6 occurrences in 6 dictionaries

Reference: Faith


The assent of the understanding to any truth. Religious faith is assent to the truth of divine revelation and of the events and doctrines contained in it. This may be merely historical, without producing any effect on our lives and conversation; and it is then a dead faith, such as even the devils have. But a living or saving faith not only believes the great doctrines of religion as true, but embraces them with the heart and affections; and is thus the source of sincere obedience to the divine will, exhibited in the life and conversation. Faith in Christ is a grace wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, whereby we receive Christ as our Savior, our Prophet, Priest, and King, and love and obey him as such. This living faith in Christ is the means of salvation-not meritoriously, but instrumentally. Without it there can be no forgiveness of sins, and no holiness of life; and they who are justified by faith, live and walk by faith, Mr 16:16; Joh 3:15-16; Ac 16:31; 1Jo 5:10.

True faith is an essential grace, and a mainspring of Christian life. By it the Christian overcomes the world, the flesh, and the devil, and receives the crown of righteousness, 1Ti 4:7-8. In virtue of it, worthy men of old wrought great wonders, Heb 11; Ac 14:9; 1Co 13:2, being sustained by Omnipotence in doing whatever God enjoined, Mt 17:20; Mr 9:23; 11:23-24. In Ro 1:8, faith is put for the exhibition of faith, in the practice of all the duties implied in a profession of faith.

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Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true (Php 1:27; 2Th 2:13). Its primary idea is trust. A thing is true, and therefore worthy of trust. It admits of many degrees up to full assurance of faith, in accordance with the evidence on which it rests.

Faith is the result of teaching (Ro 10:14-17). Knowledge is an essential element in all faith, and is sometimes spoken of as an equivalent to faith (Joh 10:38; 1Jo 2:3). Yet the two are distinguished in this respect, that faith includes in it assent, which is an act of the will in addition to the act of the understanding. Assent to the truth is of the essence of faith, and the ultimate ground on which our assent to any revealed truth rests is the veracity of God.

Historical faith is the apprehension of and assent to certain statements which are regarded as mere facts of history.

Temporary faith is that state of mind which is awakened in men (e.g., Felix) by the exhibition of the truth and by the influence of religious sympathy, or by what is sometimes styled the common operation of the Holy Spirit.

Saving faith is so called because it has eternal life inseparably connected with it. It cannot be better defined than in the words of the Assembly's Shorter Catechism: "Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel."

The object of saving faith is the whole revealed Word of God. Faith accepts and believes it as the very truth most sure. But the special act of faith which unites to Christ has as its object the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ (Joh 7:38; Ac 16:31). This is the specific act of faith by which a sinner is justified before God (Ro 3:22,25; Ga 2:16; Php 3:9; Joh 3:16-36; Ac 10:43; 16:31). In this act of faith the believer appropriates and rests on Christ alone as Mediator in all his offices.

This assent to or belief in the truth received upon the divine testimony has always associated with it a deep sense of sin, a distinct view of Christ, a consenting will, and a loving heart, together with a reliance on, a trusting in, or resting in Christ. It is that state of mind in which a poor sinner, conscious of his sin, flees from his guilty self to Christ his Saviour, and rolls over the burden of all his sins on him. It consists chiefly, not in the assent given to the testimony of God in his Word, but in embracing with fiducial reliance and trust the one and only Saviour whom God reveals. This trust and reliance is of the essence of faith. By faith the believer directly and immediately appropriates Christ as his own. Faith in its direct act makes Christ ours. It is not a work which God graciously accepts instead of perfect obedience, but is only the hand by which we take hold of the person and work of our Redeemer as the only ground of our salvation.

Saving faith is a moral act, as it proceeds from a renewed will, and a renewed will is necessary to believing assent to the truth of God (1Co 2:14; 2Co 4:4). Faith, therefore, has its seat in the moral part of our nature fully as much as in the intellectual. The mind must first be enlightened by divine teaching (Joh 6:44; Ac 13:48; 2Co 4:6; Eph 1:17-18) before it can discern the things of the Spirit.

Faith is necessary to our salvation (Mr 16:16), not because there is any merit in it, but simply because it is the sinner's taking the place assigned him by God, his falling in with what God is doing.

