Friday, April 4, 2014
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It’s Friday, April 4, 2014, I’m Robert Hatfield and this program delivers daily thoughts for new Christians. This is THE NEW YOU!
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible (Heb. 11:1-3).
What is faith? At one time, Webster’s dictionary defined the word this way: “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” I’m afraid too many people think of faith that way. Some people say that faith is “a leap in the dark.” They’re saying that they can’t produce evidence for some of their beliefs, but they believe them because they feel like it’s the right thing to do. That’s not my kind of faith. In fact, that’s not biblical faith.
Look at the Bible and you’ll see that true faith rests on facts. Peter wrote:
For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty (2 Pet. 1:16).
Was Peter’s faith nothing more than a blind leap in the dark? Absolutely not! He says that he has proof for his beliefs. He was an eyewitness of the majesty of Jesus Christ. John echoes those sentiments 1 John 1:1:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life.
When Jesus commanded that one must believe in order to be saved (John 8:24; Mark 16:16), He never expected anyone to do so without giving them solid evidence. The apostles did likewise. Today, we have that evidence in God’s Word.
And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name (John 20:30-31).
We have the reliable testimony of the eyewitnesses recorded for us in the inspired – and, thus, perfect – Bible, the Word of God. Further, that same Word details for us events that transpired for which there were no eye witnesses. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” Genesis 1:1 reads. You know, the Bible has been proved to be factual time and again. It’s no wonder, then, that God’s Word states in Romans 10:17: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
With all of this in mind, think carefully about how the Hebrews writer describes our faith. He says it is the “substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” The word “substance” means “a standing under,” “being set under,” that is, “a foundation.” Here we see the relation that faith bears to hope. Faith is the foundation on which we stand as we hope to go to heaven eternal. Further, faith has a link to the invisible; it is “the evidence of things not seen.” That word “evidence” means “confidence,” even “confident assurance.”
Let’s wrap it up: Alleged scholars and scientists want us to believe that people of faith are dumb because we reject scientific theories such as evolution. Here’s what my faith teaches me: God exists! I know that He exists because “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Psa. 19:1)! Further, Psa. 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” I know that Jesus is God’s Son (1 John 5:20). I know that the Bible is God’s Word (2 Pet. 1:20-21). I know that I am saved by my obedience to that Word (1 John 5:13). These are not blind leaps in some dark, spiritual abyss; these are facts that I can know!
Memory Verse: These facts that I know through my faith motivate me to act on my faith. James says that faith without works is dead (James 2:26). Let’s take one more look at how Ezra lived by faith:
Ezra 7:10: For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.
Over the weekend: Be sure to worship on the Lord’s day! Can I help you find a place to worship on Sunday? I’d love to help any way that I can. I’ve put a link in our show notes today (http://www.searchtv.org/mapchurch.html) that has a map of congregations. You can search for your area and I’m sure you’ll find a nearby congregation with which to worship.
Before I go… The Light Network is covering the Erhman-Butt debate happening tonight on the campus of the University of North Alabama in Florence, AL. The debate topic deals with pain and suffering and whether these things mean that there is no God. If you’re going to be at tonight’s debate, then perhaps I’ll be able to see you there! For more information about our coverage, visit thelightnetwork.tv/debate.
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. Archives of this program, episode transcripts, and more Christian podcasts can be found online at thelightnetwork.tv.
Your questions for Q & A Saturday are always welcome! Email me at email@example.com or ask your question by phone via my Google voicemail number, which is 903-265-4448.
I’ll meet you tomorrow for the Q & A Saturday edition of The New You! Have a great weekend!