A Leap of Faith

A Foolish Term

Over the last few hundred years, a term has become common within “religious studies” describing faith: The Leap of Faith. This idea describes faith in God as being a passive act, without proof or knowledge, required by man in order to receive the blessings of God. This leap is simply that – a jump into the spiritually “unknown”, trusting that God will take care of the rest. While the concept of grace involves receiving an unearned gift, and a trust in God through obedience to grant that gift, the idea of a leap of faith is Biblically incorrect.

This is a difficult statement given how prevalent such an attitude has become accepted among “Christian” thought. Faith is not a “leap” as so defined for three important reasons:

Faith is not without action

Those who hold a “faith only” position concerning salvation balk at such a claim, arguing that this would create a merit based faith or justification by works. While such an extreme is possible (with improper interpretation), the Bible emphasizes the need for an active obedience in order to establish faith. The examples of Hebrews 11 alone describe “heroes of faith” doing in order to be counted as righteous. In the Christian Age, the active choice to obey the Gospel is a necessary part of faith, but is not “merit-based”. To be honest, even the “faith only” approach of mere belief is active – to believe simply being a verbal action.

Faith is not without evidence

The “leap of faith” idea describes a “shot in the dark” or an acceptance without evidence – something seen as necessary to truly believe. While it is true that men of faith acted without evidence in the past (Noah before the Flood, Abraham offering Isaac, etc.) this is not necessary. When Jesus came to earth, He performed miracles to affirm His authority. This same practice was granted to the Apostles for the same reason – it “confirmed the word” (Mark 16:20, NASU). Our very existence is evidentiary of God’s creative power, just as Jesus’ resurrection is evidentiary of the future resurrection. The Bible is a book of proofs – and faith is built upon such evidence.

Faith is not without assurance

This is similar in a sense to evidence, but focused more upon the unseen promises to come. God’s fulfillment of past promises is assurance that future promises will also be kept. A leap of faith requires some doubt, due to lack of experience or information. How could such an attitude exist, when “faith is the assurance of things hoped for…” (Heb. 11:1)? This assurance is manifest in our own lives subjectively through providence, and objectively through the promises of God.

Because of these reasons, we find that faith is much better than the idea misconstrued by men and the world over the previous few hundred years. The reality is that faith is much more than a mere leap – it is a walk, and walks continue until the journey’s end.

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