A.W. Tozer said that the most important verse in the Bible is the unequivocal declaration that, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. This is the first verse in the Bible in Genesis chapter one verse one. I fully agree with him because it was the entry point to my belief and the key to my understanding of the whole counsel of God after a long journey as a Christian.
Despite this unequivocal assertion, unbelieving men and women had questioned, doubted and dismissed this Creator God with theories and speculations of the origin of heaven and earth, the universe and human beings. They have faith only in themselves and put themselves in the centre of the universe. To believe in a single Creator God is folly to them because it requires faith.
The evolutionists believe that the universe began with a big bang and everything slowly evolved to what it is today by accident and natural selection over millions of years. There is no supernatural being or God behind it all. Human beings are therefore free to do whatever they please. No faith is needed.
The revolutionists believe in their dominance over others as their faith and rights and they can do everything and anything by whatever means deem necessary. They justify with confidence their law and their exclusiveness by acts of violence and even wanton killings. Is there joy in that faith?
Christians believe that the first verse in the Bible is the Creator God’s revelation of Himself and His declaration of the purpose of His creation. Men and women are made in God’s image, men and women created for procreation. They are created for His pleasure and His glory. He establishes both law and order for nature and for man. He also endows us with the capability and capacity to know Him intimately so that we can have fellowship with Him all the days of our lives. Despite our waywardness and sinfulness, He rescued and restored us through Jesus Christ through faith in His word.
But what is faith that is able to bridge the creature with the Creator?
Hebrews 11:1 defines faith this way, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Without the Creator God’s declaration in Genesis 1.1, this definition is meaningless and unhelpful to us if we do not know the Creator God. The Bible is clear that faith is not relative or quantitative. It cannot be measured, weighed or counted.
Jesus is explicit when He says that we can move mountains even when our faith is as small as a mustard seed. By this statement, Jesus is telling us that it is God’s faithfulness that we can have the confidence, the assurance and the hope in Him.
To the discouraged, Paul says, “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)” This is God’s assurance when He calls us into ministries, though we may see them as tedious, demanding and stressful with no apparent progress or recognition. Allow God to take charge and He will do it to fulfil His will for us.
To the one tempted to sin, Paul says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)” We need only to remember that our temptations are common to all, for it is to test and strengthen us, calling us to draw on His strength.
To repentant sinners John says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)” God means exactly what He says and He will liberate us from the bondage of sin, so that we can rejoice in His salvation. When there is no more joy in our Christian life or in our ministry, we know that something is amiss.
Finally, let us see how the Apostle Peter commends the faith of a normal Christian, “Though you have not seen him you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9)”
The evidence of a person’s faith in God’s faithfulness is his or her overflowing joy and hope.