‘We walk by faith, not by sight’. By the words ‘we walk’, Paul means how we live*. Therefore, the meaning is: ‘We live by faith, not by sight’.
That may seem an extraordinary way to live. God gives us both our sight and our faith. Our sight guides us through this present world. It directs very many of our decisions. However, what we see is not always the truth. Our sight can confuse us; it can even cause us to make wrong and foolish decisions.
The problem with sight is that it only shows us the surface of things. It gives us an impression; it does not show the reality to us. For example, our sight may show us our present troubles in this world. However, it cannot show us the wonderful things that God has prepared for us in heaven.
Clearly, we cannot depend upon our sight alone. Paul says that God has provided something better to guide us: faith.
Faith can mean belief; however, Paul was very aware of the dangers of wrong beliefs. He would never encourage anyone to trust in anything that was not true. So therefore, by ‘faith’, Paul means trust in God. We can always trust in God; all that God does is completely true and right. He will always guide us in the right way to live*.
That kind of faith is like sight, because by it we see (know) things. By sight, we see our present circumstances. By faith, we see how God is working. By sight, we see our troubles in the present world. By faith, we see what God has prepared for us in heaven. By sight, we see an impression of the present state of things. By faith, we see the reality. So we choose to trust God; and that is how we, God’s people, live.
Next part: The right ambition (5:8-9)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.