The Nature of Faith

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    HP: There are those on this list that seem to detest the idea of a salvation of hope as opposed to absolute knowledge, yet with these words the author of Hebrews describes the term ‘faith.’ How is ‘faith the substance of things hoped for?’ If we can know with absolute certainty of our final standing before the Lord, and we are saved by faith, how can faith be the ‘evidence of things not seen?’ Would it not be a foregone conclusion that if we know with ‘absolute certainty' of our final standing before the Lord that we could not hope for it having seen it in reality already, thus destroying the very definition of faith given to us in God's Word?
     
  2. J. Jump

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    HP that is a great question and a great verse of Scripture to prove the point. What happens is most of Christendom has decided what faith means and what it doesn't. And what salvation, saved, gospel, lost, etc. etc. mean. And instead of studying the matters out and letting Scripture interpret Scripture they have taken their traditional church teachings and assigned that meaning to every mention of these verses.

    However the Bible when left alone to be the Bible and interpret Itself gives quite a different picture.

    Eternal salvation is a one-time event in a person's life where by faith they experience God's grace by believing in the substitutionary death and shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

    However grace and faith do not end at eternal salvation. They continue on in a different context.

    After eternal salvation then God's grace turns to allowing the saved individual to be a part of a different kind of salvation. A salvation of the soul, which allows one to be a part of the bride of Christ. And allows the person to have the hope of salvation or the hope of an inheritance.

    This faith must be combined with works (James) in order for this hope to be realized. This hope is just that a hope. It's not a certainty and can be lost or forfeited. But it's not eternal salvation. It is the salvation of the soul (Hebrews 10:39).

    Hebrews 10:39 sets up the context of Hebrews 11 which talks about faith and works. The hall of faith as it is described by a number of evangelicals, is not a half of eternal saving faith, but a hall of faith that saves the soul.'

    Context is king and these words must be allowed to be defined by the context that they were within, and not the automatic assumption that most of Christendom places on them.
     
  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: What is a ‘one time event?’ Something that is eternal is everlasting not a one time event is it not? If it was a one time event, and ones salvation was eternally consummated at that point, salvation by faith would be impossible to conceive of according to Scripture due to the fact faith is the substance of ‘things hoped for the evidence of things NOT YET seen. A ‘one time event’ settles everything in stone and leaves nothing to hope for does it not?




    HP: This sounds like a whole lot of private interpretation is going on here to me. Establish your point of a separate 'salvation of the soul' by allowing Gods Word to interpret itself. You say in one breath ( if I have understood you correctly before) that the salvation of the soul is somewhat optional and does not always see fruitation, yet here you say that it determines whether or not one is part of the body of Christ. "Anyman that has not the Spirit of Christ is none of His." Are you suggsting that a man can can the Spirit of Christ yet not be part of the bride of Christ? Again, show us the truth from the plain Word of God, allowing Scripture to be it's own interpreter.
     
  4. J. Jump

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    The salvation event is a one-time event in the person's life. One is saved the very moment they believe. It's not a okay your faith sets you on the right track and if you stay on track until the end you will be saved.

    It's a when you believed in the substitutionary death and shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God as the payment for your sin debt then at that very moment you believed your were saved. Not going to be saved one day, but were saved. Done deal. It's over. It's finished.

    You keep talking about the hope, which is a different context that eternal salvation. That's why you can't settle the issue of some people like me and this hope that you are tied to.

    They are talking about two separte things and don't have to be meshed together because they a compliments of each other.

    Not at all. The Bible interprets Itself so that if we will get out of the way it will tell us exactly what it means. Sometimes this is easier than others and sometimes you have to dig for the gold that is there.

    HP we have talked about these things before. The matter hasn't changed any. Hebrews 4:12, Genesis 1:1 establish the separation of soul and spirit. Hebrews 10:39, James 1:21 and I Peter 1:9 specifically mention the salvation of the soul, although the salvation of the soul is the primary context of the entire NT.

    True.

    False. I said the salvation of the soul determines whether or not you are a part of the bride. Every saved person is a part of the body of Christ, but only part of the body will make up the bride.

    That's not what I'm suggesting. That's what the Bible teaches. You can see this in the OT type between Adam-Eve, Christ-bride and in the OT type of Isaac-Rebekah. You can also see this in the story of Ruth.

    You can see this is the parable of the virgins, talents, pounds and wedding feast. You can see this in the seven letters to the churches in Revelation.

    That's just a start.
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture, explain to us what is the nature of the distinction between the soul and the spirit using Gen 1:1 and Heb 4:12.
     
  6. J. Jump

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    Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the soul and spirit are separated by the Word of God. Genesis 1 tells us why. God separated the light from the darkness. He didn't do away with the darkness, but put light alongside of the darkness.

    That's why there is a constant war between the darkness and the Light that is within you.
     
