“... because everyone who has been born from God has won the victory over the world. Our faith is what wins the victory over the world.”
~1 John 5:4 (GW).
Faith it is that shows us victory beyond the despair of the world, not that we’re shamed in our despairing, for God is simply proving the concept right: faith—and only faith—conquers the straining of the world and all manner of intellectualisation into the destiny of madness.
Intellectualising all our problems is forlorn and destined for failure...
The Problem of Intellectual Doubting
Some things, indeed a great many, are beyond our best available knowledge. Science has many answers for life, and certainly more than it had even five years ago, but it is still grossly limited.
And in this life science will always be limited. This proves God beyond a shadow of a doubt. We will never have all the answers.
When we hit that wall of doubt—a thing we’re constantly destined in our human condition to be tempted with—there is only one thing that gets us through.
When we work out everything through logic and reason, we will fail. It is inevitable. Not everything makes sense. Knowledge—our knowledge; anyone’s knowledge—is limited. Knowledge never answers all of the big questions, the ‘hard’ questions.
The Great Evangelistic Hope
The magic is not just ours. It’s everyone’s. We have a duty to be constantly faith-worthy, for our faith will speak louder than our words of our capacity to resist lies, worry, unforgiveness... despair.
The evangelistic hope—that faith wins the day, over the world, circumstances, everything—is the wisdom of God which Jesus showers upon us via the message of his life, his teaching and his death on the cross. It’s a manner of living that conquers.
It’s the only thing that works... and how effectively well it works is amazing.
Faith is the most alluring Christian quality—it, and it alone, transcends the barriers of religiosity. Here we see, again, it ‘preaches’ without ever speaking a word. Christ’s credibility, then, rests untainted and completely intact when faith is shown without even so much as the utterance of one Bible verse or Christian cliché.
Frankly, non-Christians are not interested in our tracts and “words” of encouragement... they want to see this faith operating and overcoming in this world through our use of it; they want to see what it offers them for life. They’ll remain forever unconvinced otherwise.
And who could blame them. We shelve the power of God when we choose to open our mouths.
We All Have Faith
We all act and are therefore found to express faith. We drive a car because we have faith it’s safe to do so. We trust people out of a belief they won’t betray us. Every time we do anything we do it out of faith.
But in what—or who—generally is our faith based in? Is it ‘knowledge’ or ‘God’? The latter is the only one that works every time.
This is the thing that separates those who conquer from those who don’t.
Faith is the mindset to conquer—it is an action-oriented word and there’s nothing passive about it. We see here that there was never truly an argument between ‘faith and works,’ because faith and works are inseparable.
Finally, faith in Jesus Christ, and in him alone, is what gets us conquering the trappings of this limited ‘world’ knowledge. We have our minds and hearts set in a broader and more magnificent truth than anything this world could tempt us with. And this truth of the Spirit is power to live... and it would only be power if it worked.
The life of faith in Jesus Christ—the true life—works.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.
Acknowledgement: Pastor Arthur Payne of my home church, Lakeside Baptist Church, preached on the theme of the “faith of God” September 5, 2010. His message inspired this article.