Anyone that has been involved in debates with Atheist has heard this statement.”There is no empirical evidence that supports the belief in the existence of any God” This is simply not true. It has always amazed me how anyone could think anyone would believe in God, and never receive any evidence.
A short study of Hebrews 11:1
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”
I have many blogs on faith, and a series on building faith @ WordPress.com https://twocent2c2.wordpress.com/category/building-your-faith-a-series/
Here, I just want to clear up a common misconception.
The misconception is that faith is supposed to be “believing without seeing”, or in other words, “blind faith”.
Note for CSF students: Refer to the discussion posted on your page # G+ group discussions/exercises. (CSF students please refrain from posting in this thread until the exercise is completed)
[Lets start with a quote from another member in one of the discussions here. This attitude is shared by the majority of atheist and Christians alike. In fact, that’s where the atheist got the idea from…the Christians]
“Faith is hope and trust at best, blind belief at worst.” [End quote]
Christians are in a war, and have been since their rebirth. It is a war of principalities, or “powers in the air”, as scripture states; or in other words, “wickedness in high places”. [Ephesians 6:12]
Television evangelist and pastors all over the world preach Hebrews 11:1 as a blind faith in God, and a trust without the convenience of seeing the evidence, or proof of the things you believe. This is often further confused by the statement Jesus made to Thomas, “because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29 KJV)
The false teaching that Christians must have faith without ever seeing any evidence that supports their belief…….?
This is actually the exact opposite of faith.
Question: The people that do believe before they see; how do you supposed they are blessed, if indeed they are, as Jesus says they will be?
The only possible blessing would be to receive confirmation of your hope in Jesus, and the fulfillment of His promises…not later, but now, in this world.
Answer this question truthfully
Is it a logical assumption that so many people would believe in something of this magnitude, for thousands of years, without ever seeing any evidence of it being true?
Faith is evidence based, and this false teaching is a perversion of the original.
To see this, all we have to do is break the sentence (Hebrews 11:1) down into it’s most simple form. If you do that, it looks something like this, and leaves no room for error when interpreting the simple English sentence. This is Hebrews 11:1 broken down into it’s simplest form:
Faith is substance.
Faith is evidence.
This is simple English.
Now read this sentence again
“Now [faith is the substance] of things hoped for, [it is the evidence of] things not seen”
To demonstrate this, I have an analogy, or short story.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and not seen…
Here is another breakdown of Hebrews 11:1
I see a bicycle. It’s real. I want a bicycle like that one. (hope)
I do not now have a bicycle. (not seen)
I ask God for a bicycle like that one (substance).
God sends me a bicycle like that one (evidence).
Not to get the cart before the horse here; my faith comes from seeing the bicycle, then getting one…and riding it, not the hope of seeing it. I will also throw this out there…a bicycle is empirical evidence for anyone that has one, period
My faith comes from seeing the things I did not see, and then did…after I asked for them
My faith is not the hope of anything.
Ask…that your joy may be full! (John 16:24)
I have faith that my buddy Barry will drop whatever he is doing, and come and pick me up when my car breaks down. Why? Because of several things.
I have developed a relationship, and friendship with Barry.
I have heard Barry say, “if you ever need me for anything, I’ll be there for you”.
I have needed Barry in the past, and he has kept his promise every single time so far.
Barry is a good example of faith. I can, and do have faith in Barry, because his track record is solid. What does this mean?
It means that if my car breaks down, I can have faith that he will come to help me, or send immediate help.
I don’t hope he will, I know he will… because of the evidence I have collected of him proving he would honor his promise in the past
At first, I could only hope Barry would show up, but I did not know. The second time? Still hoping, but not sure.
The evidences of more than one thing (in the case of Barry) gives me knowledge.
Seeing how happy it made Barry to be able to help.
Seeing his facial expressions as he saw mine.
Understanding that this is an extension of the statement he made to me, “I will be there”, and his own reassurance of that promise.
Now, I no longer “hope” I have a friend that would drop everything, no matter what, and come to help me…I know I do.
This is a simple conversation between two people, and my conversations with God have the exact same outcome. I now have faith in Barry, because I have the evidence to back up my belief that Barry will show up. I also have faith in God for the exact same reason.
Just like the bicycle, Hebrews 11:1 says that faith comes “from” substance, and evidence, or seeing the thing hoped for, (unseen at the time of hope), and evidence, (seeing the thing, not the hope of seeing it.)
Hope is just hope. It is not faith.
So faith comes from the substance of things hoped for, not seen, then seeing the things asked for, or “evidence” of the hoped for thing.
Faith is not the hope of anything. It’s the knowledge you have that God will honor his promise.
Faith is knowledge.