Sunday, June 12, 2011

THE GREAT ADVENTURE i.e. Practical Faith (Pt5 Living Life To Its Fullest)

"Ave Christus, morituri te salutamus!"
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews11:1/NKJV)

Last year I began a blog series on "practical faith" and stopped because of the questions involved.  In order to better answer them more prayer and research was needed.  Following is a recap of one of the posts with the questions and some of the answers;

"So all of this about practical faith is very nice, but;
  • What is practical faith?
  • Where do we get it?
  • How is it practical?
  • Where does it begin?"
I then began to answer the first questions  - "What is practical faith?" - and because true faith is often practical in it's very nature the question was rephrased; "What is faith*?"

Here is the beginning of the answer to the question;

faith [feyth]-noun; confidence or trust in a person or thing

This seems simple enough, however scripture better develops what true faith is;

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1/NKJV)

*NOTE; I am speaking of faith in a narrow sense, that is I am speaking of faith in God, and even that is narrowed further into the God of the Bible.  I would also like to note that this discussion is by no means exhaustive - this is a blog after all and brevity is a necessity.

Again, please note that in both definitions faith is a noun and not a verb - so faith is not an action but a thing. Therefore if faith is a "thing" then we can possess or have it.

It was at that point that I "got the cart before the horse" and began discussing other aspects of faith.  I realized I had not fully answered the first question and should do so before moving on to the others.  So I stopped the posts; went to prayer, the Bible and Bible study resources in order to properly answer it.  This next series of posts will hopefully rectify my error.

What is faith?  Earlier a definition of faith was given, but something more was needed.   So, to better understand what (practical) faith is we will look at the Greek word that is translated as faith, what it means, how it is used in other verses and if there are any other definitions given.

The Greek word for faith in Hebrews 11:1 is pistis and is defined as follows;

"...pistis pi-stis...persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly - constancy in such profession: by extension the system of religious belief (Gospel) truth it self: assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity." (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance Greek Dictionary of the New Testament p. 58a)

So in essence faith is "credence, or moral conviction...of... the truthfulness of God".

"Simul iustus et peccator"*
*Martin Luther

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