Faith & Reason
Galatians 3:21 – 25
Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the scripture has confined all under sin, let the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore, the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
This message brings something rather unique. It teaches us something about how a person is developed. It teaches us how we learn, how we grow and how we expand. In our beginnings we are young and have little in the way of understanding. As we grow someone teaches us those things which are needed in order that we can do the things which we must. That person or persons comprise our educational and developmental growth within our society. In much the same way, the law of God was a guide to the very young. Those who were young had no concept of the world which was around them nor the things of the world. Indeed, at the very beginning, we were taken for a ride and we lost access to those very special gifts which were given to us there within the garden of Eden. So, it was necessary for someone to guide us step by step that we might discover a little bit about what is necessary in order to function, that being the law, and what is capable for us as we expand our horizons.
Faith comes along much in the same way which understanding comes along to those who, having been directed in the proper methods, have grown to a place where they can go beyond that which they were taught. The law gave us an opportunity to begin with no knowledge or understanding of the world in which we lived, and then to expand ourselves in understanding, reason and knowledge to a place where we might consider “what is next”. And that place one finds oneself, the place we can call “what’s next”, that is the place of faith; rather that is the place one exists when all understanding has been exhausted and the need to consider something beyond our educational growth exists.
Much in the way that we went to the
moon, in that we had mathematics, science, engineering and many other skill
sets behind us, we still had not done many of the things necessary to get to
the place we wanted to go. And so, it was necessary for new understanding to emerge.
But before we could go it was necessary that we might have faith that we could
make it. So, then the question becomes, “Does faith spring from understanding or
does understanding develop from within faith?”
I then submit that faith can grow from understanding, but it is necessary for one to have a body of knowledge in order to provide that understanding for growth, development, and faith throughout that development. Much in the same way it is necessary for someone to teach us those things which are needed, and essential in order that we might graduate from that school which we attend and move on into a world where we might create those things which, to this point do not exist, but rather are figments within our minds. This notion, I believe is what Paul meant when he suggested that we might be justified by faith. The notion that after having been taught those things which are necessary simply to function and then seeking to put those elements of knowledge to work, we arrived at a place where we had to dream a dream and consider things which had not yet been considered. And after having considered those things and dreamed those dreams it was necessary to formulate a plan by which we might begin to undertake those things which , up until this date had not been perceived in the realm of reality, as something which we would make, build and fashion, and bring into existence; That is through faith we would rise above that which we had been taught to become something much more than those who taught us.
It is an amazing thing to those of us who consider the world in its physical sense with respect to the world in its spiritual sense; that of how much the two resemble one another. The most complex of things with science, which we considered magic by all rights, are in truth very simple and very open to the mind of God. And one of these is this notion faith springing from the law.
As is the case with children so many times, we seek to do those things which we see as open to adults; that is those who are more experienced than we. Faith is a grown-up thing. It is given to those who have experienced those things necessary to bring them to a place where they might function fully on their own in the basest sense. But faith is not an inheritance of knowledge nor is it a gift of scholastic achievement, rather it is available to those who have performed those acts which are necessary to bring understanding to a point where faith might be considered. And so, in this notion many fail to receive this gift because they are not prepared scholastically, nor are they ready to embark upon a journey without the nurture or guidance of their physical mentor. And so, they wait in fear, afraid to take the risk and afraid to test themselves within a world which is unknown. So then, fear is there adversary which has always been the antithesis of faith.
However, there is good news for those of us who have indeed accepted the good news! That good news being we are never going to be alone. We have with us at all times the Spirit of God and He has suggested and affirmed through His Son, Jesus Christ but He will never leave us nor allow us to be tempted beyond that which we are capable of enduring. In this we have someone who will always be with us and watch over us, but not rule our lives; always providing us with the opportunity to make our own choices in an ever-changing world which is filled with wonder and mystery and danger. And this is very good news too in that we have protection from those things if we remain in Him, that is we remain faithful, so then faith is the development of our condition and the building of our spirits to a point that provides us ultimately with the ultimate capacity to begin, engage in and finalize the growth and cultivation of our souls.
Samueal T. Glenn, Minister New Testament Brotherhood (circa 6939)