What is FAITH?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Yelsew, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. Yelsew

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    Since there seems to be some significant difference of opinion as to what FAITH is, this topic is started in hopes that we can arrive at the truth of:</font>
    • WHAT FAITH IS</font>
    • WHAT is the Source of FAITH?</font>
    • Where faith resides</font>
    • Why faith is necessary</font>
    • Who requires FAITH?</font>
    All that I request is that we stay on topic all the way.

    Let's start with What is FAITH? Then work our way through each of the others.
     
  2. Yelsew

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    Websters says,
    1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, Idea or thing.
    2. Belief not based on logical proof or material evidence
    3. loyalty to a person or thing: allegiance
    4. a. Belief and trust in God, b. religious conviction.
    5. a system of religious beliefs
    6. a set of principles or beliefs.

    For this topic, let's not include in the discussion Webster's definitions 5 or 6. If needed we can discuss them in another topic.
     
  3. 3AngelsMom

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    Good topic!

    What is faith?

    Faith is the manefestation of the hope we have. It is the only evidence that we have for the things that we cannot see.

    It is the knowledge of God, that drives us to obedience and repentence from dead works.

    God Bless,
    Kelly
     
  4. Yelsew

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    the knowledge of God? Faith? Do we need faith if we have knowledge?
     
  5. dianetavegia

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    Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
     
  6. Yelsew

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    Well, I can see we are going to have to work our way around biblical commentators definitions instead of using standardized definitions.
     
  7. CatholicConvert

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    Hmmmmmmmmmmm......

    I wonder about this. What do you mean by the "knowledge of God" per se? The reason I am asking this is that I have seen a number of posts in forums where two people accuse each other of not having faith in God (Christian faith specifically) because they do not share the same "knowledge" of God. But does that mean that they don't have faith? Or is faith a trust in God which rests in the qualities we do know about Him -- love, mercy, longsuffering, faithfulness to His promises?

    Faith is surely a gift, as Eph. 2: 8 - 9 says. but does it have to be in perfect knowledge, or can it grow and become perfected over a lifetime of living and experiences?

    Just pondering your statement.

    Cordially in Christ and through the Blessed Virgin,

    Brother Ed
     
  8. Singer

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    What is Faith?

    Hebrews 11:1
    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.


    *This could apply to salvation, quest for a job, a spouse, gifts of the spirit....
    there's no end to the possibilities. We are to "have faith" in God. This could
    mean faith in the fact that there IS [ /I] a God, that the ''faith'' in knowing so
    would result in eternal life which Christ displayed for us and told us the way.
     
  9. Carson Weber

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    "Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed. As personal adherence to God and assent to his truth, Christian faith differs from our faith in any human person. It is right and just to entrust oneself wholly to God and to believe absolutely what he says. It would be futile and false to place such faith in a creature"

    Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 150
     
  10. 3AngelsMom

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    Brother Ed,

    Our inability to see God, through our eyes, leaves us with the only thing we can see Him through....our minds.

    It is through 'faith' that we 'know' Him. We don't really 'know' that God exists, or what His characteristics are, we merely have 'faith' that He exists, and that He has those characteristics.

    It is 'faith' as opposed to 'fact' that drives us.

    You put your seat belt on when you get in your car because you KNOW that it has saved lives.

    We pray, and hope in Salvation because we have 'faith', we 'know' that God will save us.

    Make sense?

    God Bless,
    Kelly
     
  11. Bro. Curtis

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    At a local waterfall, my daughter was nervously standing on the edge of a cliff, looking into the water. She had seen me jump in numerous times and was anxious to try it, but still a little intimidated by the big drop. But I told her she would be fine. She jumped, meaning to me that she trusted my words more than what her brain was telling her.

    "Faith is something you believe, that nobody in their right mind would believe " Archie Bunker
     
  12. Sola-Scriptura

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    Faith is first a gift!
    Faith is the means that God has decided to use, for us to become the righteousness of Christ. It is not a work or a feeling. It's object is always the Person and work of the Lord Jesus, not any "thing". It must be Faith that is granted by God through the Gospel and in Christ alone. It embraces truths about God, but most importantly it embraces God Himself in the person of Christ.
     
  13. Me2

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    can man have faith in God without FIRST receiving the spirit of Jesus Christ ?..(his word, or spirit)
     
  14. Sola-Scriptura

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    Scripture teaches No:
    Ephesians 2
    8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast.

    John 3:5-8 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not marvel that I said to you, "You must be born again.' 8The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
     
  15. Brother Adam

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    Honestly now, who says it better than Hebrews 11:1-3? We know that that definition will NEVER fail.

    Here is an illustration though:

    Let's say we are sitting in an office on the 40th floor of an office complex when your boss says "becuase you have all worked so hard I have decided to offer a little entertainment."

    Wondering what is going on you and your fellow co-workers gather at a window where a man is standing holding a long poll. Your boss then says: "This man is a tight rope walker and will walk across a thin wire on this, the 40th floor, to the building ajacent to us without any safty measures."

    You personally think the guy is off his rocker, but you think this should be interesting. Then your boss says "However, we have a proposal to make. We are willing to give one million dollars, as well as a yearly compensation and an early retirement to the person who will sit on his shoulders as he walks across for a second time".

