Faith Is...

By definition, faith is belief. The New Testament word that is translated faith is the noun form of the verb that is translated believe. Why do modern translators consistently use faith instead of belief? Because the idea in most contexts is not just belief in a casual or academic sense, but belief to the point of trust, belief that guides one’s life.

Here are a few things the Bible affirms about faith.

Faith is the result of hearing the gospel. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Faith is not wishful thinking; it is a conviction based on the testimony of Scripture.

Faith is essential to pleasing God. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).  Faith not only believes in God, it believes God, it trusts what He says.

Faith is a condition of our salvation. “.And that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). Faith is not the only condition, but it is so fundamental that it is often used as a summary of what God requires of us.

Faith is useless if it is not expressed in action. “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14). “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself” (v. 17). “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (v. 26).

Faith is part of our guiding perspective. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Reality reaches beyond what we are able to see from our limited perspective. Faith takes unseen realities, revealed by God, into account and acts accordingly.

Faith is what makes unseen things so real to us. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

Faith is the victory. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4). The world presents many challenges to the Christian. But whereas the world and its lusts are passing away, the one who does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:17). In Christ, we are victorious through faith!

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