Faith is the Sure Foundation
Updated: Dec 16, 2019
Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” The verses leading up to this verse (vs. 14-16) say that God sends the preachers who preach His Word (the Bible that we have today) to establish faith in those who will accept it today. Faith comes from God through His Word in the Bible, yet the majority today are content to “go to church” and accept and believe anything that the “reverend”, or “priest”, or “pastor” tells them, whether the man , or woman (unfortunately nowadays) in the pulpit is preaching the whole Truth, or not. They have a certain amount, or type of faith, but what is that faith based on? If it isn’t based on all of what the Bible says, it isn’t a solid foundation to build their lives on, and get them into heaven on the coming day of judgement.
Not long ago, I heard a woman publicly say, “People don’t usually remember what you said. But they do remember how you made them feel.” It would be tragic if this were true about very many, like she claims. I wonder how many realize she was describing a characteristic of wild animals. Animals are unable to comprehend, or communicate any language, but the do always remember how a person, place, or thing has made them feel. That is all they are about, and all they know. No ability to think, reason, or understand why. They only know what has made them “feel” good, or bad in the past, and how they “feel” in the present. Whenever people have become like this, they always ended up being ruled and governed by brute force and iron fists because they are unable to respond to anything else that doesn’t make them “feel” good.
Feelings are not mentioned any place in the Bible as being a part of God’s plan to save us from sin, other than the remorse that is needed in us for us to repent of that sin. Words are what save, by the grace of God (Titus 2:11,12). In Matt. 7:24, Jesus said, “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” In Acts 2:36-47, it was the Words of Peter and the other apostles that taught the Jews how to be saved from sin. Acts 2:41 says, “Then those who gladly received his WORD were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” It goes on to say they “continued steadfastly” in their doctrine (words). Acts 11:13, 14 tell us it was Peter’s words that saved the Gentile house of Cornelius. In Acts 10:34-43, Peter first of all established faith in Cornelius and his house by preaching the gospel, since none of them had ever heard the gospel, being Gentiles. Once faith was established in the former unbelievers, he was able to tell them how to obtain forgiveness of past sins (Acts 10:5,6,47,48), like he did for the Jews in Acts 2:38.
Sometimes, the same Words that are able to save those who have penitent hearts, will condemn others. In Gal. 4:16, the Galation church was turning away from the Truth for the sake of practicing Judaism under the misguided leadership of the Jewish leaders. Paul rebuked them for turning to “a different gospel, which is not another”, and asked why they were leaving his Words. He asked, “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the Truth?” In Acts 7, the Truth that could have saved a crowd, instead stirred them up into a frantic mob who murdered Stephen. So much for trusting your feelings over logic and reasoning.
In John 12:48, Jesus said, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My WORDS has that which judges him - the WORD that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” The Word of Christ is “powerful” (Heb. 4:12). It is “sharper than any two-edged sword”, and it is a “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”, and it is in the Bible. Feelings can confuse logic, and darken understanding. Instead of listening to feelings, and to those who will take advantage, and play on those feelings to accomplish their selfish will and desires, people should listen to those who are preaching and teaching the “whole counsel of God”, the Truth in the Bible (Rom. 10:14,15), and build their lives and spirituality on faith.
Timothy A. Sundlie
Preacher / Evangelist for the La Crosse church of Christ