Hanging Hat on Faith

I like to apply logic when reading and studying God’s word. Not that I dispense with taking it on faith, but as a tool to a keener understanding. There are certainly paradoxes in the Bible, but that only means that two lines of reasoning are equally true. That’s where the faith comes in.

Paul was a master logician. If-then was his hat tree always. John takes a page from that book here.

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.By this we know that we love the children of God when we love God and observe His commandments.For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.4  For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:1-5 (NASB)

He starts with “whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ [or Messiah] is born of God.” That’s a declarative statement on its own, certainly one you can hang your hat on. But then here comes another, “Whoever loves the Father loves the child born of him.” So if I love the Father, I love Jesus. Then we read “whatever [and I change this to whoever, since a whatever can’t be born of God] born of God overcomes the world.” Then we read, “Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? Circular reasoning I would say, but absolutely true. Further, the overcomer is victorious, and that victory is described as “faith,” which is obtained by faith.

By the way, logic is an upper-level course.

As a corollary to all this, John discusses the outcome of our familial relationship to God, and that’s our love for the children of God, which is compelled by our love of God and exhibited practically by our obedience to his commandments. That begs the question that shouldn’t our new love life be unshackled from commandment keeping? Well, by God’s definition, keeping his commandments is love, and by the way, his commandments aren’t hard to keep.

I set out attempting to make some logical sense out of this passage. It’s logical for sure, but faith is the victory, and I’ll have to hang my hat on that!

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. Been studying the Word for nearly 45 years and counting.
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