muslim and and i am also a student. so one day someone gave to me a wonderful biblical leaflet , so one cool evening i started reading this leaflet, after reading this leaflet four times i was sincerely touched and i realized that am a lost sinner living in darkness and i need Jesus in my life so that i can be saved and gain eternal life, then i went down on my kneels and prayed to God that he should save me, dear brethren in the lord right now i am convinced and converted to a living church where the true word of God is been preached, brethren, sincerely now i can now see the true light of the world which is Jesus the savior of the world, i have accepted him as my only lord and savior, brethren i can now see a great change in my life and also in my family, i have been baptized and my new name is now john (praise the lord), dear brethren i did not keep these testimonies within myself but i passed it unto my other Muslim brothers sisters friends and relatives by telling them about the saving grace of God and his goodness and that Jesus is the way the truth and life there is no any other way a man can be saved, brethren to God be the glory about 79 brothers and sisters are now convinced became born again and has received Jesus Christ as their only lord and savior, time cannot permit me i could have numbered the names of all the brothers and sisters but please do pray for us, and we also want to request 80 BIBLES from you because we all don’t have BIBLES to read Gods word , brethren that is why we are writing you this day , brother we all need you good help for 80 bibles,

dear brethren please and please for Christ Jesus sake kindly send to 80 of us, 80 COMPLETE HOLY BIBLES THAT CONTAIN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT AND OTHER GOOD CHRISTIAN LITERATURE, may the lord bless and uphold you all in Jesus name,
we look forward to here from you in the soonest of time,
here goes our address
NO 7 OLAIFA CLOSE E,
IBADAN OYO STATE
NIGERIA 23402
THANKS
JOHN KENNETH
e mail kenkens79@yahoo.com

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Will July 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I should thank you for allowing me to try and scrutinise the fundamentalist Christian mindset, but I must say I don’t think I’ve reached a conclusion to the matter yet. I continue to be astonished by your rationale and your perspective on these things.

Starting with your last sentence, it is not the be-all and end-all of this sort of conversation/debate to try and convert the other side. I’m happy to consider the possibility that you could inspire me to ‘join the flock’ with your words (though at the moment I can only imagine they are headed for the slaughter house), and I expect I might be motivated by the thought that I might be able to show you reason with my words. Aside from that, the more realistic hope would be that people (probably people on the fence) would see our arguments and agree with us. Now it looks like you might feel continuing the conversation would be hopeless if your goal is to convert me. In that case, allow me to present an alternate goal: satisfy me that your attitude towards the bible and your religious views are not completely irrational, immoral, bizarre, and so on. I think that may be a hard goal even so, but surely it’s not too much to ask you to explain what makes your views on these ancient texts, which are rich in utterly unacceptable social behaviours, at least somewhat respectable.

Now that’s done with, on to your second paragraph. Please don’t say I’ve taken something from the bible out of context without explaining exactly how I’ve misrepresented it. Regarding Judges 11, the ‘God opposes human sacrifice’ point I would say makes the bible inconsistent and exposes the multiplicity of its authorship. Please understand it is not enough just to complain that I am taking the bible out of context. (And besides, why is it so darn easy to take the bible out of context?)

And finally onto the Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. First of all, I love that there is such a thing. I love that God’s perfect word needs this extensive commentary to put it in the right light for today’s Christians.

I don’t find its explanation of Judges 11 particular satisfying. I wondered if you did. To arrive at its conclusion that the daughter was not sacrificed, it must convince you that where the bible said ‘burnt offering’ it actually meant an offering that involved no death, or there was a change in the vow which was not in any way alluded to by what is written. Unfortunately for us, after the vow itself it only ever refers back to that vow.

In any case, do you not find it incredibly odd that if the daughter was not to be sacrificed, the author reported it in such a way as if to conceal the change in vow? Somehow he did with her according to his vow which he had not vowed.

I am curious whether when you read something like ‘Be fully persuaded in your own mind that an adequate explanation exists, even though you have not yet found it’ (page 4), you agree that this is a good idea, or whether you hear alarm bells ringing that this is not a search for the truth. The author then draws a direct comparison between knowing there is an explanation for the many flaws in the Bible with knowing there is an explanation for how a bumblebee flies, which I found amusing.
Further alarm bells ring when on page 6, the author briefly says that the contents of the Bible trumps any archaeological evidence contradicting it because ‘the Bible is itself an archaeological document of the highest caliber’. He hides this marvellous nonsense by lumping in ‘other non-Hebrew documents’, and justifies this only addressing the non-Hebrew texts with the argument that it’s foolish to always assume the Bible is wrong.

