FULLY PERSUADED BY FAITH
by brother Jonathan Blakely
In this article I mean to address a certain false doctrine that has leaked into the modern church. It is an expression that has come straight from the world and one that creates nothing but confusion and doubt in the believer. That is the point of the doctrine. The thing being spread around is this idea that all men need to accept the possibility that they might be wrong about what they believe. The thing that people want to do by saying this is make people "tolerate" other contrary views as if all of the different views had a chance of being the real truth. I will show the word of God does not support this manner of thinking. Rather we are to be fully persuaded of the truth, not partially. And we DO know what the real truth is by faith in God. Anytime God is removed mans thoughts they are left with nothing more than vivid imaginations and speculation concerning the truth. Men can't comprehend the truth without divine assistance. With that being said I will start by exposing this doctrine for what it really is.
DISSECTING THE DOCTRINE
To start, let's take a closer look at why men choose to
think this way. Why do people have to admit they could be wrong about what they
believe? This is pretty much why men say things like this. Men look at the many
different and contradictory views out there and they become overwhelmed by them.
When this happens people tend to think, "there is no way we can know the truth
with so many different views out there." So rather than seeking the truth,
people just throw their hands up in the air and say "it's impossible to know the
truth. Let's not think about it at all." And people dare to call this
"intelligent?" Why not call it what it really is? To think this way is nothing
more than being willingly ignorant. Also let's look at it from another point of
view. People who think this are limiting how real things are to their own
personal understanding. They say things like "there is no evidence of God, there
is no way you can know he is real." Ok let's rephrase that shall we? "No one can
know if God is real because I don't know if he is real." Or even better "my
proof that there is no God is my own failure to comprehend such a thing being
true." How exactly can a person reason that something is not real based on the
fact that they don't believe it? Some people even say, "I won't believe it
unless I see it." Ok how many things to we know existed based entirely on
documentation? What about early historical people and events? If a lot of these
things were not written then we would not even know about them. Some people we
would never know existed if they were not written about. So this kind of
reasoning is absurd. Don't get me wrong; I am not saying that our belief in God
is merely based on the fact that he has been written about. I am showing how
unbelievers do believe in some things having never seen them before.
Also when men say, "we should admit that there is a possibility that we can be wrong about what we believe" that is like saying "We should all be uncertain about everything." Because according to their reasoning we CAN'T know what the real truth is. But when you think about it how can you say something like that unless you know everything? A person would have to weigh the evidence of every possible view out there before they could come to such a conclusion. And even then if God were not in your thinking not even doing that would help you know what the real truth is. Overall, men are lost without God giving them the truth. So how is it we know the truth? How is it we are so confident in what we profess? The reason is that God has given us to know the truth. When this happens, our eyes are opened to things we could not comprehend before. Those things we used to be blinded to are then made crystal clear. This is why we can say, "I know" instead of "I think."
UNDERSTANDING THAT IS GIVEN
Many do not believe in such a thing happening. That a God
can give people understanding in his ways to the point to where they are 100%
certain of it being true. If you were to tell someone that you had no doubt in
your mind that there was a God and denied any possibility of it being a lie you
would be considered arrogant and narrow-minded. But this is in fact the kind of
certainty that the Lord gives to us, FULL certainty. All believers must come to
realize that the things that they know about God have been given to them to know
by God himself. We can't expect to know the truth by our own means. Many waste
so much time researching physical types of evidence so they can prove God to
others by an intellectual means. Not saying this is wrong but this is NOT how
the truth is made real to a person. I am sure no real believer could reason that
they came to believe in God because of some intellectual reasoning. As if God
was scientifically proven to them somehow. If you want to prove God by
presenting a physical form of evidence that can be seen with the eyes of the
flesh you will have a very hard time doing so seeing God has removed the
evidence from the earth. When Jesus rose from the dead he ascended into heaven
leaving his tomb empty (Matt 28:6-20, Mark 16:1-19, Luke 24:46-49, John
21:14-24). So you have no physical way to prove that Jesus was around. Amongst
other things all the disciples, apostles and prophets have all died. You may be
able to find some locations the Bible speaks about but there is nothing you can
find that can really "prove" the existence of God. All we have is the
scriptures. So this should make it crystal clear that we of ourselves cannot
reveal God's truth to anyone. We can also conclude that if men desire to know
the real truth then it has to be revealed to them by a higher power. Once this
is done men are not uncertain and wavering in their thoughts. Rather they are
confident and FULLY persuaded.
Jesus told his disciples that the knowledge they had was "given" to them. This was said after Jesus told the parable of the seed and the sower to the multitudes that followed him. After he told the parable the disciples asked him why he spoke to them in parables. This is his response to that question, it is found in Matthew 13:11. "He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." So there are two things we can see from this verse. Those who know have had the truth revealed to them and those who don't know have not had it revealed to them. You notice how Jesus spoke about "the mysteries" of the kingdom of heaven. A mystery is something that is hidden and needs to be revealed. It's not just out there in the open for everyone to see and take hold of. It has to be sought after before it can be obtained. Jesus spoke on this as well. He made it clear that there has to be some kind of effort made by the individual before they can obtain what they are looking for (in context with the subject which is seeking the truth). Matthew 7: 7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: So how come so many people don't know the truth? We can conclude because they are not searching for it. Also we can conclude that some are looking in the wrong places. Many go to men for help rather than God. Psalm 60:11 Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. When we seek the truth we are not to just look anywhere. We look where the truth can be found, that being in Christ. If we come to him he will reveal things to us.
