FAITH

        Faith is a girl’s name – a popular one at that. While speaking of beauty, art, music & enchantment, faith LIFTS us to the realm of divinity. And being a word that has several elements and MUCH depth, it can be hard to define. An old standard Bible Dictionary (Unger’s) offers this wordy def.: Intellectually, “Faith is belief or trust; especially in a higher power. Faith, viewed philosophically, must be regarded as lying at the basis of all knowledge . . . Truths or facts arrived at by logical processes . . . are held to be known because, first of all we have confidence in the laws of the human mind . . . Faith in the theological sense . . . is properly defined as the conviction of the reality of the truths and facts which God has revealed, such conviction resting solely upon the testimony of God.” The following are references to faith by all kinds of characters of the past.

Faith means intense, usually confident, belief that is not based on evidence sufficient to command assent from every reasonable person. Walter Kaufmann, 1961 philosopher
- The great act of faith is when a man decides that he is not God. Oliver W. Holmes, 1907 U.S. Supreme Court Justice
- To be an atheist requires an infinitely greater measure of faith than to receive all the great truths which atheism would deny. Joseph Addison, 17th century poet
- Reason is . . . Faith on the other side, is the assent to any proposition, not thus made out by the deductions of reason, . . . as coming from God, in some extra ordinary way of communication. (This way of discovering truth to men, we call Revelation.) John Locke, 1690 philosopher
- It is the heart which experiences God, and not reason. This, then, is faith: God felt by the heart, not reason. Blaise Pascal, 1670 French philosopher
- If the work of God would be comprehended by reason, it would be no longer wonderful, and faith would have no merit if reason provided proof. Gregory I, 593 – Pope
- Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe that thou mayest understand. Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo – late 4th century

      From my own faith experience, and the above thinker’s viewpoints, it is safe to say that faith is a very human & beautiful thing. Scripture itself speaks highly of faith. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old received divine approval. By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear. . . And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:1-3, 6 (All of that chapter is FAMOUS for explaining God’s view of faith.)
      So what are some other rewards of faith? In a nutshell – being lifted to the “realm of divinity” (Ephesians 2:6) by the Word of God. And interesting enough, one of the names of Christ is “Word of God.” Rev 19:13 His bloody salvation & Spirit truly are the beginning of Faith’s reward’s to the individual. But it’s not a done deal there. The good stuff, or benefits of Christian faith are abundant. The scriptures contain hundreds of promises from God. This short essay can’t list those promises, but the “blessing” is a fair summary. Then last but not least is the reward of eternal life in heaven. Faith in J.C. paves the way. “Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20 Choose Jesus, and His Spirit, They are Alive. Also see “What’s In It For Me” link 28.

For other Gospel-notes go to: www.gospelnotes.net                               * * * * Fred J. Stone * * * *