We do not know that there is a God. We do not know that. We believe there is a God.
We do not know that the Son of God died for our sins; and as a result, you and I have forgiveness for our sins and salvation. We do not know that. We believe that.
Knowledge is a great thing. Success or failure today is often determined by our acquisition and use of knowledge. Knowledge has a supreme role for us in industry, research, education and medicine – almost every area of life. I am often perplexed when I hear Christians express fear and loathing toward knowledge and all that knowledge brings to our world. Science, after all, is just the human way of explaining the world we live in and how God created it; certainly, nothing to be afraid of.
Having said that, perhaps there is a part of us that has made knowledge too supreme today; perhaps we have enshrined knowledge too much. Perhaps we’ve made knowledge a king. This can present a problem for the Christian.
If we are oriented to believe that which we can verify (which is what knowledge is), and if we are able to accept as reality only that which is revealed to our mind (in the form of knowledge), then knowledge, especially for the Christian, can be very limiting.
This need for knowledge is not limited to our generation. In the Gospel of John, the 14th chapter, the disciples were questioning Jesus, asking for proof of God’s existence. “How can we know?” the disciples asked. They asked Jesus: "What are the verifiable facts that you can give us so that we can accept and believe? What is there that is tangible about what you are saying to us, Lord?"
Even then, knowledge was king.
If you remember the scene when Jesus was on the cross, the crowd was yelling for him to take himself off the cross. If he could, they said, then they’d believe. Of course, Jesus did not do that and subsequently, we believe, he was resurrected and sits at the right hand of God.
As I said before, knowledge is a wonderful thing. It is necessary for our survival, and God has ordained in our human nature that we continue to seek knowledge in all areas of creation. And God continues, through the Holy Spirit, to increase our knowledge in these areas.
But Jesus wants to transport us to the world of belief. He, from his earthly ministry to now, wants to take us beyond the world of facts and verifiable knowledge, and into the world of belief, beyond that which we can see and touch. Jesus knew that facts are finite and can only go so far. But belief removes all horizons and allows us to go beyond what we can factually verify.
G.A. Kennedy said these masterful words:
“I believe that by God’s grace, humanity can achieve great things, and mount higher and higher until above the clouds we stand and stare God in the face.”
Knowledge will never do that. Belief, on the other hand, will always allow us to rise above and stare God in the face.
Belief is also a great source of untapped power. Jesus said: "All things are possible to him who believes."
Knowledge, you see, does not make all things possible; belief in God does. And therein lies a tremendous source of power for every one of us.
As Christians, we should not be afraid of knowledge. It should never threaten us or make us so fearful that we abandon the pursuit of knowledge. That breeds ignorance, which is infinitely more dangerous! The children of God should, rather, put knowledge in its proper place and never use it as a basis of belief. Belief must, according to Christ, come from somewhere else, and it can help us soar to heights that we never knew possible.