Are faith, trust, belief the same?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by agedman, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. agedman

    agedman
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    In another thread (now closed) I brought up that in the Scriptures faith and trust were not synonymous. Although MANY in the modern time do think they are, the two words are not. Belief and Trust are more synonymous than faith is to either belief or trust.

    In support of my thinking, I would quote from Strong's that can be found here:
    I do so that folks understand that this is not some "NEW" view, or something "unorthodox."


    Faith (4102/pistis) is always a gift from God, and never something that can be produced by people. In short, 4102/pistis ("faith") for the believer is "God's divine persuasion" – and therefore distinct from human belief (confidence), yet involving it. The Lord continuously births faith in the yielded believer so they can know what He prefers, i.e. the persuasion of His will (1 Jn 5:4).

    [4102 (pistis) in secular antiquity referred to a guarantee (warranty). In Scripture, faith is God's warranty, certifying that the revelation He inbirthed will come to pass (His way).

    Note: The use of faith in the NT is (imo) because the the familiarity of the Hellenistic (antiquity) thinking in which made up the greater amount of letters written. Throughout the OT the word "trust" was used, and in the NT "trust" is more tuned to the word "belief" rather than "faith." I also put forth the view that the word "faith," when used directly as indicating a personal trait or quality associated with the believer, is used almost exclusively in the manner of one who because of God's faith implanted in the person they respond by "faithfulness."

    Faith (4102/pistis) is also used collectively – of all the times God has revealed (given the persuasion of) His will, which includes the full revelation of Scripture (Jude 3). Indeed, God the Lord guarantees that all of this revelation will come to pass! Compare Mt 5:18 with 2 Tim 3:16.]

    1. The root of 4102/pistis ("faith") is 3982/peithô ("to persuade, be persuaded") which supplies the core-meaning of faith ("divine persuasion"). It is God's warranty that guarantees the fulfillment of the revelation He births within the receptive believer (cf. 1 Jn 5:4 with Heb 11:1).

    Faith (4102/pistis) is always received from God, and never generated by us.

    Ro 12:3: "For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith (4102/pistis)" (NASU).

    Eph 2:8,9: " For by grace you have been saved through faith (4102/pistis); and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast" (NASU).

    Gal 5:22,23: "22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith (4102/pistis), 23gentleness,self-control; against such things there is no law."

    2 Thes 1:11: "To this end (glorification) – indeed each time we pray about (peri) you for the purpose (hin) of our God counting you worthy of the call – even that He may fulfill (His) every good-pleasure that comes from (His) goodness and work of faith, in (His) ability."

    Reflection: Faith is only (exclusively) given to the redeemed. It is not a virtue that can be worked up by human effort.

    2. Faith (4102/pistis) enables the believer to know God's preferred-will (cf. J. Calvin; see 2307/thelçma). Accordingly, faith (4102/pistis) and "God's preferred-will (2307/thelçma)" are directly connected in Scripture.


    2 Ro 12:2,3: " And do not be conformed to this world, but betransformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will (2307/thelçma) of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 3For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith (4102/pistis)" (NASU).

    2 Cor 8:5,7: " And this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will (2307/thelçma) of God" (NASU). 7" But just as you abound in everything, in faith (4102/pistis) and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also" (NASU).

    Heb 10:36,38: "36For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will (2307/thelçma) of God, you may receive what was promised" (NASU).

    " BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH(4102/pistis); AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM" (NASU).


    1 Jn 5:4: "For whatever is born of God conquers the world; and this is the conquest that has conquered the world – our faith (4102/pistis)."

    3. In sum, faith (4102/pistis) is a persuasion from God that we receive as He grants impulse ("divine spark"; cf. the Heb hiphil form of believe, *mn, in a later discussion). Faith is always the work of God and involves hearing His voice – whereby the believer lays hold of His preferred-will (cf. J. Calvin).


    1 Hab 2:1: " I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak in (Heb b ) me" (NASU).

    Hab 2:4: "Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live in his faith" (= 4102/pistis, "faith from the Lord").

