- Religion and Philosophy
Faith and Truth
Faith and Facts Cannot Be Separated
Some would say that faith has nothing to do with truth or reality. They look at it as something totally separate from that which is verifiable in any way. We see this in a phrase such as "a leap of faith." That, however, is not how the Bible sees this word. Rather faith and verifiable truth go hand in hand. And the more knowledge of the truth that we have, the greater should be our faith.
Indeed the Bible asks us to look at the heavens, for they declare the glory of God. And the more we know about the complexity of the universe, and even a simple atom, the more it should lead us to believe that this couldn't just have happened. The design of the universe demands us to see a Designer. And it is ludicrous for anyone to simply say that something this complex and magnificent could just have come out of nothing. The facts simply cannot support it.
I. Our Faith is Based Upon Historical Facts
It is interesting that Christianity is a religion based upon facts of history. Most reliable scholars, without an agenda, would concede the fact that Jesus Christ lived over 2000 years ago on this planet. Also, most don't deny his death on the cross. And it must be conceded that He was a special person because of the fact that a belief system has arisen from His teachings, as well as that of His followers, that has literally changed the world and continues to do so over two millennia after his death. The only thing that can be argued is interpretation of these facts. For instance, is Jesus really the Son of God who came to earth to die for the sins of the world?
In Christianity, fact and faith are inseparable. A person might say that we interpret the historical facts wrong, but if they understand our faith, they cannot say that we blindly follow a religion that is not grounded in historical truth.
II. The Facts of the Resurrection
The Apostle Paul, in I Corinthians 15, after giving much evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, said this:
"Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen; And if Christ is not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is vain. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ whom He did not raise up, if so be that the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then is Christ not raised: And if Christ is not raised, your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins. Then they also which have fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." (I Corinthians 15:12-21).
As we can see, the Apostle places everything on the fact that Jesus Christ, not only lived and died, but that he arose from the dead. If this is not true, then our faith is empty. We might as well eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die and are lost.
For those who take the time to look at the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is quite convincing. For instance, what became of the body of Christ? It was heavily guarded by Roman soldiers, who would have lost their lives if they had let someone steal it. And anyone who understands Roman crucifixion, could never say that he swooned and came back to consciousness, rolled the heavy stone away and ran. Again, how about the Roman guards who would have seen Him do all of this?
Also, it is quite beyond belief that the cowardly Apostles would invent the story of Jesus' resurrection. Just days before the resurrection, they ran for their lives to prevent having a similar fate to their Master. Yet upon seeing the resurrected Lord, they became bold enough to eventually face martyrdom for their teachings about Him.
What we see in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not a leap of faith, but a fact of history that must be properly interpreted.
What it boils down to is that the Christian faith is not some religion totally separate from truth. It claims to be based upon historical, ascertainable evidence that can be seen and interpreted. So don't let some atheist or skeptic tell you that they have truth and you have faith. You have both when you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. The non-believer simply chooses either to ignore the facts, or interpret them differently than the Christian does.
Believers can truly thank God that Jesus Christ entered our history and our reality, so that we can enter His. Through faith in His name, we have a New Heaven and the New Earth that we can look forward to living in one day. Thank God for the truth upon which we base our faith!