Three Keys to Understanding Faith1

What is FAITH and what does it mean to BELIEVE?

  1. Faith in God involves right belief about God.
    • Believing the “right” things about God. One’s faith is only as good as the object he or she has placed it in. Trust in God is built upon the facts of how He conducts Himself. How He has acted in the past. His character and purposes have been made plain.

    • “In the New Testament, where faith in God is defined as trust in Christ, the acknowledgement of Jesus as the expected Messiah and the incarnate Son of God is regarded as basic to it.”2

  2. Faith rests on divine testimony.
    • “Beliefs, as such, are convictions held on grounds, not of self-evidence, but of testimony. Whether particular beliefs should be treated as known certainties or doubtful opinions will depend on the worth of the testimony on which they are based.”3

    • 1 John 5:18-2018 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.4

    • Titus 1:22 a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,5

  3. Faith is a supernatural divine gift.
    1. Ephesians 2:8-98 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.6

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    1 J.I. Packer, “Faith,” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter Elwell, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984), 399-402.
    2 Ibid, 400.
    3 Ibid.
    4 1 John 5:18-20, NIV.
    5 Titus 1:2, NIV.
    6 Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV.