Why I Believe in Things I Cannot Prove

by Michael C Sherrard

Christian faith is hope that Jesus will forgive us of our sins and resurrect our bodies unto a perfect life with him forevermore at the end of this present age. It is hoping and believing in something neither I or any mortal can prove will come to pass. I cannot prove that Jesus has or will forgive me of sins. We collectively have no means of empirically proving things in the dimension where sins are forgiven. Still, I have faith. And the reason I have faith in that which I cannot see is because of things that I have seen.

Christian faith is not unlike other kinds of faith in this world. Marriage is an act of faith. A man and woman hope and trust that the love they dedicate and give to one another will be reciprocated for all time. I have faith that my wife will love me, that she will choose to love me when she has other options. I have faith in the promise she gave me. And I am right to place my faith in her. She is trustworthy. She is loyal. She is faithful. And based on that which I have seen, I hope in that which I cannot see. Though I cannot prove she will be faithful to me, I still have faith that she will. I have reasons and evidence that undergird my faith in her. It is a faith that has the possibility to disappoint me, but I think not. She has given me no reason to think that my faith is in vain.

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To assure me that my faith in God for the forgiveness of my sins is not in vain, among other things, Jesus performed miracles. Matthew chapter 9 records the healing of a paralytic man by Jesus. This healing was preceded by Jesus telling this man that his sins are forgiven, a claim that only God can make. Because of this, the scribes in attendance said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming” (Matt. 9:3). They rightly knew that God alone could forgive sins. Jesus, though, knowing their thoughts said, “For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home” (Matt. 9:5-6)…

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