It’s possible to be sincerely wrong

Pastor’s Pulpit

By Pastor Tom Davidson

Faith is a common denominator. Everyone has faith. Faith is at the heart of life. You go to a doctor whose name you can’t pronounce. He gives you a prescription you can’t read. You take it to a pharmacist you’ve never seen. He gives you medication you don’t understand – and yet, you take it. Now, that’s living by faith! Every one alive daily expresses faith in something. No one can live a single day without exercising faith – faith in the physical world. When you woke up this morning and went into the bathroom you flipped a light switch and you had faith that it would work. When you get in your car you have faith that it’ll start. When you mail a letter you have faith the postal system will get it to the right address. Every time you walk into this building or any building you’re expressing faith in the architect and the workmen.

Faith is also expressed in the spiritual realm. Each of us regardless of our back-grounds or educations, our social status or our talents can express faith. The difference between the faith we exercise in our daily routine and our religious faith is the object of that faith.
Every human puts faith in something. It may be in some notion of human potential. It may be in the supremacy of science or reason or political power. Or they may have faith in some vague concept like “oneness with nature.” But everyone lives by faith. Some place their faith in themselves, and their own good works. Yet, none of these can save, because in each case the object of faith is wrong. Your faith is only as good as the object in which you place your faith. The Bible insists that we personally put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

To understand what faith is we must get past certain misconceptions about faith. The first misconception is that faith is the ability to manipulate God. Whether they realize it or not this is the approach of the proponents of the “health and wealth” prosperity gospel. This approach only sees faith as having one aim – one fruit – the ability to get from God what will make life easier and more satisfying for us. The second misconception about faith is that faith is merely adherence to the right set of beliefs. What you must do is believe the right doctrine. But Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:12, “I know whom I have believed.” Paul said he knew whom he had believed, not what he had believed. If your beliefs aren’t founded on the right person it doesn’t matter what else you believe. The third misconception about faith is that faith is a blind leap into the dark. To many unbelievers faith is the opposite of science. To these individuals saying “you just have to have faith” is the same as saying “you just have to act contrary to everything you know and trust that it will all work out for the best.”
The last misconception about faith is that faith is simply devotion to whatever god one happens to follow. It can be said, “He’s a person of deep faith” about a follower of Mohammed or Buddha, or Krishna or of a Christian. What matters is that they’re sincere. But unfortunately it’s possible to be sincerely wrong. It’s possible to believe firmly in something that just isn’t true.
At various points in our lives, all of us feel we’re getting out of our depth – problems abound, a job lost, someone dies. Our temptation is to panic, for we feel – we’ve lost control. We’ve always been held up by the grace of God our Father that does not change. God is never out of His depth and therefore we’re as safe when we’re ‘going deeper’ as we have ever been. Maybe God wants to move you ‘deeper’ than ever before. It’s faith that will give you confidence and conviction to worship God faithfully as Abel did, walk with God faithfully as Enoch, and work for God faithfully as Noah.

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