FAITH IS

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

New American Standard Bible, Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.

NASB 1995, Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Strong’s Concordance:

FAITH, faithfulness: ‘pistis’

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine.
Transliteration: pistis.
Phonetic Spelling: (pis’-tis).
Definition: faith, faithfulness.
Usage: faith, belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness.

HELPS Word-studies

From Strong’s Concordance #4102, the Greek word, pístis’. which comes from the word, ‘peithô, means, to “persuade, or to be persuaded”. More correctly, it means persuasion; to be persuaded, to come to trust.

  1. Faith, ‘pistis’,is always a gift from God, and never something that can be produced by people. In short, ‘pistis’,(“faith”) for the believer, is “God’s divine persuasion“, and is therefore distinct from human belief, or human confidence, yet it involves it. The Lord continuously births faith in the yielded believer so they can know what He prefers, i.e. it is the persuasion of His will in the believer. (1 John 5:4).

“Pistis’, faith, in secular antiquity, was referred to as a guarantee, a warranty. In Scripture, faith is God’s warranty, certifies that the revelation He births in a believer will come to pass, His way.

Pistis faith, is also used collectively, seen in all the times that God has revealed, or given the persuasion of His will, which includes the full revelation of Scripture, (see Jude 3). Indeed, God the Lord guarantees that all of this revelation will come to pass! (Compare Mt 5:18 with 2 Tim 3:16).

‘Pistis’ Faith is always received from God, and never generated by us.

Romans 12:3 says, “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith,”. 

Ephesians 2:8,9, says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast”.

Gal 5:22,23, says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Reflection: Faith is given, exclusively, to the redeemed. It is not a virtue that can be worked up by human effort.

  1. ‘Pistis’, Faith,enables the believer to know God’s preferred-will Accordingly, faith and “God’s preferred-will,(Strong’s #2307, ‘thelçma) are directly connected in Scripture.

2 Romans 12:2,3, says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will, of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”

Hebrews 10:36,38, says, “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.”

“BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM”.

1 John 5:4: “For whatever is born of God conquers the world; and this is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith.”

  1. In sum, ‘Pistis’, faith,is a persuasion from God that we receive as He grants impulse. Faith is always the work of God and involves hearing His voice, whereby, the believer lays hold of God’s preferred-will, (J. Calvin).
More on what faith is and isn’t
  •  In Scripture, faith and belief are not exactly the same. Faith always comes from God and involves His revelation therefore faith is beyond belief!
  • Faith is God’s work; faith is never the work of people. We cannot produce faith ourselves, nor can we “drum it up at will.” Rather, faith comes as Christ speaks His rhçma-word within (see Ro 10:17, Gk text).
  • In all of Scripture, only the term faith is ever used in the following way: Ro 14:23: Whatever is not of faith(4102/pistis) is sin.” Heb 11:6: “And without faith (4102/pistis) it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (NASU).

Reflection: Nothing quite like this two-fold witness appears elsewhere in the Bible. These sweeping statements sober the heart and inspire the soul!

Key quotes

“Faith always pre-supposes revelation” (W. H. Griffith Thomas, Genesis, 55).

“Faith is always a response to a divine revelation” (W. H. Griffith Thomas, Hebrews, 143).

“Faith, both in its initiation and every step of the way, is Spirit given . Faith is God given” (W. Hendriksen, Galatians, 197).

“Faith precedes works, and is not something merely deduced by reason of existing” (D. Edmond Hiebert, Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians 1:11).

“Faith is always a gift of God” (L. Morris, John, p 520). “The basis of faith is God’s revelation of Himself . Christianity came to be seen as a faith event” (O. Michel, Dictionary of New Testament Theology).

“Faith is the divine response, wrought in man, by God” (from Berkof’s Systematic Theology, representing the views of Barth and Brunner).

“Faith always has the element of assurance, certainty and confidence, and evidential value substantiating the thing we hope for. With faith, there is no strain or tension; rather, it has the element of assurance and confidence in it. If there is strain or tension, that is, by trying to persuade yourself to keep from doubting, you can be quite sure that it is not faith. Faith is not the law of mathematical probability; faith is not natural; faith is spiritual and is the gift of God. You cannot command faith at will, faith is always something that is given, it is in-wrought by God; therefore, if you want to be a man of faith, it will always be the result of becoming a certain type of person” (M. Lloyd Jones, Romans, Romans 4:18-25).

“Faith is the divinely given conviction of things unseen” (Homer Kent Jr., Hebrews, 217, quoting Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, volume 2, 476).

“Faith is the organ which enables people to see the invisible order” (F.

  1. Bruce, Hebrews, 279).

“Right faith is a thing wrought in us by the Holy Spirit” (William Tyndale).

“We have made faith a condition of mind, when it is a divinely imparted grace of the heart. We can receive faith only as he gives it, but, you cannot manufacture faith, you can not work it up. You can believe a promise, and at the same time not have the faith to appropriate it. Genuine, Scriptural faith is not our ability to ‘count it done,’ but is the deep consciousness divinely imparted to the heart of man that it is done, it is the faith that only God can give. Do not struggle in the power of the will.  What a mistake it is to take our belief in God and call of faith.  Christ, the living word, is our sufficiency. (Charles Price, The Real Faith, Logos/publications).

Summary

Belief and faith are not exactly equivalent terms. When Jesus told people, “Your faith has made you well,” faith was still His gift (Ephesians 2:8,9). Any gift however, once received, becomes the “possession” of the recipient. Faith however is always from God and is purely His work (2 Thessalonians 1:11).

Note: The Greek definite article is uniformly used in the expressions “your faith,” or, “their faith”, (which occur over 30 times in the Greek NT). This genitive construction with the article refers to “the principle of faith (operating in) you” – not “your faith” in the sense that faith is ever generated by the recipient.

Reflection: Demons believe (and shudder), but they do not have, i.e., they do not experience faith!

James 2:19, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder“.

(Note: the foregoing, in majority, is taken from Biblehub.com).

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Matthew 21:21, 22, informs and instructs us, “And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive it all.”

Let’s, by faith, join God in the Spiritual Battle of these Last Days. Let’s gird up, take up our Sword and Shield, and put the enemy to flight!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

 

The word ‘faith’ occurs in scriptures over 230 times (NASB). Here are just a few of those verses.

Habakkuk 2:4

“Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.

Matthew 6:30

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!

Matthew 8:10

Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.

Matthew 8:26

He *said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.

Matthew 9:2

And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.”

Matthew 9:22

But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.

Matthew 9:29

Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.”

Matthew 14:31

Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Matthew 15:28

Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.

Matthew 16:8

But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread?

Matthew 17:20

And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

Matthew 21:21

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.

Mark 2:5

And Jesus seeing their faith *said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Mark 4:40

And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

Mark 5:34

And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”

Mark 10:52

And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.

Mark 11:22

And Jesus *answered saying to them, “Have faith in God.

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