The warrant or ground of faith is the divine testimony, not the reasonableness of what God says, but the simple fact that he says it. Faith rests immediately on, "Thus saith the Lord." But in order to this faith the veracity, sincerity, and truth of God must be owned and appreciated, together with his unchangeableness. God's word encourages and emboldens the sinner personally to transact with Christ as God's gift, to close with him, embrace him, give himself to Christ, and take Christ as his. That word comes with power, for it is the word of God who has revealed himself in his works, and especially in the cross. God is to be believed for his word's sake, but also for his name's sake.

Faith in Christ secures for the believer freedom from condemnation, or justification before God; a participation in the life that is in Christ, the divine life (Joh 14:19; Ro 6:4-10; Eph 4:15-16, etc.); "peace with God" (Ro 5:1); and sanctification (Ac 26:18; Ga 5:6; Ac 15:9).

All who thus believe in Christ will certainly be saved (Joh 6:37,40; 10:27-28; Ro 8:1).

The faith=the gospel (Ac 6:7; Ro 1:5; Ga 1:23; 1Ti 3:9; Jude 1:3).

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Heb 11:1, "the substance of things hoped for (i.e., it substantiates God's promises, the fulfillment of which we hope, it makes them present realities), the evidence (elengchos, the 'convincing proof' or 'demonstration') of things not seen." Faith accepts the truths revealed on the testimony of God (not merely on their intrinsic reasonableness), that testimony being to us given in Holy Scripture. Where sight is, there faith ceases (Joh 20:29; 1Pe 1:8). We are justified (i.e. counted just before God) judicially by God (Ro 8:33), meritoriously by Christ (Isa 53:11; Ro 5:19), mediately or instrumentally by faith (Ro 5:1), evidentially by works. Loving trust. Jas 2:14-26, "though a man say he hath faith, and have not works, can (such a) faith save him?" the emphasis is on "say," it will be a mere saying, and can no more save the soul than saying to a "naked and destitute brother, be warmed and filled" would warm and fill him.

Yea, a man (holding right views) may say, Thou hast faith and I have works, show (exhibit to) me (if thou canst, but it is impossible) thy (alleged) faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Abraham believed, and was justified before God on the ground of believing (Ge 15:6). Forty years afterward, when God did" tempt," i.e. put him to the test, his justification was demonstrated before the world by his offering Isaac (Genesis 22). "As the body apart from (chooris) the spirit is dead, so faith without the works (which ought to evidence it) is dead also." We might have expected faith to answer to the spirit, works to the body. As James reverses this, he must mean by "faith" here the FORM of faith, by "works" the working reality. Living faith does not derive its life from works, as the body does from its animating spirit.

But faith, apart from the spirit of faith, which is LOVE (whose evidence is works), is dead, as the body is dead without the spirit; thus James exactly agrees with Paul, 1Co 13:2, "though I have all faith ... and have not charity (love), I am nothing." In its barest primary form, faith is simply crediting or accepting God's testimony (1Jo 5:9-13). Not to credit it is to make God a "liar"! a consequence which unbelievers may well start back from. The necessary consequence of crediting God's testimony (pisteuoo Theoo) is believing in (pisteuoo eis ton huion, i.e. "trusting in") the Son of God; for He, and salvation in Him alone, form the grand subject of God's testimony. The Holy Spirit alone enables any man to accept God's testimony and accept Jesus Christ, as his divine Savior, and so to "have the witness in himself" (1Co 12:3). Faith is receptive of God's gratuitous gift of eternal life in Christ.

Faith is also an obedience to God's command to believe (1Jo 3:23); from whence it is called the "obedience of faith" (Ro 1:5; 16:26; Ac 6:7), the highest obedience, without which works seemingly good are disobediences to God (Heb 11:6). Faith justifies not by its own merit, but by the merit of Him in whom we believe (Ro 4:3; Ga 3:6). Faith makes the interchange, whereby our sin is imputed to Him and His righteousness is imputed to us (2Co 5:19,21; Jer 23:6; 1Co 1:30). "Such are we in the sight of God the Father, as is the very Son of God Himself" (Hooker) (2Pe 1:1; Ro 3:22; 4:6; 10:4; Isa 42:21; 45:21-25).

