The Foundation of Faith

28 Mar

God created the world in six days and all of mankind began in the Garden of Eden with just two individuals, Adam and Eve. I accept this by faith.

God flooded the entire world rescuing only Noah and his family by asking him to build a boat carrying representatives of every animal group on board. I accept this by faith.

The nation of Israel was held as slaves in the land of Egypt until God intervened and freed them through a series of miraculous judgments. I accept this by faith.

God took on human flesh and walked among us, eventually being crucified in our place as an atoning sacrifice for sin. I accept this by faith.

Jesus rose to life after being dead in a tomb for 3 days and ascended to heaven to take his rightful place as Lord of all. I accept this by faith.

At the most basic level, followers of Jesus Christ are people of faith. Everything we do revolves around faith. None of the things mentioned above are things I witnessed firsthand. None of them are provable with hard scientific evidence. Yes, there is evidence for creation and the flood but it depends on the lens one uses to interpret that evidence. Same evidence, different conclusions. The evidence for Jesus' existence and resurrection is strong but once again we are subject to almost 2000 years between actual events and our time. How do we know all the facts about Jesus were accurately transmitted from then until now?

Don't Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses all possess faith? Aren't they just as convinced as we are that what we believe is true? What makes our faith any different from theirs? Ironically, that too, is a matter of faith. But there are some answers, or at least the start of some answers to the question, "what sets our faith apart?" Let me give you three:

Our Christian faith makes the most sense of the world as we know it - only Christianity adequately explains the problem of sin and its solution. Other beliefs downplay sin, ignore it or attribute it all to an evil being. Christianity acknowledges the role Satan played but puts responsibility for it squarely at the feet of mankind. Sin also explains why the world is the way it is. It is broken and ravaged by sin but there is a solution. Which leads to the next partial answer to our question.

Our Christian faith is the only one that makes God the hero - only Christianity presents God as sacrificing himself for his own creation. Muslims worship Allah who demands allegiance but has never shown sacrificial love. Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses allow for a sacrificial death but both deny the deity of the sacrifice. Buddhists and Hindus rely on themselves and what is within to overcome desire or "sin" if a they would even call it that. Almost every other religion makes man the hero who is trying desperately to please god and thus save himself. Christianity points to God as the savior.

Our Christian faith is the only one that continues to require faith - While all religions require faith to some degree, the deeper one goes into Christianity the more faith one needs. The more we learn about God and the more we try to comprehend his majesty and greatness, the more we find ourselves at a loss to understand who we worship. His ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts higher than our thoughts. He is of unfathomable depth, stretching the boundaries of our imagination and going beyond all we think is possible. Our faith grows over time.

Without faith we are just going through religious motions. If you are on shaky ground in regard to your faith I encourage you to begin to study apologetics. Apologetics is the study of the defense of the faith. Why do we believe what we believe? You will find your faith growing stronger as you study. If faith is your foundation, make it as strong as possible!

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