Understanding Through Faith
(The following text is taken from a sermon preached by Gil Rugh in 1978.)
In verse 3, the writer focuses his attention on the specific area of faith. For faith to have any value, there must be a God in control of events. If there is not a God in control then faith has no validity, and the world is simply moving in a random manner. This is the point made in verse 3. The writer says, "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible."
One will note that it is "By faith" that we are able to "understand" God's revelation. The word for "understand" is the Greek word for "mental perception." In other words, it is apart from our sensual perception of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. It is interesting that some people say that in order to have faith in something, we have to stop using our minds. The biblical truth, however, is that in order to fully develop our minds, we must have faith. It is faith that gives us the necessary perception of the basic facts we need to understand so that we can function correctly.
This is the perception we must have in order to understand that God created the "worlds." The literal translation is "periods of time." The point is that God created everything that exists in the successive, unfolding periods of time. The idea is that He prepared it, created it, and is still active within it.
How did God "prepare" the "worlds?" Very simply, He created everything by His spoken "word." When God spoke, He brought into existence everything that exists today. Notice what the writer says at the end of verse 3; "so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible." This is seen clearly in several references in the Old, and New Testaments (See Genesis 1:1-31, Psalm 33:6-9, Isaiah 40:12, 40:22, 40:26, 42:5, 44:24, 45:9-13, 45:18, John 1:3, 1 Cor 8:6, Col 1:16, and 2 Cor 4:6).
The word of God is one, intricate unit, and it is clear that our Creator and Savior Jesus Christ, is responsible for everything from the pesky gnats that bother us on summer evenings to the complexity of the human brain. Everything came into being "through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being" (John 1:3).
Is it not amazing that secular scientists, people with brilliant minds given to them by God, spend their time trying to explain the origin of the universe? They vehemently deny that God created the universe and instead adhere to the "big bang", or similar theories, to explain how everything came into being. They believe that our world and our universe, and all of the other universes that exist were simply the product of a gigantic explosion of 'energy' billions of years ago. In other words, they believe that an incredibly complex system, of planets, stars and living organisms, was created out of nothing. What is so ironic is that their theory for the creation of the universe is in direct opposition to the second law of thermodynamics, which states that everything moves from order to disorder. They are denying one of the very laws that control scientific phenomena.
Romans 1:20-22 illustrates the failure of the unbeliever to see the glory of God in everything around us; "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools." Those unwilling to believe what God has said about Himself and His work in His word have no perception to see what He has revealed about Himself through His creation.
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