Volume. XXVI, No. 7
Sunday, 14 August 2011


About Faith And Faithlessness


Faith is trusting in God. It is trusting the word of God that is provided to us in the Holy Scriptures. It is believing that we will be delivered from the penalty of our sinful nature unto heaven where we will be able to be in the presence of God for all eternity.

On the other hand, a lack of faith doubts God. When one doubts God, one will have a meaningless life trying to understand our existence and what is held for us when we leave our mortal bodies in death. Without faith in God we may spend much time of our lives in the futile exercise of philosophizing about the purpose of our existence, the reality of salvation and trying to prove the authenticity of the Bible. We sometimes witness the torment that people needlessly go through trying to find that seemingly elusive door to heaven because of the lack of faith. They look for eternity by other means or like the Humanist movement end up by simply denying the very existence of God. Some go through life living a Sisyphean existence in their endless and futile search for the meaning of life. In Greek Mythology, Sisyphus was a king punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity.

Hebrews Chapter 11 is a whole chapter devoted to the subject of faith. It is a record of past triumphs of faith as recorded during the Old Testament days. It is a testimony of those who by faith pleased God and gained the holy approval of God. The first verse says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.  Some interpret this as a definition of faith, but it tells us more than that. A closer examination of this verse reveals that faith provides the underlying basis, the foundation or substance upon which our heavenly hope is built upon. Faith as documented here can also be understood in that Christ is the solid rock, the substance and foundation of our salvation. It is the kind of faith of the belief that provides a guarantee that God’s grace is sufficient, the unmistaken and pointed truth for salvation of sinful men. The second part of this verse illustrates that this kind of faith provides the evidence in conviction that can lead sinners to repentance of their earthly sins. The second part of this verse: ”of things hoped for”  also  provides a qualification that this saving faith transcends the present realities bringing men to the future certainty of the return of Christ and their heavenly citizenry; while “of things not seen”  relates to the conviction of our certainty of the forgiveness of sins because of the price paid for by Christ who died for our sins and His  intercession for us. We can hope because of our faith in the future. That is so because we are convicted in our faith each and every day about the Gospel truths.

Without faith, the insistence of objective reality to prove all doctrinal truths becomes a stumbling block. With faith, objective reality is never relied upon. When one possesses faith it is a humble and positive response to God’s will and the biblical truths. It is the kind of response that surely pleases our Maker.  A person void of faith will make an arrogant challenge to the authority and truth of God’s word.  Faithlessness can manifest itself in humanistic philosophies, intellectual elitism and a rebellious attitude towards God. A recent report in the Straits Times newspaper of Singapore reports in a headline on the 23rd July 2011: “\'I\'ve no God - and am proud of it\'. This may be shocking to us but it is a reality to others. The report is about the Humanistic Society of Singapore and claims “A Growing number of people here who do not believe in a God have banded together, determined to be unapologetic about being non-religious. Registered as the Humanist Society (Singapore) last October, their ranks have since expanded from 10 to 100 registered, fee-paying members.”  The website of the Humanistic Society of Singapore explains what Humanism is. We can see that they are totally opposed to faith in God or the existence of God.  Humanism is defined as:

1. A human-centered life stance that affirms human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own life.

2. Promoting an ethical life style based on reason, tolerance and compassion.

3. Affirming that all knowledge must be derived from evidence and reason.

We know that with faith we do not require to touch or see something to believe it. We know that faith pleases our Lord. In John chapter 20 is the record of Thomas who even after hearing the other disciples testify about witnessing the risen Christ, said that he will not believe unless he can “put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side” v25. Only when Christ appeared before Thomas did Thomas believe and “said unto him, My LORD and my God.” v28. Thomas recognizes the deity of Christ because of his visible confirmation of the resurrection of Christ.  In v29, Jesus expounds further “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” In this wonderful sense, Jesus has promised that there are reserved blessings for all who have not seen him physically and do yet believe.

Because true faith is based on God’s Word, more knowledge of biblical truths will in turn reinforce our faith. Romans 10:17, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Once our faith is an absolute acceptance of God\'s Word then all that we read in the scriptures of the Bible takes on meaning, shape and form. Without faith, like the humanist, one will have difficulties to even read past the first verse of the first book of Moses called Genesis which says “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” because they do not even believe in God.

Let us therefore be always “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” Hebrews 12:2a.

Dn David Yeo

 

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcement

*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Boong Atijatuporn. Next Lord’s Day: Suzane Lim.

*Session wishes Bro Tevi & Sis Edna Obed (& Anderson) God’s  guidance & blessing as they return to Vanuatu next week.

*Hope Bookstore - open 12:30-1:45pm every Sunday.

*Reminder: All members are expected to attend the ACM on 27 Aug. Please keep this date in your diary.

*Those who have completed BBK are encouraged to attend the Gospel of Luke Class.

 

Looking Ahead

* ACM, Sat, 27 Aug.

* AFG Retreat, 1 - 3 Oct.

* Christmas Concert, Sat, 3 Dec.

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Pastor David & Sis Susan Weng & family (Per); Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (Per/Adl); Bro Christopher & Sis Roshani Selvanayagam (Syd); Bro Joseph Selvanayagam (Per/Adl); Sisters Suzane Lim (Tas); Sally Teng & Corinne Teng (Sibu/Adl); & others who arrived safely.

2. Church activities - over the past week.

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. New worshippers over last few weeks.

5. God’s guidance & protection while away: Dn Tony & Sis Sally Law (Canada) & Sis Miriam Atijatuporn & Jayden (Thailand).

6. Gospel Rally: Speaker - Dn Edwin D’Mello & all those who came.

7. YAF Music Night: Organisers & all in attendance.

 

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser;  Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Margaret Hooper, Myung Ki (Lond), Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mrs. Chuilin Yap (Malacca); & others in affliction.

2. Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & Ministry; Rev Srun Chivan & Ministry; Life University (Sihanoukville);

3. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam & Ministry.

4. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

5. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr H S Lim (Melb).

6. IBPFM (USA) - Rev K Coleman, Board & Missionaries around the world.

7. Ministry in BPCWA (Perth) this weekend - Ps & Sis Weng

8. Ministry in New Life BPC, London & God’s Protection - Ps & Sis Ki; Ps Ki’s Ministry in Kenya & Tanzania.

9. Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries.

10. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.

11. House of Hope, Cebu, Philippines.

12. Journey mercies: Ps David Weng & Sis Susan Weng & family (Adl); Bro Tevi & Sis Edna Obed & Anderson (Vanuatu); Bro Phil & Sis Iris Surman (Adl); Sis Suzane Lim (Adl); & those who are travelling.

13. Job - Sis Clara Sim.

14.  Studying in Auckland, NZ - Bro Peter Koo

15. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.

16. God’s comfort - Sis Sally Teng & family; & others in grief.

17.  Street-Evangelism - Protection of participants & Salvation of those who received Gospel tracts.

18. Rioting in London & other cities: Protection of God’s people. Salvation of rioters.

 

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063