How do you know that you have faith?

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

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex
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    Is faith a feeling? Or what is it? Is faith a knowledge? If faith is a knowledge then how do you know that you know?
    Many pastors say this "I know that I know that I know that I know" stuff, but how do they know? How do you know that you know something? And what do they even mean when they say they know it? Do they mean something like:

    I know you'll win the game.

    Or is faith a decision?
    Can you have faith and doubt at the same time?
    Can you have doubts and still continue your walk with God?
    I think you can. And this means faith and doubt can exist simultaneously.

    But unless you have seen God you cannot really know in the same sense you know that you exist. I think when christians say they know something they rather want to express that they are totally convinced of something. I always find it confusing when christians say they know because then I ask myself "what do they mean?".
    Is a christian who can say "I know" with full determination better than a christian who is not that solid in his faith and can only say "I believe"?
    But I bet you will also find muslims which are 100% convinced that Allah is real which say "I know that Allah is real" but this doesn't mean it's true. The lesbian pastor on Larry King also was totally convinced and claimed to know that God had made her this way. This shows that when people say they know something they are talking about a strong feeling and this strong feeling does not indicate truth. You can also be 100% convinced of something which is not true. So I guess in the end when somebody says he knows something he simply means he's totally convinced of it. :confused:
    But if this strong conviction is linked to feelings then does this mean that this knowledge is fluctuating? Is it possible that a christian who is able to say "I know that God exists" in one situation might in a different situation not be able to say the same thing with the same determination because these feelings of conviction are not present?
    :confused:
     
  2. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob
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    Faith is a substance and that substance is what you are hoping for but have never seen it, you believe its real and you have it but faith is the only evidence you have that you got it.
     
  3. xdisciplex

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    Oh man, you could as well have replied in chinese and I wouldn't have understood less. :laugh:

    What is a substance? I have no clue what this means faith is a substance. If faith is a substance then this doesn't help me at all because I don't know where it is. Where is this substance? How do I know I have it? You see, this doesn't really help me.
     
  4. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Faith involves an act of the will, testified to us as we examine our subsequent choices and actions. Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” Our conscience is a means by which the placement of our faith is revealed.

    1Jo 3:19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
    20 ¶ For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
    21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
    22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

    This passage appeal to us to examine our hearts and actions to see if in fact our works are testifying as being in agreement to the 'faith' we say we have. If our works are not in agreement to what our conscience and Scripture testifies as being consistent with saving faith, our faith is either faltering, in danger of shipwreck, or is simply misplaced and useless. The faith that saves is a faith that produces behavior in keeping with love towards God and our fellowman, and in line with Scriptural admonitions and instructions.
     
  5. Scarlett O.

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    Hey, xdisciplex....

    Faith is not a "feeling". Feelings change at every whim of life.

    Faith is an act.

    Brother Bob gave you an excellent reference, Hebrews 11:1. If you are having trouble with it, let me try to help.....

    My take on that verse? Faith is when you can't see God nor Jesus nor the Holy Spirit, but yet you make daily decisions and life-altering decisions and perform life's actions as if you COULD see them.

    Faith is getting a "handle" on what you can't see.

    I can't "see" gravity, but I know that if I were to jump off my roof that I would gravely hurt myself because of the laws of gravity that I can't see. I act in faith, living my life wisely, believing that gravity exists.

    I can't "see" intelligence, but I know that it's intelligence that helps find cures for diseases and knows when to be silent and creates beautiful art and life-saving technology. So, I act in faith, learning all that I can myself and teaching children in the public school to increase their intelligence as to become wise.

    The entirety of Hebrews 11 is example after example of people who could NOT see God and yet ACTED in faith.

    In Hebrews 11, faith is a VERB!! Everone listed in the "roll call of the faithful, is labeled as having "faith" because of something tangible that they did.

    Look at all of the verbs here.

