Difference between faith in God and faith in other things?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex
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    Hi!

    Where is the difference between getting faith in God after hearing a sermon and getting faith in other things as a response? Is it the same kind of faith? For example a person can hear a sermon and the reaction my be faith.
    A person can also see advertisement for diet pills and the reaction can also be faith in the pills. So I ask myself where is the difference?
    Because the bible says faith is a gift from God, does this mean that some people cannot believe because God has not given them this gift?

    What if you're for example raised in a christian home and this is the reason why you believe, does this make a difference? What if you simply believe because you were raised this way? In the past most peoples were believers and they simply believed because they were raised this way. They went to church and believed and didn't think much about it, this was simply their way of life.

    What is faith? A decision? A knowledge? A feeling?

    And do you also make differences between faith and hope? There are christians which totally goof on hope and say hope is nothing and hope cannot save you. But how are you supposed to know wether you have faith or only hope?
    After all did not the people in the OT all have hope in the messiah? None of them had seen him. Did Abraham not also have hope in Jesus? :confused:

    Can somebody who only has hope not also be saved and give his life to Jesus? I don't understand why christians have to make everything so complicated. :(
     
  2. billwald

    billwald
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    I have concluded that faith is a conclusion about a metaphysical question or observation. "Faith" and "belief" are synonyms. "Knowledge" is related to data or observations about natural subjects.
     
  3. billwald

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    Abraham had faith that God would provide him with a large extended family on this earth in this life.
     
  4. mman

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    Faith and belief are not synonyms in the biblical sense.

    John 12:42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue;

    You won't see anyone who matches this description in Heb 11, which gives example after example of faith.

    From Heb 11 we can see that faith is "believing God and obeying all given instructions based on that belief". That definition will fit every case given in Heb 11. If you substitute "belief only", then it fails miserably.

    The demons have "belief only", (James 2:19)yet they don't have biblical faith.
     
  5. SpiritualMadMan

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    Another 'working' definition is:

    "faithfulness" to God's Word or direction in spite of evidence or adversity to the contrary...

    This (nicely?) separates mere 'believeing' from 'Faith'...

    Mike Sr.
     
  6. SpyHunter

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    The problem with 'belief,' as C.S. Lewis pointed out, is that it has multiple meanings in English.

    "In English we have a peculiar difficulty here because in popular speech 'believe in' has two meanings, (a) To accept as true, (b) To approve of--e.g., 'I believe in free trade.' Hence when an Englishman says he 'believes in' or 'does not believe' in Christianity, he may not be thinking about truth at all. Very often he is only telling us whether he approves or disapproves of the Church as a social institution." (From Lewis' essay "Modern Man and His Categories of Thought").

    xdisciplex asked this: "What is faith? A decision? A knowledge? A feeling?"

    I would answer that Faith is conviction. It's more than just an intellectual awareness, more than just repetitious litany. It is an all-encompassing, transitive belief which takes you from one place to another.
    Faith in diet pills, for example, will lead you to apply them to your life. Depending on the effectiveness of those pills, you may just lose weight.
    Faith in Jesus Christ leads to eternal life. We can always depend on His effictiveness.
    To recap, Faith is not personal acknowledgement or personal approval, but a foundational conviction on which one builds other things in their life. Hence Jesus likening one who hears His teachings and applies them to a wise man who built his house upon the rock.

    Blessings,
    SpyHunter
     
  7. StefanM

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    I don't think it's an inherent difference of "belief" vs. "faith." The Greek words for faith and belief in all of the aforementioned verses come from the same general root (pisteuo/pistis). Context makes all the difference, IMO.
     
  8. music4Him

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    For me the difference is......
    *Faith in God is free and it is already bought and paid for by Jesus, all we have to do is believe.

    *Faith in a bottle of pills cost us money that we got to spend and we got to pay for it then hope it works, because if we don't get well we have wasted our time and money.
     
