Posts Tagged ‘2 Corinthians 5:7’

Biblical Faith

July 22nd, 2015

“Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6 NIV.

Biblical faith is central and requisite to the Christian life.

My thoughts and comments today are about “Biblical faith.”

Life is difficult without a healthy measure of faith. Faith is natural unless compromised by opinions and circumstances. Disappointing experiences, damaged trust, and resultant doubts are usually the product of insincere promises or insufficient abilities to fulfill promises made. Yet your Christian life is completely dependent on faith. Paul reminded the Corinthian believers, “We walk by faith not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7.

Your life in Christ begins with the gift of faith, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9. Your spiritual life grows by faith’s increase, “. . if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the Gospel which you heard.” Colossians 1:22. Faith sustains you during and at the end of your journey, as faith did for “those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:11-12.

And how is this journey of faith successfully accomplished? It’s simple really. “Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith . .” Hebrews 12:2. Faith is neither something you create of yourself nor can you sustain apart from Jesus, alive in your heart. “God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 NKJV. “Faith is not a mere sterile, intellectual belief, but it is that which confirms the heart, clarifies the mind, and controls the affections.” (Barnes’ Notes).

(1) Biblical faith is central and requisite to every aspect of the Christian life. Citing the example of Enoch, “as one who pleased God,” the Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:5-6 NIV. Faith is essential, not optional. Biblical faith is described best in Hebrews 11:1.

(2) Biblical faith is: “the substance of things hoped for.” English lacks the breadth and richness of the original Greek text, in which the New Testament was primarily written. As used in this verse, “Substance” is closest to our word, “foundation, that which stands underneath to provide support.” Biblical hope is not at all wishful thinking; it is a spiritual reality established upon the solid rock of God’s Word. Read Matthew 7:24-27. The “things hoped for” are as certain as the singular character, absolute authority, and unchanging reliability of God. If God said it, I believe it. And that settles it. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing [comes] by the Word of God.” Read Romans 10:17.

(3) Biblical faith is: “the evidence of things not seen.” As used in this verse, “Evidence” is “the irrefutable proof and unchangeable conviction.” The “things not [yet] seen” are envisioned in one’s heart and accompanied by unshakable conviction of their certainty. Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV. Abraham is a great example of this principle. Read Romans 4:19-21 NIV. You don’t choose what you believe; you choose who you believe and that determines what you believe. Jesus said, “Have faith in God.” See Matthew 11:22-24. I believe God.

Jesus used the example of a tiny mustard seed to encourage faith and demonstrate its power, “the smallest seed, when planted it grows and becomes the largest of plants . . if you have faith as small as a mustard seed . . nothing will be impossible for you.” Read Mark 4:31 and Matthew 17:20 NIV.

Today, I pray for you that your faith grows strong and rests fully upon God and His Word.

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Sight Unseen

December 22nd, 2011

“We live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV

“Faith is a non-negotiable for experiencing God.”

My thoughts today are about “sight unseen.”

People say that “seeing is believing,” but is that always true? With the capability of CGI special effects (Computer Generated Imagery) and the ability to Photoshop digital pictures, can it still be assumed that “seeing is believing?” With today’s digital gymnastics can you believe everything you see, really?

That assumption was turned upside down when Jesus said that “believing is seeing!” When Thomas, a disciple of Jesus, was told of Jesus’ resurrection, he dismissed the claim, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” John 20:25/29 NKJV. Imagine Thomas’ surprise when Jesus appeared, alive and well! “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus reserved His praise for those who believed sight unseen!

Paul instructed the believers at Corinth, “We live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV. Which describes your spiritual life – faith or sight? Sight is the folly of trusting only what you can physically experience for yourself through your five senses – seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, tasting. Here’s the problem with that requirement. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him. But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by His Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NLT.

Faith rests solely on what God says to be true, strengthened by the personal testimony of those who have found His Word reliable. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 NIV. Faith envisions a greater reality, sight unseen.

“So you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is a God and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NLT. Faith is a non-negotiable for experiencing God. How do you develop and practice that kind of faith? “Fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV.

Be clear on this: faith is not talking a good game; faith is acting according to, and consistent with, your faith. Faith is not a mental exercise or a talking point; it is obedience and action. “By faith, Enoch pleased God . . by faith, Noah built . . by faith, Abraham obeyed . . by faith, Sarah conceived . . by faith, Moses forsook . . by faith, Israel passed through the Red Sea . . through faith subdued, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped lions, quenched violence, escaped the  sword, were strong, became valiant, turned armies to flight, received their dead raised to life.” Read Hebrews 11:2-39 NKJV. Faith results in action verbs -something you are empowered to  do at the prompting of your faith. That’s what real, Biblical faith can do, sight unseen!

My prayer for you today is that you anchor your life on the integrity of God’s Word.

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