“As Sure As Eggs is Eggs”

faith, trust, Truth No Comments

“As sure as eggs is eggs” is a phrase used to describe absolute certainty.  In formal logic and mathematics the formula “x is x” is used to describe complete certainty.  It is unclear how or when “x is x” became “eggs is eggs”, but it is known that Charles Dickens used the phrase “eggs is eggs” in The Pickwick Papers published in 1837.  Maybe Dickens was joking or playing on words or possibly it was a simple mistake that proved amusing enough to be left unchanged (Albert Jack, Red Herrings and White Elephants, pp. 35-36).
Can We Know Anything With Absolute Certainty?
-Do you exist?
-Do you know that you exist?
-Do you believe that you exist?
-Is there a difference between knowing and believing?
-Do you believe because you know or do you know because you believe?
In biblical terms, knowing precedes believing.  “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).  “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?  and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher” (Rom. 10:14).  Faith is taking God at His Word.  It is trust, conviction and confidence that comes by hearing and knowing the Word of God.  Heb. 11:1.  Faith means that we are fully persuaded of the truth.  Truth is that which conforms to reality as God defines reality.  If I can know surely, then I can believe without a doubt.
Words and Knowledge
Luke 1:1-4, “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.”
The Words Known
Luke instructed Theophilus.  Luke wrote words that formed a body of knowledge that was rooted in historical reality (truth).  The body of knowledge is a body of truth.  Instruction involves teaching that body of truth to another human being who has to hear and understand it correctly and then that person can claim to know it.  Luke had meticulously traced out this body of knowledge.  He gleaned information from eyewitnesses and ministers of the word.  He had perfect understanding of all things from the very first which related to the life of Jesus Christ.  The word that he taught was verifiable.  Luke desired that Theophilus would know with certainty the body of truth concerning Jesus Christ.  The word know is epignosis which is a strengthened form of knowing.  The word certainty is asphaleian and means “not liable to fall, stedfast, firm, sure” (W. E. Vine).  It refers to knowledge that cannot be assailed or overthrown.  Certainty means that there is no doubt.  To know with certainty means that one cannot be wrong about the information.  Luke establishes the veracity of what he teaches or writes.
The Words Believed
In Luke 1:1, the phrase, “things most surely believed” comes from the Greek word peplerophoremenon, from plerophoreo which means “have had full course” or “having been fully borne out” (W. E. Vine, I, 117).  Fully proved and so fully believed.  The Greek word contains the idea that there is certainty with regard to the evidence known.  Faith follows knowledge.  Faith is a firm persuasion that God’s Word is reliable and trustworthy.  Luke removes all doubt about the content of the message that he is writing about.  The message is true.  The knowledge is certain.  Therefore, the faith can be full, complete and lacking nothing.  God never asks us to believe in some fact or doctrine for which He has not given us adequate evidence.  Consequently, the leap of faith notion is false.  Faith is grounded in truth.
I can know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and I can know it as much as I know that “eggs is eggs.”  I can know that God exists and I can know it as much as I know that “eggs is eggs.”  I can know that the Bible is the Word of God and I can know it as much as I know that “eggs is eggs.”  I can know the truth.  I can believe the truth.  I can obey the truth (John 3:21). I can know, believe and obey the truth to the salvation of my soul (John 8:31-32).

 

The Cure For Impatience

faith, patience, trust No Comments

We have mastered impatience!  Have you ever been behind a car at a stoplight when it turns green and the car in front of you fails to go forward and just sets still? Have you ever been in a check-out line when the cashier makes a mistake and it takes ten minutes to correct it?  Have you ever attempted to order food at a fast-food restaurant and the person waiting on you is new and doesn’t know what to do first?  In each of these scenarios, do you wait patiently?  Most of us have been in these situations and were upset because we had to wait.  We know the feelings of irritation, frustration, and anger when someone else fails to do his/her job and we pay the price in lost time and incovenience.  Yes, we have mastered impatience.
There are three reasons that impatience comes to characterize our hearts.  First, we are overscheduled.  We are like a glass of water that is full to the brim.  Anytime we are jostled, we spill over.  We are so overscheduled in life that we have no flexibility.  Second, we hold to unrealistic expectations of others.  We actually have developed a double-standard.  We expect other people to always get it right and not make mistakes that will cost us personally.  However, when we mess up, we have many excuses as to why we failed and we want others to cut us some slack.  Third, we have an oversized ego and are arrogant.  We have feelings of superiority to others whom we think are inferior to us.  We are impatient with others when we feel that we are better than they are and we can work faster, think smarter, and accomplish more than them.
If we are impatient with people, we are probably impatient with God too!  Remember Abram and Sarah?  In Gen. 16, they ran ahead of God in the matter of having an heir and Sarah permitted Abram to be with Hagar and together they produced a son, Ishmael.  Ishmael was not the promised son.  Abram and Sarah grew impatient.  Twenty-five years passed from the time God promised Abram a son until Isaac was born.  Twenty-five years is a long time to wait for a promise to be fulfilled.  We must learn to “wait upon the Lord.” Faith in God produces patience with God.  God works all things out according to His own timetable. Trust Him!
God is longsuffering toward us (II Pet. 3:9).  The word longsuffering means “long-tempered.”  It is the opposite of being “short-tempered.”  Why is God patient with us?  The answer is given in this verse, He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  God is merciful.  His mercy produces longsuffering.  Mercy is the antidote to impatience.
If you want to become more patient, you must become more merciful!  If you want to be more patient with God, you must trust Him implicitly.