Does Faith Cancel Reason?
Genuine faith is not a blind trust to be exercised in the absence of reason and adequate evidence. Although faith is our conviction about things that we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1), it is a conviction that must be founded upon factual knowledge based upon the Word of God. For faith “comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Man’s reasoning abilities were given him to use, and he can make no better use of them than to learn the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience (Deuteronomy 28). Samuel the prophet told the Israelites, “[S]tand still, that I may reason with you before the Lord” (1 Samuel 12:7). Likewise, Isaiah wrote: “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow’” (Isaiah 1:18). God is reasonable, and wants His children to see that it is to their advantage to abandon sin and to walk in His path.
This truth is seen in the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. When the people prayed to Baal, they used their emotions instead for their mind and “leaped about the altar,” “cried aloud,” and “cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them” (1 Kings 18:26,28)—all that without any response from their gods.
Elijah, on the other hand, had a rational faith that was built on God’s Word. So, he prayed calmly, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word” (1 Kings 18:36).
Because of Elijah’s rational trust, God responded and manifested His supernatural powers in the sight of all Israel. And He sent fire from heaven and it consumed Elijah’s burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Consequently, all the people of Israel believed and declared, “The Lord, He is God!” (1 Kings 18:38,39).
Jesus Gave Evidences to His Divinity
Jesus declared that He was the Son of God but He didn’t expect people to blindly accept it. He gave evidences to His divinity. These included the testimony of His Father (John 5:36; John 1:32-33; Matthew 3:16-17), fulfilled Messianic prophecies (John 5:39), and miraculous works (John 5:36). Jesus’ power over nature, sickness, demons, and death proved that He came from heaven.
Jesus declared, “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him” (John 10:37-38). There were so many reasons to believe that He was the Messiah.
Perhaps the greatest evidence that Jesus presented for His divinity was His supernatural resurrection. Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God…by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). Jesus “presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3). And He appeared to over 500 disciples, most of whom were still living and could be questioned several years later as Paul confirmed in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8.
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In His service,