Faith and Knowledge
Originally scheduled for October 15
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the
faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to
godliness--a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal
life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of
(Titus 1:1-2 NIV)
Paul, in his preface to his
letter to young Titus, highlights a problem common to most
intellectual Christians. More than once such a Christian hears
something like, “we don’t want any intellectual Christians in our
church. We want Christians of faith.” The idea is that faith and
knowledge are contradictory. Paul implicitly assumes that they are
not; they are complementary. This is why we are commanded to have a
ready defense of the faith; we need both faith and knowledge.
Faith looks forward to what is to come. It seems a mighty leap of
faith to believe that we will be raised from the dead. To someone
with no experience with Christianity this would seem absolutely
absurd. Yet Christians by the billions believe it. As Paul says
here, it is our hope. In the original Greek, the word used for hope
means “utmost confidence.” We depend upon this hope, and we defend
With what knowledge do we defend it? There are two
hinted at here.
is the character of God. Aquinas taught us that God is his
attributes. We say that God is love, not just that he is loving. God
is also truth. If you tell me that an animal is a bear, I know it’s
not a aardvark. If God is truth, he cannot lie. And he has promised
the resurrection since the beginning of the ages.
The other is the resurrection of Christ. Sin must be atoned for; and
ours was atoned for at the Cross. This was the necessary predecessor
of the resurrection of Christ. He rose from the dead; therefore God
can raise us from the dead. This is exactly what he promised.
Communion celebrates the death and burial of Christ, the atonement.
We are told to do this until He returns. The bread that we take
symbolizes his body, on the cross for us. The cup symbolizes his
blood, shed for us in accordance with the ancient law that tells us
there is no remission of sins without blood. We will do this until
he returns to judge the living and the dead. Therefore, prepare
yourself to receive his body and his blood in a worthy manner. We
are all sinners; we should all be repentant sinners. Then accept his
grace and forgiveness with glad hearts.