apologetics

What is Faith?

In the electrical field, a fear of heights is something that you have to overcome. From scaffolding to scissor lifts, working up in the air comes with the territory

Ladders are the most common method for working in an elevated position and the a-frame ladder is the most infamous of all. Most normal ladders are made with two sides that join at the top at a single point. The a-frame ladder has an additional 3rd section that extends up between the other two sections.

I experienced this type of ladder early in my career at the gym of a local Methodist church. We would use the ladder to change the bulbs above the basketball court. The ladder reached 28 feet at its highest point.

To make things worse, the ladder was made of wood and it was held together with rusty bolts. It would creak and crack as you scaled it. The center section would lean backwards as you climbed it.

I remember the first time I saw it in use. My boss fearlessly climbed the ladder like a squirrel, made his way to the top, swung his leg over the top rung, locked his legs in the rungs of the ladder and let go with both hands to work on the light. I was amazed at his bravery. Or maybe it was stupidity. It took a little bit of both.

Then it was my turn. I had to put my trust in the ladder and scale it. I didn’t have much faith in the wooden monstrosity, but I slowly began to climb one rung at a time. Before I knew it, I was at the top.

After a few times up and down the ladder, my confidence grew. Soon I was scaling like a squirrel full of bravery, or stupidity. Again, I’m not sure which one it took. I had to completely trust in the ladder to hold me.

It took faith to climb that ladder.

What is faith? Most people believe that faith is a blind leap into something that you have no evidence for. It’s like believing in fairy tales or the Loch Ness monster. Is that the kind of Faith the Bible refers to?

Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is “the substance of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen.”

Biblical faith is trusting in something you have good evidence to believe in. It’s not a blind leap into the dark. Time and time again, the New Testament writers said for us to believe in what they had seen and heard.

Even Jesus pointed to evidence when John the Baptist questioned if He were the Messiah. He said “Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached unto them.” Notice he didn’t tell John to just “have more faith.”

From manuscript evidence, to archaeology, to science, and philosophy, we posses a treasure trove of evidence that the New Testament is true. it would take a great amount of effort to crawl over the mountain of evidence to arrive at a position of unbelief.

Jesus said that, if you have the faith the size of a mustard seed, then you could move a mountain. The power of faith is not in the size of faith a person possesses, but in the object that we put our faith in.

All it took was a tiny amount of faith in that old wooden ladder to step on the first rung. My faith did not affect the strength of the ladder. It was going to hold me no matter how big or small my faith was.

I saw the evidence that the ladder would hold me after watching my boss climb it. I then had to put my faith, or trust based on evidence, in the ladder and take that first step.

Each time I climbed that ladder, my faith grew in its ability to hold me. The Bible says in Romans that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The more we hear the Word of God and the evidence for Christianity, the more our faith will grow.

How about you? Have you trusted in Jesus? We can hear all the evidence in the world for Christianity, but it doesn’t matter if we don’t place our trust in it. All it takes is a step on the rung. It will securely hold you every time.

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