Beckett: Walking by Faith

2 Corinthians 5:7
…for we walk by faith, not by sight.

What does it mean to walk by faith and not by sight? This is challenging to understand. My greater challenge is writing sufficiently enough on this topic for a devotion, where I could write an entire exegetical study on it to last for dozens of pages. Hopefully, it should suffice to say that to walk by faith is to walk with trust in who God is in Jesus Christ and not according to the things the world puts its trust in.

For what is faith? To use the three articles of the Apostles’ Creed, faith is the confession of believing in God the Father, Maker of Heaven and earth—to believe “that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and my soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them,” etc.

Faith is to believe “in Jesus Christ, [God the Father’s] only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.” Faith, in other words, is to believe the salvific works and person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Faith is to believe “in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” In other words, this is to confess:

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified, and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church. He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.

Small Catechism, The Creed

In summation, faith is to believe in God the Father as the Creator and Sustainer of all life; Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God, who died for our sins and rose from the dead, ascended to Heaven, and will come to judge the living and the dead and give His believers eternal life; and the Holy Spirit as the Lord and Giver of life, who gave us faith and daily brings us to Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And that these three distinct persons of the Trinity are all one Triune God, Yahweh.

To walk by faith, then, is to constantly walk in this confession. The Apostles’ Creed is a way of confessing whom God revealed Himself to be as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—all one Being. God the Father sent the Son, who sends the Holy Spirit to us, who then brings us to the Son, and the Son brings us to the Father. To walk by faith is to constantly live this life with trust in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. It is to daily trust this self-revelation of God in Christ, even though we do not see Him (yet).

Right now, we do not see Christ; but we have His Word given to us in the Holy Scriptures. We make a fetish of demanding that God physically show Himself, but He will not, for His revelation in Christ given to us in His Holy Word is sufficient. If it were not, none of us would have come to faith. Consider St. Paul’s words:

How, then, will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? …So, faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.

Romans 10:14-15a, 17

The world demands signs, which is no different than the heathen of Jesus’ day (Matthew 16:4). God has not promised any other signs than the resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ, the evidence of which the apostles (Jesus’ eyewitnesses) have passed down to the Church in the Scriptures. Trust always, therefore, in who God is—His self-revelation in Christ for His salvific purposes, given to us by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).

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