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Faith: What is it?

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What is Faith? Is it a "blind leap in the dark?" Is it believing in something that we can not know? Further, is faith an action or is it a thought?


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

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Hebrews 11 the faith chapter.
1917 Scofield Reference Bible Notes
Heb 11:391 faithThe essence of faith consists in receiving what God has revealed, and may be defined as that trust in the God of the Scriptures and in Jesus Christ whom He hath sent, which receives Him as Saviour and Lord, and impels to loving obedience and good works Joh 1:12; Jas 2:14-26. The particular uses of faith give rise to its secondary definitions:

(1) For salvation, faith is personal trust, apart from meritorious works, in the Lord Jesus Christ, as delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification Ro 4:5,23-25.

(2) As used in prayer, faith is the "confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us" 1Jo 5:14-15.

(3) As used in reference to unseen things of which Scripture speaks, faith "gives substance" to them, so that we act upon the conviction of their reality. Heb 11:1-3.

(4) As a working principle in life, the uses of faith are illustrated in Heb 11:1-39.




Copied from Swordseacher.

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If one reads and studies the Word of God it's clear the idea of "blind faith" isn't what God calls us to. The Bible is filled with all we need to know that God is who He says He is and the way of salvation is clear.

Faith is accepting what God has revealed to us and trusting in His sure promises to us. God doesn't translate us into perfect people upon our being born again in Christ nor does He immediately take us heaven, but He does seal us with His Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit resides in our hearts bearing witness to our salvation and the fact we belong to God in Christ. We can trust God that what He has said is true and in the future we will receive all God has promised for His people.

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People today beleive that faith is merely believing. It is not. For it is written that even Satan believes.

Faith involves action. Faith without works is dead. Can there be faith without works? The answer is a resounding No! The old illustration is that of sitting in a chair. I can believe all day long that a chair will hold me when I sit in it, but until I actually transfer my weight into it, I have no faith. I just have belief.

True faith will be demonstrated by the fruits of the spirit....love, joy, peace patience, goodness, kindess and self control. If we say we have faith, but go on living in the darkness, we lie. Faith involves hearing the call of God on our lives, believing, and acting upon that call.

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People today beleive that faith is merely believing. It is not. For it is written that even Satan believes.

Faith involves action. Faith without works is dead. Can there be faith without works? The answer is a resounding No! The old illustration is that of sitting in a chair. I can believe all day long that a chair will hold me when I sit in it, but until I actually transfer my weight into it, I have no faith. I just have belief.

True faith will be demonstrated by the fruits of the spirit....love, joy, peace patience, goodness, kindess and self control. If we say we have faith, but go on living in the darkness, we lie. Faith involves hearing the call of God on our lives, believing, and acting upon that call.


Is not faith and living a certain way two separate issues?

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Is not faith and living a certain way two separate issues?


Faith comes first, but if one has true faith it will show by the change in their lives away from sin and towards godliness. We are known by our fruits.

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Is not faith and living a certain way two separate issues?


One can live in a certain manner without faith.

However, one cannot faith without the faith manifesting itself in works. Faith and works cannot be divorced. Belief and works can be separated, but faith and works cannot be. As James writes, faith without works is dead, it is nothing.

These issues are one and the same. I can say I believe and have faith, but if I do nothing in response to that belief and faith, do I realy believe?

Jesus told the rich young ruler to go sell all of his possessions and then follow him. Jesus knew that to that ruler, riches prevented faith. It was not enough for the rich young ruler to say "I believe" and go back to his wealth. It took belief and action. It took saying "I believe," selling all his possessions and giving them to the poor, and following Christ.

It was not enough for the disciples to say I believe when Jesus issued his call to follow him. They had to leave their fishing nets and act and become fishers of men, following Christ. If they said they believed but stayed at their fishing nets, did they really beleive?

I don't think the two can be separated.

