In 2 Corinthians 5:7, the apostle Paul wrote, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Many have taken this verse out of context to mean that we walk by faith not by knowledge. Of course, this is not what the apostle Paul was saying. Rather, he was saying, as written in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It is not necessary to see in order to believe. To the contrary, believing is seeing when one puts one’s faith and trust in God (Prov. 3:5-6).
Relying upon seeing to believe, however, eventually kills faith altogether. Science says that physical sight is nothing more than a collection of neurons and chemicals in precisely the right balance so as to produce sensations in the brain. Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the DNA molecule said, “‘You,’ your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. Who you are is nothing but a pack of neurons.” How can chemicals and grouped atoms be trusted to provide adequate information for knowledge? Charles Darwin said, “With me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy.” Without God, knowledge is impossible.
The fact, however, that we can perceive this paradox—to know the physical processes that are involved in knowledge that allegedly makes knowledge impossible—proves that we are more than just physical beings. It shows that we can step outside of our physical selves with our spiritual person and have real understanding of truth. We are not like rats in a maze that have no clue that they are, in fact, rats in a maze. Rather, we are spiritual beings with a physical apparatus that enables us to know the physical world. Even knowing the physical world means walking by faith.
There is no other way around our state of affairs than to have faith. So why do we need to renew our faith? We are, unfortunately, creatures of doubt. Doubt can serve us well when applied in the appropriate contexts. In the chemistry lab, I had better doubt whether the beaker in front of me is water or not lest I drink it and die. In the desert, however, such doubt would kill me. It is the misapplication of doubt that gets us into trouble, and over which we may have our biggest controversies.
So, renewing faith is that personal and communal activity that provides for us the same platform on which to operate. I renew my faith when I put my trust in God and His word, the Bible. I pledge before everyone that this book is the standard upon which I operate my life. When others make the same pledge, we operate upon the same standard, and vow to uphold that standard regardless what may come our way. When we live faithfully based upon that standard, we find others who will commune with us in a state of peace, harmony, and love. No force can overcome such renewal.
However, problems will arise that challenge that fellowship. How will we manage such problems? Will we do so based upon the standard of God’s word? Or will we turn to cultural and societal solutions? Often, we do the latter instead of the former. The result is devastating for a people who claim to follow God’s standard of right and wrong. Confusion and doubt set in, and faith is destroyed. Few have the integrity that is needed to withstand such an onslaught and breech of communal standards. As a result, some may turn to other religions or philosophies. Some become agnostics and atheists because the stench of hypocrisy is so strong.
We must renew our faith in God and His word by going to His word and letting it rule in our lives. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Walking by faith means walking by the word of God, and that must be done in every situation. If we truly believe the standard of God’s word, then by following it, we can resolve all issues that stand between us.
Neither science nor the philosophies of men hold the basis to resolve human conflict. Darwinian naturalism doesn’t fight destructive conflict at all. In fact, it claims that destructive conflict is natural and “good.” It weeds out the less fit so that the stronger may survive. The philosophies of men talk a good game, but when it comes to making critical decisions based upon them, they always fail and never provide true direction for the resolution of conflict. God’s word, however, will succeed when it is applied. We may truly renew our faith both in God and one another through His will. May we ever learn to depend upon it and trust in its truths, for vain is the help of man (Ps. 108:12).