The Nature of Faith
John Telgren

I still remember years ago a person who was coming to Bible classes with very basic questions. They were more like challenges. They had to do with “How can you know that God exists? How can you know that the Bible is his word? How can you prove that the things in the Bible really happened?” These are not the type of challenges you expect in a Bible class. That person was offered some guidance and help after class, since this was not the topic of the class. That person did not want any help or guidance and wanted to figure it out on his own without any help. He wanted "proof."

That got me to thinking about the nature of faith. It is a fallacy to think that a person can live without some kind of faith, whether they are a Christian or not. Everyone accepts some things on faith.

Can a Christian "prove" that God exists and that the Bible is indeed God's word? I am convinced that all we can do is show "evidence," but we cannot prove it beyond the shadow of a doubt. I do not believe that this is what God wants us to do. We have testimony and signs that we accept on faith. Over and over God calls us to have faith. If we could prove it beyond the shadow of a doubt, then it would no longer be faith. The reason we do not doubt has to do with faith, not proof beyond the shadow of a doubt. Consider these passages:

"Then He said to Thomas, 'Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.' Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed' " (Jn 20:27).

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Heb 11:1).

"And without faith it is impossible to please {Him}, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (Heb 11:6).

For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?" (Rom 8:24)

"while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor 4:18).

"for we walk by faith, not by sight--" (2 Cor 5:7).

So, the skeptic has to make a decision. Either he will believe and commit, or not believe. The bottom line is that faith in Christ is a decision. There is no standing on the fence when it comes to Christ. Jesus calls for us to lay down our lives, to take up our cross, to follow him even when it results in persecution or difficulty. Jesus the creator is the only way to the Father. Jesus says that those who believe and accept this without being an eyewitness are "blessed."