Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. (Hebrews 11:1-3 ESV)
In verse 1 the writer of Hebrews defines faith. It is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
In verse 2 the people exercise faith. As a matter of fact, Hebrews 11:4-38 describes them in vivid detail. Abel is applauded for offering a faithful sacrifice. Abraham is commended for traveling into the unknown. Moses is lauded for choosing the life of a Hebrew over the lure of the palace. These people exercised faith.
In verse 3 the writer describes the origin of faith. Faith begins by believing that God created. Theologians call this God creating ex nihilio–out of nothing. Moses, the writer of Genesis, said it this way:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5 ESV)
The earth was formless and void. Empty. God spoke. He didn’t start with raw material–He created with the spoken word. He didn’t need chlorophyll to make leaves–He spoke leaves into existence. Hebrews 11:3 states that believing God created is the cornerstone of faith, the beginning point of a relationship with God.
Why? If God didn’t create the universe, if He didn’t fling the stars into space, why in the world would He send His only Son to die for it? If God didn’t breathe the breath of life into Adam’s lungs, if God didn’t put Adam to sleep to create his wife, Eve, then why would He send His Son to die for Adam and Eve? The cross is foolish apart from creation. On the cross Jesus redeemed what He created.
That’s why evolution erodes faith. If scientists can convince us that we evolved then we are on a fast descent into doubt and self-degradation. C. S. Lewis, in his book Screwtape Letters, said it this way:
“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
Belief in evolution isn’t an earthquake. It is a light rain that gradually erodes faith until all that is left is the red clay of a hard heart. Only the crucified Creator can soften red clay.