GodReflection: Faith Certainties
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
It is far too easy to look at faith as something I believe rather than a confident assurance of reality.
In a previous post I noted that my favorite sports team is on a successful run of wins. I might say “I have faith the team will be in the playoffs.” The truth is statistically the team can yet miss its goal.
And, at this point I still have faith that should the team make the playoff brackets the players will win enough games to become this year’s first place champion of their sport.
Once again, the truth is I don’t know for sure that faith will be rewarded with a team trophy and championship rings.
The norm of our current culture is to use faith in the above manner. We have faith that our candidate will be elected. We have faith that we will receive a desired promotion. We have faith others will see things our way once they understand the facts.
I suspect my early faith walk bore a great deal of that sort of rationale. I walked in faith yet lacked certainty.
The New Testament never uses the word faith or the concept of faith in the way it is used so flippantly in today’s world.
In Hebrews 11:1, the author of the Hebrew sermon clarifies the definition of faith.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
The faith of a Jesus disciple is grounded in confidence and assurance of unseen certainties.
Our confidence is based upon eyewitnesses who gave firsthand accounts of a resurrected Jesus.
Every gospel, letter and sermon in our New Testament was authored by diverse individuals who encountered the risen Jesus over a forty-day period or by persons who lived in close company of those who had been with the resurrected Lord.
The Apostle Paul testifies to the number of people who saw the risen Christ:
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born (1 Corinthians 15: 3-8).
The faith of first century Christians stood on the certainty of a broad eyewitness testimony. They believed because of what they knew to be a fact.
Paul described the reality I want to follow:
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Over the next several posts I want to look at numerous realities that flow from faith in the risen Jesus. I invite you to read over my shoulder as I explore Faith Certainties. I want to be sure that I incorporate this faith into my walk.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Faith Certainties