LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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FAITH

 

 

Faith isn’t taking a leap in the dark or just accepting what some one tells you to believe. Faith isn’t wishful thinking or believing in a dream. In fact, faith really isn’t believing; it is knowing something for sure.

It is considered intellectual nowadays to say that we can’t know anything for sure; all things are relative and matters of perception; we really can’t know anything for sure. What a sad world this must be for “intellectuals!” Thinking people can—and do—have faith.

The Bible says that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.[1] SUBSTANCE . . . EVIDENCE; these are real things not just wishful thinking. Faith is knowing that something is there that you cannot see or feel; it is being sure that there is something there that is more real than the world in which you live. Faith is something that is greater than the human intellect; it is able to perceive things the human senses cannot discern.

But, in what are we to have faith; what are we supposed to discern that we cannot see? The most obvious answer is GOD, but that is the last thing humans in their depraved state want to believe in—it is just too uncomfortable. To accommodate this discomfort, God has given this unbelieving world two evidences upon which faith can be built:

 

What may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.[2]

 

First of all, people have a conscience that tells them God is real even if they choose not to believe in Him. Second, creation tells us there is a creator God and it gives us a strong notion as to the very nature and power of this God. So, in reality, people do have faith because deep in their innermost being they know GOD IS: the evidence is just too obvious.

Building on this foundation of elementary faith, there is the evidence of truth—the fact of truth; that it exists and there cannot be an absence of truth in the real world. The human condition is another evidence that leads to faith. Why is it that all people have the common problem of sin? And finishing this foundation is the substance of the Gospel: God has intervened in history and provided the solution to the sin problem.

It seems so strange that the people of this unbelieving world already have so much faith but yet they choose to ignore God. There is a reason for this. The reason is that people are so far from God that the faith they have, the things they know, just is not able to reach out and understand God. Without help people are hopeless and helpless to reach up and grasp the hand of God. That is the human condition!

But, there is good news. Do you remember that the gospel is “good news?” The good news is that God has a gift for every person that really wants to know God for sure and this gift is FAITH. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD.”[3] Yes, God gives to every person that wants to know Him and be saved out of the depravity of the human condition, the faith that is necessary for this to happen!

My friend, you do not have to strain to believe in God; you do not have to go through some twelve-step, self-improvement course to be a better person before you can come to God. God will give you faith, the ability to believe and to know for certain that God will change your life by changing you from the inside out.

When God gives you this gift of faith, you will know four things for sure. You will know some things are right and some things are wrong. You will know that there is such a thing as truth and that you are staring truth in the face when you see that your life is wrong and headed for destruction. You will know that God loves you and wants to change your life to what He knows to be the best for you. And, you will know that God has given you this knowledge for the purpose of making that change reality in your life.

So, how do you get this faith? One word: ASK. It is a gift.



[1] Hebrews 11:1

[2] Romans 2:19–20

[3] Galatians 2:8