A Continuation of our Discourse on Faith
Christian Faith is:
- the opposite of doubt.
- the principal component of dogma held as true by faithful believers of Christianity
- the glue that maintains the connection of believers with God.
- trusting in Jesus Christ who leads believers into a close proximity and relationship with God.
- a firm belief and hope that salvation leads to eternal life. (John 3:16)
- quantitative. “…if you have faith as a (tiny) mustard seed…” (Matthew: 17:20)
- qualitative. “…churches were being strengthened in the faith.” (Acts 16:5)
- not walking by physical vision “for we walk by faith, not by sight…” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
- a confidence of reaping some degree of spiritual fruitfulness that is worthy of receiving rewards. (Matthew 13:23 and Hebrews 11:6)
- one of the three greatest virtues of Christianity; faith, hope and love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
A Brief Summary of Christian Faith
The Christian faith is the experience of living in a dynamic and new personal relationship with God through the transforming and indwelling power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in us. The key to this new experience of living is trusting God to transform us into new Christ like people by receiving the Triune God Head (Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God) into our minds and bodies.
Faith as found in the Bible
In the book of Hebrews found in the New Testament we read, “Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) The phrase, ‘things not seen’, as distinguished from the things hoped for, can mean a conviction that all of the recorded events of the Bible are true, starting with Genesis 1:1 and ending in Revelation 22:27. Alternatively, the phrase ‘things not seen’ can refer to a conviction and truthfulness of the things― the supernatural things we are seeking during our ladder climb―namely, the unseen realm.
If we examine the entire chapter 11 of Hebrews, we should come away with even better understanding of what faith is. The writer of Hebrews not only defined faith in verse one, as noted above, but identifies many biblical characters as faithful based on how they acted out their faith in a variety of circumstances.
In verse 27 of Hebrews, the writer states that Moses, the great patriarch, did not fear the king of Egypt. By faith he “…endured, as seeing Him (God) who is unseen.” This statement distinguishes God from the god's of Egypt, who were visible, gross, and worthless. More importantly, it tells us Moses chose to place his faith in an invisible immortal deity, (God) than in the visible and mortal enraged Egyptian King. My fellow bloggers do you and I understand the enormity of this kind of faith? Biblically, this is the kind of faith that all of today’s Christian believers should aspire for.
When reading verses of this chapter, another amazing bit of truth is found in chapter eleven of Hebrews. In verse 13, the writer of this New Testament book says that all these Old Testament patriarchs and heroes died in faith, without receiving the promises (of God), but having seen them, as did Moses, welcomed the promises from a distance.
In essence, the writer is telling his readers, including those of us who are true believers that we too will physically die without obtaining these assurances of faith! But present followers of Christ also can use their spiritual vision to perceive the promises they will finally receive ahead in the heavenly kingdom of God.
Based on our faith and conviction of the reality of a heavenly domain, can we, as committed believers, truly say we are strangers and exiles in the earthly domain? We all recognize that our spiritual vision is sometimes lacking yet have the ‘assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen’ that God will fulfill His promises.
The Bible says that believers ‘…look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) Isn’t looking at the invisible and the unseen things what we really seeking as we journey towards the supernatural realm?
On the other hand, some nominal believers may have strong faith-like desires in the seen world. Such cravings can be expressed in an intentional, careful, deliberate manner or unwittingly in a state of ignorance or innocence. These intense yearnings may be directed toward fabricated false gods, or toward material objects, such as automobiles, clothing’s, sports, etc. Both God and most faithful Christians view these passionate wishes as a worship of idols, a highly undesirable and detrimental situation for anyone to be in.
Why is it so objectionable and damaging? Regarding token believers, their faithful worship of idols and the like can result in conditions where they are in jeopardy of losing out on of having a genuine meaningful relationship with God. This split-up between God and a person may end up being worlds apart from the God of the Bible. Any degree of separation from togetherness to apartness can be correctly viewed as gaps.
Future posts will concentrate on the subject of gaps.