Jim's Jots and Tittles. . .
Faith and Knowledge
We have a problem with faith and knowledge. We have faith intellectually, but do we have a faith that connects us with God and His will.
Faith does not exist without knowledge. We are only fooling ourselves if we think it can. Ephesians 5:10 says one should try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. It is impossible to learn without knowledge. Ephesians 5:17 says do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. It is impossible to understand something without knowledge.
In Colossians 1:9-10 Paul said he prayed that they may be filled with the knowledge of His will. Why? "So that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, and bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God." One cannot do these things without knowledge.
That is why Paul wrote in Romans 10:17--"So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."
Faith is difficult to attain and even harder to maintain. We fool ourselves when we think this is not true.
The apostles were with Jesus for three years. They saw Him feed 5,000 with five loaves and two fish. They saw Him feed 4,000 with seven loaves and a few small fish. In John 20:30 John says--"Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book."
Yet, at least four times He said to His disciples, "O ye of little faith." In Luke 22:33 Peter told Jesus that he would go both to prison and to death for Him. In Luke 22:32 Jesus told Peter that He had prayed that Peter's faith would not fail. But it did!
Without knowledge we do not know what to believe. If we do not know what to believe we cannot have faith. The result is doubt or unfaithfulness.
The Greek for faith means the "conviction" of the truth of anything and the "involvement" of one's trust and one's will. That is what the Hebrew writer is saying in Hebrews 11:6--"For without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that comes to Him must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him."
In relation to God, faith is believing the impossible without an inkling of a doubt. That does not happen without knowledge.
God said in Hosea 4:6 that His people perished because of a lack of knowledge. The Jews crucified Jesus because of a lack of knowledge. And in 1 Peter 2:2 Peter tells the Christians to long for the pure milk of the word so we can grow in respect to our salvation. The extent of our faith can be measured by the growth of our knowledge.
Hebrews 3:14 tells us that our faith determines whether we are partakers of Christ--"For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end."
Otherwise, our future reward is as bleak as it was with the children of Israel. Hebrews 4:2 says they heard God's word but it did not profit them because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
Paul puts it all together in Ephesians 4:13--"until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ."
How are you doing?