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From Where Comes Faith?

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I recently read about some who are in discussions about the nature of the body Jesus received when he rose from the grave. The reasoning seemed to be that some could not believe he was truly risen unless they could establish that he had the exact same body, of the exact same nature as the one that was put to death. I have been involved in similar discussion in the past regarding the day of the week that Jesus was crucified. The reasoning behind that discussion seems to be, again, without knowing the exact day we cannot believe Jesus actually fulfilled the promises.

I have also noticed a number of folks get very excited about religious movies. A few years ago it was "The Passion", now it is "Heaven is Real" or "God is Not Dead." Some talk about how such movies help them better understand God, Jesus, and Heaven. Some even go so far as to say movies of this nature help strengthen their faith. I know of others who refer to various books or videos that are so important to keeping their faith in God strong.

Of course it does not surprise me that there are those who engage in such philosophical discussions. This has been the pursuit of various men from the beginning. Just consider the discourses between the friends of Job for one example. There will always be those who try to "twist" the Scriptures as there will always be some things that are "hard to understand." (2Peter 3:16) The fact that men and women in the world, or denominations, feel a need to find assurance for their faith in the wisdom of men is nothing new. In fact considering history, it is to be expected. What does cause me to be concerned is that some of these folks are part of the Lord's Church. They are, supposedly, like-minded brethren, ones who might be described as having "obtained a like precious faith with us." (2Peter 1:1 KJV)

How can any true Christian need to depend on outside sources for their faith in God? We can plainly read in Paul's letter to the Roman brethren that our faith is not to be based upon any wisdom derived from men.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

He made certain that the Corinthians understood that their faith was not in the wisdom of men.

1Corinthians 2:3-5 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

God has provided everything we need to place our complete trust and faith in Him and Him alone.

2Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

2Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

If you need proof that Jesus arose from the grave turn to the first epistle of John, the apostle.

1John 1:1-3 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life--the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us--that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Or maybe to the first letter Paul wrote to the Corinthians.

1Corinthians 15:1-8 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

Each of those appearances referenced by Paul is verification that Jesus, who walked among them, arose from the grave. Of course the four accounts of the life of Jesus also provide evidence of his death, burial, and resurrection.

The written word of God is sufficient to provide and strengthen our faith in God. There is no need to involve ourselves in endless discussions about things that are not revealed in scripture. You wonder if God is dead, I say He is alive and is the God of the living. (Matthew 16:16; 22:32; Luke 24:5)

I do not deny that we sometimes need help to fully understand some portions of what God has revealed. The Ethiopian treasurer clearly stated a need for "someone to guide" in his desire to know God's Word. (Acts 8) We will each find ourselves in need of assistance from time to time. I also understand there are some areas where we may not have enough information to fully understand some things. My concern is when we let those things get in the way of our faith in God. We need to learn to accept God's Word. Paul told the Ephesian elders it was able. The Hebrew writer considered it powerful in its working. (Hebrews 4:12) We need to simply trust what God has revealed as sufficient for our salvation.

Acts 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

God have us His Book so that we might know His Will. Study the Word!

 
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