    More on what faith is . . . and isn't

    1. In Scripture, faith and belief are not exactly the same. Faith always comes from God and involves His revelation therefore faith is beyond belief!
    2. Faith is God's work; faith is never the work of people. We cannot produce faith ourselves, nor can we "drum it up at will." Rather, faith comes as Christ speaks His rhçma-word within (see Ro 10:17, Gk text).
    3. In all of Scripture, only the term faith is ever used in the following way: Ro 14:23: Whatever is not of faith (4102/pistis) is sin." Heb 11:6: "And without faith (4102/pistis) it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (NASU).

    Reflection: Nothing quite like this two-fold witness appears elsewhere in the Bible. These sweeping statements sober the heart and inspire the soul!

    The Lord offers to inbirth faith in each scene of life – so that each matters equally in eternity . . . no matter how insignificant they seem (Lk 16:10 with Lk 17:6 and 2 Pet 1:2).
    Continued in next post!
     
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  2. agedman

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    This next section the author gives documentation of others:

    Key quotes
    "Faith always pre-supposes revelation" (W. H. Griffith Thomas, Genesis, 55). "Faith is always a response to a divine revelation" (W. H. Griffith Thomas, Hebrews, 143). "Faith . . . both in its initiation and every step of the way, is Spirit given . . . faith is God given" (W. Hendriksen, Galatians, 197). "Faith precedes works, and is not something merely deduced by reason of existing" (D. Edmond Hiebert, Thessalonians, 2 Thes 1:11). "Faith is always a gift of God" (L. Morris, John, p 520). "The basis of faith is God's revelation of Himself . . . Christianity cameto be seen as a faith event" (O. Michel, Dictionary of New Testament Theology).

    "Faith is the divine response, wrought in man, by God" (from Berkof's Systematic Theology, representing the views of Barth and Brunner).

    "Faith always has the element of assurance, certainty and confidence . . . and evidential value substantiating the thing we hope for . . . with faith, there is no strain or tension; rather, it has the element of assurance and confidence in it . . . if there is strain or tension . . . trying to persuade yourself to keep from doubting, you can be quite sure that it is not faith . . . faith is not the law of mathematical probability, . . . faith is not natural . . .faith is spiritual, the gift of God . . . you cannot command faith at will, faith is always something that is given-inwrought by God; . . . therefore, if you want to be a man of faith, it will always be the result of becoming a certain type of person" (M. Lloyd Jones, Romans, Ro 4:18-25).

    "Faith is the divinely given conviction of things unseen" (Homer Kent Jr., Hebrews, 217, quoting Theological Dictionary of the NT vol 2, 476).

    "Faith is the organ which enables people to see the invisible order" (F. F. Bruce, Hebrews, 279).

    "Faith is knowing what is His will toward us; therefore, we hold faith to be the knowledge of God's will toward us" (John Calvin, as quoted by R. McAfee Brown in Is Faith Obsolete?).

    "Right faith is a thing wrought in us by the Holy Spirit" (Wm. Tyndale).

    "We have made faith a condition of mind, when it is a divinely imparted grace of the heart . . . we can receive faith only as he gives it . . . you cannot manufacture faith, you can not work it up . . . you can believe a promise, and at the same time not have the faith to appropriate it . . . genuine, Scriptural faith is not our ability to ‘count it done,’ but is the deep consciousness divinely imparted to the heart of man that it is done, . . . it is the faith that only God can give . . . do not struggle in the power of the will . . . what a mistake to take our belief in God and call of faith . . . Christ, the living word, is our sufficiency . . . (Charles Price, The Real Faith, Logos/publications).

    Note: On the distinction between believing (belief), and faith in the Scriptures see Js 2:19; Jn 10:38; Ac 8:13, 26:27,28; Ro 14:2; 2 Thes 2:11; 1 Jn 4:1; also Jn 2:23, 7:31, 12:42 and 4102/pisteuô ("believe").

