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What is faith?

October 6, 2009

This simple question is a source of debate for many because of the it’s simplicity and because of the many religions that have tried to define it. So, before we answer this question, we must find an absolute that we will hold to as the truth, and let that absolute be the source of our definition.

Now, we could go to the dictionary and find that “faith is a firm persuasion.” And, that is true in the sense of its mental assent. But, have you ever read a dictionary that is really old? Did you notice that the definitions are somewhat different than a more contemporary dictionary? Why is that? Because definitions are based on current usage of the word. So, to say that faith is a firm persuasion is a good definition if we are talking about the way it is used, and understood in today’s society. But, what if faith begins to take on a different understanding in the years to come? The definition will change. Therefore a simple definition from a dictionary is not substantial enough to base our answer on.

So, where can we find the answer? I believe that truth can be found in many places. But, there is only one place that is pure truth, without error. And, as far as my studies have taken me, it is the only place that defines what faith is, and it defines it in the simplest terms possible. That source is, of course, the Bible. The bible is the innerrant Word of God. It was written over the course of thousands of years, and by hundreds of writers, all testifying to the same truth that there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

Some say that there are innaccuracies in the bible, and it contradicts itself. Actually, when you find an apparent contradiction in the Bible, you are really finding a lack of understanding or a misreading on your part to conclude such. Every person I have encountered who thought the bible was contradictory has had a personal agenda against the bible and were usually unwilling to enter an honest debate. I recently saw a documentary of a debate where one side believed in God, and the other side did not. The side that did not believe in God had a rule that you could not use the bible to prove your debate. I thought that was interesting because it showed their desire to not face the pure truth.

But, for this discussion, we will stay with the containment of truth, the Bible. In Hebrews 11:1, the bible says that, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Without getting into the nuts and bolts, of which we will save for another blog, the simplest definition for faith is; Faith is the substance of things, it is the evidence of things.

What? You mean to tell me that everything is made out of faith? Yep. And, I did not make this up. This is the bible telling us this. Now, we will get into more detail in future blogs, but suffice it to say that if it is true (and it is) that faith is the substance and evidence of things, wouldn’t it be prudent to find out more about faith?

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