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Noun for believe, having in early Eng. ousted 'belief' (wh. see) from its ethical uses. By this severance of noun and vb. (so in Lat. fides

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??????. This is a kindred word to 'believe,' and indeed the two cannot be separated. In the O.T. the word 'faith' occurs but twice. De 32:20; Hab 2:4. The words are emun, emunah; but aman is often translated 'to believe.' The first time this occurs in the O.T. is when it is said of Abraham that "he believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness." Ge 15:6. This is referred to in Rom. 6 where the faith of the believer is counted for righteousness, and the conclusion is drawn that if any believe on Him that raised up Jesus the Lord from the dead, righteousness will be reckoned to them.

This may be called saving faith. It is confidence in God founded on His word; it is believing in a person, as Abraham believed God. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." Joh 3:36. There is no virtue or merit in the faith itself; but it links the soul with the infinite God. Faith is indeed the gift of God. Eph 2:8. Salvation is on the principle of faith in contrast to works under the law. Ro 10:9. But true faith is manifested by good works. If a man says he has faith, it is reasonable to say to him, "Show me thy faith" by thy works. Jas 2:14-26. Otherwise, if the faith does not manifest itself, it is described as 'dead,' and is altogether different from real, active belief. A mental assent to what is stated, as a mere matter of history, is not faith. A natural man can believe such things: "the devils also believe and tremble," but true faith gives joy and peace.

There is also the power and action of faith in the Christian's walk: "we walk by faith; not by sight." 2Co 5:7. We see such faith exemplified in the lives of the Old Testament saints, as given in Heb. 11. The Lord had often to rebuke His disciples for their want of faith in their daily walk. The believer should have faith in the living God concerning all the details of his daily life.

THE FAITH is at times referred to in the sense of 'the truth;' that which has been recorded, and which the Christian has believed, to the saving of his soul. For this the Christian should contend earnestly; for it is fundamental; and many false prophets are gone into the world, and have even crept into association with the saints unawares. Jude 1:3.

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FAITH, in Scripture, is presented to us under two leading views: the first is that of assent or persuasion; the second, that of confidence or reliance. The former may be separate from the latter, but the latter cannot exist without the former. Faith, in the sense of an intellectual assent to truth, is, by St. James, allowed to devils. A dead, inoperative faith is also supposed, or declared, to be possessed by wicked men, professing Christianity; for our Lord represents persons coming to him at the last day, saying, "Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?" &c, to whom he will say, "Depart from me, I never knew you." And yet the charge in this place does not lie against the sincerity of their belief, but against their conduct as "workers of iniquity." As this distinction is taught in Scripture, so it is also observed in experience: assent to the truths of revealed religion may result from examination and conviction, while yet the spirit and conduct may remain unrenewed and sinful.

2. The faith which is required of us as a condition of salvation always includes confidence or reliance, as well as assent or persuasion. That faith by which "the elders obtained a good report," was of this character; it united assent to the truth of God's revelations with a noble confidence in his promise. "Our fathers trusted in thee, and were not confounded." We have a farther illustration in our Lord's address to his disciples upon the withering away of the fig tree: "Have faith in God." He did not question whether they believed the existence of God, but exhorted them to confidence in his promises, when called by him to contend with mountainous difficulties: "Have faith in God; for verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe (trust) that these things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith." It was in reference to his simple confidence in Christ's power that our Lord so highly commended the centurion, and said, "I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel," Mt 8:10. And all the instances of faith in the persons miraculously healed by Christ, were also of this kind: their faith was belief in his claims, and also confidence in his goodness and power.

3. That faith in Christ which in the New Testament is connected with salvation, is clearly of this nature; that is, it combines assent with reliance, belief with trust. "Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name," that is, in dependence upon my interest and merits, "he shall give it you." Christ was preached both to Jews and Gentiles as the object of their trust, because he was preached as the only true sacrifice for sin; and they were required to renounce their dependence upon their own accustomed sacrifices, and to transfer that dependence to his death and mediation,

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