Summary: Part two of the series focuses on how we develop a belief that leads to faith.
We Walk By Faith ¡V Part 2
Developing A Belief
In the introduction to this series last week I shared with you that faith is an unquestioning belief; complete trust or confidence. By definition faith can only exist where there is a belief. If you consider the title of this series ¡§We Walk By Faith¡¨ many would assume prior to last week that I was talking about our relationship with Christ. In reality, we walk by faith in everything we do, whether you¡¦re a Christian or an atheist, you walk by faith in some areas of your life. The difference is where you are focusing your faith. Let me explain.
Faith is believing something without question ¡V you do not have a doubt about what you believe. When you believe something without question you act on that belief. All of our actions are based on our first believing something. When we make a purchase, we make that purchase believing that the item being purchased is needed by us. When we enter into relationships with other people, we enter the relationship believing something about the person. When we accept a job with a company, we do so believing that the job is something we can and desire to do and will be compensated accordingly. And even though we have no real proof that they will pay us ¡V we take them at their word that they can and will. Likewise, when we choose to unite with a Church, we do so believing that the place we choose to worship is the best place for us. A majority of our decisions are made based on something we believe. If believing is the foundation of faith, the fact that we are making decisions based on something we believe proves we are in fact walking in faith in different areas of our lives. If we can understand that our actions are based on something we believe and that believing something without question is truly faith, then we can begin to track backwards as to how we develop a belief and then use that process to develop beliefs pertaining to our relationship with Christ. If you understand how you develop a belief you can begin to understand why you do or do not believe something as it pertains to Christ. Whatever process you use to develop whatever you believe can be adjusted to take in those things you must believe about Christ. This is just the first step but remember, not every thing we must accept about Christ is going to have a physical presence for us to touch. This morning this message will focus on how we develop beliefs. I touched on this briefly last week, but we will go a little deeper this week.
I. Understanding What Drive A Belief
How many of you have ever heard the story about ¡§doubting Thomas¡¨? For those of you who have heard the story, you know it roots. Thomas was one of Jesus¡¦ twelve disciples who is primarily known for his doubt around Jesus¡¦ resurrection. Because of his doubt, he is referred to often as ¡§doubting Thomas¡¨. We refer to people the same way when they refuse to believe something without proof. Even though he is known as a doubter, Thomas was not a coward. John the eleventh chapter records Thomas telling his fellow disciples that they should follow Jesus to Judea and die with Him. Jesus was returning to Judea to raise Lazarus from the dead and Thomas recognized the threat to Jesus by the Jewish authorities. Although he did not fully understand what was happening within Jesus¡¦ ministry at this point, he was willing to go with Him and possibly die with Him in Judea.
This morning I want to examine his story from the viewpoint of what it takes to make someone believe something. Turn with me to John chapter twenty and we will begin reading at verse twenty-four. ¡§But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So other disciples were saying to him, ¡¥We have seen the Lord!¡¦ But he said to them, ¡¥Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.¡¨ (Vss. 24-25) When the other disciples told him that they had seen Jesus, Thomas¡¦ reply was that unless he could see the imprint of the nails and put his finger through it and put his hand into His side, he would not believe. Please note that Thomas was not saying that he just needed to see Jesus for himself, he was saying that when he saw Jesus, he would need proof that it really was Jesus. The proof would be the imprints from nails in His hands and the gash in His side.