Faith: a study

I used to think faith was this kind of supernatural thing that was invisible and was basically like a kind of way of saying “strong belief”.

But then I heard J. Warner Wallace talk about faith in a different way. He says the word for faith most commonly used in the Greek translation is actually πίστις; pistis, pisteōs, and its meaning is actually closer to “confidence in the truth” almost like using this word to be used as evidence.

Well, that got me thinking. I have some recourses and I can look into these things if/when I want. So the first thing I did was look up this word in the NT for faith. I found that J. Warner Wallace did actually hit on something that I didn’t really know before. The way I would describe the word “faith” as it is used in the NT is something very close to the word “conviction”. It’s having a conviction of knowing the Word of God is Truth in a larger scale. When I found this out, that the word for faith might as well be more akin to the synonym, but differently meaning “faithfulness” It got me really curious about what the OT says about faith. So I opened up my “New Bible Dictionary” and read what it said on faith. I was surprised that faith in both the OT and the NT is more akin to the word "faithfulness" and even more still, something to mean more like “trust” as in “Trust in God” “Trust that God will not fail you” and other such types of things. Then of course I searched for the word faith and looked at some of the entries for faith in the OT. I looked at a few verses that have this word in the verse and I picked one of the Hebrew words for faith and it actually means something like “steadfastness” which I thought was fascinating. Why? Well, because all throughout the OT it talks of God being the unmoved mover, the most consistent being in existence. So it is not hard to see that when man says he is “faithful” or “steadfast” he is actually trying to imitate God.

The word for faith in the Bible is apt, but at the same time, due to my particular upbringing in the Church, I thought faith was some mystical notion of belief - some sort of intangible feeling that I could never quite crack down on. After doing this study, I learn that it stems from man being made in the Imago Dei and that this means because God is the unmoved mover, God is someone to imitate in our own character.

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Appreciated your quote from J. Warner Wallace regarding faith as “confidence in the truth.” I follow Krista Bontrager and she recently interviewed him and he shared similar insights.

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@Jesse_Means_God_Exists, I think you’ll like one of my favorite verses on this -
Heb 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”.

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Good verse @salee - and just a few verses earlier, you have the only verse in all of the Bible that actually defines faith for us - Hebrews 11:1. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. And you’re right, @Jesse_Means_God_Exists - the word “evidence” in that verse is meant in the sense of an absolute conviction. The word “substance” is similar to assurance.

It is a conviction, an assurance of the truth. It comes from internalizing the Word of God - faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God - Romans 10:17.

You know, it’s interesting that we often talk about lost people needing to “believe” in Christ. But once a person does believe in Christ, they typically speak of knowing Him. Just like I John says over 20 times - we do know that we know him and we know that we are in him and we know that we have passed from death unto life and ye know that ye have eternal life and so on.

It’s not unlike hearing about someone, and believing the nice things you’ve been told about them - but once you finally meet them, you begin to know who they really are.

Good topic, Jesse - thanks for bringing it up!

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@Jesse_Means_God_Exists I love your thoughtful posts. Thank you for them!

Our faith does not reside in a vacuum. Our faith rests on tangible evidence. The Bible documents historical evidence written by many authors in many genres over almost two thousand years with a unified message. Our lives are living documents of God’s trustworthiness. Yes, we mimic God in our faithfulness; but he has earned our trust with tangible evidence of his trustworthiness.

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@blbossard,

Thank you so much for the compliment. I do not take it lightly when people say things like this. Of course as I have said elsewhere on this forum, any good I do is not do to me and my intellect but because Christ lives in me. Hallelujah!

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