What Is Faith?
Do you have it?
May 15th, 2019
Everything you think you have faith in, based on evidentiary proof, is in fact, not faith at all. If you have evidence of something being so, you have trust, not faith.
Trust is something you make a conscious decision to engage. You gather your fact, as you understand them, evaluate the information, and then determine if you will or will not entrust what is evident to be true.
If we follow this chain and consider what ‘truth’ is, we can at times get caught up in debate between parties of just what is truth.
In the last decade something called subjective truth has emerged. Because often truth is based on what we trust to be true, and different individuals will evaluate things differently; they often come up with a difference in what each determines to be ‘their truth’. This would mean that I can have a truth, you can have your own truth, and the next person could possibly have a truth which differs from each of our truths.
Subjective truth is a fallacy. Truth is the sum of fact. Not merely the facts we have at our disposal or choose to consider. Because the factors are under consideration at any point in time will yield a different outcome, what each of us perceive as truth can be significantly different.
Only when all of the facts are in evidence can we come to ‘the truth’, which is not subjective; instead real truth is a singular manifestation of a comprehensive assessment of all evidence pertaining to the issue.
We can arrive at ‘truth’ in two ways, by trust and by faith. Trust is evidentiary by nature; faith is not.
Truth arrived at by faith is the same manifestation of evidence that is produced by trust. The major difference is that in the case of faith, we don’t know that that evidence is until it is manifested.
Scripture defines faith as follows…
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (CSB)
Just as trust is evidence based, faith is hope based. When truth is realized we will see the evidence we had hoped for, in that fully vested truth.
The Gospel and everything related to God’s interaction with humanity relies on faith. Believing in the Word of God includes a lot of trust in the mix. God over time, has demonstrated his faithfulness to his people. Once that faithfulness is demonstrated, we are no longer talking about faith; we are talking about trust.
My children in most cases are fairly sure of what my response to certain questions will be. In fact, at times when they approach me with a question, they will start out with, “I know what you’re going to say…”. That is trust. They’ve seen the evidence in the past of my reaction to such questions, and they are fairly sure I haven’t changed that much, so based on the information they have at their disposal they assume they know my answer before I say a word.
They base their concept of truth on my past performance.
Scripture provides a lot of evidence which we can trust in. We can see evidence beginning in Genesis and going right through to Revelation. However, what grace is predicated on is faith. Now end up with faith as the result of our trust, but in the final analysis we must have faith and that faith is predicated on hope not facts in evidence.
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (CSB)
Sight would be evidence, our mode of conveyance through our Christian walk is by that faith, which hope has placed in us.
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (CSB)
The reason we are not saved by trust (evidence based), is because trust is contingent on the information (evidence) we gather to ourselves, it would alleviate hope and replace it with anticipation. We can and will have anticipation, but if that anticipation is born out of evidence it isn’t driven by hope. When we are walking by faith, we have hope, that hope will exist along with anticipation and doesn’t dissipate.
The end of the ‘Love Chapter’ concludes with the indelible facts of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love — but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (CSB)
The entire Gospel depends on these three things that remain:” faith, hope, and love”. We will see the evidence of those things hoped for, when as a result of a loving creator we rest in the arms of our savior.
We must have faith to secure salvation and the forgiveness of sin. That grace affords us the hope of a future with God, because of his amazing love.
Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5 (CSB)
because everyone who has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.
1 John 5:4 (CSB)
The victory is at hand. It comes as a result of faith, not things we can see, touch, and feel. Resting in that faith we have hope for the future in the arms of a loving savior.
In the Grace of Jesus!