(And sorry about these long posts…)

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Jack Wellman July 17, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Will, thank you for your comment but I sense that you are not truly seeking to un-covert us by debunking the Bible’s authenticity. Do you believe in Napoleon? How about Aristotle? Or the French Revolution? These stories are no less true just because they had human authors…historians recorded events that took place and this is the same thing for the Bible. You said that “Now it looks like you might feel continuing the conversation would be hopeless if your goal is to convert me” but the converse is true that it looks like you are trying to show us the unreliability of the Bible to try to convince us not to believe. We do not such converting and I believe your trying to persuade us by argument is not going to convince us not to believe in God because God says that He inspired the Bible and so your argument is really against God Himself who needs no one to defend him.

In Judges 11 for example what sacrifice was actually made? When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.”

36 “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised, now that the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites. 37 But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”

There is the sacrifice! She will never marry. She was given to the Lord’s service to remain a virgin. Just as Samuel’s mother dedicated him to the temple. There was no human sacrifice that took place but the pagan nations around Israel were constantly sacrificing their children into the fire. This never happened to Israel until they were infiltrated by the pagan religions in the Valley of Gehenna. These same ammonites you feel so sorry for were of the same pagan religion that were tossing babies into fires to sacrifice to a god that doesn’t exist.

Let me ask you, if you believe in the Laws of Science and the Law of Causality specifically? I would hope you hold to reasoning and logic. What is your explanation for the origin of matter (the universe) and life?

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ronald diomampo July 24, 2012 at 2:23 am

Will

You question the God’s morality and omniscience of God in asking Abraham to kill his own son along the following arguments:

1. It is due to vanity, egotism, insensitivity, and selfishness
2. God did not have to test the faith of Abraham because He is supposed to know, being an omniscient God that He is, that Abraham would pass the test anyway, being full of faith that he is.

First of all God tested Abraham, not for Himself, but for Abraham’s justification and for other people to know that Abraham’s had been faithful to God, and for them to emulate Abraham’s faith in action. Not to the point of God asking again any man for his son, but more on when a man lost someone his loved ones, although not the fault of God, still his trust in God is not diminished, or something like that.

Jas 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Jas 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Indeed, how can you prove your own son’s obedience, Will, if you are not going to give an instruction to your son?

God is a rewarder and He rewards men when they have proven their faith in their actions. Will you reward your son based on your knowledge that they will obey anyway that you don’t have to see them actually obeying you?

In the case of the moral aspect of asking Abraham to offer his own son as a sacrifice, you are thinking of God as a human being and not as God. How can God be vain by asking Abraham to offer his son? God does not have to ask that to Abraham for the sake of vanity because whether He is obeyed or not, God is still full of glory. A mere obedience by man does not add anything to the glory the God has. It is for man’s sake that they should give glory to God so that they may be rewarded.

If God did not stop Abraham and Isaac got killed in the process, don’t forget will that God is a giver of life. He can resurrect Isaac even if he were killed.

Heb 11:19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.

It is not you nor any man who makes the standard of what is right and wrong for God. You don’t tell God what is right and wrong. God is not subject to your own interpretation of what is moral and not moral for God to do.

You have assumed that Isaac had been scarred for life. That is only your speculation. Please noticed that Abraham told Isaac that God will provide an animal for him to sacrifice, and indeed God did just that. It was God’s plan in advance to provide an animal because He knew in advance that Abraham would obey. God’s provision of the animal was not an after thought. As Isaac was raised by his godly father in a godly manner and became as faithful and obedient as his father Abraham. It is more probable that Isaac understood the test than your assumption that he was scarred for life because Isaac turned out to be a godly person and not a person with bitterness against God, which you tried to make it appear to be.

You should familiarize yourself in the principle that we have just been given a “lease” on our life and that God can take it way at His own pleasure and that He can do what He pleases for His own pleasure, and His pleasure is not evil, it is for the good. We cannot understand every action of God because we could not see in advance what may happen, but only God knows.

Mr. Will, just because you cannot understand the truth and could not accept the truth in the Bible does not mean that the Bible that what we have today is unreliable as a whole nor unreliable to know the character or attributes of God.

You cannot grasp the truth by your own wisdom, unless the Spirit of God reveals to you His truth, as it is written:

1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I am very sure that you have a common sense to understand the universal principle of the “clay and the potter” as cited by the Apostle Paul, taken from God’s own words to the prophet Jeremiah:

Rom 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?

Jer 18:6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

But you may and you can understand the truth of God if you will submit yourself to Him and repent of your sins and come to the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness and follow Him. And then you will receive the promise of the Holy Spirit who will dwell in you and enlighten you.

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fykee August 16, 2012 at 11:59 pm

yes Ronald.., Glory to GOD…

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ronald diomampo January 13, 2013 at 8:02 am

Thank you fykee, indeed to God alone be all the glory! God bless!

