Serving an international readership with the Old Jerusalem Gospel via the Internet.
Home | Current Issue | Archives | Lauds | Links | churches of Christ | Store
Plan of Salvation | Correspondence Course | Daily Bible Reading | Contact Us

 Vol. 7, No. 11 

November 2005


~ Page 3 ~

What Is Faith?

By Robert Rushmore

Image As defined by Webster, faith is an "unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence." Unfortunately, this is the definition most of the world uses. It is unfortunate because this definition is a false one in that it implies faith is a "leap in the dark." New Unger's Bible Dictionary gives a better definition of faith, "the body of truth, moral and religious, which God has revealed--that which men believe." This is a true definition as it corresponds to the biblical definition of faith. Unger's definition uses the phrase "body of truth," which correctly implies a need for evidence that comes from God.

The Bible also shows faith requires evidence. Hebrews 11:1 actually gives a definition of faith, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." According to Strong's, the Greek word for "substance" in this verse means "a setting under," implying a support or a foundation. Using Strong's for the meaning of "evidence" one finds it means "proof." So the verse is saying that faith is the "foundation" of things hoped for and the "proof" of what is not seen. Another Bible text showing faith requires evidence is 1 Thessalonians 5:21, "Prove all things." The Greek word for "prove" means "to test." This verse shows every teaching should be tested before it is believed by man. The testing process implies a need for evidence. Thomas is sometimes called "Doubting Thomas" because he desired proof before believing Jesus was risen (John 20:25-29). Man has ridiculed him for this desire, but the Lord did not. Jesus gave Thomas the proof he needed, thus causing him to believe. Thomas then took his faith to the next level and confessed Christ. This account, as do the above texts, shows the biblical teaching of faith based on evidence.

We now know faith requires evidence, but where does one acquire this evidence? The answer is simply "the Bible." Romans 10:17 tells us faith comes from hearing the Word of God. The Bible gives us faith based on proof contained therein. Further, John 20:31 states Jesus did many things not recorded in the Bible, but the ones recorded were recorded as evidence so that we might believe. The evidence of these events is proof that will lead one to faith that Jesus is the Son of God. Clearly, the evidence for faith comes from the Word of God, the Bible.

Biblical faith is necessary for salvation. Romans 5:1 says we are "justified by faith." One who is justified has been rendered just or innocent. According to the verse, this faith gives us access to peace with God, which is salvation or eternal life in heaven. John 8:24 informs that a lack of faith results in spiritual death. Salvation depends on biblical faith.

Biblical faith is necessary for salvation, but faith alone is not enough. James 2:17 says "faith without works is dead." Quite simply, our works show our faith. James 2:19 says even the devils believe and tremble. If faith were all that is necessary for salvation, devils would have a place in heaven. Further, the Book of Romans indicates faith is more than a noun--it is a verb because it requires action or obedience. Romans 5:1 speaks of justification by faith. The beginning of the book (Romans 1:5) speaks of "obedience to the faith." The end of the book (Romans 16:26) mentions "obedience of faith." Context dictates the middle of the book (Romans 5:1) must refer to an obedient faith when it discusses justification by faith.

Biblical faith is different from man's view of faith in that it requires evidence. Faith is not a "leap in the dark." Evidence for our faith comes from the Bible. Faith is required for salvation, but faith only is not enough. Biblical faith, based on evidence, must be acted upon. Do you have biblical faith? What will you do with that faith? The devils believe and tremble. Thomas believed and confessed Jesus. What will you do with your faith?Image


Go to Page: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20

Conditions of Use