Faith In The Bible

Faith in the Bible
Faith in the Bible is a gift from God based in truth

Faith in the Bible, you cannot see it, or touch it, or taste it, or smell it, or hear it, but faith is the most powerful force driving human experience. In the Bible, faith drives the actions of so many people.

By FAITH Abram left his homeland to a place that God promised. Then By FAITH, the parents of Moses put him into a basket and floated him down the Nile to be rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter. Also By FAITH, Joshua led the Israelites into battle to claim the Promised Land.

Additionally By FAITH, David took a slingshot and five stones to defeat the giant Philistine Goliath. By FAITH Mary obeyed God and carried His child. By FAITH the disciples dropped everything they were doing and followed Jesus. And it is by FAITH that man and God are reconciled.

We cannot prove the existence of God. We can see evidence and make a determination that the evidence points to God, but we cannot prove it. It is by FAITH that we believe in God.

Many people believe in God, but in different ways, so it is by FAITH that we accept the Bible as the inspired Word of God. FAITH is founded on facts gathered through the accounts of history, both recorded and verbal. Faith is not emotion, it is the hope of something that has not yet happened.

Biblical faith is beyond mere hope, it is a confident expectation that God will do what He says He will do. Biblical faith is based upon a consistent record of promises kept the LORD.

Faith in the Bible Based On Fact

In order for faith to have any meaning, it must be based on fact, not opinion, conjecture or fantasy. Imagine holding a key in your pocket. You’re convinced it is the key to your home, so you have faith that it will work on your front door.

Then you try to place the key into the lock, but it doesn’t work. You were convinced that it was the right key. It looked like the right key, but it didn’t turn the lock. Your faith was not founded on fact, it was founded on opinion.

Biblical faith is built on people seeking truth. We can read the Bible, but sometimes we are frustrated because we don’t understand. Maybe we give up and don’t pursue the truth. God said “seek and you will find,” which is a simple way of saying you are encouraged to examine the Bible and study the Word.

We All Need To Know God

In order to know God, His nature and character, we need to get acquainted with Him. When you meet someone for the first time and there is a connection, you want to talk and get to know them. Over time, you may get to know them very well.

You know their opinions, their feelings and you have a good idea of what they will do or say in any situation.

So it is with God. Over time, when we have knowledge, we begin to trust and when we begin to trust, we begin to develop FAITH. We become friends with God as His children.

God Invites Us To Ask Questions

Faith does not mean you can’t ask questions. God invites us to question. He invites us to “reason” with Him. We ask questions, He delivers answers.

Answers are revealed in His Word, or they come by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who opens our eyes to truth and meaning. God’s Word is living and, as He tells us, is spiritually discerned, meaning that if God wants you to understand it, you will.

You can read a passage 100 times and not grasp it’s significance, but on the 101st reading you suddenly see it clearly and understand. You haven’t suddenly gotten any smarter, but God has opened a window for you. In a growing relationship with God, FAITH is a gift He gives us.

Biblical faith is not blind faith.

Biblical faith is not blind faith. Blind faith is just something you want to happen. Biblical faith is more like you want what God wants you to have.

What is God’s plan for your life? How can you serve Him? These are questions that each of us ponder in faith to He who created us and loves us.

Faith in God is based on the intimate, personal relationship you have with Him, and is based on the absolute truth that God is sovereign. Faith founded on fact.

Hope In the Bible Comes From God

Hope in the Bible

According to the dictionary, hope is the desire for something to happen. Or it can be the desire, with expectation, for something to happen. In the Bible, hope is so much more. Hope in the Bible is filled with prophesies of things that will happen and promises of good things to come.

We hope for things in life, like food, a place to live and some happiness to go along with those essentials. We hope for a better life and parents hope their children grow up to be healthy and prosperous. It’s universal. People are people, no matter where they come from.

Hope in the Bible

Biblical hope is entirely different. For starters, we cannot prove that God exists. Those to believe in God and believe in the Bible do so out of faith and hope. There is, of course, facts to back that up our beliefs, but since the beginning of recorded time, people look at the evidence and draw their own conclusions. One man’s facts is the other man’s folly.