Now, one can clearly act like a believer, and not have faith and not believe. The Pharisees did just that. They had works, but they did not have faith. They were trying to obtain salvation through their own works.

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


Here is faith...

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Your hope is in Jesus Christ who you cannot see.

2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
1 Peter 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

...faith, that is from usward, is only toward Jesus Christ, very God.

Nothing...nothing...nothing else. Edited by 1Tim115

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Thank you all for your response. While there are one or two points made that I disagree with, most of the answers are good sound answers.

What I wanted to really focus on is 1. faith is not a "blind leap in the dark," 2. faith, at least the faith we read of in the Bible is more than a simple thought but is an action (it is active.) James 2 is discussed and certainly is to the point in this discussion. Faith without works is dead. It isn't enough to simply say that I have faith; one must actually act upon his "faith."

Too many seem to think that faith is believing in something that one can not know. I have faith that God exist; I know that He exist. My faith is based on clear evidence both in the Word of God and in the world/creation around us (Psm 19:1). Too many seem to think that faith excludes works (works of faith not of merit). Merit is excluded obedience is not.

Thank you again for the responses. Faith is a wonderful subject and important study. Maybe I will bring a lesson on faith for Sunday evening.

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Thank you all for your response. While there are one or two points made that I disagree with, most of the answers are good sound answers.

What I wanted to really focus on is 1. faith is not a "blind leap in the dark," 2. faith, at least the faith we read of in the Bible is more than a simple thought but is an action (it is active.) James 2 is discussed and certainly is to the point in this discussion. Faith without works is dead. It isn't enough to simply say that I have faith; one must actually act upon his "faith."

Too many seem to think that faith is believing in something that one can not know. I have faith that God exist; I know that He exist. My faith is based on clear evidence both in the Word of God and in the world/creation around us (Psm 19:1). Too many seem to think that faith excludes works (works of faith not of merit). Merit is excluded obedience is not.

Thank you again for the responses. Faith is a wonderful subject and important study. Maybe I will bring a lesson on faith for Sunday evening.


Ah! I see, you're question deals with (1) how the lost perceive we who have faith in Jesus Christ; and (2) what saving faith in Jesus Christ motivates us to do.

I thought you were asking about saving faith.

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Ah! I see, you're question deals with (1) how the lost perceive we who have faith in Jesus Christ; and (2) what saving faith in Jesus Christ motivates us to do.

I thought you were asking about saving faith.


My question was about faith.

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No, your question deals with practicing faith after saving faith. I have a question for you. Are you saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone?


I am sure that if you have read my previous post you know what I believe. I am also sure that you are aware that I have been warned about what I say on here, but since you asked, I will answer your question.

I will allow the Bible to answer your question; my opinion doesn't matter.

1. Eph 2:8 - Saved by grace
2. Rom 8:24 - Saved by hope
3. 1 Peter 3:21 - Saved by water
4. Rom 5:9 - Justified by his blood; saved through Him

Here is a question for you. James in chapter 2:24 said, "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." Paul in Romans chapters 3, 4, 5; Gal chapters 2, 3 etc. clearly states that a man is justified by faith and not by works. Clearly we know that they were not contradicting one another so how would you explain the difference?

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No, your question deals with practicing faith after saving faith. I have a question for you. Are you saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone?


Are the two things different? Do we have a saving faith if that faith is not exercised by action? The two cannot be separated. Jesus says, "Follow me." If we say I believe, and do not act and do not follow, there is no real saving faith. The book of James makes that clear. If we say we believe but that belief does not change our actions, that "faith" is dead.

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Are the two things different? Do we have a saving faith if that faith is not exercised by action? The two cannot be separated. Jesus says, "Follow me." If we say I believe, and do not act and do not follow, there is no real saving faith. The book of James makes that clear. If we say we believe but that belief does not change our actions, that "faith" is dead.



Very good points. Faith (saving faith) isn't simply believing. It isn't enough to simply say I believe as James clearly states in James 2:14ff. Saving faith is active, it is obeying.