  9. xdisciplex

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    But how do you know you have the real biblical faith from God which is a gift from God?
    I mean where is the difference between having faith in God and having faith in something else?
    Let's say you read a book like "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist" or something like this and then you see that there are many good arguments for having faith in God and then you base your faith on these arguments then is this real faith or is this only faith based on logical arguments? Is this faith worse than a faith which cannot be explained for example when you ask somebody who he believes and he says he doesn't know why he simply believes?
    What faith is better? In the past before atheism became so popular almost all people believed in God simply because this is how it was. People went to church and were raised in a christian way and they simply believed and didn't question this. Is this real faith when you believe in God because your family believes in God and you simply also believe in God? Or is faith a decision? You hear so many different opinions about what faith is. Some say it's a decision others say it's a knowledge, a conviction. This is very confusing.
     
  10. SpiritualMadMan

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    Faith is in some cases a generic term...

    That is when I flip the light switch I have 'faith' that the bulb will light up...

    Every man has a measure of Faith...

    Enough to put into action when they hear the Gospel and come to a Saving Knowledge of Jesus Christ...

    Faith is also like a muscle. That strengthens through patient use over time...

    But, there are times, like I read in some newspaper articles where a child was trapped under a four ton automobile and a single person ran up and lifted the car off the child...

    Where 'normal' Faith is inadequate to the task God has called you to...

    This is where a "Gift of faith" comes into being...

    God supernaturally enables us to go beyond ourselves to accomplish His purposes...

    Faith can also be defined as a Confidence that a certain thing is going to happen...

    I have Faith in God's Ability to be both the author and the finisher of my Faith... Hmmmm Nice play on words, there.

    That is, it is Faith that pleases God and God will set up the "Faith Excersize" regimen to allow me to please Him...

    He really does want us to succeed, IN HIM.

    Mike Sr.
     
  11. SpyHunter

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    disciple, Faith is the instigator in a relationship. "Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because you must believe that He exists and is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him."
    Faith LEADS to something through its application. If intellectual arguments bring Faith in God, then that Faith still has to LEAD that person somewhere.
    If it's a Faith based in pure and unfounded hope, then it still leads someone to the place of His arms.
    If someone's Faith does not bring them to the loving relationship of God, then it is not genuine. But do not try to categorize this Faith, as it is more manifold than you can imagine; diverse enough for every human being. Just take refuge and comfort in your relationship with God, and seek for others to share likewise.

    Blessings,
    SpyHunter
     
  12. Claudia_T

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    Faith is a gift from God, there is a danger in making faith our Saviour. Only Jesus is our Saviour.

    We must be willing to receive he gift of faith from God.

    Secondly, Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. In other words, the more we read, study and put into our lives the Bible, the more clear picture we see of God and thus, the more faith we have in Him. It is true we must have a relationship with God, and that comes by reading and hearing the word of God... communing with God on a daily basis... allowing the Holy Spirit to implant the word into our hearts and minds..


    "Eat My Flesh" said Jesus in John chapter 6:
    (Notice it is putting the words of Jesus into your heart that quickens us)

    47: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
    48: I am that bread of life.
    49: Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
    50: This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
    51: I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
    52: The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
    53: Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
    54: Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
    55: For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
    56: He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
    57: As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
    58: This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
    59: These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
    60: Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
    61: When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
    62: What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
    63: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.


    We cant have faith in God if we dont know Him and if we do know Him this leads us to want to be more like Him.

    Notice here that we must have THE FAITH OF JESUS:

    Revelation 14:12: Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

    The faith OF Jesus is that faith by which Jesus overcame all sin and by which He kept the commandments of God.

    We must not only have faith IN Jesus but we must also grasp hold of the faith OF Jesus.


    Keep noticing, the faith OF Jesus:

    Rom:3:22: 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:

    Gal:2:16: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

    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.

    Claudia
     
  13. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex
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    Hi!

    I have a few questions about this.
    Why do so many christians make differences between "head faith" and "heart faith"? They make it look like faith based on intellectual arguments is totally useless, why do they do this?
    And some also make differences between faith and hope. They say faith is always NOW, hope is always in the future. This means if you cannot get healed right NOW then you don't have faith....
    I don't like this. Can somebody who for example wants to end his life and then hears a sermon about Jesus who gets new hope and who wants to accept Jesus because he got hope not get saved because he only had hope?

    Another thing which I ask myself is can somebody have faith in God without being preached to? I mean somebody who only heard a few times about Jesus but no real sermon? Because in my case I simply had this feeling that there's something about Jesus. I cannot say where it came from I simply had it.
     
