2 Corinthians 5:7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

This verse clearly differentiates between faith and sight

This is a very important distinction to grasp, for a victotrious Christian life.

Here's one important reason why:

 

Matthew 19:26  But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
 
Mark 9:23  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
 
The first statement is easy to believe. We know that with God all things are possible.
 
But what about the second?
 
We are believers. Are all things possible to us?
 
Jesus said Yes. All things that are possble to God are possible to us. But how can this be?
 
It all hinges on the meaning of believing.
 
Let's go to the Greek text for some ligh on the question:
 
There are two forms of the Greek word for faith: a noun form and a verb form.
 
In Greek, the noun is pistis, faith. The verb is pisteuo, believe.
 
The stem is the same: "pist"
 
Therefore, although, in English the words "faith" and "believe" have different roots and look quite different, in Greek they have the same stem.
 
Like "belief" and "believe".
 
In Greek, the opposite of "pistia" (faith) is "apistia" (unbelief).
 
The same is true of the adjectival form: pistos, faithful, believing; apistos, unfaithful, unbelieving.
 
In the New Testament, there are almost 600 instances of words with this stem, pistis.
 
We cam see that pistis (faith) is a central theme to the Bible.
 
Fortunately for us, God has provided us a definition of the word in Hebrews 11:1.
 
Hebrews 11:Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
There are two things this verse tells us: Faith is so real that it is called a substance. The Greek word is hupostasis.
That which stands (stasis) under (hupo). Hupostasis could be translated as underlying reality.
 
Hebrews 1:3 tells us 
Hebrews 1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person (hupostasis)...
This means that God the Father is the underlying reality of which Jesus is the visible representation.
 
Apply this to Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is the underlying reaiity of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Faith thus deals with the invisible. 
 
Hebrews 11:3  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
 
In other words, the visible things that are seen in the world were made of things which are invisible. namely, God's uttered word.
 
Our senses relate to the visible world, to what is seen.
But faith takes us behind the visible to the invisible, the underlying reality by which the whole universe was formed, that is, the Word of God.
 
So faith relates to two invisible, eternal realities: God, and His Word. Biblical faith has only these two objects.
 
So the Bible meaning of faith is quite different from the meaning in everyday language, where we speak of faith in a newspaper or a medicine, a doctor, or a political leader.
 
Faith (relating to two invisible realities) and sight (relating to visible realities), are in complete opposition to one another
 
Which is why Paul said in the Corinthians passage at the head of this page:
2 Corinthians 5:7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
If we walk by sight, we do not need faith, but if we walk by faith, we do not need sight.
 
The natural way of thinking is "Seeing is believing". The Bible reverses the order. First we must believe, then we will see.
 
This is the faith exercised by David in Palm27:13-14.
 
salms 27:13  I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
14  Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
 
Believing came first, only later did David see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living.
 
This was also true of Moses:
 
Hebrews 11:27  By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
 
Moses endured not because his circumstances were encouraging, but because he saw Him Who is invisible. How did Moses see Him? By faith.
 
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. We find this acute dialogue between Jesus and Martha.
 
John 11:39  Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
40  Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
 
If we desire to see the glory of God, we must believe that we may see. We do not see and then believe. Rather, we believe and then see.
This is the basic conflict between the old nature and the new.
The old nature demands to see because it lives by sight. God has to deliver us from slavery to the old nature:
 
Paul reminded us that God uses our afflictions to effect this deliverance.
2 Corinthians 4:17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Paul is urging the Corinthians to look at things whih are not seen? How can we look at the invisible? By faith.
Affliction delivers us from the old nature and prepares us for the glories of heaven, but it works only while we look at the unseen.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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