Faith is an interesting concept. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines faith as "complete confidence or trust in someone or something." Everyone has faith. If someone is going to meet us for dinner we "have faith" that they will show up. We "have faith" that the car will start when we put the key in the ignition and turn it on. We "have faith" that if we keep breathing our body will keep functioning.
The Bible defines faith this way. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). That's interesting. Faith is our evidence, or our proof, of things that we cannot see.
The very foundation of Christianity is faith. In fact Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him (God)..." Many people in "Christian" circles today seem to be trying to do away with this faith aspect of Christianity. We live in a society that thinks it needs an explanation for everything. The fact is that there are just some things that cannot be explained. Especially in regards to the Christian faith.
Have you ever thought about how much of Christianity sounds utterly ridiculous and almost ludicrous. For instance, we believe that God came to earth in the form of a man named Jesus. We believe that Jesus' mother was a virgin when He was born. Ummm... just think about that one for a minute. IMPOSSIBLE! But wait it gets better... or worse depending on how you look at it. We also believe that Jesus lived for 33 and 1/2 years on the earth, healed various sicknesses, and even raised at least 2 people from the dead. Wait just a minute... I can see healing people of diseases, that could have an explanation, but raising someone from the dead? IMPOSSIBLE! But it gets even better than that! After 33 and 1/2 years Jesus Himself is killed, buried, and then He rises from the dead too! WHAT!? IMPOSSIBLE! People don't just come back from the dead, and yet that is what we believe.
Why is it that I can believe this and it can make perfect sense to me? Humanly speaking it makes NO sense at all. There is the key; "humanly speaking." God is not about doing things that make sense to us humans. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my says, saith the Lord." (Is. 55:8). That is where faith comes into the picture. Faith is the very foundation of Christian life. Really the evidence in favour of Christianity is overwhelming. The Bible itself is the greatest testimony to the truth of God that there is. But beyond that Creation testifies to a Creator, and even our own conscience seeks a higher being.
The apostle Paul summarizes this concept in I Corinthians 15:13-20. "But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God: because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain: ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead.." Praise God for that but in verse 20. Indeed, Christ is risen, and we do have hope. Our faith gives us hope. If we are wrong then God lied. Titus 1:2 "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began:" Here's another verse. Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
So, if this whole Christian thing is a lie, then it's God's fault and not mine. It's God who lied and not me.
Does Christianity make sense? Humanly speaking NO! Spiritually speaking, it absolutely makes sense. It's only in the Bible that one can see how Christianity makes sense. The Bible is a big book, but the Gospel of John is a great place to start learning about Christianity.
Every aspect of being a Christian takes faith. The very first part of being a Christian is having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His shed blood to save me from my sin. After I put my faith in Jesus to save me, I need to keep my faith in Him. Living a Christian life is not something that can be done without faith. Often the Christian will be confronted with things that don't make sense from God's Word. We are not commanded to "make sense" of the Bible, but we are commanded to obey it. Obedience takes faith. I may not understand why God wants me to love my enemies (Matt 5:44), but I just need to do it by faith.
Here's another example. I really do not understand most of what the book of Revelation is talking about. It's confusing and strange, and I just don't get it. But the Bible says that all Scripture is profitable (I Tim 3:16), so that must mean that Revelation is profitable too. Therefore, I'm going to read it, even if I don't understand it. That also means that the genealogies are profitable, the details about the tabernacle in Exodus are profitable, and some of that really strange stuff in Ezekiel is profitable too. I don't pick and choose to read the parts of the Bible that I like, because God said it's all good! I need to read all of it.
Hebrews 11:6: "But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Once you put your faith and trust in God and believe Him, He will reward you. I can personally verify that this is true. Many times in my life God has rewarded me and proved Himself to me. However, the proof only comes after the faith. Maybe if you've never put your faith and trust in God you should try it. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and ask His forgiveness. Sincerely put your faith in Him, and then watch God work in your life. The result will be amazing!
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17