    You think, "Wow, that sounds too good to be true, but I would have to be putting all my faith into this person not to drop me. There is nothing I can do once I'm on his shoulders. It's up to him, totally, to get me across safe to the other side."
     
  16. NewReformation

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    Simply put, Faith is belief put into action.


    P.S. Dianetavegia, has anyone ever told you that you look kinda like Faith Hill?
     
  17. DHK

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    So far, Webster's first definition of faith defines faith the best:
    Hebrews 11:1-6 is more a description of faith than a definition.
    In Romans 4:19-21, we have a good example of faith:

    19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:
    20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
    21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

    As Webster says, faith is "confident belief in the truth of a person." Here is Abraham: "not weak in faith, but fully confident (or persuaded) that what God had promised he was going to do. He had confidence in the truth or word of God. That is faith.

    1John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
    In this verse faith is described as confidence.

    How do we get faith. Normally we get faith by spending time with the person who is the object of our faith. For example, some day some of you young people out their will marry. Would you just pick or choose any one off the street who would say yes to your proposal? I hope not. You could never be confident that she would be the right one for you. If through prayer and guidance, and the wisdom and guidance of those whom you trust, God leads you to a person who could be possibly a good mate, and you start to see this person on a regular basis, the more you become acquainted with her, the more faith you may be able to put in her that she would be able to become you wife. (or not). If all goes well some day you will marry. You will be confident enough at that time in your life to say "I do," and take her as your wife. As time goes on, the more you get to know her, the more confidence you will be able to put in her: whether she will follow you to the foreign mission field if God should call you there, confident that she under any circumstance would never leave you, would always be supportive of you, etc. That confidence just grows. It grows because the relationship matures and develops. The more time you spend together the more confident you become of her, i.e., the more faith you are able to put in her words, that what she says she will accomplish for you, she will do, that her word for you is truth.

    The same is true with God. The more time you spend with God, the more confidence you will be able to put in the promises of His Word. The greater relationship you will develop with Him through prayer and His word, the more confidence, the more faith, a person can have to step out on faith and trust Him to meet all his needs, no matter what situation God has placed Him. Faith arises out of a relationship with God. It is the confidence that we have in the promises of God. Faith is the confidence in the Word of another, particularly the confidence we have in the Word of God.
    DHK
     
  18. Yelsew

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    Is there agreement then that Webster's definition #1 best describes what faith is?

    If Yes, then let's proceed to my question #2 What is the source of Faith? But let us limit our discussion to individual human faith and not "the faith" or some other faith. And the object of faith is not important to this discussion.

    What is the source of each individual's Faith?
     
  19. DHK

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    Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
    However if one believes that the Word of God is just a book of stories, legends, a book that is to be taken allegorically and not literally, how can he have confidence or faith in the book or the words that God has given us. These are the words of God. It is His revelation to mankind; the guidebook that He has given us for our journey through life. Do I have confidence in His Word? If I do not believe in the veracity of God's Word, I will never have faith in God, for faith is confidence in the word of another person.

    Again, Abraham is our example. He staggered not at the promises of God, but was strong in faith, being fully persuaded that what God had promised he was fully able to perform. That is faith, and his source of faith was the promises of God which he had full confidence in, because he knew God. He was called the Friend of God. The level of our confidence in God's Word is often in direct proportion the spiritual level of our relationship with God that we have.
    DHK
     
  20. Yelsew

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    In accordance with Webster's first definition of Faith,
    Does the Word of God have to be the only source of faith? No! Human faith, that "confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea or thing", can come from any source that provides enough evidence of truth, value, or trustworthiness as to be believed, thereby forming the basis for faith. Faith in God, comes from God's word, no matter what form of "hearing" brings it to our mind and spirit.

    Faith in the strength of a rope comes from one's "experience" with rope, the 'result of tests' performed on the rope, and the 'testimony of others' similar to ourselves who have 'used' the rope. But human faith is what we humans accept as truth, value, or trustworthiness.

    Faith is a completely and totally human thing. God has no need of Faith, There is nothing that God does not know, cannot see, or does not hear, so Faith is not something that is true of God. Therefore God has no faith to give to mankind. Faith in God is man's response to the truth, the value, and the trustworthiness of God. That response of faith was not imputed to man, because it comes from within man and is based on what was imputed to man. That is knowledge or the word of God, God's prophesies regarding Himself and man, God's promises, etc. are imputations to man that cause the response of faith. So where then does the Holy Spirit come into this? The Holy Spirit testifies to the human spirit when something that is imputed is trustworthy, true, and has value. In Computing there is the phrase "garbage in, garbage out". The Holy Spirit's testimony to man confirms what is true and of value so that man can filter out "the garbage", strengthening what faith he may have by accepting only what is true, of value and trustworthy. The Holy Spirit keeps stirring the pot of information we receive keeping it ever before us until we make a decision that changes our life forever. Then that information is formed into faith as solid as Rock so that we are not easily shaken by diversity.

    Faith comes from within, based on what comes from "outside" of us. We are transformed from within on the basis of what we believe. Our salvation is determined by who we believe in and what we do about that belief. Do we save ourselves? God forbid the thought! God saves us, but he does not save those who do not believe in HIM, and belief comes from within! You will not be saved if you do not believe in the Savior!
     

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