Belief vs. Faith

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Crabtownboy, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
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    What is the difference between belief and faith?

    Is there a difference?

    If there is a difference, what is it?

    Can a person believe but not have faith?

    Can a person have faith but not believe?
     
  2. Jerry Shugart

    Jerry Shugart
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    Here we see that the Greek word translated "belief" is pistis:

    "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief (pistis) of the truth" (2 Thess.2:13).

    The same Greek word is translated "faith" in the following verse:

    "Now faith (pistis) is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb.11:1).
     
  3. Gup20

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    Here are some verses that say that faith is what you believe,

    Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

    Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
    4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    Gal 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

    Jam 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

    2Cr 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

    Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
    23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
    24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

    Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
    22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

    Rom 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which [he had yet] being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

    Hbr 11:6 But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    1Pe 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
     
  4. preacher4truth

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    Faith is the gift of God.

    Anyone can say they believe.
     
  5. convicted1

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    I have heard that "belief" is faith put into action. I think that is a pretty good defintion of "belief".
     
  6. David Lamb

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    In one sense I agree. James 2.19:
    You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe––and tremble!
    Yet in Acts 16.31, we have the apostles telling the gaoler at Philppi, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved." The difference between that, and what the demons did, is surely that the demons believed a fact, whereas the Philippian gaoler was told to believe on a Person. The demons were not saved; the gaolor, like everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, was.

    As others have already pointed out, the same Greek word is sometimes translated into English as "belief" and at other times as "faith"
     
  7. preacher4truth

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    Yes. Thankfully God left us much to study and much to contemplate in the Scriptures!

    - Peace
     
  8. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Personally, I believe a better question would be is there a difference between "faith" and "faithfulness."

    Why I believe that would be a better question because "faith" or "trust" can be "in" reference to someone or something else OUTSIDE YOURSELF but "faithfulness" deals with yourself.

    The same term "pistis" can be, and is translated "faith" in some contexts while "faithful" in other contexts.

    The difference can be (although not always) that faith has an object outside of yourself but faithfulness has for its object yourself.

    I personally believe this distinction is the difference between heaven and hell in regard to the doctrine of justification before God versus evidential justification before men. Justification before God has to do with "faith" which has for its object the person and faithfulness of Jesus Christ as our hope of salvation and basis for justification before God. Whereas, evidential justification has for its object our own faithfulness TO God. The former is the cause whereas the latter is the consequence. However, where there is the cause of justification - faith in Christ's faithfulness for us; there is also the recipocating consequence of love our faithfulness for Christ, which is the message of James. The former always has an external object as its focus but the latter is focused upon ourselves. The former has to do with what God does FOR US in the person of another while the latter has to do with what we do for God.
     
    #8 The Biblicist, Dec 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2011
  9. Thinkingstuff

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    I think there is a shallow belief and faith as they are often used to mean the same thing. This shallow belief or faith is one that a person gives intellectual assent to a truth. Ie... Yes I believe in God, yes I believe in Jesus. But this intellectual assent to the truth doesn't moderate your life or have any tranformative action. I believe there is a belief or faith that God wants us to have that goes to our core and our very actions are based upon those beliefs.

    Kind of like the Joke of the man who walks off a cliff but saves himself by hanging onto a branch. He yells up "is their anyone who can help me?" After several tries he hears a voice "I am here, I can help you." the man calls up "who are you?" and the voice says "I am God and I will save you. Just let go of the branch." after a minute of consideration the man yells back up "Is there anyone else up there?" I think this explains a simple believe rather than the kind that God wants us to have. A real believer or person of faith would have let go in that senario.
     
  10. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    The Bible speaks of a "vain" faith and a "dead" faith. The former has to do with the proper object while the latter has to do with the proper evidence. In 1 Corinthians 15 the gospel being preached among them was a gospel that SUBTRACTED an essential aspect of the proper object of faith. Some denied the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Galatians some ADDED a contradictory element to the object of faith by denial of the sufficiency of the propitiation (satisfaction) of the provision made by Christ to justify sinners. They added our "works" to the gospel. Either addition or subtraction makes that particular gospel "another gospel" and therefore an improper object of faith and thus a "vain" faith because the object is vain or distorted.

    James speaks of a "dead" faith because justifying faith is a fruit of the Spirit and is inseparable from the Spirit of the Living God in regeneration. Justifying faith is the product of the LIFE of God in a person. The Spirit of God enables the person to embrace the good news of the gospel as its sole hope of eternal salvation and then respond to that hope by the other fruit of the Spirit, cheifly love in response to the gift of God through Christ. Hence, faith embraces the gospel but faithfulness is loves response to what it has embraced as a free gift of God.

    Where there is justification by faith there is faithfulness to Christ manifested by the fruit of the Spirit in what we say and do in regard to others. The reason is because justification always is accompanied by regeneration and regeneration imparts the LIFE of the Spirit and faith is the fruit of the Living Spirit and thus a living faith. Hence, faith and faithfulness are inseparable in the sense of cause and effect. However, it is never the effect - our faithfulness that justifies us before God but the cause which is a Spirit enabled trust in the finished work of Christ that justifies us fully before God. Our faithfulness is the reaction of love to the confidence of the total sufficiency of Christ in our behalf eternally securing our salvation by His faithfulness alone.

    Where there is regeneration there is justification by faith and where there is justification by faith there is manifest external evidence of love defined and seen in the fruit of the Spirit toward men.
     
  11. Jerry Shugart

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    I completely agree with you. There is a "faith" spoken of in the Bible which is not a saving faith and the following passage is an example of such a faith:

    "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men" (Jn.2:23-24).

    That is the kind of faith described here:

    "They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away" (Lk.8:13).

    Those with saving faith will always believe the truth that is revealed in the gospel:

    "The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever" (2 Jn.1-2).
     

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