    • verse 4...as an act of faith, Abel sacrificed properly
    • verse 5...as an act of faith, Enoch pleased God with his life's testimony
    • verse 7...as an act of faith, Noah prepared himself and his family and obeyed
    • verse 8...as an act of faith, Abraham obeyed and moved
    • verse 11...as an act of faith, Sarah believed God
    • verse 17...as an act of faith, Abraham surrendered his own son, knowing that if he died, God would raise him from the dead
    • verse 20...as an act of faith, Isaac prophecied and blessed his own children with prophecy
    • verse 21...as an act of faith, Jacob worshipped God and blessed his grandchildren that he did not know
    • verse 22...as an act of faith, Joseph made unusual funeral arrangements for himself (not knowing his bones would be important 400 years later)
    • verse 23...as an act of faith, Moses' mother hid her son to protect him
    • verse 24...as an act of faith, Moses, as a man, refused to deny his Jewish heritage and purposely chose to suffer the consequences
    • verse 27...as an act of faith, Moses endured the wrath of the Egyptian king, for he trusted him who was INVISIBLE!
    • verse 28...as an act of faith, Moses kept the Passover
    • verse 29...as an act of faith, Moses led his people across that river
    • verse 31...as an act of faith, Rahab, the whore protected the Israeli spies
    The author of Hebrews goes on to say in that chapter that there just isn't room to tell of all of the people, both men and women, who NEVER saw God nor could they know of Jesus Christ, but they lived and acted in faith anyway....

    ANYWAY!!

    Faith is an act. An action. It's doing the Godly thing when all about you makes no sense.

    It's doing the righteous thing when the unrighteous would make life so much easier.

    It's clinging to the promises of God when satan has whispered in your ear that God isn't real.

    Faith is when we can't see the forest for the trees, yet we know that God is throne and we ACT accordingly.

    Faith isn't always easy, but look at all of the people in Hebrews 11. Their lives were not easy, but their faith came naturally. Not out of ease, but out of trust.

    Make a habit of "acting" on faith. Faith is a lifestyle of actions, not a belief system.
     
  6. xdisciplex

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    Hi everybody!

    But there are also christians which experience stuff with God and which see real miracles or which even may have a vision of heaven or see Jesus. What about them? Do they not need faith anymore because they saw?

    I mean such a person which walks in the power of God, which hears God and which experiences all these things doesn't have the same problems as a christian who never experiences anything and to whom God seems to be totally far away. I mean he can pray to God but this direct contact isn't there and even though he continues his walk he may often struggle with doubts and have a really hard life and experience problems which other christians do not have because they experience God. To me it seems as if there is this huge gap between christians which really experience God and other christians which are also faithful but which do not experience anything and which also don't even know this kind of life. They also read the bible and pray but they never speak in tongues or hear God or get visions and I think they have it much harder, don't they?
    Over the years they may become really burnt out and lose their enthusiasm. I think these people struggle with issues which other christians don't even care about because they aren't affected by them. For example if you're a christian who goes on missions and who experiences God first hand then you won't care about wether bible scholars think that Titus wasn't written by Paul and all these problems. This won't even affect you. But for other christians which do not experience things with God this may be totally different and for them the bible is also much more important. A christian who experiences God might not even care if there is an error in the bible, this won't affect him. But a christian who doesn't experience God will care about wether the bible is inerrant or not. These are the differences. It's really a long hard road. I mean all these battles and struggles would become totally obsolete if God was more tangible. A christian who has seen heaven for example won't even care if scientists claim that they have found a missing link or if scientists claim that Exodus cannot have happened. But other christians may struggle with such things.
     
  7. Brother Bob

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    substance is what something is made of in this case (evidence of things not seen, a strong belief in something, and I think you already knew what it is just to be honest. The Scripture itself goes on to tell you what faith is. Read!)
    For someone to need an explanation of what faith is seems way off the edge to me. I find it hard to believe someone asked that question. What is faith? :)
     
    #7 Brother Bob, Jun 17, 2006
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  8. xdisciplex

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    I don't think it's way off the edge.
    Do you not think there are christians which ask themselves wether they have faith or feel as if they don't have the right faith because they don't know what it is? These christians exist. And after all christians are making so many differences between "saving" faith and other faith or between "heart faith" and "head faith". This stuff is really totally annoying because you become totally confused and end up asking yourself wether you really have the "real faith" or not but you cannot answer it because you don't even know how to define real faith.
     
