“By Faith We Understand …”

“… that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear” (Heb. 11:3) That our world was framed by the word of God is a tenet of faith which is expressed from Genesis 1 and repeated multiple times until our text here in Hebrews. At least ten times the expression “and God said” is found in Genesis 1, the result of which was that something either came into existence from nothing or else order resulted out of disorder. David knew and believed this. He wrote, “For he spake and it was done. He commanded and it stood fast” (Psa. 33:9). It is no mere coincidence that John’s wrote, “In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God. All things were made through him and without him was not anything made that hath been made” (Jn. 1:1-3). Jesus is the Word of God. He is the perfect expression of God’s will and essence, and through His utterances, our world was formed. God’s word was an active agent in the world’s formation, remains an active force in its present workings, moved in the revelation of God’s will, acts in the regeneration of man, and will be the culminating force in the consummation of our world.

By faith we “understand” this. Since no man was present to witness the beginning of our world, all “understand” its formation by faith, whether he views the world’s existence as the fiat act of an Intelligent, Eternal Being (God) or subscribes to the view that our world is the result of an accident from the collision of lifeless matter. Either position is understood by “faith” on the part of him who accepts either view, for whatever we teach as truth, but which we did not personally witness with our eyes, is a declaration of our faith. The evolutionist who derides the Christian for his “blind” faith has his own “blind” faith! “So that, what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear.” What evolutionist can deny this statement? Even he must acknowledge that the atom from which our world is made, is not discernible to the naked eye.

Contrary to all natural rhyme and reason, something is eternal. It matters not whether we view Life (God) as eternal or Matter as eternal, this axiom is true: “Something is, therefore something always was.” “Cut it” or “slice it” anyway one wants; there is no other alternative. The evolutionist “explains” the existence of life as a happenstance; he cannot accept that there has always been life. So, he has his “explanation” for the “origin of the species.” He solves nothing for were his hypothesis true, he must still explain the origin of matter. He will not let me assume that Life is eternal, and I will not let him assume that Matter is eternal! So, we reach an impasse. How is it to be resolved? The resolution as to whether it is matter or intelligent Life that is eternal can only be resolved by testimony: testimony our world gives about itself. That testimony is given by design. Design testifies of plan and a Planner. And design is there for those to see who are willing to see. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork” wrote the psalmist (Psa. 19:1). Gentiles were inexcusable for their rejection of God for “the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity …” (Rom. 1:20). In his sermon to idolaters in Lystra, Paul said that God “suffered all the nations to walk in their own ways. And yet he left not himself without witness …” (Acts 14:16f). It is just as reasonable to believe in an eternal Mind as it is to believe in eternal matter! Frankly, to believe in eternal matter demands a greater stretch of imagination and faith that to believe in an eternal Being. You believe in one or the other. Which is it?

Jim McDonald