Saturday, July 13, 2013

Explorations of Faith - II: Beyond Uncertainty

Beyond UncertaintyAphorisms from Volume I
  1. Faith in God is of ultimate kind and is, therefore, both unique and absolute. Since it is not concerned with contingent things of this world it is also not like the belief in the contingent things of the world.

  2. Belief in God is foundational to our common-sense assumptions about this world as both moral and rational. Anyone who denies God must also deny the existence of absolute morals and absolute truth, for both lose their foundation if their foundation is found within this world itself. It would be like trying to place a ball on that ball itself.

  3. The unchanging nature and character of God is the foundation of true morality and His veracity is the foundation of all reasonability and truth.

  4. We believe in the present what we hope about the future; the future being invisible at the present. The future possesses the goal and meaning that integrates our present life and gives us a reason to move forward.

  5. False hope is hoping in things that are unreal in the sight of God; for instance, the hope of the demons to defeat God. This is a false hope because it is not based on a reality sanctioned by God. Their faith, therefore, lacks a solid basis and their hope has no real anchor. It is also, therefore, both useless and dangerous. Obviously, false faith leads to false hopes.

  6. Job did not flicker because he knew that though circumstances might change, the nature and being of God is beyond the shadow of a change, and that his faith was anchored not in the appearance of circumstances but in the constancy of God. His faith was not a response of the flesh that sought physical motivation to go on.
Faith is the ground or basis of things hoped for
  1. The faith that is not based on God’s Word is not foundational about the things of God. It leads to somewhere else. But the faith that is connected to God’s Word is the ground for experiencing the things of God.

  2. The faith of God is an act directly related to God and not this space-time world; therefore, it pierces through space-time and catches hold of the hem of God’s garment unleashing His power and blessings in this temporal frame.

  3. An act of faith connects to the will and power of God. Therefore, Jesus said, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed…nothing shall be impossible to you” (Mt. 17:20); for through faith what is possible to God is also possible to the believer.

  4. The experience of faith is the experience of divine truth. This is very obvious in the Scriptural assertion that the natural or carnal man cannot receive the things of God (1Cor. 2:14). They have no personal significance for him. There were many people who saw and heard Jesus during His physical ministry in this world; however, it was very few who really believed and, consequently, experienced Him.

  5. Knowledge is composed of truth; therefore, knowing something means also to believe in the truth about that thing.

  6. False belief doesn’t constitute knowledge; it constitutes ignorance and deception. True belief alone, therefore, is knowledge.

  7. Faith is the basis of spiritual experiences.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for
  1. Whenever we have faith we also have the things we hope for in the form of faith now. That is why Jesus said “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mk. 11:24). He doesn’t ask them to believe that they will receive it in future but to believe that they have already received it in faith.

  2. God is not conditioned by time but if something is “yes” in Him then it is eternally “yes” and the same in future, present, and past. Thus, it is not whether that thing will be real to us in the future but whether it is already real in the sight of God that is significant.

  3. That is faith: to know the future in the present as true.

  4. A man of faith doesn’t live his life regretting about the past or worrying about his present but he is elated by faith to see the hopes of the distant future as a timeless reality and lives his life in accordance to the reality of those facts in the sight of God (Phil. 3:7-10).

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for
  1. God is the foundation and terminal of faith since He is the Beginning and the End of all reality; for everything consists and subsists by Him (Isa. 41:4; 48:12; Col. 1:7; Rev. 21:6).

  2. This world cannot be the final source and end of faith since it is contingent and therefore not final in itself.

  3. Since we ourselves are part of this world, to trust in this world would amount to trusting in nothing (objective); for, it would be like a man trying to walk on his boots.

  4. It is the reality of God where the world finally collides and comes to an end. There is nothing conceivable by reason, experience, or faith beyond Him. Therefore, the faith of God is final.

  5. Since this faith is distinctive and final, being based upon the absolute and unchanging nature of God, this assurance is also unshakeable and final. That is the reason why a man of faith is at peace with himself; he is not alarmed at the appearances of contradicting situations because he knows that the thing he is hoping for is assured in the sight of God (Isa. 26:3).

  6. Fear is a sign of unbelief; that is the reason why cowards cannot inherit the kingdom of God (Rev. 21:8).

  7. The assurance of hope is stronger than hope alone. For in it hope is combined with confidence.

Faith is the Evidence of Things Unseen
  1. Faith doesn’t need further evidence for its existence than its presence itself. Since it is the final ground of the things hoped for, it is also the evidence of the things hoped for. It is not based on anything else. It is the basis for everything that we know and experience.

  2. Attempts to base faith on rational or empirical proofs, i.e. on logic or experience, adds nothing to it. These may help to justify beliefs but cannot be the source of faith. One must not search for evidence for faith. Faith itself must be seen as the evidence for everything else.

  3. There are, however, certain criteria to measure the authenticity of such faith since this could easily lead to superstition and false belief: (a) The believer must possess a sound mind, (b) Faith must be open to reason; in other words, open to verification and falsification or, at least, justification, (c) This faith must be connected with righteousness and peace; this is so because the faith of God cannot contradict the character of God, (d) It must not contradict the written Word of God, i.e., the Scriptures, which reveal God.

  4. Faith as voluntary act is the precursor to knowledge as Jesus said, “If any man desires to do His will (God's pleasure), he will know (have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself) whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from Myself and of My own accord and on My own authority” (Jn. 7:17, Amplified). Thus, the will-to-believe is the condition for the knowledge of truth. If anyone is unwilling to accept the truth, then all evidence is meaningless (perhaps detestable) to him.

  5. Faith is a choice, it is not automatically produced.

  6. When one encounters the revelation of God one has the choice of accepting it or rejecting it. The nature of both the encounter and choice is spiritual and not rational or physical. Therefore, the choice is also a moral one.

  7. The world has no substitute for the faith of God.

2 comments:

luke said...

Exceptional read, I merely passed this onto a new colleague who was doing a small research on that. And he in fact bought myself lunch because I found it pertaining to him grin So i want to rephrase that.

NOT THAT I HAVE ALREADY ATTAINED… BUT I… | Quotations Treasury (for - sunwalked.wordpress.com/) said...

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