By Gene H. Miller, Minister|
Steer Creek Church of Christ
3466 Rosedale Road,
Stumptown WV 25267
Steer Creek Church of Christ
A Faith You Can Trust #2
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
In Hebrews 11, the inspired author first tells us What Faith Is: The Substance of Hope and Evidence of the Unseen. Then he tells us What Faith Does: Sees the Invisible, Believes the Incredible, and Achieves the Impossible. The question we need to consider now is: How Does Such Faith Come? Let’s consider two kinds of faith: Subjection Faith and Objective Faith.
Subjective Faith. This kind of faith is called subjective, because it is subject to a person’s own ideas, thinking, feelings, etc. It is a faith that comes from within the individual. Subjective faith is expressed in such statements as: “Let your conscience be your guide.” “I wouldn’t trade this feeling for a stack of Bibles ten feet high.” “I had this dream..” “The Lord told me in a vision…” Such faith as this comes from within the person, and is based on their feelings.
A Deceptive Standard. Such faith is not a very reliable standard by which to direct one’s life. The conscience can be seared (1 Timothy 4:2). Paul’s conscience never condemned him even when he was instrumental in having Christians put to death (Acts 23:1). Feelings can mislead and deceive. When Jacob’s sons brought Joseph’s blood-stained coat to him, he felt very strongly that his son had been devoured by a wild beast. His feelings were honest and sincere, but they were based on a lie. At one time Paul honestly and sincerely felt that he ought to do many things contrary to Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 26:9).
Objective Faith. This kind of faith is called objective, because it is based on some object or something outside one’s mind, thus is not affected by inner feelings. Objective faith is expressed in such statements as: “How do I know? The Bible tells me so.” “God said it, and that settles it.” “It is written.” “Thus saith the Lord.” Such faith comes from some object outside the person, and that object is The Word of God. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17).
A Dependable Standard. This faith is reliable because it isn’t affected by how we think or feel. This faith is constant and true, because The Word of God never changes. Noah didn’t build the ark because he had this strange feeling in his bones that a storm was “a-brewing.” His faith was based on The Word of God…on what God had told him. Abraham didn’t leave Ur of the Chaldees because he had “laid around and played around this old town too long”, and he felt like he just had to travel on. He left because of The Word of God…what God had told him.
Three Soldiers. Remember the three soldiers marching along in single file. The first soldier is FACT, the second FAITH, and the third FEELING. Fact is the only one who knows the way, so he must lead. If faith or feeling tries to lead, we are in serious trouble, because neither knows where we are going. But if my Faith follows Fact (The Word), then I can Feel good and know I am saved, NOT by how I feel, but because I have done what The Word tells me. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.