More on Faith

These is a good discussion faith over on Polycarp’s blog . What follows was from a comment I made there. Its interesting how God works, as I’ve been working on a study of faith, belief, and evidence of faith, having recently posted on this topic. I also have a listing of posts I’ve made on faith as well.

I was watching Polar Express with the kids last night, and towards the end, the conductor punched words on the kids tickets as they were boarding the train for the return ride home. On one kid’s ticket, the words “depend on”, “rely on”, “count on” showed themselves as the kid turned the ticket over and over.

I was looking at various translations of John 3:16 and noticed the Darby has “believes on”.

This would fit with the definition of pisteuo, translated as “believe” in John 3:16 – to place confidence in, to trust.

Faith itself is not evidence, but faith engenders evidence of the belief one has.

You can have a loosely or lightly held belief and not have trust in, or faith in, that which you believe. In this case, that belief is really merely an idea, possibly an untrusted supposition – where you might give someone the benefit of the doubt but not really believe it. OR you can have a strongly held belief in someone which rises to the level of trust in, or faith in, or reliance upon, that person. But this faith is not tested until such a time as difficulty comes, and you have to rely upon that person to do that for which you are trusting him/her.

I’ve given the example before of believing your 40 year old car will make the drive from LA to NYC. It might be a lightly held belief, but not to the level of faith, or it might be true trust. If it is just a lightly held belief, then it will likely not be put into practice – at best it might tested with little or no confidence. But that is not the same thing as having faith. If your belief is trust, you give evidence to that faith by actually making the drive from LA to NYC. Not to test the faith, but merely to put it into action. The driving is not the faith, it is putting the faith into action; it is the evidence of the faith which you say you have.

John wrote that Jesus said we must believe in (or believe on, using the Darby translation) Christ having been sent by God to have eternal life (John 3:16). Paul wrote we are justified  through faith in Christ (Galatians 3:16). Paul also said in Acts 26;20 that he preached that people “should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” Have you turned to God through faith in Christ? If so, where’s the evidence?

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2 Responses

  1. Faith is indeed substance (hypostasis), a reality, Wb, and not a mere belief. I think you analogy of the car fits well.

  2. I’ve heard faith defined as a belief combined with an emotional component of being convinced of its truth which causes one to put that belief into action.

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