Dead in Faith – Embraced Faith (Lesson 4)

By Kathy L McFarland

Once faith was persuaded with the generations of Abraham, there were two other steps necessary that allowed them to die with their faith intact. Faith is not fully expressed through belief in the LORD God’s promises; they must also be embraced and confessed, or it was not finished in the Old Testament Believer. Through this study of Embraced Faith we will soon recognize that our own Christian belief has the same requirements of persuasion, embracing and confessing, as did the belief of our adopted ancestors through Abraham’s generations.

Hebrews 11:13-16

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:13–16 (KJV)

How is belief in the promises made by the LORD God embraced by a believer, before those promises are fulfilled? It’s a tough question that cannot be answered by anyone that is without intimate relationship with Him. Common sense dictates that nothing is certain in this life; logic provides a base argument that a promise cannot be embraced fully without a way for that promise to come to bear upon the believer.

But here’s the deal…I can’t teach you about embracing faith, unless I bring that intimate desire close to your soul. That means this lesson will be focused a great deal on what you feel and what you desire and what you hold closest to you. To study the word “embrace” with Greek and Hebrew and English does not capture what you need to learn in this lesson. Rather, the study must first start in the depths of you, in the places that no one but you and the Lord Jesus Christ knows. Throughout this class on faith we have tackled the meanings of words, and in scientific fashion examined them inside and out. Now we must change things up, take a pause, put on some good gospel music in the background, relax, and reach for the heart of Christ that beats in us. It is in that place where we will find the next step of faith that requires a deep embrace that is reserved for those chosen by Him.

If you were sitting next to me, and we were sharing this Bible Study together in a quiet and private place, I would tell you about the love of my life that rescued me from death and led me to my Lord Jesus Christ. I would tear up, and my voice would quiver. I would share with you how I believed I was so unworthy to be loved, but love came to me through my love and Him. When they came, I grabbed them with the most intense desperations with the deepest of embraces. I was breathless and my knees buckled. I could hardly believe that I was blessed with such great loves. As undeserving as I felt, they came to me with open arms, and I fell into them with the abandonment of soul and in the most powerful embraces possible in my human being. One taught me how to love, and then introduced me to the greatest love given through the heart of my wonderful Lord Jesus. I was saved through His embrace that would never release His hold on me and I surely would never let go!

Maybe your deepest embraces are different. Maybe they were reserved for a beloved parent, or a child of yours. Maybe you shared a tight, life-changing embrace in the middle of war, as you lay scared in the trenches wondering if it were your last day. Or perhaps you wish for a lost love whose embrace you miss. Maybe your arms crave for ones that have passed on, as you think upon the tight embraces you would give the missing loves if only they could live again. Maybe you were like me, and unloved by all but Him, or maybe you had many loves but no depth of intimacy that created the condition of intimate embrace.

These arms given to us by God long to hold His Heart and never let go. His embrace tightly holds His Son Jesus Christ to His bosom, and those saved by Him are drawn to that same most intimate place with the deepest of affections. He is our beloved Father, whom loves His only begotten son so intimately, that an embrace to bring Him closest to His Heart, brings His adopted children as well.

John 1:15-18

“John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:15-18)

Isaiah 40:10-11

Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. 11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:10–11)

Regretfully, we can’t sit and share the intimate embraces of our life. But, we do have opportunity to understand the depth of the words “embrace” by examining some of the different times it appears in the Word of God. Even more revealing is the study of the word “bosom” which is the place the embrace brings those that are deeply and intimately loved! Take for instance the disciple that Jesus loved the most!

Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

John 13:23–25 (KJV 1900)

23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. 25 He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? (John 13:23-25)

No, Disciple John it was not you! The Lord Jesus Christ loves you more than all of His Disciples, and He embraced you to His bosom, a place of intimate and deep affection that would never remove you!

When one is embraced to the bosom, forgiveness of our shortcomings is known, as the seat of our Lord’s heart gives us certainty of salvation! It works the same way in our human being; those we embrace to our own bosoms are those whom we forgive!

Luke 6:37-38

“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:37–38)

There was a whole bunch of embracing going on as Jacob met Rachel, kissing and weeping with her, and then being similarly embraced by Laban as the son of his sister came to him. It was indeed, a heartfelt and moving meeting that only an embrace could hold.

Genesis 29:9-13

And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep: for she kept them. 10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, and that he was Rebekah’s son: and she ran and told her father. 13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.” (Genesis 29:9–13)

How wonderful it was for Joseph when he found his brother Benjamin was still alive and standing in his presence. His embrace was upon the neck, and tears of joy were flowing as he clung tightly to Benjamin in a celebratory embrace of grateful abandonment.

Genesis 45:8-15

“So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. 9 Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: 10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: 11 And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty. 12 And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you. 13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither. 14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.” (Genesis 45:8–15)

I think you probably understand by now that an embrace is the emotional total acceptance and inclusion of a person or an idea. When those things most dear to a person are embraced, honor is brought to them. For instance, when wisdom is embraced, the embracer is promoted, exalted and brought to honor.

Proverbs 4:7-8

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.” (Proverbs 4:7–8)

When that embrace of faith comes, virtue is increased automatically, as it works within the Believer to join the Lord within. It is the beginning of the development of faith; without embrace, it cannot grow.

2 Peter 1:5-8

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5–8)

After faith has persuaded, it must be embraced and then confessed for it to be valid. Embracing faith is not a condition expressed by words, but rather an action that draws closely to individuals and touches their very souls. It is the idea of total acceptance in the most intimate way that embracing faith involves.

To be persuaded of faith means that you believe in things you do not see. To embrace faith means that you feel and hold close the things of faith deep within your soul. Without this intimate connection with faith, faith cannot exist. To believe requires more than the mind! Faith requires an embrace of desire and love and an acceptance of Truth as close to one’s soul as it can be brought.