Our study this week is going to take one more look at faith. So far in this season of studies, we have taken a look at what genuine faith is and how one is submissive to what they genuinely believe. I believe that because we know that we, in our nature, are submissive to our beliefs, we must be assured that what we believe is true.
The Foundation of Faith
You see, the foundation of our faith is built on what we believe to be true. So, what this means for you is that the truth you believe in better be strong in order for the foundation of who you are to be strong. I say this because the truth – what you believe – will always be under attack and if that truth is not strong, you will fall down in your soul.
As I mentioned in the very first study of this series, everybody genuinely believes in and has faith in something in their hearts. What we believe and have genuine faith in has rule over us and guides us on our journey. Therefore, your faith is the foundation of who you are.
Now, what you genuinely believe is often going to be questioned with one simple, yet difficult, question to be asked. I was in the sixth grade when I remember being challenged on my faith by a kid named Joey. I was asked, how do you know what you believe in is true? It’s a simple question, right? Yet, at the very same time, it can be a very difficult question for some of us to answer.
I remember answering his question with the answer – ‘because I believe it to be true’. I realized many years ago that my answer was not much of an answer. You see, we have to be able to tell somebody why we have faith; on one front there are many people who will genuinely be curious about your faith and want to learn. At the same time, there will be others (Satan and those who are of him) who will constantly do their best to poke holes into your faith to destroy you.
What do you suppose they will attack first? They will attack the truth. The enemy tries to attack the truth because the truth is the foundation of who you are; without your foundation, you will crumple over and fall which is why you need to be built up on a strong foundation. So this, again, raises the question — How do you know what you believe is true?
What is true?
Truth, in the world, is either subjective or objective. Subjective truth: is based on one’s personal opinion. For example, I could say that I believe overcast autumn days are the most beautiful days there are – this is my subjective truth. Now, some can agree with my subjective truth but just because they agree with me, that does not make my subjective truth absolute. There will be those that disagree and share their own subjective truth.
Objective truth: is truth that essentially has been proven to be true according to research. A simple example of objective truth is the rising and the setting of the sun. We have broken the rising and the setting of the sun down into a science. The sun, we know objectively, is going to rise in the east and set in the west. The sun has been rising in the east and setting in the west forever and there is no argument that can be made against it — this is objective truth.
A divine truth
We must understand that both subjective and objective truths are obsolete when it comes to faith, especially faith in the Lord.
Christ, when He spoke about the truth, said that the truth He spoke was what He heard from His Father. We will see this spoken of in a passage of scripture from John 12:42-50. In this passage of scripture, you will see that Jesus was making His case and calling out for people to believe in Him.
If they were not going to believe in Him, Jesus encouraged the people to at least believe in the one that had sent Him. Jesus was sent by God the Father, who the Jews would considered to be the divine one. By the time of Jesus, many people had fallen into the trap of needing to prove the truth that Jesus was speaking to them in order to see whether it was subjective or objective.
In one particular verse within this passage of scripture, we will see Jesus speak to the truth that He shared being divine truth.
49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.John 12:49 NKJV
So, Jesus expressed plainly to the Jews that His truth was certainly not subjective because it was not spoken according to His own authority. (Remember how subjective truth is defined at this point).
The truth that He had spoken was also not objective as what He had spoken, Jesus said, came from the Father who gave Him the command as to what He should say and speak. When I say that His truth is not objective, I am stating that there was no type of scientific research that Jesus was basing His truth off of; His truth was coming directly from the source – God the Father.
There is no missing that the truth spoken by Jesus is not a truth that is of this world – it is divine (a righteous truth). We will see in the next verse that Jesus followed up and said, “I know that His (the Father) command (truth) is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak (John 12:50).”
Let us note: divine truth is set apart from man’s idea of truth. What I mean by this is that man’s truth does not define God’s truth nor is it on the same level as the Lord’s thoughts are far above ours (Is. 55:8-9). The Lord defines truth, and man should understand that God’s truth is absolute and righteous – it is final (John 8:31-32).
Arguing against the divine truth
For many people, the idea of this truth being absolute is very frustrating. The divine truth is frustrating because it forces man’s hands into the decision to either believe or to not believe – have faith or do not have faith. This decision is one that is is inescapable to all as everyone will have to make a decision at one point or another.
Let’s note: It is in man’s nature not to believe things right away; our nature leads us to question, to doubt, and to hesitate in our movements and in the things we both can hear and witness with our own eyes. Satan even came to see that mankind is always going to question and hesitate before moving. Don’t believe me? Let’s consider the devil’s work in the garden for a brief moment.
