What Faith is

Faith is believing and believing is faith

There is an interesting Greek word used in the New Testament to de­fine faith.  If we really want to understand what faith is, it is necessary for us to look at the original language that is used to describe and explain it.  228 times of the 245 times “faith” is translated in the New Testament, this par­ticular Greek word is used.  It is pistis. And it means “con­viction of the truth of anything; believing.”   It means trust.  Confidence.  Assurance.  The word “believe” and “faith” come from the same Greek root and can be used interchangeably in the New Testament without corrupting the intended mean­ing of the term. 

Faith is a Gift from God

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it (faith)  is the gift of God:    Eph. 2:8   

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of him­self more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Rom. 12:3  

          God gives us the gift of faith when we get born again.  When we were saved God made us partakers of His divine Nature.

Whereby are given unto us exceed­ing great and precious promises: that by these ye might be par­takers of the divine nature, having es­caped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2Pet. 1:4   

          God imparted to us His very Nature at the time of our new birth and part of that divine Nature is the God-kind of faith.  Faith is an at­tribute of God.  Just as we received certain biological and genetic contributions from our parents when we were born naturally, we received certain Godly characteristics when we were born supernaturally.   We are   “re-gened” with God-characteristics at the time of our “regeneration.”  God birthed miracle-working and miracle-producing faith in us .  You have faith.  I have faith.  We have faith.  It is a gift from God to us.  It is the God-kind of faith.  It is supernatural and it will work miracles.

          Faith is believing God with corresponding action.  Faith is acting on the Word of God.  Faith is believing that God really means what He says.  Faith is the key to receiv­ing from God and Faith is the only way to please Him.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must be­lieve that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Heb. 11:6  

          According to the Word, if we are saved, we have faith. God has given us this gift (Eph 2:8) and we have “the measure

of faith.” (Rom 12:3)

How much is a “measure” of faith?  It is enough.  Our measure of faith is enough.  It was enough to get us saved and that is the greatest mir­acle in all of creation.  If it was enough to get us saved it is surely enough to get us healed.  Or delivered.  Or made free.   Or anything else God has for us.  

Faith believes that God is a rewarder.  A rewarder is a giver.  The Biblical perspective of faith sees God as a good God.  As a loving God.  As a giving God.  As a father God.  God does not do bad things and the devil does not do good things. 

          Jesus said that if we had faith like a grain of mustard seed, we could speak to mountains and they would move and that nothing would be im­possible to us.

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matt. 17:20  

          Notice that Jesus said “if we had faith AS a mustard seed.”  He is not talking about quantity.  He is talking about quality.   In other words, Jesus is encouraging us to have faith like a mustard seed has faith.   What kind of faith does a mustard seed have? 

What is “mustard-seed” faith?  What kind of faith will it take for us to be able to speak to mountains and command them to be moved out of the way?   What kind of faith will it take for us to move into the “nothing shall be impossible to you” place?  It is to have the same kind of faith that the mustard seed has.  The mustard seed KNOWS that it is going to be a tree.  It may not look like one, appear to be one, or even resemble one.  But the mustard seed knows that it is, in reality, a tree. 

Because it knows that it is a tree, it acts like it is one… even before it is fully mani­fested.  Mustard-seed faith calls things that be not as though they already are.   And then, it acts on the reality of the Promise of God.  That is the kind of faith Jesus en­courages us to have.  Faith like the faith of a mustard seed.

How Faith is Developed

          Faith can be and needs to be developed.  According to the Bible, there are different kinds of faith.

          Great faith.

When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. Matt. 8:10  

When Jesus heard these things, he mar­velled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. Luke 7:9  

          Little faith.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Matt. 6:30  

And he saith unto them, Why are ye f fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and re­buked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. Matt. 8:26   

Matt. 14:31   And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among your­selves, because ye have brought no bread? Matt. 16:8   

If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? Luke 12:28  

          No faith.

And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? Mark 4:40  

Limited faith.

And he did not many mighty works there be­cause of their unbelief. Matt. 13:58   

And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. Mark 6:5  

And he marvelled because of their unbe­lief.  Mark 6:6   

          Polluted faith.

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. Hebr. 4:2   

          Shipwrecked faith.

Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made ship­wreck: 1Tim. 1:19  

          Great faith needs to be exercised in order to stay great faith.    Little faith needs to be developed into great faith.  No faith should be re­pented of and changed into great faith.  Limited faith needs to get out of compromise and away from doubt. Polluted faith needs to be puri­fied by the Word.  Shipwrecked faith needs to be repaired and protected. 

          Primarily, faith is developed by Hearing the Word of God. 

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom. 10:17  

Hearing (Akoe) means more than being aware of sound.  Hearing in this context means un­derstanding.  It also implies corresponding action.  Once the Word is heard, according to the Bible meaning of “hear” it is followed by corresponding action. 

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?   James 2:20     

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.  James 2:26  

          So, when the Word is heard (acted on, fol­lowed by corresponding action) it develops faith.  Faith is devel­oped by hearing the Word of God.  As we “hear” the Word of God in this book, and then determine to do something about what we hear that will get our mind, our mouth and our body in agreement with the Word, our faith will grow.  As our faith grows it stimulates more faith.  Faith in operation begets more faith.  Like begets like.

          Where there is an abundance of the Word, there is an abundance of faith.  Where there is an abundance of faith miracles happen.  Where there is an abundance of faith, signs and wonders follow the ministry of the Word.  No Word means no faith.  Little Word means little faith.  Weak Word means weak faith.  Much Word means great faith.  Faith is proportionate to hearing, believing and do­ing the Word.

NEXT: How Faith Works

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