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     The topic of interest this week is very important.  It is important in the day and age we live in, that we know what truth is and what...

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Pastoral Pulpit

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Reasonable Faith

  As the message of the gospel continually becomes more mainstream and seeker-friendly, the resulting ecumenical formula is often devoid of the strength and power that it once had.  Paul stated that he was "not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes" (Rom. 1:16).  The message of the Bible holds a power that endures throughout the ages.  John 17:17 declares that God's Word is truth.  What does it mean to say that God's Word is "truth"?  Webster defines truth as "the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality".  Accordingly, we can be assured that as Scripture is indeed given to us by God Himself, that it is "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim 3:16).  Thus God has promised us that His Word is not only a guiding light in our spiritual life, but is also a sure foundation for a logical and reasonable faith.
  In Isaiah 1:18, as God is explaining to Isaiah the idea of a contrite heart and His forgiveness, He pleads with him: "Come now, and let us reason together".  In the Hebrew, this gives the picture of two parties discussing a problem or idea.  As believers, we have the inner testimony of the Spirit that we are children of God (1 John 5:10; Rom. 8:16).  Although this inner testimony cannot be proven to anyone else, we also have God's magnificent testimony in our conscience and in His creation.  Rom. 1:19 states that " what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them", speaking of the testimony of God's truth in our conscience.  And in addition, we see in Rom. 1:20 that creation itself testifies of God, so explicitly in fact that His "invisible attributes" can be deduced from a sincere study of His creation.  
  What is the importance of knowing the logical basis for our faith?  There are two reasons.  For one, it reinforces our own faith.  Recent studies estimate that around 80% of "Christian kids" end up rejecting Christianity in college.  Many of these kids are looking for answers to genuine doubts and questions, and not receiving any sort of sufficient answers.  In the beginning of Luke 1, Luke states the reason he has for writing down what he did: "Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account...that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed" (Luke 1:1, 3-4).  In short, Luke wanted to write an "orderly account" so that his audience would be even more certain of the things they had been taught.  Just as the faithful Bereans "searched the Scriptures daily to find out" (Acts 17:11) if what Paul was preaching was true, in the same way it strengthens our faith to know the Word of God, and to be knowledgeable in what we believe.  Secondly, knowing the logical basis for our faith is not only important in knowing what we believe, but also why we believe.  This is vital in our evangelical endeavors.  1 Peter 3:15 says to " always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you".  The Greek word translated "defense" is apologia, where we get our term "apologetics".  This Greek word was a judicial term, and spoke of one giving a reasoned statement or argument in defense of their position.  As unbelievers come to us with sincere questions about our faith, we should not only know what we believe, but be able to give them a reasoned and logical basis for why we believe. 
  So it is paramount that you get in God's Word and know it, live it, proclaim it.  2 Timothy 2:15 commands us to study, and rightly divide so do this correctly.  Then as it states in 1 Timothy 4:15 were to meditate on the right scripture so much it changes us that others can notice it and proclaim like Matthew 5:16 says and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Your Reasonable Faith should always bring "Glory To His Name"

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