What is Faith ? (and what it’s not): Faith is not accepting something without evidence.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Another prevalent view is that Christian faith requires us to remove our brains and put it under our seats—in short, to stop thinking. Behind this opinion is the assumption that if you were to ever examine the evidence for Christianity, you would discover that it’s flimsy; therefore, the only way to be a Christian is to launch oneself into mindless oblivion. Faith then becomes a leap in the dark, a conviction that if I just believe enough and get pumped up enough, then something which isn’t true can become true.

Again, though, Scripture helps us see the truth more clearly. The apostle John wrote that his testimony was regarding “that … which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life” (1 John 1:1). Later, in 1 Corinthians 15, the apostle Paul described the hundreds of people who were, like John, witnesses to what Jesus did in rising from the dead (vv. 5–8). And faith rests on the evidence not only of the eyes but also of what the Scriptures have long testified. The book of Acts, for example, praises the people of Berea for not simply believing what Paul said but also testing it against the Scriptures (Acts 17:10–12).

Biblical faith, then, doesn’t ask anyone to check their brains at the door. It is not “Believe or else!” but “Believe because…”

Adapted from the sermon “What Is Faith?” by Alistair Begg