Biblical Faith

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, January 20, 2017 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!” ~James 2:19

Do you believe in God? Do you believe he exists? Most do. If you were to go around your city, knock on every door, talk to everyone you pass by, by and large most will say they are Christian. I have engaged with numerous debates regarding origins on different forums and one very common statement I hear from the Old Earth crowd is: “I believe in God, therefore I am fine and don’t judge me.” At the same time, I have seen the same problem in my own life that I am seeing across the board. I would claim to believe in God and the Bible but did I REALLY believe it? Let us dig into what Biblical faith is and what it really means to believe.

When we talk about faith, we usually address two types: Biblical faith and blind faith. Biblical faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It is a trust and dependence upon what we hear to be true. Blind faith is still a trust and dependence, but lacks validation without confirmation of its trustworthiness.

We Christians are often accused of having blind faith by those who have never done any research and have only heard half of the tale by the secularists. However, these secularists are the only ones who truly practice blind faith because they have absolutely no way or means of validating any of the claims by the “experts” they love to hear from and who tell them what they want to hear. As Christians we have plenty of evidence for our faith. I give a lecture regarding ten reasons why the Bible is trustworthy. Here they are in a nutshell:

1. Construction: How the Bible was put together is supernatural.
2. Revelation: God had to reveal himself to us to put the Bible together.
3. Prophecies: Perfect fulfillment rate.
4. Opposition: How the enemies of the Bible have attacked the Bible validates it.
5. Preservation: How the Bible got to us is leagues above any other ancient document.
6. Relevance: Every part of the Bible is applicable and relevant even today.
7. Accuracy: In history, science, archaeology, and anthropology, where the Bible speaks it is right.
8. Honesty: It is too honest that no one would write it on their own will.
9. Uniqueness: The Bible and Christianity stand out among every other book or religion.
10. Testimonies of the Saints: Those who believed the Bible lived extraordinary lives.
Each of these ten topics could easily deserve their own sermon. However, it is one thing to see the truth in the Bible. It is something else to believe it. I love Josh McDowell’s testimony. He was an atheist and had good reason for it. His childhood was one no child should have to go through and by the time he turned 11, he turned his back on God. On a dare, he went out to go authentically disprove the Bible. He didn’t merely want to find any argument he could to not believe it; anyone could do that. He sought to prove the whole thing truly was false. Before he could finish, he found out it was true. Completely, 100% true. He knew the truth, but he did not believe it. He wanted to retain his reputation and his own lifestyle. God had to work through his pride before he finally broke down and yielded his life to Christ.

When we claim we believe in God, do we believe it? There are two uses of “believe” regarding Christianity today and one of them will never be found in any dictionary. When many people who say they believe in God or they believe in Jesus Christ, it is nothing more than mental ascent. They believe that what the Bible says about Christ is true and that is it. The other use is actual belief, where they give their lives to Jesus Christ, trust upon him, and their lives depend upon the claims of the Bible being true.

Do we actually believe what the Bible says? I use the origins debate because it does a fine job at revealing all the issues related to worldviews and who you actually trust. I support what is known as Young Earth Creation regarding origins, however, I believed that position long before I ever heard any arguments for or against simply from reading the Bible. Since then I have learned many arguments, both for or against, the different origins positions. I can go head to head with PhDs on the issue. I can easily get into an intellectual debate. But here is the question I am really asking: do I actually believe my position? What do I mean by that?

Does my life depend upon what I believe to be true? If the natural, plain reading of the Bible could be authentically proven to be false, would that affect the rest of my life? If so, I actually believe it. If not, I don’t believe it. Phillp Skell wrote this regarding his research on anti-bacterial resistance. “I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: “No.” ~Philip S. Skell (prof emeritus Penn State and non-Darwinist member of the Nat Acad of Sciences), “Why Do We Invoke Darwin?” The Scientist, 8/29/05, p. 10.

Skell revealed that all of the scientists he asked do not actually believe Evolution is true. They give it mental ascent, but it does nothing to affect their lives nor their jobs. They don’t actually believe in Evolution. There are many that do, and their hatred for anything related to Genesis being true shows.

Giving mental ascent is not the same as belief, and too many have confused the two, myself included for too long. We claim God is a God of love. If we really believed that, we would respond to that love. We claim God is a God of justice. If we really believed that, we would not go seeking to get payback on those who wronged us. We claim that God knows everything that is going on, including our thoughts. If we really believed that, we would take extra caution on EVERY thought that enters our minds. If we really believed we were going to heaven to spend eternity with God, we would be preparing ourselves for that trip. If we believed that hell exists, we would do everything in our power to get the warning out to as many as we can. Have I convicted you yet? I convicted ME just in writing that paragraph.

James 2:14-26 summarizes the message of this post. Do you believe the Gospel? Do you believe the Bible? Then prove that you believe it by what you do. Prove that what you believe is something much more than just something you mentally acknowledge. Prove that the Bible actually does have an effect on your life. I have been accused of needing God as a crutch to get by in life. I correct them by saying, “God is not a crutch in my life. He is life-support.” But do I truly depend upon God for everyday life, where I would die if I did not get connected with him? Many times, I haven’t. Rees Howells’ story fascinates me the most in this regard because he truly was on life-support. He could not spend a minute or a penny without getting approval from God first. He was THAT yielded to Christ. I am not there yet. I have a long way to go.

Next week, I will deal with a very commonly asked question: What are the requirements for salvation?

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