Faith on Man’s Terms

The Scriptures are clear in describing faith as essential. The Hebrew writer said, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Yet too many have a conditional faith. In other words, even though the Bible tells us that faith is based upon the word of God (Romans 10:17), this is not enough for some people. They will not believe unless they see, receive, or otherwise experience something beyond the revealed will of God.

This is nothing new. Even during the first century, there were those who would only have faith on their terms, rather than have faith based upon what God had chosen to reveal to them. In this article we will notice a few of these conditions that men have placed upon their faith. At the end, we will also see what genuine faith looks like.
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The Blind Man’s Lesson for the Pharisees (10/24)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from John 9:1-10:21.

When Jesus healed a blind beggar, the Pharisees became upset because this was done on the Sabbath (they had a faulty notion that Jesus’ actions here violated the Sabbath law when they did not). So the man who was healed was brought before the Pharisees to answer for what had happened. After this they interviewed the man’s parents. Then they brought the formerly blind man back before them. During this second interrogation, this man taught the Pharisees of some important facts and showed them why they should believe in Christ.

They reviled him and said, ‘You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from.’

The man answered and said to them, ‘Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.’

They answered him, ‘You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?’ So they put him out” (John 9:28-34).

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"The Son of Man Has Authority on Earth to Forgive Sins" (10/7)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Mark 2.

When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying” (Mark 2:1-4).

It became common for those with various ailments to be brought to Jesus to be healed of Him. At this time, four men brought a man who was a paralytic in hopes that Jesus would heal him. When the crowd prevented them from meeting the Lord, they did not allow that to deter them but went through the roof and lowered the man in his pallet down to Jesus. After seeing this, Jesus healed him.

And Jesus, seeing their faith said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’” (Mark 2:5).

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The “Miracle” of Birth

Baby yawning

It is common to hear people speak of the “miracle of birth.” The birth of a child is truly an amazing event that is only possible because of our Creator. Yet the term miracle is often misused and abused by people to simply describe something incredible or coincidental. The miracles described in the Bible, however, are different. Speaking in Biblical terms, is it accurate to describe birth as a miracle?
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How God Speaks to Us Today

Many today are seeking God’s guidance and direction but are unsure where to look. The Scriptures plainly teach us that God speaks to us today through His Son, Jesus. The Hebrew writer began his letter by affirming this fact:

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world” (Hebrews 1:1-2).

Previously, God spoke to man in different ways, providing bits and pieces of revelation to the fathers during the Patriarchal age, and also through the prophets. But that was in times past. He does not speak to us in the same way today. Now that we are in the “last days,” there is a new spokesman.
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Waiting for a Sign

Man by the water

There are times in our lives when we have difficult decisions to make. In considering major decisions such as choosing a spouse, deciding where to live, what course to pursue in college, what job to take, and so on, we wonder what choice is best and are often anxious about our decision because of the major impact it will have on our life and even the lives of others.

For Christians that believe in a loving and powerful God, it is natural to want to seek guidance from Him when we have to make decisions like these. But what sort of guidance are we seeking? And are we truly seeking His guidance or are we merely attributing things to Him and then making ourselves believe that the Lord led us to make a certain decision?

It is not uncommon to hear people talk about receiving signs from God. These “signs” come in many different forms – weather events, phone calls, scheduling conflicts, job promotions, being passed over for a promotion, or even being laid off, etc. The list is virtually endless. People take events like these as if they are signs from God and, therefore, the reason to make one decision over another. Does the Bible have anything to say about this?
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Faith Healers or Fake Healers?

Faith Healing

There are many people today who believe that there are still men who can perform miraculous healing. These “faith healers” attract large crowds and supposedly heal many people of their diseases and injuries. However, these “faith healers” are deceivers. If we compare their “miracles” with those recorded in the Bible, there is really no comparison.

Let us notice the example of Peter healing the lame man at the gate of the temple (Acts 3:1-10). Notice the facts about this miracle and how they differ from the “miracles” men supposedly perform today:
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