Hebrews 9-11

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."  Hebrews 11:1, NIV 

Perhaps one of the most dangerous practices is to treat faith like superstition. Some people believe that you cannot help what you believe - that you believe what you believe, and it is just so. It would necessarily follow then that a Buddhist cannot help being a Buddhist, that a Muslim cannot help being a Muslim, that a Christian cannot help being a Christian, and that an atheist cannot help being an atheist. They believe that each person's faith is what it is and there is simply nothing that they can do about it.

But this is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that faith comes from hearing the message of Christ (Romans 10:17). In other words, the Bible teaches that faith is a direct result of the intelligent mind gathering the facts, analyzing the facts, and drawing a logical conclusion based on these facts. If it truly were to be something that we could not help - something that we were "compelled" to believe, then God could not hold people accountable who did not believe in His Son. After all, how could it be fair to condemn somebody for something they could not help? That would be like condemning somebody for having blue eyes or brown skin!

But God does not deal with men in that way. He gives us all the facts - enough information to come to the right decision - and then He holds us accountable for that decision. You're not sure if you believe that? Then consider what He revealed in Romans through the inspired words of the Apostle Paul:

"Since what may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse."  Romans 1:19-20

The fact is that we can help what we believe. Faith in God is not superstition as some in the "educated" world would have you believe. These are the same people that tried to convince us that the next Ice Age was coming in the 1970's, that the oceans would rise due to Global Warming in the 1990's, that the Ozone Layer would be destroyed and melt us all with the searing heat of the sun in the 1980's, and that the world was created by exploding gasses that were just "always there".

If you really want to know what superstition is, just go to some of the very unscientific theories that pass for modern science today. But if you want to build a faith that genuinely derives from an educated mind, then read the Bible for yourselves. God was confident in His statement in Romans 1:19 that He has put enough evidence on this earth for you to believe in Him. And He was powerful enough to get the facts about His Son written down just as He wanted them, and the perfect result is the Bible that you hold in your hands.

That is why we are studying the Bible: We want to make an educated decision for ourselves based on the evidence that we have at hand. The result will be faith, and faith is the end result of an educated mind. And that end result will produce a type of confidence that can only come from a logical analysis of the knowledge that we have available to us. God is so certain that He gave us everything that we need to find out everything that we need to know, that He gave the following warning:

 

"Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.  Hebrews 11:6, NIV