In Genesis 3:1-5, when the devil was trying to get Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, she did not do so right away. Eve questioned the idea of eating from the tree because the instructions of God (His truth) had been implanted in her heart because Adam, her husband, had received those instructions from the Lord (Gen. 2:16-17).
I want to make a personal note here: I believe that on a spiritual level, most folks, including those who aren’t believers, know right and wrong from what they sense is right and wrong in their soul. Because the soul of man is from the Lord’s breathing into mankind’s nostrils (Gen. 2:7), I believe that our soul, in its natural state, instinctively knows right from wrong. Now, this is my own personal opinion but this, in my opinion, makes the sin of man even worse because we are choosing to go against what is natural to the soul for what is natural to the flesh.
Now, Eve initially spoke against eating from the tree because she knew eating from the tree would be a bad thing to do (Gen. 3:2-3); she was certainly right in that matter.
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”Genesis 3:2-3 NKJV
Eve was not acting off of instincts when it came to right and wrong in this matter; she was acting off a truth she had received. So, the devil had to deceive, and lie by attacking the truth of God. Satan argued against God’s divine truth we will see below:
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”Genesis 3:4-5 NKJV
Note: Satan clearly attacked the truth because it was the foundation on which Eve was standing on against him. Sadly, we know, Eve did not put much faith into that truth. Even though the truth Eve had was strong, our faith in that truth must not be weak.
Satan attacks the truth of God as a means to remove your total strength so that you can be defeated. He made it seem like it would be a good thing to go against the divine truth by telling Eve that her and Adam would be like God in their knowledge of good and evil.
Let us note: Satan was lying. To this day, man’s idea for good and evil is not on par with the Lord. In fact, the only way that any of us know for a certainty what is right and wrong is if we know of the Lord’s instructions and live by them. Other than that, right and wrong is a guessing game that boils down to what might instinctively come to us. In the end, I rather operate off of certainty than instincts because our instincts (our feelings) can let us down at times.
There are no means that can prove or disprove the divine truth. Satan does not even bother to try and prove or disprove divine truth, he simply lies and goes on his way. Because there’s no means to prove or disprove divine truth is what makes divine truth so frustrating to many people; they are only left with meaningless words – subjective truths – to speak against divine truth.
You see, subjective truths are always debated with nobody ever truly reaching a conclusion. Objective truths are always argued over until a debate settles (or temporarily settles) an argument and a conclusion is reached. Then, even after a conclusion is reached, there are times where even objective truths are disproven by science and the truth changes. Many scientists rejoice that science is forever changing, and as one who enjoys science to an extent, I can understand the rejoice.
Divine truth is unchanging
At the very same time, I rejoice that there is a truth that remains the same and has withstood the test of time. Divine truth never changes and it forces one to choose to have faith or not. Divine truth has not changed because it is established by the Lord and God is the same today as He was yesterday and will be forever (Heb. 13:8).
Now, when it comes to our faith in God, and His righteous truth, those who are of the world will attack faith on the front that our faith cannot be objectively true. Because God cannot be proven to be real or not real, according to those of no faith, then there is no objective truth about Him. We live in a world that is used to things needing to be tested and proven.
Science, the scientific method, to determine whether something is objectively true is based on observation and testing. The scientific method includes: observation and questioning, research, hypothesizing (educated guessing), experimental testing, analyzing the tests and coming to a conclusion. At the end of this method, a truth can be reached.
However, with that said, the scientific method will always struggle when it comes to the Lord because true faith is not based on science. As we have already established in this series, faith is what one chooses to freely believe in their heart. Some people will choose to believe their subjective truths, others their ‘objective facts’, and then there are all of us true believers who will continue to simply have faith in the divine truth.
Divine truth is a strong foundation
Faith in the divine truth will leave you with a very strong foundation that, again, has withstood many tests, including the test of time. Let’s take a look at this strong foundation of faith in a couple of different passages in scripture with the first being from Matthew 13:1-9 and then we will go backwards to Matthew 7:24-29.
In Matthew 13, Jesus spoke of one that sowed seed in order to grow a crop in his field. The sower in this parable of the sower is representative of the Lord and the seed is representative of the divine truth.
Some seed, Jesus expressed, fell by the wayside and ended up being devoured by birds. Other seeds ended up falling on stony places and when the seed sprouted, what had attempted to grow was immediately scorched by the sun. Some seed fell among thorns and the thorns choked out anything that tried to spring up from the seed. However, other seeds fell on good ground – had a good or fertile foundation – and the seed flourished and yielded an amazing crop.