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Aaron August 31, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I believe in Jesus; i believe in God.
No living source can come from a dead source.
even if we were evolve, from the big bang theory; what cause the big bang was a living source.
Only when we become humble and acknowledge how little we know, only then can we drop to our nees and confess that there is a God.-This understanding cannot come from knowledge but from wisdom.
Blessed is the simple man who believe in Jesus.

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me October 8, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Jesus loves you!! Lord I pray that the ones who have commented on here that Do not know you as thiere lord and savior God O pray that you would reveal your self to them God I pray that the blinders would be taling off there eyes Jesus that you would send people to them to share the word with them,I rebuke any spirit any strong hold amy bondage off there life in Jesus name amen!
I want to encourage you to go beyond your comfort zone and pray even if its not your Beliefs in life try it I promise you wont be disapointed in the outcome

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frances October 17, 2012 at 2:06 am

I am blessed and excited that, GOD has blessed me to read your articles,the more i read i get excited.Bible stories about faith,I love it,thank GOD for you sharing

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Nozipho November 6, 2012 at 8:16 am

I believe in God, I believe in the trinity, I believe that Jesus died for my sins and was braught to life after 3 days by the power of the Holy Spirit. Either we believe it or not God speaks to each and every one of us and we choose not to listen. All the people in the Bible were born of men and women just like us, if God spoke to them He is speaking to us today. I choose to believe in God no matter what. I choose to follow Christ. I do not need someone with a diluted mind to convince me otherwise. We need not criticise other people’s beliefs. If you do not have something good to say just keep quiet. You are against God , everyone has been trying to show you the light but you are agaisnt God himself. You need God himself to reveal Himself to you and to show you the way, truth and life in Him. May God have Mercy on you, you really need Him.

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Nicole November 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm

If you will just have faith the size of a mustard seed and it is the will of God.what ever your praying for shall come to past! Im a living witness !

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Camille December 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm

What is that bible story where satan says that if God left (I can’t remember his name) with nothing, he wouldn’t follow him or have faith in him anymore, yet he did, even though God took away his family and did other things (that I can’t remember at this time) to him. I really need to brush up on my stories, but that’s one of my favorite bible stories and I really want to find it.

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ronald diomampo January 3, 2013 at 10:50 am

Camille, the story is about Job. You can read it in the Book of Job in the Old Testament part of the Bible.

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Jackie December 26, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Will you should thank God for the your blessings that he gave you. You are blessed with many words and the ability to communicate. When you reach out to The Lord with Thanks He will then bless you in the right way. It is ok what you are doing because you have great responses from these blessed followers of Christ, but do not make the mistake and take these ideas to the wrong listeners or participants.

I will not prove my faith to you but I will admit to you that God is good. He is awesome in many ways. I have seen miracles in the lives of people around and even myself.

For example, I am writing this email from South Korea. God has given me the time here from the UK to reflect on my lif

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Jackie January 2, 2013 at 9:37 pm

As the special song says…may all who comes behind us find us faithful.

Blessings to all

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Jackie January 3, 2013 at 12:14 am

May all who come behind us, find us faithful…

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Lhj January 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm

No amount of good works will ever be able to save us once it is judge by God that is why the Lord Jesus was sent.
The Lord said have faith and only believe, He doesnt tell us to reason out with our intellectual wits and baggages. For you know what, we will only be elementary travellers of this whole creation of God. God will not be concern of our brains which sucks every minutes, which thinks badly and swing ridiculously, God wants us to find Him with “all our heart, so we can find Him”,. Good and bad examples are set in the Bible not for us to literraly follow but so that those who truly believes in Him, that means by heart, will God reveal His secrets to have abundant life..and abundant life doesnt only mean monetary. God doesnt want a double minded man, if you are lukewarm He will spit you out,,if you choose not to believe in the living God, it is your choice, we are not forced, if people in the Bible commits things to their own will, then it is their choice God will not intervene but if people do it for the Glory of God then, God will be delighted,..sad but true, people tries to mock what the Only Son of God did, the only way in which every soul could be save..The New Testament says “many”, but not “all”will be called, even “fewer” will remain faithful, if even in our family we tend to be rebellious to our parents, how much more do we act toward God if we even dont see Him,..but We can be sure if walk by Faith and not by sight, then surely the Lord Jesus and His Father will dwell with you..thanks for comments and may the lamp of an everlasting light of God be so shine that it will illuminate our way of thinking so we could see the unseen and glory of God the Father that is in Christ Jesus..Romans 10:17 says, Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by word of God..God bless..

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Jackie January 9, 2013 at 2:10 am

Thank You Lord for these blessed people of God.

