13 Jun 2021
“How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching it to them?” - Romans 10:14
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” - 2 Corinthians. 5:7
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus:
In the Letter of Saint Paul to the Hebrews, we read that “faith” is the “realization of what is hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.”
The word “Faith” can be defined as a belief, confidence or assurance that one has in a person or thing. During His ministry, Jesus used the words “faith” and “belief” interchangeably. When Jesus appeared to Thomas, following His resurrection, He said to him: “Be not unbelieving, but believing.”
In a doubting world, and within our society, it can be said that for one to have faith, one must have evidence dealing especially with spiritual things. Though we were not present when Jesus came into our world, we have read the testimonies of others who bore witness to His miracles and His teachings. It is in these testimonies, that those who truly seek the Lord in their lives, find the assurance and trust in the “Word made flesh, and it helps them to have a deeper faith and belief in an unseen God. “Blessed are those who have not seen but yet believe.” It is at the close of the Gospel of John 20:30-31, we read the following: “Many other signs therefore Jesus performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Gon of God; and that in believing you may have life in His name.”
Jesus reminds us in John 8:24 that “Unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.”
It can also be said that many people are “out of touch” with their true and spiritual self; that God cannot be felt or experienced and that the truth of the existence of God cannot easily be understood. Finally, it can be said, that without faith or belief in God and through His Son Jesus, so many individuals will go through life without a compass to point their true path back home and is like a boat without a rudder to steer oneself through the sea of vain desires illusions and false concepts of life.
But yet throughout the history of the Bible, God revealed himself to those who sought him by faith. It is by faith, that one believes that God created the heavens and the earth. It was by faith that Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain. It was by faith, that Noah trusted in God’s directive to build an ark. It was by faith, that Abraham obeyed God when God called him out to go to a strange land where he would receive his inheritance It was by faith that Abraham, when tested by God, was willing to sacrifice His son Isaac and it was by faith, that Moses went forth from God’s assurance and delivered the children of Israel from the hand of the Pharoah. These are but a few of the examples of God’s blessings of one who had faith, and trust in God.
When we look in the New Testament, we find that the word “faith” is mentioned as a verb 217 times and as a noun 227 times. Time and time again we hear the words of Jesus who said: “Your faith has made you whole”, or “by your faith you have been saved.” Faith is so powerful, that Jesus said if one has faith the size of a mustard seed, mountains can be moved.
InHebrews 11:6, Paul writes: "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that God is a rewarder of those who seek Him."
In the Gospel of Mark 16:16, Jesus teaches: “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved: but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.”
You know, that when you have faith in God, you don't have to worry about the future for you just know that it's all in His hands and that you just go out, do your best and the Lord will do the rest.
Faith brings about many things. Faith brings about belief, it brings about knowledge and wisdom and it brings about peace. It has been said that the beginning of wisdom begins with faith.
The word “faith” exists in all religions and all faiths, and it is the cornerstone of knowing God.
In Judaism, we read from Isaiah the prophet 7:9, who wrote: “Unless you have believed, you will not understand.”
In Christianity, we read from Gospel of John 6:28-29: “And they said to Him [Jesus]. “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”: Jesus answered them and said: ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him who He has sent.”
In Islam, we read from the Quran: “Put your trust on the Exalted in Might, the Merciful who sees you standing forth in prayer, and your movements among those who prostrate themselves. For it is He who hears and sees all things.”
In Buddhism, from the Sutta Nipata, we read: “By faith you shall be free, and you will go beyond the world of death.”
In Hinduism, from the Rig Veda we read: “Faith is composed of the heart’s intention. Light come through faith and that a man of faith, absorbed in faith, with his senses controlled, attains knowledge, and with knowledge attained, quickly finds supreme peace. But the ignorant man, who is without faith, goes doubting to his own destruction. For the doubting self, there is neither this world, not the next, nor joy.”
My dear brothers and sisters: Paul spoke in Romans 10:17: “So faith come from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” As Christians, baptized into the Christian faith, may we seek God daily in prayer. May we all be assured by the words found in the Book of Proverbs, when it comes to faith “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him and He will make straight your paths.”
Rev. Fr. Robert M. Koerber