Monday, August 19, 2013

Pastoral Pings ~ The Seeing-Faith that has Ears to Hear

          While it is true that God’s children walk by faith and not by sight,[1] this is never referring to blind-faith that is devoid of sight. Rather, it is reminding us that the unseen things of God have left plenty of seeable evidence all around us so that our faith in the invisible God is actually based on things that are plenty visible.

          For example, the visible heavens declare the glory of the invisible God.[2] The visible things God has created clearly reveal God’s “invisible attributes”.[3] God reminds Job of some of the incredible things he created,[4] including the mighty Behemoth[5] and Leviathan,[6] all to affirm that Job can see with his own eyes the expressions of God’s “eternal power and divine nature”.[7]

          One of the wonderful features of the Bible is that it teaches us about the invisible God in the visible experiences of his people. To this day, we can see that all creatures reproduce after their kinds, just as God spoke in Genesis 1. Rain come upon the earth shortly after Noah built the ark.[8] The ten plagues in Egypt,[9] and the many signs in the wilderness, all demonstrated in visible terms that the invisible God was working to fulfill everything to do with his covenant.

          When we come up to the life of Jesus Christ, we have the eternal image of the invisible God[10] becoming flesh and making his dwelling among us here in this space, time and material world. John could write, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.[11] Once again, something happened at the God-level that was substantiated by what people could see in the material realm.

          One way we know that Jesus was the Son of God is by the many things he did in the material realm that could only be explained by something happening in the spiritual realm. Whether calming wind and waves with only a word,[12] multiplying loaves and fishes,[13] instantly giving sight to the blind,[14] or raising people from the dead,[15] we have many of these examples where something happened far beyond what space, time and matter could explain. God came in the flesh, and so did things in the flesh that far surpassed what the flesh could do in and of itself.

          John saw enough validation of Jesus’ deity in bodily form that he would write this wonderful introduction to a letter to the churches:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.[16]

          John both heard and saw, and put his faith in the invisible God. He heard and saw the visions God gave him that resulted in the wonderful gift of the book of Revelation. Paul affirmed that faith comes from hearing what God has to say,[17]and gave us the book of Romans with all its evidences of God’s work throughout history so that we could hear for ourselves. Jesus concluded each of his letters to the churches by declaring, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”[18]

          I present this as encouragement that the invisible God has validated himself through innumerable expressions of his activity in our world, things that have been seen and heard from the beginning of man’s creation. All these things tell us to continue seeing and hearing the Scriptures in order to build up and encourage our faith that all the promises of God, words we can see and hear, will yet be fulfilled at the coming of Jesus Christ our Lord. One day we will see Jesus face to face,[19] our sight will match our faith, and we will live in the glory of the one who sits on the throne, and of the Lamb, forevermore. He has done enough in space, time, and matter to assure us that it is so.

          From my heart,


© 2013 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)

[1] II Corinthians 5:7
[2] “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1)
[3] “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
[4] Job 38-41
[5] Job 40:15-24
[6] Job 41
[7] Romans 1:20 (previous footnote)
[8] Genesis 7
[9] Exodus 7-12
[10] Colossians 1:15
[11] John 1:14
[12] Luke 8:22-25
[13] Matthew 14:13-21;15:32-39
[14] Mark 10:46-52
[15] John 11
[16] I John 1:1-4
[17] Romans 10:17
[18] Revelation 2:7, etc.
[19] I John 3:2; I Corinthians 13:12

No comments:

Post a Comment