That is a major sticking point for many people, because they want to see proof of God. Likewise, we cannot prove that there is no God. The Bible addresses that issue in Psalm 14:1:

The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.”

God wants man to come to Him, like children come to their parents. A child approaches mom and dad with trust and love. God wants us to approach Him with hope and faith.

We All Want To Believe

The human condition is hard-wired for belief in God. Somewhere in all of us is the desire to know where we came from and why we are here. That desire gets confused at times. We worship celebrities, like movie stars and athletes. We worship money and power. We can either follow God, or try to lead our lives by ourselves, we make the choice.

People who struggle with their belief in God ask: Were we some kind of cosmic accident, or was there “intelligent design,” by a creator? If there was a creator, why are we still asking these questions? Shouldn’t all of us have the same understanding of God or no God?

The simple explanation of this is God gives us our free will to CHOOSE whether or not we believe and have hope in Him. We all have our own opinions and we determine our own direction in life in so many instances.

We cannot chose when we are born, where we are born, who we are related to, whether we are born male or female. We may get cancer and die at an early age, or live to be over 100 years old, we have little control.

Our HOPE is in the LORD

We can, however, make choices along the way of what we put our hope in. Man can hope and have hope in the LORD. We have the ability to think “outside the box” or imagine things that have not happened.

Man is the only creature on earth that knows he/she is ultimately going to die. We make plans. Hope is that yearning for something more.

Biblical Hope Is the Desire For God

The Biblical version of hope is the desire for God. Jesus said: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to as well.” Matthew 7:33

God created man as an object of love. God said “Let us create man in our own image.” The Apostle Peter wrote:“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” 1 Peter 3:15

Peter was referring to the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. It is the anticipation of HOPE, based on trust and faith.

Throughout the Bible narrative, God makes promises and comes through on those promises. God lays down a perfect track record of hope, in all times and in all places:

Abram left his home hoping that God would lead him to a better life.

Moses trusted God to deliver the Israelite from bondage in Egypt. While they wandered the desert, Moses had hope that God would lead them to a land of milk and honey.

David had hope that he would defeat Goliath, despite overwhelming odds that he would surely die in the fight.

Isaiah wrote of the coming of the Messiah, with hope that God would come through.

Jesus, the Messiah, offered His own life willingly, with hope that He would be raised on the third day.

The Apostles spread out to the entire known world to share the Gospel, with hope that God would honor their efforts and people would respond.

Hope Is Founded In Fact

Hope in the truth and promises of God in the Bible is a matter of faith, founded on fact. Other than the Apostle John, all of the Apostles of Christ were martyred. They all died with hope. Were they fools, or did they see something that gave them confidence and hope?

Biblical hope is founded on evidence, based on consistency and logic. The Bible issues challenges to seek the deeper things of God. We are encouraged to ask questions and seek the truth. Accepting the Bible is not blind faith, but the kind of hope that everything is going to be fine as long as our hope is in God.

Isaiah’s Prophesy of Immanuel

Isaiah's prophesy of Immanuel
Isaiah’s prophesy of Immanuel

What Happened

About 700 years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah made a bold prediction—God would send His own son to earth and He would be known as Immanuel (God with us). The prophet also wrote of the death of this man, with amazing detail (Chapter 53).

Isaiah wrote about the both the grace and the wrath of God. Even his name means “the Lord saves.” The prophet warns a sinful and idolatrous nation that God’s wrath will surely come. He follows that with the hopeful foretelling of the coming of Christ, the Messiah.

It is a remarkable book which encapsulates the entirety of God’s unfolding plan of salvation.

Why it matters

Isaiah warns that God will punish those who are rebellious, but also explains that God will redeem them. If God says it, He will do it.

Isaiah refers to God as “the Holy One of Israel.” Every detail Isaiah shares has either come true, or will come true. God has never gone back on His word.

Isaiah said the King would come from the House of David and Gospels would later outline the complete lineage of Jesus. The Gospel of Luke will show the royal linage of the Messiah. Isaiah also wrote of the virgin birth.

