Posts Tagged ‘ Faith ’

Give Me Five: What Is Faith?

I did not do the silly high five at the end of this video! Am I a horrible person? (Theologically speaking, technically yes … apart from Christ …)

But it is addressing that tantalizing question: What is faith?

Give Me 5: What Is Faith?

Many people do not really understand faith.

In a recent book, “A Manual for Creating Atheists”, philosopher Peter Boghossian defined faith as belief without evidence, pretending to know things you don’t really know.

But is this right?

In a word: no.

How does the Bible explain faith?

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1, ESV

Another way of explaining faith is putting your beliefs into action. If you believe something to be true, prove it! Prove you are faithful to those beliefs by acting on them.

The most used example of what faith is is a chair. You can say you believe a chair will hold you up, but faith is proving it by sitting on the chair. Typically, you are acting on evidence. (In this case, you have been told chairs are for sitting on, and you may have seen other people sit in chairs.)

As Christians, we do not have a blind faith. The Bible is our evidence for God and Jesus.

The Bible has several prophecies about the coming Messiah who would take away our sins, and Jesus claimed He was the fulfillment of those prophecies. He made many claims to His deity, as well, and He said that He would prove it all by dying and rising again.

The Apostles and early disciples did not just write about things they heard. They claimed to have heard these things and seen the crucified and risen Jesus with their own eyes.

And the Bible is the most reliable ancient set of documents we have from antiquity, by far. Few experts contest this. (Maybe the actual events, but not that at least the New Testament is reliably from people from the First Century.)

Who lives with and uses faith?

Everyone.

It is not only Christians and the overtly religious. My evidence for this?

How about evolutionary theory: How is it claimed life began? Several chemicals somehow combined in the right amounts at the right time to create the building blocks for RNA and DNA, creating the first living cells.

How do we know it happened this way?

We don’t. No one was there to see it, and no one as recreated it in the lab to test this hypothesis. People simply believe it is true.

This is more like blind faith than Christianity!

As said before, everyone lives by some form of faith in someone or something throughout their days and lives. Faith is putting beliefs into action.

What do you think? Am I way too far off the mark? (I think most others are.)

How about we talk about, either in the comments (on this blog post or on the YouTube channel) or through the e-mail: Together@asimplemanofgod.com, or even at the Facebook page: a simple man of God.

Give Me 5: The Five Solas

Yep. I missed last week. We had family in town, and I never had a long enough, quiet enough stretch of time by myself to record a video. Here is a new one, though! Here is the new Give Me 5:

Out of the Reformation of the 1500’s came what we call “The Five Solas or Solae”, but what do they mean?

The Five Solas

The Reformation started as a call to return to a simple faith not dogged down by man-made or superfluous rules and dogmas. (This is not the time for a debate about Catholic versus Protestant and denominational separation.)

It does lead to our first sola: Sola Scriptura – Scripture alone. Basically, this means that all of our traditions and understanding about God, Jesus, and humanity should be based on what the Bible says. There is value in traditions, the various councils, and books/teachings, but they must conform with what Scripture – as a whole – teaches.

This includes the matter of salvation, covered in the next solar: Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria – By grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.

This was summarized by Paul in Ephesians chapter two, when he said,

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
(vv. 4-9, ESV)

We still need to confess our sins – primarily to God, but also to each other (James 5:16).

We still do works – but as an act of obedience and love for the One who saves us (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).

But it is only by grace through faith in the work Christ to the the glory of the Father as revealed in Scripture that we are saved.

Now, this is only a brief overview. We can continue to discuss this in the comments or through e-mail at Together@asimplemanofgod.com, or even on our Facebook page, a simple man of God. I am sure more videos and articles will be made discussing these.

Give Me 5: Is the Bible Reliable?

People ask if the the Bible is reliable, that it can be trusted as authentic and historical. (See the video on YouTube by clicking this sentence.)

There are a few items that prove the historicity and reliability of the Bible.

To begin with, in the last 20 years alone, several archaeological discoveries have been made confirming the existence of Kings David and Solomon, as well as much of ancient Israel from Biblical times, including NT times.

One of the greatest discoveries was the Dead Sea Scrolls, collections of biblical manuscripts dating from before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 and even before the time of Christ. These scrolls contained much of the Hebrew Bible, confirming that existed it before Jesus’ time. This is important, because it means the prophecies of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection existed prior.

What about the New Testament?

First, if we want to discuss numbers of manuscripts, as a whole there are about 24,000 of the New Testament, and the four Gospels alone have nearly 6,000 copies from early on, possibly as early as late first century or early second century. This is within 100 years of Jesus’ and the Apostles’ lives. Even further, we know the majority of the gospels were written before 70 due to Paul – who was killed by 64 – quoted Luke 10:7 in 1 Timothy 5:18. By contrast, the next closest ancient document is Homer’s “The Iliad” with 643 manuscripts from over 500 years after Homer lived.

This should be enough to convince anyone, but just in case, the ultimate proof is that Jesus corroborated much of the OT and said His testimony is true. His proof was that He predicted His own death and resurrection (See Luke 20-22), adding validity to His claims by being crucified and rising again.

Therefore, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15, “For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (vv. 16-20)

In other words, the resurrection proves the Bible is true (by backing up Jesus’ claims). (See also the series beginning with this post.)

Wanna debate, challenge, or question what was said here? Leave a comment below or send us an e-mail at Together@asimplemanofgod.com.

VerseD: Hebrews 11:6

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 11:6, ESV

Jesus is the only way to God, and it is only by putting your faith in Him that you find that way. Apart from faith in Christ, you are wandering like a blind man and far from God.

VerseD: 1 Corinthians 13:13

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13, ESV

Hope springs from faith.

Faith springs from love.

Love springs from dedication and choice.

Choose love. Always.

VerseD: Romans 10:17

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17, NASB

How can others come to faith in Christ unless we tell them?

The Father enjoys using His faithful children to spread the gospel of His Son.

Another Re-Birthday

On this day 19 years ago, at 6:46 PM CST, I bent my knee to Jesus as Lord and Savior. (If you do a search on this site for “birthday”, you will see the various explanations.)

I like to call it my Re-Birthday, as we call faith in Christ being born again. This comes from John 3 and 1 Peter 1.

Something that excites me this year is that my Re-Birthday falls on Wednesday, which means I get to teach the youth about our Lord today!

Also, it is my mother-in-law’s birthday, so join me in wishing her a happy and blessed day! If not for her, I would not have my wife!

God bless you, and remember that Jesus Christ is the reason we live and move and breathe and have meaning!