WALKING BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT
Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, KS
“For we walk by faith and not by sight” II Corinthians 5:7
The context of this verse is Apostle Paul’s discourse on our mortal bodies being counted as a ‘tabernacle” or tent, just a temporary dwelling place, until we are finally resurrected in our new spiritual body, and go to be with the Lord for eternity. Just previous to this verse 7, He is “confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.” Paul says, he is willing to be absent from his body and “to be present with the Lord.” This confidence is entirely - “A walk by faith and not by sight.” We too, enter into this assurance - that if we go from this body in death, we will enter a new body one day at the resurrection, when Jesus calls us upward. What a blessedness to believe the Word of the Lord! I Thessalonians 4:13-18 tells us of that beautiful process.
Apostle Paul has much to say about our spiritual “walk.” The word “walk” in Paul’s writings means in the Greek -”to deport oneself or our conduct i.e. - how a person behaves - performance or demeanor.” We’ve all heard the statement of admonition, “Walk with the Lord.”
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me” John 10:27. If we are the sheep of the Lord, those who are born again, we should walk with the Lord, following Him as our Shepherd.
We read in many places especially in Apostle Paul’s writings concerning the “walk of the believer.” Romans 4:12, says, “Walk in the steps of faith of our Father, Abraham.” Romans 6:4 says, “Walk in newness of life.” Romans 8:1, says “Walk not after the flesh (Old nature).” Galatians 5:16 & 25 says, “Walk in the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:2 says, “Walk in love.” Ephesians 5:8 says “Walk as children of Light.”
So, as we repeat the verse “For we walk by faith and not by sight,” we realize that all these spiritual walks mentioned above are to all be accomplished by FAITH. There is no other way for this to take place in our lives. Our trust and empowerment to accomplish these wonderful traits, mentioned above, is by God’s power and not our own. Our part: UTTER FAITH AND DEPENDENCE UPON GOD. Notice the phrase - “not by sight.” That is real “FAITH.” The old adage, “Seeing is believing” is totally incorrect.
Hebrews 11:1-3, “Now faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders (Old Testament believers) obtained a good report.” Faith is an action word. It speaks of conviction and reliance upon Christ and God the Father. It means “to trust, to have assurance or believe.” The word “substance” used here “ is the Greek word “hupostasis” which means “ a placing or setting under as a substructure - unseen but there.” It means, “that which stands under or underlies what is.” That is what a foundation of a building is. We can’t see it, but it’s there and real. The building would fall down without it. This is a good explanation of “Faith.” Elsewhere in the New Testament faith means “confident” or confidence.”
The word, “things” in the Greek means “a deed.” It states, “The evidence of things not seen.” Faith has given us a “deed.” to what we need, what we are trusting God for. “For by it the elders obtained a good report (Vs.2).” The Old Testament saints are such wonderful examples of faith. By our faith in the Lord, we too can “obtain a good report.”
Verse 3 says “Through faith we understand [comprehend or perceive] that the worlds were framed by the Word of God.” The word “worlds” actually means “the ages.” which speaks of lengths of time from the beginning of time since God created the earth - great plan of successive years and ages, in which He manifest Himself unto man and dealt with them in various ways and means to test them and try their faith. The “Ages were framed,” or the Greek means “prepared, or completed thoroughly and perfectly.” Since the beginning of the creation of the earth, God has tested man in various ways in what is called the Dispensations of Time. These ages were farmed by the “Word of God.” This “Word” is the Greek word, “Rhema” which speaks of the spoken word of God. An example is when God spoke the world into existence saying first, “Let there be light, and there was light.”
How do we gain more faith? Romans 10:17 says “So then Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” If you lack faith to lay hold of the promises of God, there is a power source to get more faith, that is reading and listening to the Word of God. Jude 1:20 says, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith.” The more you take in the Word of God through preaching of the truth, study and reading, absorbing the truth - the greater your faith will become. You will begin to walk more and more by faith. You will be victorious in your life before the Lord!