Bible "Faith" And "Evidence"

In Hebrews 11:1, the Hebrew writer gives us not so much a definition of what constitutes faith, as a description of what faith does in the lives of men in the verses following (cf. Gal. 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; Hebrews 6:10; James 2:24). New Testament Christianity is a religion of “faith” (Romans 10:17). Faith is produced by the testimony of witnesses (Luke 24:34,43,48; Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; 2 Peter 1:16-19; 1 John 1:1-3). We hear the testimony of witnesses, weigh the evidence, and reach a logical conclusion based upon the evidence presented (John 20:30-31).

Referring to the above Scriptures, it is through these “eye-witnesses” that we accept the Bible’s testimony as “truth” (John 17:17). These witnesses reported events that they actually saw and heard. This kind of evidence is called “empirical evidence.” Another kind of evidence is “deduced” from the evidence. This is called “priori evidence.” It is inductive in nature. For example, a detective solves a murder case by coming to the conclusions demanded by the evidence. In a jury trial, guilt is pronounced when the evidence proves the defendant to be guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

Still another evidence of the validity of the Bible record is its claim of being “verbally inspired” (2 Timothy 3:16). We are told in 2 Peter 1:21 that various men, chosen by God to be the human instruments to reveal His will through the written word, wrote as they were guided by the Holy Spirit. They did not write what they “thought” God said. These men did not pen what they “wished” God said; neither did they write what they “thought” God “ought” to have said. They wrote exactly what God wanted them to write.

Truly, the Christian’s walk is “by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). None of us have ever seen Christ, yet we love Him and believe in Him (1 Peter 1:8). Why? Because of the overwhelming evidence! Jesus told Thomas, who doubted the other apostles’ testimony of His resurrection (John 20:25), “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). It is with absolute confidence that we have this hope that we will be just as those to whom Peter wrote, “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9).

It is this testimony of credible witnesses to which we look. The Bible was written by God in such a way as to create faith in the heart of man (John 20:30-31). Indeed, to produce a faith that is so strong that nothing will deter us from living faithful to Him all the days of our life (Revelation 2:10), so that we might live eternally with Him (2 Corinthians 5:1-1; 1 Peter 1:3-4; 2 Timothy 4:6-8).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets