The concept of faith isn’t a feeling that comes from a conversation between God and Abram. God doesn’t want how you feel when you wake up each morning to dictate whether or not you’re going to spend time with God. Moses came to the same conclusion when he addresses Israel prior to entering the Promised Land in Deuteronomy 28: The only condition that God places on His covenant with Abraham is the expectation that Abe will habitually walk with God as stated in Psalm 1:1-3.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, I am the Almighty God; walk and live habitually before Me and be perfect (blameless, wholehearted, complete), Genesis 17:1.
Jesus brings up one condition in His Sermon on the Mount. While addressing proper and improper motives, Jesus turns to the Golden Rule, “loving your neighbor as yourself.” At the conclusion of a prayer called the Our Father by Catholics or simply the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus places a condition on God’s forgiveness. If you want God to forgive you, you must first be willing to show others the same grace by overlooking the those who have trespassed against you.
And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. 14 For if you forgive people their trespasses [their [g]reckless and willful sins, [h]leaving them, letting them go, and [i]giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their [j]reckless and willful sins, [k]leaving them, letting them go, and [l]giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses, Matthew 6:13-15.
When you consider each condition, one found in the Old Testament and another in the New Testament, what does this all mean? Well, God’s conversation with Abraham is similar to the apostle Paul’s words in Romans 8:5-8. God’s expectation for Christian is to habitually walk with God by keeping in step with the Holy Spirit. Meanwhile, Jesus’ condition on forgiveness ties into Paul’s analogy of becoming a new creation in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:17. According to one of Jesus’ disciples, to love is to walk with Jesus, 1 John 1:7. While conditions to God’s covenant do exist, obedience to God and faith align with God’s call to die to self and clothe yourself with Christ, Colossians 3:1-9.
by Jay Mankus