This past Sunday I taught our adult Sunday School class from Joshua 2. As you may recognize, this chapter features the life of Rahab and gives us a picture of transforming faith. I wanted to pass on these exciting truths of how God changes a person like Rahab – and you and me – from the inside out.
God can save even the worst of sinners.
Have you ever been guilty of thinking that some despicable person you know is beyond God’s help? That there’s just no way that person could ever be reached with the gospel? Rahab could very well have been seen in this light. Yet she – along with any other horrible sinner – was never out of the reach of God’s saving arm. Pick out your favorite “despicable sinner” and begin to pray for their salvation. Don’t give up on those who seem hopeless. God can change anyone! He didn’t give up on Rahab, and He didn’t give up on you.
Faith in God transforms lives.
Rahab had heard how God parted the Red Sea and destroyed the nations who stood in the way of Israel’s path. In her heart she believed in the power of Israel’s God. By faith she chose to stand with Israel, even against her own people. Hers was a total transformation, and God honored her faith.
If you are a believer, the work of transformation has begun, which will be complete when you meet Jesus face to face. Paul said it this way, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Until then, are you helping or hindering God’s process? Ask Him to show you any areas in your life where you are resisting His work of transformation. Rahab submitted herself totally to God. Can you say the same?
Faith in God produces fruit.
What’s alive grows. Rahab’s faith was acknowledged when she declared to the spies, “the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (Joshua 2:9,11). With her resolution came immediate fruit as she chose to hide the spies and turn her back on her own heathen people. In the New Testament James uses Rahab to illustrate this point of faith producing fruit when he said, “Was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?” (James 2:25). James brought this truth home when he also said, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (2:17). Be your own personal fruit inspector. “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5). If you have saving faith, you will produce fruit.
Faith in God prompts concern for the lost.
Rahab’s first concern when she confronted the spies was for her family. “Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my… father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death” (Joshua 2:12-13). As God transformed her heart, Rahab developed a concern for the salvation of her family and extracted a promise not only for her salvation, but also for her family. Do you share Rahab’s heart of concern for the salvation of others? Don’t forget what your life was like before God saved you. Ask Him to prompt your heart to be more concerned for the lost, starting with your family and friends.
To learn more about Rahab and other biblical characters, see 10 Minutes to Knowing the Men & Women of the Bible and The Remarkable Women of the Bible.