Friday 19 March 2010

Faith in What?

I had reason to revisit Phillip Jensen and Tony Payne's wonderful little book 'Guidance and the Voice of God' recently, and was struck by the clarity of what is a fundamental point about faith in this age of reason. An age where religious views of the world are often rejected and ridiculed.

As a young 31 year old I came to the conclusion that Jensen and Payne discuss, I needed to decide what I believed, and in what I placed my trust and faith.

Many people think that faith is an object in itself. However...biblical faith is trusting in someone or something. We all have faith. We all put our trust in many different things, from the chair we are sitting on to the bus driver into whose hands we commit our lives.

Christians trust that Jesus did rise from the dead, and live their lives based on that trust. Non-Christians generally trust that Jesus did not rise from the dead. They live their lives based on belief or confidence in that assumption.

In other words, it is not our faith (trust) that is important. It is the object of our faith that matters...the object of the Christian's faith is God himself - God the Creator and Shepherd of his people. We are to trust Jesus as our Saviour and Mediator. We are to trust the words of God as true and powerful and active. We are to trust God's character and his attitude towards us. We are to trust his promises.

This trust is based on knowledge - knowledge of all God is, and what he has done and what he plans to do. God reveals himself to us in creation (Psalm 19:1-4), through his prophets and ultimately through his Son (Hebrews 1:1-2). Only by hearing this revelation can we have a basis for trusting him (Romans 10:14). We would never have guessed or worked out God's great plan for summing up all things under Christ (1 Corinthians 2:6-10; Ephesians 1:8-10). It had to be revealed to us. And having had it revealed, we must place our faith (trust) in the revealed God, not in some god of our own making.

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,

and night to night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech, nor are there words,

whose voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out through all the earth,

and their words to the end of the world.
Psalm 19:1-4

Related Posts & Resources

Free download of contents and chapter 1 of the Jensen & Payne book (here)

The Continuing Quest for Belief (here)

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