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tope adebayo February 8, 2013 at 10:19 am

the challenge with most people who claim they are atheists is that they deliberately chose not to submit themselves to a superior being . being fully aware that the price to pay is that of deferring to that superior being and that they will be held accountable for violating the rules of that superior being.
it beats me why anyone would believe that there is no God , but just like the Bible says they are reprobates.

But their unbelief cannot change the truth of the word of God, there is no amount of unbelief, lacerations, vituperations and denials that can remove the power in a 33KV high tension wire. when you touch it you will know that there is power flowing, though it may be too late , others will learn a lesson from you and restrain from following your way.

you dont believe God , Heaven and Hell ? okay no Problem , the consequence of that position is damning as every one who tow that line , will eventually know that God is not a liar and his words are not fables.

The Rich man and lazarus is in the scripture for your learnings.

the interesting thing is that these atheists know so much about the Bible ? they can give a glowing account of stories and events in the Bible , why read when you don”t believe ?

Wouldnt it be nice to just stop decieving yourself and obey the silent warnings in your heart and humble yourself today.

the Bible says he that created the eyes, can he be blind, he that created the hear ,can he not hear ? he that judged the nations, will it not be just ?

you need the proof that there is God , just look at your self and consider the works of wonder that made up who you are . no machine could do what you can do , every machine was a product of human thinking ability.

there are better countries in the world today , the difference lies in the quality of thinking and they are superior to other countries and because of their superiority , they make demand of other nations that are weaker.

God is the superior being , he has a sovereign power to make demand of his creature. just like you made demands of your man made machines .

wise up today and discover an more interesting life that guarantee you peace of mind and your quest for existence, because i perceive this is your greatest need.

God bless you

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Jackie February 8, 2013 at 10:47 am

We are all human beings on this planet…God is the only Superior Being.

Thank You Lotd.

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OrangeBananas May 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Hi I think the story of Samson and the Philistines showed great faith actually. Samson was forbidden to cut his hair, and he didn’t, but his wife did. because Samson did nothing wrong, he and God still had faith in each other, Samson regained his strength, and drove away some philistines. thats a pretty faithful story on both Samson and God’s part. Thanks for reading

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abayomi July 8, 2013 at 5:37 am

my inspiring faith story had to do with the woman the had two sons which the husband debtors are really to take in place of their money.but when she met prophet Elisha, with faith she obey the prophet and she had in abundantly.

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A.S November 28, 2013 at 8:30 am

Is Will really an atheist ? I have my doubts. Even if he is, he is one that will soon have an undying faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the scriptures. But before then, before we err in our answers to the concerns of mr. Will, let us remember that we did not come to our believe and level of faith today by rationalization, by our own power. It may not be right to attack Will or see him as one who deliberately refuse to believe or understand the mystery of the scriptures which is not understood by limited human knowledge but divine revelation. Whoever attempts to convince Mr. Will or any other person of the power and truth of the scripture by mere logical reasoning, is thinking too highly of himself, undertaking an impossible mission and showing a manifest lack of under standing of the nature of the faith we profess and seek to propagate. Such effort would look like explaining quantum physics to a kindergarten or principles of criminal law to an illitrate farmer. We sow the seed, God by the power of His spirit give the increase. We preach the gospel as simple as it is, with humility love and patience with the people and leave It to God to Work out their salvation in His infinite wisdom and Power. We do not argue the scriptures or debate God and scriptures with any one. We explain and inform whoever requires it. And we do this with humility according to the level of faith and understanding we have at the time about the particular subject. Believers should also be designing and a take a deep breath before responding to issues that are in the nature of Philosophical epistemological argument so that we do not join issues unnecessary or give wrong information unwitting and confuse the inquirer or Make the gospel more difficult .
It is not the fault of mr Will that the scriptures and the dynamics of the Christian faith appear illogical to him. It is indeed the nature of the Christian untill One has received the grace to understand it. If scientific and other physical phenomena are so difficult for man to understand in full, even the atheist would not expect to read the invincible God like A B C D.

I believe in One and only true God, His Name is Jehovah, who created the whole universe and made man in his own image. I believe in the sinfulness of fallen human nature and the divine redemptive plan. I believe that God sent His son jesus Christ who Himself is God came in human form. I believe in the immaculate conception and birth of Christ according to the scriptures. I believe in the crucifixion of Christ and that He rose from death on the third day. I believe in the second coming of Christ, resurrection of the dead, the great tribulation, heaven and Hell. I believe that God exist and He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Therefor believe in the Lord jesus christ and you shall be saved .And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be save.

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Jacqueline Keating November 29, 2013 at 3:01 am

Thank you Jesus for words of wisdom…God bless you all including Mr Will. Praises to The Lord Jesus.

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