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Faith and Knowledge

May 16, 2018

“Yes, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform,” (Rom. 4:20-21, NASB).

Our postmodern world, it is popular to say that nobody can know anything for certain. Faith is then described as being a sort of, “shot in the dark,” or a “leap” of faith. Assurance, certainty, and confidence allude postmodernists.

What about a biblical definition of faith? Do we see a different concept of faith and knowledge? In fact we do in many cases. In our text for the day we read about Abraham’s faith in the promise of God. Notice that Paul connects the ideas of having faith, with being fully assured, or fully convinced (see the ESV). According to Paul in Romans 4, having faith was parallel to the idea of being fully convinced of something God had promised. If you read through 2 Corinthians 5, you will read, “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, and not be sight,” (2 Cor. 5:6-7, ESV). Paul says that we know something, we are assured of something being true, because we walk by faith and not by sight. He uses the concepts of faith and knowledge as interchangeable regarding the truth about which he is speaking. Faith is knowing for sure that something is true because God said it. We further read about this in Hebrews, where we read, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” and, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible,” (Heb. 11:1, 3 respectively). Do you see how explicit these texts are? Faith is assurance, faith is knowing, faith is conviction of the truth of an idea. It is no, “leap into darkness.” Not according to the writers of Scripture.

How do get this type of faith? It is only a product of the Holy Spirit. “For God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God,” (1 Cor. 2:10); and “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,” (1 Cor. 2:12, emphasis mine). Do you see what Paul says here? God has given us His Spirit so that we may know those things God has revealed to us. Not so that we might guess, and hope maybe that they are true, but so that we might know, be assured of, and be fully convinced of, the truths of His Word. God gives us His Spirit so that we may know those things that are true (John 16:13). Christianity is no guessing game. Christianity does not have the philosophical limitations that humanistic philosophies do. No, God’s Word, and His Spirit, provide us the certainty of the truths of God, so that we can be fully convinced of their truth.

When we lack faith, God is able to increase our confidence in His revelation. May God increase our faith by His Spirit. May we not try to work up this certainty on our own, but see it as a product of God’s work in our lives. May God bless those struggling with doubt, and provide His Spirit to give them the assurance of those things He has promised.

From → Theology

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