Faith and Revelation
Besides the course “introduction to the Bible”, this is the first formal course I have taken in theology. I am trained in Palliative Care, Marriage counseling, Computer programming. The driving force behind my interests in the study is the quest to gain knowledge and tools to be able to understand my Christian faith and understand in a deeper way all granted to me. It is my sincere hope that whatever the Lord lays for me will be soon revealed through faith to enable me to better serve my God, Church and community despite my difficult experiences in overcoming physical and mental impairments.
The terms “revelation’ and “faith’ are closely related, and scholars have regularly argued that it is hard to separate the two. Notably, no term is primary to the other, for none exists in exclusivity of the other. Faith is often defined as a set of attitudes, viewpoints, understanding, and characters, which constitute an individual’s commitment to a certain principle or belief. Faith enables a person to accept certain values and beliefs. To others, faith is a great risk that places an affirmation to things that cannot by any means be affirmed. In religion, faith is described as a sure knowledge of God’s existence, and a divine gift from God. Faith is often considered as a result of social groups’ experiences and a sequence of trial-and-error efforts geared towards the survival of the human kind. To many individuals, faith is the assurance of hope, despite much evidence of looming failure, or a state of despair. On the other hand, the term “revelation’ has been used to describe the mankind’s source of knowledge about God. It is also described as a real communication between the Supreme Being, God, and the mankind (Latourelle, 1987). Revelation is a product of faith and pertains to the gospel as a doctrine. By believing in revelation, individuals are able to develop intimacy with God. Usually, revelation as a product of faith breaks the mystery that surrounds God. Reason may prompt individuals to lose the belief in God, but faith is a way above human reasoning.
It is, therefore, impossible to comprehend the substance and evidence of any revelation from God if one lacks faith. Ultimately, faith is the essential response to God’s revelation. The gospels unravel the mysteries of God and Christ, and subsequent belief in the revelation (gospel) leads to eternal salvation. We are thus required to believe, in order to be saved, just as Christ himself asserted.
Being in a state of isolation and rebellion with God, mankind, as a result, fails to comprehend the truth of the word of God without revelation. Any attempts to understand this truth will be futile, as ways of God are past findings or reason for the humankind. Divine truth justifies occurrences that can be termed as absurd or irrational. With faith as a virtue, we are able to think beyond the rational state of things, and by taking the “leap of faith’, achieve divine revelation.
With faith and revelation, we do not require making any attempts to prove God’s existence. This, in many ways, is considered as an insult to God. When one believes, there is absolutely no need for proof. Believers understand the power of faith and revelation, while it is difficult to convince individuals who do not believe on the fundamental nature of faith and revelation (Dulles, 1983). With revelation, man has no need to search for other sources of the truth. All truth resides with God, and revelation is the flow of the truth from God, revealed to men. Due to changes in focus and sin, man has failed to utilize their God-given abilities and their minds to contemplate God’s revelations. This inadequacy has, in turn, placed man further away from God (Erickson, 1988). The ability to reason may at times be insufficient in explaining what we profess in our faith. Being made in the image and likeness of God, we should strive to act as God intended us to, and as it is stipulated in the gospel (revelation). The thoughts and deeds of mankind should not be in conflict with what God, the Creator, purposed for those, whom he created in His likeness. In fact, the thoughts and deeds should seek to understand God’s revelation to us.
Faith and revelation play an integral role among all believers. Being closely intertwined, faith and revelation cannot be separated. For instance, when one claims to have faith, but does not believe in the revelation (gospel), then the faith is ineffectual. Similarly, if an individual believes in the revelation but does not trust in the unseen, then his/her faith is also useless. Due to interdependency, it is only when an individual has faith in God, the supreme power, and has faith in the revelation that is considered as successful in pleasing God.
Faith in God brings salvation and self disclosure of the Creator in an individual’s life. The wisdom of one’s faith is incumbent in one’s spiritual life and is ultimately necessary for a successful life every day. Through faith and revelation, mankind is given knowledge and consciousness of God’s existence. In addition, it is through faith that man relates to God as the Creator, Redeemer and as the Father. Believers and those, who profess the faith in the revelation, orchestrate that they are created in the God’s image, an image that was until recently be held in wholeness, and through the proverbial “eyes of faith’, will be in sight soon (Barr, 1966).
In revelation, the word is a mean of administering the truth, giving a personal encounter with God and Christ. The revelation to all Christians is achieved through the Bible, which offers testimony to all the believers. Through revelation, man is able to see and comprehend acts that would normally be deemed as absurd. The covenant of God in salvation and faith will indeed oversee the sojourning of the redeemed race. According to Webster, revelation is defined as the self-presentation of the triune God, the complimentary work of sovereign mercy, in which God’s will establishes and perfects the humankind to know, fear and love Him over all other things.
Both faith and revelation involve a religious character that defines the truth, and various criteria of establishing this truth. Likewise, the two entities are also social in nature and involve groups and societies (Latourelle, 1987). The faith and beliefs in a society are greatly influenced by the experiences of the particular society over an extensive period of time. Faith and belief systems are a product of the society as they significantly depend on consensus among individuals. Many societies’ belief systems comprise of key ideologies, objects of worship, systems of values, and sacred ceremonies. According to the sociologist, Emile Durkheim, belief systems all over the globe seek to accomplish a similar goal in all societies, regardless of content or form. He further claims that no religion is considered as false, but rather, all religions are true to diverse conditions in varying ways. All belief systems are true to those who believe in them. Different social institutions are exposed to dissimilar conditions in their existence, thus the need to “hold onto’ a faith or system of beliefs (Dulles, 1983). On a personal level, faith and revelation direct an individual’s position according to his/her values and beliefs. This tends to be subjective, as an individual’s faith lays on personal revelations.
The relationship between faith and revelation is a closely knit combination. This way, it becomes impossible to comprehend the substance and evidence of any revelation from God if one lacks faith. Faith and revelation play an integral role for all believers. Being closely intertwined, faith and revelation cannot be separated. Both faith and revelation involve a religious character that defines the truth and various criteria of establishing the truth in individuals at personal and social levels.
With physical changes and the stroke i suffered from, my memory has been greatly affected. Taking of this program for me is a self-challenge encounter to see whether my brain will retain information and whether my articulation improves. My written work is therefore, perused over by another party before submission in order to minimize mistakes. With adequate resources from the public library, church resources and the internet, it is my hope that I successfully complete the course.