Journal of Heresies

My search for truth in a world of deceit.

Location: United States

I have what is probably an insatiable desire to search out the answers to what may be impossible questions.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

What is faith?

"Faith" is a word so often used in religious gatherings that sometimes we forget to talk about what exactly faith is. So, lets talk about faith. Leave a comment that you feel answers the question, "What is faith?"


Blogger lkn4truth said...

Someone once said, "Faith comes through hearing and hearing comes through the word of God."

12:09 AM, August 16, 2006  
Blogger P. Douglas said...

The more practical question is, “”How is someone supposed to have faith?” The only scripture I’m aware of that says how someone is supposed to have faith, is given below:

Mark 11

22 Have faith in God
," Jesus answered.
23 "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Therefore, per Christ, a person is to have faith by saying what he wants and believing that it will happen, or asking God for things and believing that he will receive them.

The above is extremely important, because practicing the above is what saves someone and keeps him righteous (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:28). In other words, if someone does not make the above the center of his relationship with God, that person does not have a legitimate relationship with God. (You can read more on the subject here and here. You can read here for how to have faith and gain real results.)

There are practical ways to confirm Mark 11:22-24 as being the only legitimate way to have faith. When someone has faith, it is supposed to cause righteousness to naturally occur in him.

Romans 9

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;

Galatians 5

4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.


James 2

17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.


John 15

7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Romans 9:30 indicates that when someone has faith and does not directly pursue righteousness, he winds up achieving righteousness anyway – which includes doing good works. Galatians 5:4 specifically warns that a Christian should not pursue righteousness directly, or else he will lose his salvation. Now if someone is not supposed to pursue righteousness directly, yet is supposed to act righteously anyway, the only way he can do so is in a natural manner. James 2:17 says that faith is supposed to produce righteousness in you in order for the faith to be considered legitimate. (Note: the NASB version of this scripture makes this point clearly.) Finally John 15:7-8 indicates that when someone has faith consistent with Christ’s instructions on how to do so, he winds up bearing the fruit of righteousness.

Therefore if someone abides by a definition or set of rules for having faith, and this does not lead to righteous behavior naturally occurring in him, then that person’s pursuit of faith is illegitimate.

Now the Catholic and Protestant Churches throughout the centuries have subscribed to various guidelines for having faith, yet you have never seen naturally occurring goodness in them that grows over time. (The massive splintering of the Church and confusion over doctrine, is another indicator that what these churches regard as having faith, is wrong.) This indicates that what these Churches regard as directions for having faith, are wrong. Further, if you look at these Churches’ guidelines for having faith, you see that they are not well grounded on scripture, and in particular, are not consistent with Christ’s own guidelines on how someone is supposed to have faith.

I don’t mean to deflate anyone’s confidence in how he stands with God. But it is vitally important that people realize how God says we are all to have faith, and to ensure we have faith accordingly. (You can read more topics on faith here.)

11:59 AM, August 16, 2006  
Blogger fencekicker said...

P. Douglas,

If the question "What is faith?" is not answered, then the question "How is someone supposed to have faith?" also will go unanswered. How does one know one has it or does not have it, if one does not know what it is? So, the question remains: "What is faith?"

Please limit the length of your comments. When you find your comments are getting long, you could write it as a post on your blog instead and link to it in my comment section. Thanks.


8:40 PM, August 16, 2006  
Blogger P. Douglas said...

Okay, let me rephrase what I said. To answer the question, “What is faith?” in a manner that is of practical benefit, it is better to first ask the question, “How is someone supposed to have faith?” The problem is that there are many legitimate answers to the question, “What is faith?” However, what is the value of knowing these answers, if they provide no practical guidance on how to be saved? Further, if a man knows God’s law and is not saved, won’t his knowledge of the law condemn him? Therefore it is better that a man first knows how to have faith (and uses that knowledge for salvation), and then implicitly understands afterwards, the most important aspects of what faith is.

9:36 PM, August 16, 2006  
Blogger Rex Peterson said...

Faith is the ability to believe.

8:20 AM, November 02, 2013  

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