    As in the Gospels, a person's believing (belief) is vital (cf. Heb 11:6). But a personal encounter with Christ (a true connection with Him and His Word) is always necessary for believing ("man's responsibility") to be transformed into faith (which is always and only God's word). See also Mt 8:10,13, 9:22,28,29, 15:28; Ac 20:21; Ro 9:32; Gal 3:9,22.

    Those who are familiar with my posts are aware that I very rarely quote other esteemed theologians as supporting what I have put forth. I have done so, at this time, so as not to leave out that I am not someone so removed from reality that I contend from surrealistic ground.

    The basic question of this thread:
    Are the words Faith, Belief, and Trust to be taken as synonymous?
    Do the Scriptures present the three words in ways that are significantly important, or are the three interchangeable with no damage to the integrity of the Word?
     
    #2 agedman, Jan 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
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  3. agedman

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    I was going to deal with trust in this post, but there are so very many uses that are so specific in the Scriptures using different words translated "trust," that the post would be exhaustive to make. So I searched for an easier way and came across the link below. It shows the exhaustive use of "trust" in both the old and new testament and perhaps will help the reader understand that the words "faith" and "trust" are NOT synonymous.

    Bible search: Trust
     
  4. kyredneck

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    3 For what saith the scripture? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness.
    4 Now to him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but as of debt.
    5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness. Ro 4

    Peruse the entire 4th chapter, Paul repeatedly interchanges faith and belief, and no doubt this is not the only place.

    Why make the simple complex?
     
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  5. agedman

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    Actually, Paul does not.

    The word "faith" found in verse 5 pertains to "faithfulness." It is "pistis" from which "pisteuo" (belief) is derived. "Pisteuo" is by context determined how it is used - not be definition. Either it is human generated, or God imputed. In the referenced passage in Romans, it is from God. Such is the use of "pisteuo" in verse 3 - "believed" and verse 5 - "believeth"

    There are those who take the use of Romans 4:5 "faith" (pistis) to mean a trust, but in that context then it must be understood that such trusting "faith" is from God, and again not man generated, and that it is characteristic of faithfulness, which again is not a human generated work, but God working through the human. See how verse 4 speaks of "him that worketh... as of debt." That is the work is not done as a favor, but what is due, because God first worked in the believer.

    Throughout the chapter, Paul would (by context) show that the faith (as demonstrated by faithfulness) was from God. In fact, the word "faithfulness" can be inserted without changing the meaning of the chapter in place of faith.

    Personally, I think it is because the translators desire to appeal to a broader doctrinal group that they hold to "faith" as the primary translation, rather than submitting to "faithfulness" being the best. But, that is strictly my own personal view, and is subject to change depending of the level of constipation, oops consternation, or whatever. .. :)
     
  6. kyredneck

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    Whether, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness", or, his faith is reckoned for righteousness", it doesn't require one to be a Greek scholar to recognize the synonymy of the two.

    ..... the righteous by his stedfastness liveth. Hab 2:4 YLT

    6 who will render to every man according to his works:
    7 to them that by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruption, eternal life: Ro 2
     
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  7. agedman

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    See, you just proved that "faith" is actually used as "faithfulness"
    The Hebrew of Habakkuk translated "stedfastness" in Young's literal translation, is "emunah" - faithfulness.

    The Romans 2 passage uses "hupomoné" which is someone who endures, and remains under the influence, again, it is a statement of not one who takes a job on by their own authority, but is given that responsibility by the authority. Faithfulness in "standing by the stuff" is to be esteemed, just as David assigned some warriors in his day.

    Again, thank you for helping to prove the point that faith, trust and belief are not synonymous when it comes to the Scripture presentation.
     
  8. kyredneck

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    I've never doubted that, I've long held to:

    Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith. Ja 2:24

    for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified: Ro 2:13

    ....but these 'works' come naturally, from the heart that has the work of the law written upon it:

    14 (for when Gentiles that have not the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are the law unto themselves;
    15 in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them); Ro 2

    What's the point of the OP? To strike a blow at "easy believism"?
     
