The Greek word for faith, pistis, indicates belief or trust. In Scripture, the main idea is steadfastness and faithfulness. God wants individuals to believe that He exists. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6).
The Lord wants individuals to place their faith in His steadfast love and faithfulness.
God is faithful not to let us be tested beyond what we can bear. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13).
God is faithful to forgive sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
God is faithful to securely keep those who are called to salvation. “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:9).The Doctrine of Eternal Security is a Biblical truth.
God is faithful to protect His own from the Evil One. “But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil” (2 Thess. 3:3). No demon can possess a child of God. No demon can reclaim a soul that is born of God.
God is faithful even when we are faithless. “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he can not deny himself” (2 Tim. 2:13). There are very few Christians who have not questioned the love of God, especially in a stressful time. Even John the Baptist needed to be reassured that Jesus was the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world. “Go your way,” said Jesus to John’s disciples, “and tell John what things you have seen and heard: how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached” (Luke 7:22). Tell John, “I AM He.”
Because God is faithful, let the Christian hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful (Heb. 10:23).
Those who believe in God, those who do not lose confidence in His faithfulness, shall be rewarded. “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matt. 25:21).
A person’s faith in God, and in His steadfast love, is not a blind faith, for that is a form of credulity that is without virtue. What is virtuous is faith in God, who is there, the God of revelation, not the god of a vain imagination.
While God is incomprehensible, while our finite minds cannot contain His glory, and while our finite intellect cannot totally comprehend God, what can be known of God is the foundation of our faith.
The God who has clearly made Himself known through creation, by the prophets, through His Word, and, in these Last Days, through His Son, Jesus Christ. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Heb. 1:1,2).
If individuals do not have a complete knowledge of God, we can have an apprehensive knowledge of Him. By faith, those who will put their trust in God, and in the promises of God, must never be satisfied with a superficial, childish, immature understanding of God.
A superficial understanding of God is reflected in the Deist, who believes God only operates through the Law of Nature which He has established.
A childish understanding of God is reflected in the Health and Wealth Gospel, or the Prosperity Gospel.
An immature understanding of God is reflected in Open Theism, or Free Will Theism. The argument of Open Theism can be stated succinctly. “If humans are truly free God does not know absolutely everything about the future. The future is not knowable, even to God. While God knows everything that can be known, He does not know the future.”
The Prophets who spoke for God believed He knew the future. In 700 BC, Micah foretold the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem of Judea. Study Micah 5:2 cf. Matthew 2:1-12
The Prophets who spoke of God, declared He knows the future. “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9,10).
The Bible declares God is omniscient. He knows everything that is, and everything possible.
The Bible declares God is eternal. As the Eternal One, “He has lived our yesterdays, our todays, and our tomorrows, the past, present, and future” (GotQuestions). “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them” (Deut. 33:27).
The Bible says that God is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. Study Revelation 21:6
When the Eternal One is considered in light of prophecy, Scripture, and the person of Jesus Christ, there is no room in the Church for anti-intellectuals mocking Christian apologetics in favor of something called “a child like faith”
The words of Jesus must not be misunderstood.
“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3).
In the 16th century some of the Anabaptist from St. Gall with their literal understanding of the Bible literally behaved like children, playing with toys, and babbling like babies.
Of course, like a child, who puts their simple and complete trust in a parent, so the believer must trust in God. But that is not being silly.
Listen to Paul as he chided the Church in Corinth for their ignorance.
“Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men” (1 Cor. 14:20).
“Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. Regarding evil, be infants, but in your thinking be adults” (NIV, 1 Cor. 14:20).
God does not want individuals to have a “childish faith,” but a mature faith.
“Rise up, O saints of God!
Have done with lesser things;
Give heart and soul and mind and strength
To serve the King of kings.”
~William Pierson Merrill
There is no room in the word for pseudo-intellectuals dismissing God, by claiming to be an atheist, an agnostic, or indifferent.
What the Church needs are individuals who will give themselves to a serious study of theology, and the Word of God.
Timothy was commended, because, from a child he learned the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make a person wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 3:15).
No Christian should be satisfied with the milk of the Word of God, but should mature to desire strong meat, for “strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14).
The author of Hebrews commands Christians to move on to doctrinal maturity. “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit” (Heb. 6:3).
God has written the Bible by His Spirit, through forty authors. God has written the Bible to be studied, and to be understood, not in part, but in the whole.
Therefore, let us be students of the Word of God. Let us seek to know as much as God allows.