One of the main things I want to get across here is that only those who WANT to know are really going to know. Jesus showed the meaning of the parable of the sower to his disciples because they wanted to know what it meant. They were not content to not know what it meant. If you want to know real truth that only God can give us then by all means seek HIM and his son CHRIST! If you do so then you will be shown things that you did not know before. However I want to go deeper into this. Let us look at what the scriptures say concerning FAITH.
Here is something the scriptures speak very much on. In
order to see the things of God clearly we need to have faith. What does it mean
to have faith? There is no simple answer. It is not something that can be
browsed over and understood. What faith means in scripture differs from what men
today say it means. It is a word that has been corrupted and misunderstood by
many people in our day. Faith to most is nothing more than a mere persuasion
that something MIGHT be true. Others say "blind faith" as if you are not sure if
it is real but you believe it anyway. Faith by definition of the world actually
means "unquestionable belief" which means when a person has faith in something
they have no doubt in that thing whatsoever. However there is nothing vague
about our faith in God. We will find faith according to scripture is the very
thing that helps us understand the things of God and take hold of them. In
Hebrews 11 it says this. "11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen." You notice how it says the "evidence" of
things unseen. This is the very thing that makes the reality of God clear to us
so we can embrace it. However there is more to be seen here. The faith mentioned
in this text is not faith that everyone has in them. Rather it is something that
is given to you as a means to show you the truth. It is something that is of God
and cannot be produced by any man. To further this point let's look at something
it says about Jesus regarding "faith". In Hebrews 12:2 it says "Looking unto
Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before
him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of
the throne of God." The Author AND the finisher of our faith. Now what does that
mean exactly? Author shows that he is the leader and the source of our faith.
Which goes perfectly with what was said before regarding Jesus "giving us to
know". Faith must first be given to you. Also it says the "finisher" which means
that he matures your faith causing it to grow. The closer you are to Christ the
stronger your faith becomes. When a person has faith they have this confidence
that we are looking into. Seeing that it is the evidence of things not seen it
would be silly to entertain the notion that a person can have faith and still be
in a state of ignorance.
Faith is about looking at the unseen not the things that are seen. Here are some scriptures that touch on that. 2 Corinthians 4:18 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. Here is an example of what was just said. When a person has faith there is an intense focus on eternal things. So intense that it takes all focus off the temporal things of this world. Also we have this word from God. 2 Corinthians 5: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) This text shows us that having faith is what will keep us alert and active for God. Faith makes us fully certain of these things. There is no reason to doubt when a person is strong in the faith. So if people are wavering in their views and thinking they "might be wrong" about the existence of God than an increase of faith is by no means an option.
HOW SURE DOES FAITH MAKE US?
This is where the world has so much trouble. They cannot perceive a person so sure of the truth as those who have faith in God. They say the truth is relative. They think that whatever you say is true is true to YOU only. This is extremely clumsy reasoning. If that is true then how can we know the truth at all? How can we conclude if there even IS a real truth if everything everyone says is nothing more than an opinion or personal view? By having faith God has made the truth known to us to the point we can have full confidence and assurance in the things we say. In Romans 14:5 is says "let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind". Notice it does not say "his own Opinion"? The writers of the Bible certainly did not think what they said was a personal view did they? They were so certain about what they preached and taught that they were willing to give their own lives for what they knew! The disciples who followed Christ (apart from John) were all killed for their faith in him. Think about it. Would a person sacrifice their life for something that they KNEW was a lie? After being around Jesus as long as they were wouldn't they have known if he was a fraud IF he was one? The worlds reasoning does not line up on this matter. These men saw Jesus for who he really was that is why they could die for him. They were witnesses for Christ. Let's go even further to others who died in faith. What about the stoning of Stephen? Would he be able to give his life if he had not had faith? What about the apostle Paul himself? How could he go through such hardship for so many years? He suffered shipwreck, was brutally beaten, stoned, imprisoned, and eventually was killed. Let's look at how Paul reasons about the persecution of the saints. Romans 8:36-39 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I AM PERSUADED, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. By faith Paul was able to look beyond the circumstances. His faith sustained him during the things, which he suffered. Faith will do this for us as well. With faith you will become so certain about what you believe that you can give your all as these other brethren did. I encourage you to grow in the knowledge God has given you and ask him to increase your faith. The greater your faith, the more you will see, the more sure you will become.
With these things being said how ridiculous it sounds for
professed Christians to say, "I don't know if God is real". You can know the
truth. I have shown in scripture how we know and the fruit that comes from
knowing. The world will try to intimidate you with scientific terms and strange
philosophies. Do not be alarmed by these things. You know the real truth; God
has given it to you. Grow in the things God has revealed to you so that you will
continue to become a more profitable servant. Speak what you know to be true!
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