Isaiah’s name “God with us” is particularly interesting because that is exactly what Jesus was and is. God with us.

Bible Verse

13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Isaiah 7: 13-14

Why it matters to you

The Bible’s story hinges on an accurate accounting of events. If an account is found to be inaccurate, or false, or if an event is nothing more than a fabrication, the truth of that will shatter the rest of the story.

The Bible is an unfolding story, an event-by-event account of man’s relationship with God. It’s not the whole story, but it’s the important pieces of the story.

Therefore, if the story is true, it matters to you because it was written to you, for your benefit. Isaiah accurately predicts the virgin birth and the crucifixion of Christ, some 700 years before it happened. The book is a microcosm of the Bible.

Description

Isaiah gives a remarkably accurate account of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, in Chapter 53, giving a physical description, writing:

“ He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”

Isaiah goes on to write of the crucifixion, predicting that the nation would turn on the Jesus:

“ He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”

He predicts the trial and execution of Jesus. God’s grace is also brought out by the sacrifice of one man for the world:

“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed”

The beauty of God’s grace is illustrated through His understanding of human nature. Isaiah writes:

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

Isaiah tells of the willingness of Jesus to die on the cross, 700 years before it happened. God’s judgment of man is carried out on His own son. Isaiah writes:

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

God’s wrath and God’s grace, the evil acts of men against good people are repeated in this book. But the prophet writes, in Chapter 61, the words that Jesus will repeat when making his formal announcement of his ministry:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn…”

The prophet tells of the coming Kingdom of God, when Israel will be restored to its full glory, after God’s vengeance is satisfied and He has redeemed His people.

What you may not know

Isaiah refers to himself as “the prophet” and the book might have been written between 740-686 BC. He uses both prose and poetry, which help to punctuate the message and bring home important points about the birth of Jesus and that He continues to be with us.

The Fall of Man

The Fall

What Happened

Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They fell from God’s grace.

Why it matters

The fall caused God to cast the human race out from the garden because of our sin and disobedience.

Bible Verse

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;

    through painful toil you will eat food from it

    all the days of your life.

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,

    and you will eat the plants of the field.

19 By the sweat of your brow

    you will eat your food until you return to the ground,

since from it you were taken;

for dust you are

    and to dust you will return.”

Genesis 3:17-19

Why it matters to you

God gave Adam and Eve the choice to love God or to disobey Him, they choose to disobey Him. Their terrible choice caused God to send them away and to allow them to feel the consequences of their disastrous decision. We are all still living with the negative consequences of that terrible choice.

Description

The Fall of Man

God created man in his own image, to love and cherish in a close, personal relationship. The first man was Adam. God determined that he should not be alone, so he caused him to fall asleep and created a woman, Eve, by taking one of Adam’s ribs. He created a utopia, a place for the first couple to live and raise a family. Every possible thing they would ever need was there for them. The beasts roamed free, but they were no threat and would not cause harm. Imagine being able to pet a tiger without fear of being eaten. It was the perfect place.

God gave Adam and Eve free will to choose they actions.

However, God also gave His first couple free will, to determine their own ideas and actions. This is essential, because God wants a free relationship with us, not one that is forced upon us. One of the creatures was a serpent. Even before God created the universe, as we know it today, he created the Heavenly Host, a large throng of angels to attend to his throne.

One of those angels, Lucifer, wanted to be like God and led a rebellion against Him. He took a third of the hosts with him, but failed in his takeover plot. He and his followers were cast down to the earth, out of the glory of heaven. Lucifer (Satan, the devil, Beelzebub) entered into the serpent and went to work on God’s first couple.

God gave them everything.

Even though everything was created for man, there was one tree that God said was not to be eaten from. It was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God said they could have EVERYTHING else, but not that one because it would cause their death.

The serpent, which Satan had entered, appeared and appealed to Eve’s pride and questioned whether God really said they should not eat of that tree. “You will NOT surely die,” he said to her. She took the bait. She ate of the fruit, then gave some to Adam.

