What is Faith? Is it the same as Belief?

Consider Faith as the manifestation of a held belief.  By ‘manifestation’, I don’t mean that what you believe and hope for materializes or comes to pass.
For example, take the statement “I believe that the walls of this room will turn red.”.  I don’t mean that at some point the walls become or appear to become red (for what ever reason)Instead, what I mean by ‘manifestation’ is that you go out and buy matching drapes and furniture in preparation for the walls to turn red. This is going beyond simple belief. It entails action that you take based upon that belief.Let me point out two comprehensive lessons from the Bible demonstrating Faith in God:

In the example in Matt 15 of the woman at Canaan seeking healing for her daughter who was vexed by a devil. She besought Jesus and the disciples bid that she be sent away. She persisted and Jesus Himself tells her that He was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Undeterred, she pleads. She knows with complete confidence that Jesus is able to deliver her daughter and is convinced that her persistence will be rewarded. Having thoroughly demonstrated the power of faith for all future generations, Jesus grants her request. Her request was in line with the will of God, that is to say, it was not offensive to Him. Her faith was well placed and her belief was sustained by her confidence in it as demonstrated in her endless persistence.

In the example in Matt 9 of the woman with an issue of blood 12 years. Knowing in her own mind that if she were merely able to touch the hem of His garment, she would be healed. So she did and it was so. Jesus says a very revealing thing to her – “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.” He might well have said, “I hereby heal you.” but instead He said “thy faith hath made thee whole.”

In both of the cases, prior to their actions, the women already had unshakable belief. Yet it wasn’t until they acted upon their beliefs that their reward (grace) was received.

Heb 11 offers many examples of faith, each accompanied by action based upon their trust of God’s Word.

You could split faith up into two different forms:

1)  Faith that is in accordance with the Word of God.

This form of Faith results in grace (salvation for example). Since this form of Faith is based in Truth (God’s Word), doesn’t it have an eternal aspect to it since His Word doesn’t pass away? (Mal 3:6)   Eph 2:8 says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” We are given Faith as a means of grace. We are not creating or earning the grace, but are making use of the gift given to us by which we may enrich ourselves and others. It’s not our work being done, it is our participation in the gift that is being done. You can choose not to participate.

2)  Faith in anything else.

Faith in anything but the Word of God is in vain since it will eventually come to naught as set forth in the Word of God. Mat 24:35 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

Consider one of my favorite examples of powerful faith that anyone can manifest to great advantage of the “faither”.

Read Luke 11, this is one of the “…Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find…” passages.

Then, thank God for leading you to this gift He has just placed in your hands. Pray that He allow the spirit to lead and guide you to understanding of His Word (Truth) and Strength through it.

Now, in expectation of understanding His Word, begin reading it. Isn’t this a primary step to understanding it? Don’t be afraid to seek out reliable teachers/apostles, search the internet, but test their fruits against the Word of God.  John 8:31,32 “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue (abide) in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

This works because you request AND seek understanding of God’s Word based upon a promise contained in His own Word. Don’t the results of anything that we do correspond to the motives and earnestness in which we do them. If you’re motivated by reputation among men expect to reap according to those pursuits.

Some will argue that this ‘Faith’ is a form of works which, according to scripture, will not bring salvation.  But consider:

James 2:14 “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?” This is simple belief without action. It’s like a lamp placed under a bushel that provides no light for all which are in the house to see by. A person without faith is like a lamp without oil or one placed under a bushel, or a seed which is never planted. Neither performs it’s function and may well be cast aside as unfruitful.  James 2:26  “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

Gene Scott recognized Faith as the following (ABCs of Faith):

Faith is Action based upon a Belief and sustained by Confidence that when God says something then it is forever settled in heaven!

I thank God for all of the apostles, pastors and teachers whose Faith in God’s Word was not hidden under a bushel but cast a light for future generations to see and benefit from.

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