  9. Brother Bob

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    For sure I can't answer it to your satisfaction but I know what it is because I have it.

    Main Entry: 1faith
    1:a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
    2: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

    Maybe this will help.
     
    #9 Brother Bob, Jun 17, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2006
  10. Mishelly

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    2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust

    Romans
    3What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? 4Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."[a]

    Matthew
    20He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."[a]

    To think His Disciples had so little faith not to heal. All you need is faith the size of a mustard seed

    I cannot truly answer your question as I am like the Deciples who knew Christ and still could not heal and only walk on water for a brief time. I let the world cloud my head when I should put all my attention on God with my faith that HE IS
     
  11. Mishelly

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    Cool, we did the same thing :laugh:
     
  12. Brother Bob

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    Think about it! How could you even begin to answer someone who is a Christian and says they don't know what "faith" is? I have really thought about this one and it disturbs me that a Christian would ask such a question unless I am missing something here.
     
  13. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Faith is an often misrepresented and misappropriated notion in a multitude of pulpits and classrooms. I see it as a great question asked by a questioning mind. We need to examine as believers our ideas and test them to see if what we have been told is the truth is in reality correct. Just as we are to examine ourselves, we need to examine our concepts and ideas, especially of words that have such a great impact as does the word ‘faith.’ A wrong conception of faith can lead to a wrong profession. Deception as to who we are and as to how we hold our salvation is very real. This side of the judgment is the time to ask these questions so as to follow the biblical admonition to make our calling and election sure.

    The Apostle James must have encountered many false notions of faith as well. If God saw that there was an obvious danger in placing faith and works at antipodes with each other, as if faith could be held in a vacuum of evidence shown forth without works, when in fact faith and works are inseparably tied, it is obvious that the concept of faith needs to be addressed.

    Questions are always in order and should neve be found to be disturbing. We should welcome the questions of a seeking heart and mind as an opportunity to help clarify this important issue. What 'is' disturbing to me is all the false ideas the Chuch has held over the years concering the notion of faith in relation to works, as if in fact it could operate without, or apart from, the formation of intents and subsequent actions.
     
  14. xdisciplex

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    I think you guys don't understand what I mean or maybe I am simply in my own world and others cannot comprehend my thoughts.

    How do you know, that you believe, Bob?
    How do you know this? What shows you that you believe? Is it a feeling of confidence? Is it something like inner peace? What exactly shows you that you believe?`If you get up in the morning and get out of bed how do you know you are still believing? Would you notice it if your belief was suddenly gone? If so, how?
    If believing = strong feeling of confidence then what do you do if this feeling is gone? This is my problem. When I started as a christian in the first months I simply had this feeling. But after a few months this feeling was gone, it would fluctuate and confuse me. I suddenly felt like I lost my connection with God. I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know if I was still believing or not and since this time it has always been like this. I have days where I feel confident and days where this feeling is gone and I feel so distant to God and don't even know if I believe or not, but maybe you simply cannot comprehend this because you don't know it. If you don't know it then it'll seem totally strange to you. :confused:
    For example when I listen to a great sermon then I get this feeling but this feeling will also go away. I cannot hold it. It's like in the one moment I feel so convinced of my faith but in the next moment I am wavering and feel insecure and then I ask myself how do I know wether I even believe right now? What if I am in the faith one second and out of the faith the next second?
    Faith is so complicated. It's the same problem with the "believe in your heart" stuff. How do you believe in your heart? What does this even mean? How do I know wether I really believe in my heart or wether I only believe in my head? How in the world am I supposed to know this or distinguish it? And christians distinguish between head faith and heart faith, some even say head faith doesn't save you! Great....
    How am I supposed to feel when I hear such a thing? Then all of a sudden it's like everything is on jeopardy again. Maybe I only have head faith and I'm not even saved. It's like a rollercoaster.
     
