“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Romans 10:17 NIV) “…so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” (I Corinthians 2:5 NIV)
We have all been given a “measure” of faith by God with the admonition that we should not think more highly of ourselves than we ought (Romans 12:3 paraphrased). And because we have been given a measure of faith, we develop means and ways to exercise what we have faith in. Some only have faith in themselves and what they are capable of doing. Some put their faith in other people when they are too insecure to have faith in themselves. There are more who put their faith in things–astrology charts, Tarot cards, beads, crystals, statues, etc.–all man-made. Still more, believe and have faith in luck–which is happenstance and has nothing to do with God and they with this luck, they have faith in their ability to gamble.
Faith in God, as Paul tells us, comes from hearing the message–the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the redemptive work on the cross, and the love of God towards us all. This is the message that increases our faith in God when we are continually hearing The Word as an exercise of practicing what we believe. The more we “hear” The Word (aloud), the more our faith should increase because we are increasing knowledge and learning to operate more in faith in Him than us.
To make sure we don’t understand why we should hear The Word, Paul tells us through his letter to the church at Corinth that we should not have faith in the limited wisdom of man, but in the power of God. Human wisdom, whether we want to admit it or not, is limited by our experiences and exposures. Since most of us will not experience exposure to all there is to know in the universe, we can never claim (truthfully) to know more than God. It is because of God’s love for us that He inspires men to discover things through their efforts to understand the whys and hows things, He created, work.
This is not a put-down of science–I’m totally grateful to science, but what some people don’t recognize is that scientists have not “created” anything from “absolutely nothing” but have discovered how to use elements in the earth already created to arrange and rearrange their usefulness. Scientists are not God and those who truly understand their limited ability, acknowledge their success in discoveries is because of God. Thank God those scientists are listening and if they continue to listen and seek His wisdom, life should be better for us all.
The measure of faith we have been given is the foundation of faith on which we build by hearing the word. We take the little and increase it to much, giving God the glory for all we have and know, not attempting to take credit for doing anything ourselves, apart from Him.
Part 5 tomorrow