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The noun, faith, and the corresponding verb, believe, are words of great significance in the New Testament. One’s faith in God (the Father), in Jesus Christ (His only begotten Son), and in the Holy Spirit (the revealer of Deity’s will), is the beginning point of man’s redemption from sin and of eternal salvation, as many passages state:
- “And without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him” (Heb. 11:6).
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
- “Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name” (John 20:30–31).
- “For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).
As with many Biblical terms, men have misdefined and misapplied faith and belief. Men generally misidentify Biblical faith with mere opinion, often based on some desired outcome. Such “faith” has no basis, except that one wants it to be so. By this definition, faith is little more than the baseless mysticism of a fairyland. Professed “believers” who hold this view of faith invite unbelievers’ contempt for the Christ and His Gospel.
The Bible does not contrast faith with empirical knowledge (i.e., knowledge gained through our senses). Rather, Biblical faith is based upon evidence provided for our senses. Note:
- “So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). Faith is based upon evidence received from hearing, not guesswork born of desire.
- “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 The. 5: 21). We are to accept/believe only that which the tested evidence demands.
Numerous other passages (e.g., John 20:30–31; Acts 2:22, 36; Heb. 2:2–3; et al.) so indicate. The nearest thing we have to a “definition” of faith in the Bible is the following: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). There is “substance” to Biblical faith because it rests upon “evidence.”
[Note: I wrote this article for, and it appeared in the Denton Record-Chronicle, Denton, TX, August 10, 2007.]
Attribution: From thescripturecache.com; Dub McClish, owner and administrator.