Bethlehem, Judean Mountains in background (permission requested)I have to answer some questions from my own studies. Remember, I’m very much as I found the Bereans:
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:10-11 KJV)
Yep – I’m going to search the scriptures before stating a viewpoint doesn’t match mine. I have much still to learn – and I really expect everyone does. We cannot know all there is about God:
To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. Isaiah 40:25-28 KJV)
What we have been told about Him is sufficient for my faith, and my faith grows as I learn more:
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)
Thus studying the scriptures daily to learn more about God, to see whether or not these things are so, is important to anyone who believes Jesus Christ is the Son of God and died for our sins. Beginning with John 3:16 is good, but knowing Isaiah 53 prophesied His death among thieves is better. It takes studying.
For example, what do you know about Bethlehem? Those who celebrate Christmas as a secular day off are aware of wise men who came to Herod with question. We know it as Matthew 2:1-6. Did you also know where the answer given in verse 6 was found? There are 38 verses in the Bible that refer to Bethlehem, but only Micah 5:2 prophesies a ruler born there in the future. You’ll have to read a lot more – from Genesis through the gospels to see the string of connections.
When it comes to the word “faith”, though, you’ll need to read almost 250 scriptures (best read in context) to understand why it is important and what it means – although the writer of Hebrews sums it up quite well:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)
The Bible does provide examples of things not seen. Jesus described this as great faith:
When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. . . . And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour. (Matthew 8:10, 13 KJV)
Be careful if you click on the scripture reference – it will take you to the full 10 through 13 verses and you’ll learn a bit about God’s judgment. If you think people are judgmental here, you need to prepare yourself for later. Which is one reason I continually search scriptures, gaining faith as I see these things were so.