Their disobedience lead to a separation from God. The perfect relationship, the perfect utopia, was soiled. They were suddenly embarrassed by their nakedness, so God killed an animal to give them covering. It was the first death, one of an innocent creature, to pay for man’s wrongdoing. That theme would continue.

Adam and Eve willing went against God resulting in their being driven out of the perfect garden God had created for them. Sin entered the world.

They willfully disobeyed God.

Adam and Eve willingly went against God. They doubted the goodness of God. They doubted His love. The doubted His provision, even though every evidence was to the contrary. They exercised their free will and defied God. It establishes the rest of the story.

How can God reconcile man to Himself? God created all things. He made the rules. Everything was perfect, then the bond was broken. His perfection, His holiness, His word was challenged, just as Lucifer challenged it. Adam and Eve had their own, personal relationship with God and now it was shattered. They were no different from us.

Human nature has not changed from the dawn of time.

Think of this– the only thing that has not changed since the dawn of time is human nature. Technology changes. Culture changes. Climate changes. People are people, no matter where or when they live.

We are all responsible for our own actions and we all have the free will to either accept or reject God. God said that he would put enmity (hatred, hostility, ill will) between man and the serpent. (Satan) That is a clue of the great plan that would follow, to make man perfect again and restore our close, perfect, personal relationship with the creator of the universe.

What you may not know

The Fall of Man continues to affect each of us daily. Adam and Eve’s disobedience are the origins of all evil in our world today.

The Creation

God created heaven and earth.

What Happened

God created heaven and earth. He create light and dark, all of oceans and seas, the animals and finally man and woman.

Why it matters

We are created by God in His image for his purposes. He loves us and wants the best for us if we are willing to seek Him and follow His rules.

Bible Verse

 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Genesis Chapter 1

Why it matters to you

You have been created by God, in His image, regardless of whether or not you know it, and He LOVES you.

Description

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Genesis 1:1

The Book of Genesis (Hebrew meaning “in the beginning”) is the first book of the Bible and says that God created the universe in six days, then rested on the seventh day. It doesn’t say how he did it, other than he ‘spoke’ it into existence.

It doesn’t necessarily explain how long it took and this has been the subject of debate for countless centuries. From the very start, we are invited to take God at His word, by faith.

On Day 1, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was covered by water.

On Day 2, God separated the waters that covered the earth. Some of the waters formed the atmosphere, the sky, while other waters covered the globe.

On Day 3, God created dry land and and gathered the waters into one place, the oceans. Then he created vegetation, seed-bearing plants and trees.

On Day 4, God said ‘let there be lights in the vault of the sky,’ and he created the sun, to illuminate the earth by day. He also made the stars, to give light by night and to separate light from darkness.

On Day 5, God created the creatures of the sea and the birds of the air.

On Day 6, God created land animals, and directed them to reproduce according to their kind. God said “Let us create man in our own image, in our likeness.” On Day 7, God rested.

The Bible is not a science book.

The Bible is not a science book, but we can see from Genesis that all creatures reproduce according to their kind. Horses do not reproduce with Tigers. Within a kind, animals can reproduce, such as crossing a donkey with a horse and getting a mule. Charles Darwin offered an hypothesis in the mid n1800’s that creatures evolved. Darwin said that man descended from apes.

The Bible says that all creatures were created by God, individually, and that man held a very special place in that creation. Scientists argue both for and against evolution, but it is strongly believed by many that evolution is scientifically impossible. Could God have used evolution to create man? No. Because God created man in his own image, on purpose, by design, not by trial and error.

Genesis is the basis for the entire Bible.

The Book Genesis is the basis of the entire Bible, the very foundation from which all of human history is based. The Creation account is important because it shows that God did everything on purpose, for a very specific reason. This is important because we were created in His image, making us the prize of His creation.

As you continue in the Book of Genesis, you will discover that each story, each small piece of human experience, is essential to the rest of the Biblical account. Read carefully and you will see that Genesis will tell the story of God’s unfolding for mankind. It’s depth is endless and understanding the Creation will help makes sense of everything else that is to follow.

What you may not know

Jesus in referenced at creation as the Word and referenced throughout the Bible. Jesus was there at the beginning.