It is a reasonable thing to have faith in God through Jesus Christ. Everything about the biblical gospel which focuses on how the Saviour came to rescue sinners is coherent, sensible and logical. To receive this message by faith is the only sensible thing to do. When we believe, our faith is not blind, it is not “a leap in the dark”; it is reasonable.
To have faith is to bring ourselves in line with the eternal purposes of God. Sin always puts “self” on the throne, but faith puts God on the throne. This God is not a God of disorder but of peace (1 Cor. 14:33a). When we have faith we plunge into the flow of God’s purposes. That way is the way of order and peace. This is the sensible thing to do.
God’s universe was perfectly orderly and harmonious when originally created. Sin marred this and created chaos. Sin puts mankind out of sync with their Creator. Through Jesus Christ and His dealing with sin at the cross of Calvary God has performed the great act of restoration. For all who believe, chaotic, empty, meaningless, lives are retrieved by God’s grace and made to be for the glory of God. An example of this process is seen in Luke 8:42b-48 in the healing of the woman who had severe bleeding for twelve years. When she touched the Saviour she was instantly healed. As a result the LORD said to her “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace” (48b). This woman, on account of her illness, was excluded from normal life, but now she was in God’s family; she was a daughter. Her trust in Jesus expressed in her touch changed it all. Was this reasonable? Of course it was! Peace now filled her life rather than rejection and turmoil.
When by faith we have stepped into God’s favour and experienced the blessings of being in His way of peace we start to live reasonable lives. These lives are governed by the knowledge that faith always gives God the priority. Accordingly, our lives should be devoted to honouring God. Paul puts it like this. Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God— this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will (Rom. 12:1-2). The words “true and proper” refer to our reasonable response to all that God has done for us. There is every good reason for devoting ourselves to God.
Moreover, Peter refers to how we should always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Pet. 3:15b). The implication here is that we do not have hope in our hearts just because we have warm feelings. Rather there are solid reasons for us looking forward to heaven to be with our Saviour forever. Accordingly, whenever asked we can bring forth these reasons.
In contrast to what we have so far considered is the fact that unbelief is always illogical. Reasons abound why we should believe. Nature around declares that there is a Creator who made all things. Conscience speaks within us to declare the reality of right and wrong. History testifies to the reality of Jesus Christ living and dying in this world. These are all reasons to point to belief. Yet beyond all these there is the abiding testimony of the Word of God which declares God’s purpose to glorify His Name through the salvation from sin obtained by Jesus Christ.
As a result of all of these things the overall thrust of Scripture is summed up in the words of Paul people are without excuse (Rom. 1:20b). Moreover, if unbelief was reasonable then surely hell will be filled with people justifying their position. And yet Scripture declares that this is not so. In the instance of the condemned man in Luke 16:25-31 he did not want to argue his case with God. Rather he asked God to send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment (vv. 27b-28).
The unreasonableness of unbelief is also seen in how people respond when people are challenged to give reason for their unbelieving actions. After the people had demanded that Barabbas be spared instead of Jesus, the following happened: “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. “Crucify him!” they shouted. “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” (Mark 15:12b-14). Their unbelieving actions were utterly without genuine reasons. Their raising of their voices camouflaged the fact that they could give no reasonable reasons for their actions.
In contrast we as Christians should always be willing to say why we take a certain position on an issue. To say “I want it this way” or “I do not want it that way” is just not good enough. Our faith is a reasonable faith; let us make sure we are those who give reason for the position we take on issues. This is particularly pertinent for us as a church at the present time as we seek to review our activities. If we have desires in a certain direction we should be able to back these up with appropriate reasonings.
(Taken and adapted from the Feltham Evangelical Church Newsletter from December 2009)