  14. bamaboy

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    Most of your questions are probably answered in my book Faith-- It Works?! which can be viewed or downloaded freely in pdf format at www.sermonaudio.com/valiantfortruth

    Preface
    FAITH— how precious it is to those who embrace it!
    Certainly the lives of men like Hudson Taylor, George Mueller and Lester Roloff are shining testimonies to God's provision, by faith, for everything needed in the work of God and the sustenance of man. Seeing what God has done for the three men of God mentioned above should stir us to live by faith also. However, while living by faith may be a subject of interest for doctrinal discussion, it seems to have little practical application in the lives of most folks today. After all, who needs faith when you have all the riches of the world? Why, in wealthy America men can build church buildings, support missions programs, establish Bible colleges and televise their ministries worldwide WITHOUT God. But what would things be like if we got off OUR program and got on GOD'S program? Only in eternity will we know what could have been accomplished for the glory of God.
    Brethren, many Christians have sinned greatly against God in the matter of faith. Like Israel, who chose to have a king rule over them rather than God, we prefer to have security from things we can see rather than security from the unseen bounty of Heaven, which must be by faith.
    Ours is as the sin of Sodom
    "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
    And they were haughty,"
    Ezekiel 16:49,50

    Furthermore, ours is the sin of Laodicea.
    "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.
    "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
    "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot.
    "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
    "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
    "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."
    Revelation 3:13-18


    I submit to the reader that we fundamental, independent, Bible believing Baptists, are becoming as the Laodicean church in need of the aforementioned counsel from our Lord. While I think we are still much blessed of God and have the right doctrine, we must take inventory of the present state of our spiritual lives. Of which sort would we fancy ourselves to be— the Hebrews eleven Christian or the Revelation three Christian? Let us take care, lest we become as the Pharisees and lawyers in Luke 7:30 who "rejected the counsel of God against themselves…" If we are guilty, should we not choose the better part if we go to God and confess our sins. Let us not be ashamed to humble ourselves before God. Thereby, we too might obtain a good report (Hebrews 11:39) and "run with patience the race that is set before us."
    I charge you, as does Paul the apostle:
    "For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." — Hebrews 12:3
    Do not faint, but look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He will give us the strength and faith we need to finish the race to the praise of His glory.
     
  15. bamaboy

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    THE ALL-ENCOMPASSING SIN
    There are two things about faith that ought to be very sobering for every Christian to consider.

    Firstly, we read in the book of Romans:
    "[F]or whatsoever is not of faith is sin."
    Romans 14:23

    Preaching from this verse on faith, Evangelist Lester Roloff once asked his audience, "I wonder how many Christians that verse throws into sin tonight?" I do not know about you, but if I were to take a few minutes to think about it, I could probably come up with at least one thing I did this week that had nothing to do with faith at all. But, whatever it might have been, it was sin! It is just so natural for us to figure things out for ourselves without inquiring of the Lord to see what He might think about it. It is even worse when we DO ask to know His will, but then do something completely different than what He wants us to do. This sin is so common that we never even think about it. But, we must think about it, because Romans 14:23 is a verse we should not take lightly. One trip to the altar will not solve the problem. We must be ready to completely turn our lives over to the Lord for a major overhaul.

    Secondly, we read in Hebrews:
    "[W]ithout faith it is impossible to please God." — Hebrews 11:6
    Whatever else we might have to say about faith, we must recognize these two things:
    </font>
    1. Without it we can not please God!</font>
    2. Anything in our lives that is not of faith, is sin.</font>
    Isn't that plain and clear? Anything we do that is not by faith, is sin.
    The Lord has given me a sermon about faith, from Hebrews 11:6 that I call, The All-Encompassing Sin. I feel it is one of the most important messages I have ever preached, because of what we have just seen from the scripture. That message stirred me to write this book and give more detail about the life of faith. However, it is something many Christians know little about. What do we need to know about faith?
    Faith is so important to believers, that we must KNOW:
    </font>
    • What it is</font>
    • How to get it and increase it</font>
    • How it works</font>
    Brethren, I ask you— do you know these three things about faith? How can you hope to develop a closer walk of faith if you cannot answer these simple questions?
     

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