QUESTION No. 25: If the senses (hearing, smelling, seeing, touching, tasting) give us our knowledge, and faith is based on rational evidence, by which sense is faith discovered? If this is not so, is faith emotion?
ANSWER: We will answer the last part of the question first and then give the definition of faith and its relation with the senses.
Faith is not emotion. We quote the Bible verse which gives us the definition of faith:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Heb 11:1.
“Faith and feeling are as distinct as the east is from the west. Faith is not dependent on feeling. We must earnestly cry to God in faith, feeling or no feeling, and then live our prayers. Our assurance and evidence is God’s word, and after we have asked we must believe without doubting.” 6BC 1073.
“Do not wait to feel that you are made whole, but say, `I believe it; it is so, not because I feel it, but because God has promised.'” SC 33.
Now if faith is not feeling, nor emotion, but a substance; how can it be obtained? The Bible gives us the answer:
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17.
The senses are the avenues by which different things come in the heart. Good and evil come in by these avenues. By seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting man develops his character. The destiny of a person depends on the things which enter in the heart. Faith comes by hearing and reading the word of God, and in doing this one exercises his senses. At the same time by hearing, seeing, etc. disbelief may come. In order that we may have faith in God we have to exercise all the senses in the right way. If we believe that God saves us, we do so, not because we feel we are saved; but because He has promised. Faith is the means of eternal salvation not because we have already obtained it, but because we are sure that God’s promises do not fail.
“Faith is not the ground of our salvation, but it is the great blessing the eye that sees, the ear that hears, the feet that run, the hand that grasps. It is the means, not the end. If Christ gave His life to save sinners, why shall I not take that blessing? My faith grasps it, and thus my faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Thus resting and believing, I have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.” 6BC 1073.