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Coc33-

From my understanding the christian faith is believing that Jesus died for our sins; believing that there is a God and He sent his Son into the world as a replacement for our sins. We are to believe (have faith that all this took place) by reading and trusting the bible fully. If we have this faith and thus become saved, it will show in our daily lives...

Edited by Saved IFB

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I am sure that if you have read my previous post you know what I believe. I am also sure that you are aware that I have been warned about what I say on here, but since you asked, I will answer your question.

I will allow the Bible to answer your question; my opinion doesn't matter.

1. Eph 2:8 - Saved by grace
2. Rom 8:24 - Saved by hope
3. 1 Peter 3:21 - Saved by water
4. Rom 5:9 - Justified by his blood; saved through Him

Here is a question for you. James in chapter 2:24 said, "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." Paul in Romans chapters 3, 4, 5; Gal chapters 2, 3 etc. clearly states that a man is justified by faith and not by works. Clearly we know that they were not contradicting one another so how would you explain the difference?


I see no contradiction at all. Paul speaks to those who are lost and James speaks to those who are saved. Paul is speaking of justification before God and James is speaking of justification before lost men.

I wouldn't attempt to deny the scriptures above, I may differ with you on the context of 1 Peter 3:21 "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:" If you're saying you obeyed Christ after you were saved and were baptised then I agree 100%. If you're interpolating this to mean the water has some redeeming value then I disagree.

I hope we reached an agreement here?

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Coc33-

From my understanding the christian faith is believing that Jesus died for our sins; believing that there is a God and He sent his Son into the world as a replacement for our sins. We are to believe (have faith that all this took place) by reading and trusting the bible fully. If we have this faith and thus become saved, it will show in our daily lives...


This sums it up for me...

God is love.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Sin and it’s result.
Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
We have all sinned. We have all done things that are displeasing to God. There is no one who is innocent.

Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”

Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
The punishment that we have earned for our sins is death. Not just physical death, but eternal death!

God’s plan to redeem us.
Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Jesus Christ died for us! Jesus' death paid the price for our sins. Jesus' resurrection proves that God accepted Jesus' death as the payment for our sins.

Romans 10:8-10
8 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;"
9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Because of Jesus' death on our behalf, all we have to do is believe in Him, trusting His death as the payment for our sins - and we will be saved! Because of our Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death, witnessed by so many, we have that assurance he will keep his promise of eternal life for us.
Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Romans 4:21 "And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform."

Result of accepting God’s plan.
Romans 5:1 "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"
Through Jesus Christ we can have a relationship of peace with God.

Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Because of Jesus' death on our behalf, we will never be condemned for our sins. Because Christ was raised from the dead, we have this precious promise of God.

Romans 8:38 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,”
Romans 8:39 “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Grace and Faith .

Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"
Ephesians 2:9 "Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Grace of God is unmerited (we can do nothing to receive it) favor of God. "Grace" is so much of a characteristic of God (like His love), that human words do not adequately express its meaning.

Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Romans 10:17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

No other way.

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Simply stated, Jesus Christ, very God, came down from heaven, born of a virgin by the Spirit of God, lived a sinless life, was severely persecuted, died on the cross, arose from the dead, was seen of men, returned to heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father to make intercession for all who freely accept Him as the only sacrifice for their sins.

Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Ed: Also, I copied most of this from the web somewhere several years ago but have added to it since then. Edited by 1Tim115

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I see no contradiction at all. Paul speaks to those who are lost and James speaks to those who are saved. Paul is speaking of justification before God and James is speaking of justification before lost men.

I wouldn't attempt to deny the scriptures above, I may differ with you on the context of 1 Peter 3:21 "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:" If you're saying you obeyed Christ after you were saved and were baptised then I agree 100%. If you're interpolating this to mean the water has some redeeming value then I disagree.

I hope we reached an agreement here?


Don't hold your breath, brother. I have a feeling that coc333 is here to spread damnable heresy.

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