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Dear COA Family,

Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:6, James 2:23)

The concept of obtaining righteousness (or right-standing) by faith in God is so foundational that this verse is repeated three times in the New Testament. We are also reminded that we are saved by grace through faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8).

Yet, what does believing or having faith really mean?

I am afraid that most of us have a misunderstanding of faith because of our environment of reasoning and intellectualism. We think that faith is merely agreeing or assenting to a mental concept. For example, faith is agreeing that God exists, has created the world and saved us through His Son Jesus Christ.

Yet, faith is more than that!

For a better understanding of faith, we need to go back to the original account of this verse in Genesis 15. Abraham had heard God’s call and responded by leaving his comfortable homeland at the age of seventy-five years, with his family, to a place God had prepared for him. He was still trusting God for protection and provision when this statement was recorded.

In other words, faith is belief accompanied by concrete actions and changes in our lifestyle. Faith involves risk. It is putting our lives firmly in the hand of our almighty God!

This Chinese New Year, as we visit our families and friends, let us show our faith truly by acts of love. Let us be bold in
loving others, sharing our faith and praying for them when the occasion arises. God will use us as instruments to bless our loved ones, just as He did by blessing all of the nations through the believing Abraham!

Have a blessed Chinese New Year!

Revd Ian