Seeing is Believing?
“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESVUK)
“Seeing is believing” is a commonly used expression which generally means that something surprising or strange can only be believed to be true if it is witnessed first-hand. This could have been the motto of Thomas the disciple of Jesus who, when first told of the resurrection of Jesus stated, “…Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” (John 20:25)
The prestigious Royal Society, whose core members come from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth and are experts in science and engineering, takes a more rigorous view and has the motto. “Nullius in verba”. This motto is Latin for “Take nobody’s word for it” and is an expression of the members’ determination to verify all statements by appeal to the facts determined by experiment. This view has enabled the progressive accumulation of knowledge and understanding, and the development of scientific theories of the physical world.
Although seen or experimental evidence are useful tools for determining truth, they cannot always be interpreted easily or correctly, particularly where there is a spiritual dimension. When Jesus, the son of God, healed a demon possessed blind and mute, some who saw it did not deny the miracle but misinterpreted its source claiming, “…it is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” (Matthew 12:24)
Some see Christians as having a blind faith, but often faith does not imply a closed, but an open mind. Faith appreciates the vast spiritual realities that materialists overlook by focussing solely on the purely physical.
God through the Holy Spirit enables Christians to discern deeper truths, a greater reality about the world which transcends the empirical, and to see the natural world through a theological prism. Some, including GCI, interpret nature through a Trinitarian lens. The Christian faith when rooted in divine self-revelation illuminates and aids interpretation of the natural world. The Book of Scripture enables a more discerning reading of the Book of Nature.
In the spiritual world and for some aspects of the physical world it is essential to recognise that believing is seeing.
Father, we thank you that through your grace Christians are given spiritual insight leading to a deeper understanding of the physical world.
Study by Eddie Marsh
Grace Communion, Sheffield
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