  15. Brother Bob

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    HP; I would agree with you if I were seeking the Lord but I am not for I already have him therefore my faith is what keeps me going.
    XD; the only way I can describe my faith is that I got in so much trouble over my sins that I said to the Lord if you want to take my natural life then ok but save my dying soul. I felt a burden leave me and peace came to my soul. I can lay down at night and feel the Lord is my Savior. I deal with dying all the time because of a bad heart and I only have a part of it left, so death is on my mind all the time. As I lay in bed at night sometimes I can feel every heart beat it is so strong and I wonder if this is it. I have awakened paralized and can not call my wife and can't move it gets scary sometimes but my faith keeps me going. When I can get my limbs to move I go look out the window to feel the peace between God and me. Faith is a "feeling" of being secure. I wish I knew what to tell you so that you could feel a much stronger faith. I don't know how old you are or what kind of life you have had to live but what we bear makes us stronger in our faith. HP talks about different feeling of faith but most are when you are looking for the Lord. I tell you what most Christians do. They say to themselves I believe I am going to Heaven and if I don't it won't be because I didn't pray and try my best. I will pray that God will give you what I feel. Please don't misunderstand for there are times I doubt myself but it is the thorn in my flesh to buffet me so I don't get to exalted and keeps me humble. I have been at this for 34 years and the last time I had heart surgery I was so miserable I didn't want to live any longer. I could see there was peace just out of my reach but I couldn't get there as long as I lived so I ask God to let me die and leave this troublesome world. That is what my faith is. I am willing to die on it and if you are not then I suggest you really get sincere with God and don't hold anything back but give him your whole heart soul and body. I said "Lord, here I am, I give it all". May God bless you and help is my prayer and if I said anything to discourage you in any way then please forgive me. There is a measure of faith that is to every man but there is the faith of God that was once delivered unto the Saints and that is what you need. I hope I haven't confused you more than you were.
    I agree there are questions about faith and works but to me it is the private interptation of the Scriptures instead of taking what the Scripture really says. Some are so afraid of works they don't even want you to say you believe and repented. Well Jesus said if you don't do both you will never see what Heaven looks like and men have twisted that to no end.
     
    #15 Brother Bob, Jun 18, 2006
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  16. Claudia_T

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    Brother Bob,

    I can't say that I understand what you are going through but I can say that for about the last 5 months Ive had a similar experience. I know what its like to think you are going to die and to realize that you have to make sure all the time that you are right with God. it really puts things into perspective for you.

    I came to the solemn realization that I needed to die now.. as in die to sin or else I wouldnt be in heaven. its die to sin and live forever in heaven. Or else just die period and not go to heaven.

    Bob can I ask you a favor? Could you try and sort of divide what you write into shorter paragraphs with spaces in between the paragraphs? Because it is hard for me to read those big long paragraphs and I dont want to miss a word of what you have to say.

    You are very blessed Bob and I know you know that. Its a blessing to be able to realize all the time whats really important in life. It might not seem like it at the time but it is.

    Giving you a computer cyber hug ((((((Brother Bob)))))))

    No wonder you are so smart, all this suffering has made you so.
     
  17. Claudia_T

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    xdisciplex

    Believing/Faith is simply trusting in what the Bible Promises say. Its not a "feeling"... its not you conjuring up something. Just simply, if God says a promise, I grasp hold of it. I know he means just what he says. Even if appearances seem otherwise.

    totally"other" than you, totally outside of yourself. Reaching out to God and turning away from yourself. GOD is faithful, to fo what He promises... My belief isnt even good enough, ONLY God doing what He says He will.

    Yet keep in mind something, God's will isnt always our will. God may see what you ask for isnt whats best for you, you have to accept that. Ask for things but accept that God will give you whats best.
     
  18. Brother Bob

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    Jonah, chapter 2
    "1": Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,

    "2": And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

    Amazing what sufferings of this world will cause a poor to cry out to the Lord and what you become willing to give for the Salvation of your soul. Amen,

    I caught the hug Claudia and thanks.
     
  19. Claudia_T

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    Ps:90:12: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
     

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