The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
This month we will focus on the foundations of our faith. We begin our study with faith’s most basic assumption: the assumption that God exists. God is the ultimate object of all true faith. According to the writer of Hebrews, it is impossible to know God apart from faith and it is impossible to please God except through faith.
Hebrews 11:1 offers what may be the most famous definition of faith found in the Bible. It describes faith as the marriage of hope and assurance. Although faith is compatible with empirical evidence, it does not depend upon empirical evidence for certainty. Instead, faith is its own kind evidence, providing proof of what is unseen. Faith is to the soul what eyesight is to the body. Faith sees in the visible universe evidence of the invisible God who made it. This knowledge is not conveyed by scientific evidence but by means of revelation. We know the universe was formed at God’s command because God has told us so in His Word.
Abel and Enoch, the two Old Testament examples singled out in today’s reading, are the first of many examples listed in this chapter who exemplify the faith the writer describes. Abel’s faith was expressed in worship. Because of his faith, his offering was accepted by God while his brother’s was rejected (Gen. 4:4). Enoch’s faith was reflected in his lifestyle. He “walked faithfully with God” and was taken to heaven without experiencing death (Gen. 5:24).
A twofold conviction guided these ancient believers. They were convinced of the existence of God. But more than that, they believed that God desires for those He has created to seek Him. Faith, then, involves more than intellectual assent to a point of doctrine. It is fundamentally relational.
Apply the Word
As we begin this study of the foundations of our faith, take an inventory of what you believe. What do you know about God? What does He expect from you? How does one enter into a relationship with God and what should that relationship look like? In the days ahead we will be exploring the answers to these questions and many more.