  9. agedman

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    In a now closed thread, there was great argument about "faith." And some seem to consider that faith, trust, belief are all the same. But they are not. The vast majority of the uses of "faith" in the NT is, and should be, directed toward a definition which incorporates "faithfulness."

    That throughout the Scriptures the two key words that directly apply to salvation are "belief" and "trust."

    It may seem a small matter to some, but to the "easy believe" folks and those who put stock into such phrases as "put your faith...." or "If a person has enough faith ...." or "take a step toward God in faith" might find that there is no consistency with such and the Scriptures.

    In short, one believes, they trust, and the results are faith and faithfulness; however, faith does not nor is it used as generating belief or trust. Faith is (to the believer) God working through us, and not as some would have it as we acquiring God.

    Example: In Hebrews 11:1 we find the definition of faith. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

    "Faith (pistis - faithfulness) based upon the confident assurance of what is trusted, the deed of trust to look at."

    Now, should I have not done a correct translation, I am certain that the BB scholarship will gently correct me.

    But, you can see that "faith" is derived from, the result of, and not the catalyst to either assurance or that deed.

    As a land owner, you know the importance of the deed. And no amount of faith produces a deed. BUT, when challenged in court, one can show faithfulness by showing the terms of the deed, and being assured of the outcome. (the deed and the assured outcome brings faithfulness - which is what faith "is."

    Hope that helps. :)
     
  10. kyredneck

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    ?????

    8 for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; Eph 2

    Faith applies DIRECTLY to salvation here, right?
     
  11. kyredneck

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    ....I by my works will show thee my faith. Ja 2:18

    I don't have a problem with phrasing this as:

    I by my faithfulness will show thee my faith.

    Do you?

    Faithfulness, stedfastness, patience in well-doing, all synonymous to me.
     
  12. agedman

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    That is good. I like, "I also show my faithfulness by my works" James is showing that faithfulness cannot be separated from the believer, as some apparently were attempting, "But some may (well) say,..."

    One can take faithfulness as steadfastness and patience in well doing as the results of the new nature of the believer. However, steadfastness and patience in well doing does not always present a person as a believer. They may just as well be someone portraying that life for some other agenda. There are a lot of fakers in the typical assembly.

    Isn't it good that we can agree. :)
     
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  13. kyredneck

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    We don't agree.
     
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  14. DHK

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    Both faith and faithfulness come from the same word: pistis.
    The one is a noun, the other is an adjective.
    For example: That man is a "faithful man." Faithful is an adjective.
    Even when used in this sense: He is faithful. "Faithful" is still a predicate adjective. That is what it is: an adjective.

    But faith is a noun. We are saved by faith. Salvation is by faith. Here "faith" is the object of the preposition, but it still a noun. Belief is a noun. When one does an exposition of Romans 4 he finds all the different nuances of the words used there.
    Abraham was justified by faith. It was his faith.

    He wasn't justified by works (works is also a noun).
    Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

    Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
    --He believed God...
    Believe is the verb form of the same word. The word used is: believed πιστευω pistew. This is the verbal form of the same word.

    Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    The same word: pistew and pistis is used twice; translated believeth and faith. They come from the same root word.

    Faith and its derivatives are used all throughout this chapter. The word trust is not used once.
    We are saved by faith.
    If we were saved by faithfulness salvation would be on-going and thus it would be a works-based salvation.
     
  15. agedman

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    Well, I tried. Typical yankee hill bubba red necks are just so obstinate! :) :)

    Seriously, though, what is it in particular that you find disagreeable?

    Are you and DHK on the same page thinking that belief, trust, and faith are all synonymous?
     
  16. kyredneck

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    The rule of context must be followed, as in the example already given:

    "Whether, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness", or, his faith is reckoned for righteousness", it doesn't require one to be a Greek scholar to recognize the synonymy of the two."

    If you're trying for an absolute here saying that faith and belief and trust are never synonymous, well, that's just not realistic, at all.
     
    #16 kyredneck, Jan 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
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