  7. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    I wonder if anyone on the list would venture an attempt to define faith as they see it, and explain to us if in fact any separation of terms exist between faith and absolute knowledge. Can the two co-exist at one and the same time? Can one have absolute knowledge of ones salvation and exercise faith at the same time?
     
  8. billwald

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    The statement in Hebrews is circular, a tautology.

    Better to reserve "faith" and 'Belief" to philosophy, reserving "knowledge" for science and matters of obersvation.
     
  9. mman

    mman
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    I'll give you my attempt.

    First, to define faith, I am going to start with what it is NOT. It is not belief only. Faith without works is dead, even the demons believe (James 2).

    Faith without love is useless (I Cor 13).

    I can have faith that my truck will get me home, but that is not biblical faith.

    Here is my best shot at defining Biblical faith. Faith is a belief and trust in God to the point where you obey any and all instructions.

    This definition works for James 2 (faith without works is dead) as well as Heb 11 (by faith the Abel offered, Noah constructed an ark, Abraham obeyed, Abraham offered, Jacob blessed, Moses was hidden, people crossed the Red Sea, the walls of Jericho fell, etc., etc.).

    If we want to understand biblical faith, I think we should understand the entire chapter of Heb 11, since it is devoted to that very subject.

    Rom 10:17 shows that the source of faith is God's word. I can add to my faith as I increase my knowledge and understanding of God's word.

    II Pet 1:5-11 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    This is an ongoing process, however, even though it is ongoing, we can make our "calling and election sure", if we practice these things.

    I have the promise of salvation. Paul encouraged some to continue in the faith (Acts 14:22). We are to be watchful and stand firm in the faith (I Cor 16:13). We are to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith (II Cor 13:5). There is one faith (Eph 4:5) and unity in the faith (Eph 4:13, Phil 1:27). If we continue in the faith, we can be stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel (Col 1:23). Some will depart from the faith (I Tim 4:1) and one can deny the faith (I Tim 5:8). We are to contend for the faith that was once delivered for all time (Jude 3).

    The faith is God's word. My faith has its source in God's word. As long as I continue in the faith and keep the faith (walk according to His word), I will receive the crown of righteousness on "That day" the Lord appears (II Tim 41-8).

    Of this, I have full assurance.

    Gotta run - hope this is not too convoluted.
     
  10. James_Newman

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    I certainly believe in the hope of salvation, and I believe in an absolute assurance of salvation by grace. I think these are two separate salvations, but that is another thread. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Things hoped for are not the substance of faith. Here we see the difference between a hope based on faith, and a 'faith' based on wishes. The 'Word of Faith' movement puts emphasis on this 'faith based on wishes' idea, if you believe something hard enough, you will have it. True faith, based on the word of God, is something that you can base hopes upon, and they will have a substance of evidence beyond mere wishful thinking. If God said it, it can be relied upon. Faith is merely believing what God said.

    Romans 10:17
    17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I like that definition. It points not to some stagnate head knowledge, but to something that is coupled with an act of the will that precipitates obedience.




    HP: If we are to remain consistent with faith being tied directly to obedience via acts of the will (without which faith is dead) we might desire to say that Scripture is the primary source of enlightenment that motivates our will to exercise faith. Make sense?



    HP: That is an excellent way to state it.



    HP:I might say my faith has it’s ‘impetus’ in God’s Word. God has indeed given to every man a measure of faith, yet that faith must be voluntarily utilized by our will in the formulation of intents consistent with obedience as you pointed out.

    You have a great grasp on truth IMO. It is my contention as well that IF I continue as you to walk according to His Word, I also will receive the crown of righteousness. That is my hope.

    I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for your input!
     
  12. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: An excellent statement. We have a SURE hope!



    HP: I would agree if 'belief' is seen as being coupled with action of the will in the formation of intents consistent with obedience. Remember that the formation of intents lie antecedent to any outward act of doing. The formation of intents or the will forming intents are simply the heart of man choosing an end and means to that end, that apart from force or coercion the individual will act in a way consistent with them and that of necessity. A person must act consistent with the end and means chosen. If he acts contrary to that chosen end, it is either that something outside of himself has forced or coerced the individual or that the individual has in effect chosen a different end. One can only do as one wills.
     
  13. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    This topic lies at the forefront of so many threads. Without a proper understanding of the true nature of faith error is unavoidable.

    When or if one divorces the input and involvement of man, via the freely chosen intents of the heart, with faith, faith is diminished to mere dead head knowledge. Such dead faith has no ability to suffice for any condition of salvation stated by Scripture as a prerequisite of salvation. Faith is at it’s very roots an act of the will in agreement with benevolence as opposed to selfishness. No act of the will? No faith.
     
  14. mojoala

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    And that where the problem presents itself. There are so many people here at this forum that claim to be a Christian by their faith, but do not obey all instructions.
     

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