Real Faith Isn't Blind

Tim clarifies a common misconception about the biblical definition of faith.



00:06 What is faith? Well over time, words have a tendency of

00:10 changing their meanings. In fact, some words have come to mean the exact

00:13 opposite of what they used to mean. Consider the word "awful." A century ago, it

00:19 literally meant to be full of awe. Testifying to an awful sunset would have

00:23 been communicating reverence for the event. But I'm sure none of the husbands

00:27 listening to me right now woke up this morning, turned to their wives,

00:30 and said, "Honey, you look awful today." No, that's a bad idea. Well, why? Today, the

00:37 word almost exclusively is used to describe something that's extremely

00:41 unpleasant or distasteful. So ironically, the term "awful" has come to mean the

00:46 opposite of what it used to mean. I think the same is true of the word "faith." Today,

00:52 some people use the word "faith" to mean "believing something without evidence." So

00:56 Mark Twain, he famously wrote, "Faith is believin' in what you know ain't true."

01:00 This is what most people call blind faith, but this isn't how the biblical

01:06 authors use the word. To illustrate my point, just look at the reason why John

01:11 wrote his gospel account. He says, "Now Jesus did many other signs in the

01:15 presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are

01:19 written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and

01:23 that by believing you may have life in his name."

01:25 The reason John wrote about Jesus' signs and wonders, the miracles that He

01:30 performed, was to provide trustworthy eye witness evidence so that readers — you and

01:36 I — would put our faith in Christ. Does that sound like John didn't care about

01:40 evidence? Does John believe in blind faith? Absolutely not.

01:46 The mere existence of John's gospel demonstrates that John thought faith and

01:50 evidence work together. More specifically, the gospel according to John was written

01:55 so that people would read it and put their faith in Christ. Here's an illustration

01:59 I use to explain biblical faith:

02:02 Imagine you're standing at the edge of Niagara Falls, and while you're watching this

02:06 magnificent waterfall, you notice there's a tightrope walker named Charles Blondin.

02:11 He's walking from one side to the other, pushing a wheelbarrow full of rocks.

02:16 You're mesmerized by his amazing ability. You keep watching him do it over and

02:21 over again, and he sees you, walks over, and asks, "Do you have faith that I could

02:26 do it again?" You reply, "Of course I have faith you could do it again. I've seen

02:31 you do it all day," and then he dumps the rocks out. He says, "Okay, climb in the

02:36 wheelbarrow." Do you get it? It's not mere intellectual assent. You believe based on

02:42 evidence, and stepping into the wheelbarrow is active trust. So biblical faith

02:47 is putting your trust in something based on evidence. We all understand how trust

02:54 works. I trust my wife more today than when I married her nearly ten years ago.

02:59 Why? Because she's given me more reason, or evidence, over the last decade to put

03:04 my trust in her. The same can be said of our faith in Christ. After assessing what

03:08 Christ has done and is doing, we respond by putting our trust in Him. So what is

03:14 faith? Biblical faith is active trust based on evidence.

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Tim Barnett