Is Faith Blind?
“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). One might conclude that this statement by the apostle Paul implies faith is blind. However, faith is founded upon the testimony of eyewitnesses. As certain as we know any historical truth – we know that Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected from the dead. The “not by sight” aspect of walking by faith is that which falls within the scope of hope. “It has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).
The first aspect of faith under consideration is that faith is not blind, but “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Can Words be Spirit and Life?
Jesus states, “It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). It has been said words are vehicles of thought. But the word of God is life! In light of this incredible statement consider five things the word of God can accomplish if we by faith receive it, 1) converts the soul, 2) makes wise the simple, 3) rejoices the heart, 4) enlightens the eyes, and 5) bring great reward (ref. Psalm 19:7-11). Can anyone know God, the giver of life, in the absence of His word (ref. Romans 10:17)? It is the truth that sets us free from the bondage of sin. (John 8:32) It is His word by which we are sanctified. (John 17:17) “By faith we understand the worlds were framed by the word of God… (Hebrews 11:3).
One of the most incredible aspects of God’s word is that it is “living and powerful… a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Indeed, the words of God are the words of life!
Limiting Our Thinking
If faith comes by hearing God’s word what can we expect beyond what is written? If we begin to wander from God’s word into the realm of our emotion or the doctrines of men – where will this lead us?
The apostle Paul instructs us not to think beyond what is written. The result of limiting our thinking is the unity for which Jesus prayed in John 17:20-21. 1 John 9 clearly reveals if we fail to abide in the doctrine of Christ we do not have God. Thus we conclude to fail to limit our thinking is to loose sight of THE faith. Once we have gone beyond God’s revelation in the realm of faith we are walking in darkness.
Revelation 22:14, 18, 19 is the Holy Spirit’s final admonition not to add to or take from the word of God.
Consider: deception and darkness can only come outside the realm of the light of God’s word. Therefore we must limit our thinking! (1 Corinthians 4:6)
Holding to Apostolic Tradition
When we consider how we abide in the doctrine of Christ there is a myriad of views. Many hold the view that as long as they do not do things specifically prohibited by God then they are at liberty to do as they wish. However, as Revelation 22 directs us we cannot add to the word of God. Silence is not permissive!
The apostle Paul instructs us to “hold to the traditions you were taught by our word or our epistle.” If the Bible holds us in the light, anything we add in addition to that word is darkness. We will no longer be walking according to the faith but according to my emotion or feelings, but not according to the faith.
Walking By Faith Is Not Determined By My Emotion
One of the more difficult aspects of walking by faith is accepting the fact that our emotions are not the basis for faith. While faith, the acceptance of God’s grace and mercy is the most emotional thing we can experience – the foundation of faith is not our emotion – it is the word of God. It is objective!
The very essence of walking by faith not by sight is having the spiritual vision to see beyond life’s experience, suffering, trials, and possessing the hope that sustains us through it all. (ref. Romans 8:24,25).
The context of 2 Corinthians 5:7, “we walk by faith, not by sight,” is set within the frame work of God’s glorious gospel, the tribulation and persecution that can come from our conviction that the gospel is true, and the sustaining vision of the resurrection that enables us to remain faithful.
We need to be reminded that our walk of faith is one unlike anything else in this life. “Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day… While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary by the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
Contemplating these five aspects of faith we ask, “Are you being renewed day by day?” This is the result of walking by faith in Jesus Christ. As we continue to read through the text of 2 Corinthians 5 we find, “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things become new… We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:17, 20). ~
by Dennis Carrow
Dennis has a five part series on this article. I you would like a copy contact him at his email address.