Monday, January 30 2023

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Bible Order: Matthew 5–6
Chronological Order: Luke 1, John 1:1-14

Did You Take A Leap Of Faith?

Galatians 3:1–14

Paul continues on his theme of salvation by faith alone in today’s passage.  He made a great argument in support of the truth.  He asked essentially if our salvation was begun by the work of the Spirit how could it be completed by the spirit.

Galatians 3:2-3 ESV

“[2] Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? [3] Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

Paul goes on to say that “it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham”.  I think a natural question at this point would be “what is faith”?  Pastor Jim Cross has been preaching for several weeks about this concept and I have truly enjoyed his sermons.  The uninformed seem to think that faith is another word for ignorance.  It was this kind of thought process that led to the phrase “leap of faith”, as if faith was a matter of jumping off a cliff into the great unknown hoping there will be something on the other side to catch you.

In the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana must overcome numerous booby traps in order to get to a cave where he will find the Holy Grail.  He needs this cup to save his father who has been shot by a Nazi as a motivational incentive designed to force Indiana to get the cup for him.  I hate those Nazis.  Anyway, after having successfully navigated several booby traps he comes to the edge of a great chasm.  The cave is on the other side of this great chasm but Indy doesn’t know what to do.  He opens his father’s notebook which contains many of the hints he needs to get to this cave.  In it he finds a picture of a figure stepping off the precipice with nothing apparently below him to catch him.  Indy closes the book, takes a deep breath, closes his eyes, and steps off the cliff.

This is what faith is to the ignorant – in this case Hollywood.  The thing is Indy didn’t really just step off the cliff in faith did he?  He had his father’s notebook which illustrated what needed to be done.  He had also just experienced several instances of this book being correct.  He really did not step off that cliff in “blind faith” but rather with some, albeit limited, knowledge.

Have you ever had to do one of those team building exercises?  I am thinking of the one where two of your team-mates stand behind you and you have to fall backwards trusting that they will catch you.  Is this a “leap of faith”?  Not really.  You know your team-mates.  You know they will catch you – at least most of them will and you know who you shouldn’t trust.  It isn’t really a “leap of faith” to fall backwards in to your team-mates arms.  You can’t see them but you know they will catch you.

Abraham believed God’s promises by faith and it was counted to him as righteousness.  Now why did Abraham believe God’s promises?  He believed because he had knowledge of God.  He had experience of God.  He knew first hand that God keeps His promises.  Was his faith based on ignorance or knowledge?  It was based on knowledge.  You too can believe God’s promises because you have proof.  You have the entirety of the Bible which shows you God’s faithfulness throughout human history.  If you submitted your life to Christ you also have the evidence of the Holy Spirit.  Time and again you see written testimony to the effect that God keeps His promises and there is evidence in your own life as well that He keeps His promises.  Your faith is based on knowledge not ignorance.

Now those who don’t believe God exists base that belief on ignorance.  What evidence can they provide to support their claim?  Theirs is a “leap of faith” in which they blindly believe something is not there simply because they cannot see it.  Frankly they are the ones who superstitiously cling to their ignorance out of fear of the unknown.  If there is a just Creator of the Universe they are in trouble and rather than face that truth they simply put their blindfolds on and continue willfully in their ignorance.  When you believe God exists, and that He keeps His promises, you do so in knowledge.  When you behave in a way that demonstrates you have this knowledge, you are living by faith.  When you believe God does not exist, you do so in ignorance.  I weep for these ignorant souls for they are stepping off a cliff with no one to catch them.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

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Today's Bible Reading: Galatians 3:15–4:7

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