This is a parable that speaks to God having sown the divine truth in the world but only a few received His truth and flourished. Those that did not receive God’s truth either had the truth choked out of them and killed by the enemy, or they had God’s truth snatched away from them by the enemy.
I believe that what this parable establishes is that the enemy is always on the move against the divine truth for the purpose of taking it away from us. Again, we know the reason as to why the enemy does not want us to have and to hold on to the divine truth – going against the divine truth will lead to our fall, just as it did with Adam and Eve in the garden.
So many people end up falling today because they are without the divine truth and they do not have a strong foundation. Yet, as we have seen, with the divine truth, one can truly flourish in this world. In the other passage of scripture that I mentioned from Matthew 7, we will see Jesus speak to the benefit of divine truth being the foundation of our faith.
We will see in that passage of scripture that Jesus said that whoever hears and does His sayings were that of one who was wise. Let us make a note: to hear and to then do the sayings of Christ would mean that one accepted (heeded) His sayings, and therefore, lived by them. To go back to our most recent study, this would mean that this wise person was one that submitted themselves to God’s righteous truth.
Let’s take a look at who Jesus likened this person to and the benefit that the one who submits themselves to the divine truth enjoys.
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.Matthew 7:24-25 NKJV
The benefit of the divine truth being the foundation of who you are is that the enemy can throw everything they have against you and you will not fall. The storms of life does not prevail against those whose foundation of faith is built up the righteous and divine truth that comes from the Lord.
However, Jesus plainly states in this passage that those who do not submit themselves to the divine truth are fools. Eventually, this person falls at the hands of the enemy and the storms of life eventually overtake them. Let us note: a fool is one who is not ignorant; a fool has heard and knows better but chooses not to do what is right.
Benefits of the divine truth
So many have heard the word of God, as His truth has been sown throughout the world, yet they would much rather argue against His truth and live by another truth to which there are no benefits. This, to me, is the most sad part about choosing to deny the truth and settle to have a foundation of faith that the enemy can easily attack and destroy or leads to there being no benefits.
So, to circle back around to the first study of this series, we know that faith is indeed the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). However, we know that faith is even more than that – faith is submissive and we should be submitting ourselves to the divine truth that can withstand our great enemy and his army.
We should also be submitting ourselves to a truth that has wonderful benefits that we can also see mentioned throughout Hebrews 11. The writer of Hebrews wrote that without faith it is impossible to please [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).
The writer then mentioned the rewards that Abraham received because he submitted himself to the will of God. Abraham, the writer states, dwelt in the land of promise by faith and had heirs to that same promise in both Isaac and Jacob (Heb. 11:8-10). The writer then shared the story of Abraham offering up Isaac and how his faith in the Lord was rewarded which showed how the Lord would save man from his sins (Heb. 11:17-19).
Rarely mentioned is the faith Moses’ mother had in the Lord, but the writer of Hebrews did not forget about her. By faith, the writer wrote, Moses was hidden for three months after he was born so that he would not be killed (Heb. 11:23-29). Moses, we know, would go on to be chosen by the Lord to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. Moses was the reward of a mother’s faith in the Lord and also the faith of an entire nation of people.
The writer of Hebrews would go on to conclude this powerful chapter on faith and the reward of believing in the divine truth by speaking to how the wall of Jericho fell down because Joshua and the children of Israel submitted themselves to God’s will and way. The writer spoke of the Judges and David and how their submission to the Lord led to them being able to subdue kingdoms, made them strong when they were believed to be weak, and made them valiant in battle (Heb. 11:32-34).
We Know the Truth
So, how do we know that what we believe in is indeed the truth? How do we know that God is true and righteous?
Our faith begins in our heart. Yes, our faith certainly comes from what we have heard and from what we have been taught. Yet, at the same time, our faith is built upon our own personal fellowship and experience with the Lord! In our fellowship with the Lord, we have gone through some things and have overcome a lot that we would have not been able to do without God being with us.
Again, we live in a world that begs for people to prove their truths. Well, I would tell anybody that I am proof of God’s truth. Frankly, all true believers stand as a testament of God’s righteous truth as the Lord has done for us exactly what He said He would do. The Lord hears our prayers, answers our prayers, and makes a way for all of us who are of genuine faith.
Because I know and have seen what the Lord has done for me, I have no reason to doubt Him nor His divine truth — I have total faith in Him. I have and still am withstanding Satan and his army because of my faith in the Lord. I have and still am withstanding the storms of life because I have faith in the Lord. I have and still am persevering on my journey through Life because I have submitted myself to the will and way of God.
God’s divine truth has done much for me in my life and I know that it can do just as much for all of you should you believe and have in the truth that is righteous and divine.