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Switch to Forum Live View Just What is Faith?
10 years ago  ::  Oct 10, 2008 - 1:02AM #21
Posts: 4,716
Faith is an intangible.

Men value things like money, gold, precious metals and gemstones. We value fast cars, tough trucks, fine cloths, big and nicely equipped houses. And we value pride, position, power and respect from others…

But God values faith and he wants us to exercise it and thereby grow in our faith.

The Bible says that God gives a measure of faith to everyone, and therefore faith is something all men can do. We can all believe in God, (as was previously said… reason only gets us half way there) faith is what gets us from the possibility of God’s existence to knowing God. 

Others have quoted that passage from Hebrews 12, which says… “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”

There are many things that we believe in as Christians… things we have never seen. We believe that God sent His only Son down from heaven, something seen by no human eyes. And even had we been eyewitnesses of his birth, we would have no reason to believe that this child born in Bethlehem Judea was the Word of God sent down from heaven – the incarnate Son of God. Thus faith enables us to embrace beliefs and things unsubstantiated by our knowledge of life and the world. 

Jesus walked upon the water, but how can this be, seeing that our life experience and knowledge of water says this can not be done? Sure – certain bugs can do it, but we are obviously a lot bigger than water striders, gnats and mosquitoes. How could Jesus have walked on water? The rational answer is that he could not – it’s just a story – its symbolic – a myth…etc. But faith says that what is impossible for men is possible for God, for with Him all things are possible.

Thus faith is our primary means of growing closer and confident in God. And the goal of faith is so that the knowledge of God becomes more real to us than this world and our daily bread. Some may regard this as delusional – but that is only true if this linear world and this temporal life is all that is. But if this world is just a school to prepare us for eternity, then the more we exercise faith and grow in faith and live for God, the better prepared we will be when faith becomes sight.

And God wants what is best for us – which is why He values the gift of faith He imparted to each of us. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - even our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5 - NKJV

~ Theophilus
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10 years ago  ::  Oct 10, 2008 - 9:50AM #22
Posts: 4,367
[I]My faith is without doubt; faith and doubt are polar opposites and cannot co-exist.[/I]

That's simply not true. I'd suggest that the demand for certitude suggested in the above statement is actually the opposite of faith. That or, on the other hand, utter despair...which is not the same as doubt.

But to whom did Jesus aim the good news? To the lost, the despairing, the folks at the end of their ropes. Being judgmental or contemptuous of persons who struggle with despair is holding in contempt the folks Jesus cares about most.
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10 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2008 - 3:57AM #23
Posts: 4
Well, you ALMOST have it ... I'd say faith is doing the SPIRITUAL EQUIVALENT of jumping off a building and expecting to fly, not actually going up to the roof and leaping.

Maybe a better analogy - faith is simply walking down the street without looking at where you're putting your feet.  You expect there to be ground beneath your feet - you have faith in the people who made the road to have not put any strange potholes in it.  You expect the ground beneath your feet to be clean - you have faith that any dog poop has been picked up already, any litter as been cleaned away.

Basically, faith is trust.
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10 years ago  ::  Oct 04, 2008 - 8:52PM #24
Posts: 9
For me, faith is stronger than just belief. I can believe that something is true but whether or not I act on that belief is what faith is. People can say they believe that there is a god but do they act as if there is one?

(my secular response)
It's like the invisible bridge...
Remember the third Indiana Jones movie where Indie must cross the invisible bridge? He doesn't see it but he knows that there must be a "leap of faith" in order to cross so he takes a step out anyways. Apparently the bridge was just carefully camouflaged to only appear that it wasn't there.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said
"Faith is taking the first step even though you can't see the whole staircase"

(my spiritual response)
Like the Centurion who believed that Jesus could heal his sick servant, his act of seeking Jesus and knowing he had the authority to do so impressed Jesus with his faith. Matthew 8:5-13
"Go and it will be done just as you believed it would."

BUT, Luke 4:8-12 describes Jesus being tempted by the devil to do just what you were suggesting in testing faith, which of course is answered by Jesus as that one should never deliberately test God in that matter (an act that is not proof of faith but rather a product of doubt in the first place).
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10 years ago  ::  Oct 11, 2008 - 10:46AM #25
Posts: 9

seionsamuraigaru wrote:

My faith is without doubt; faith and doubt are polar opposites and cannot co-exist. Faith casts out all doubt and it is knowing. That's the Bible's definition of faith and that's the faith that God requires. 

Then I suppose no one truly has faith...
even Mother Theresa had doubts, but that doesn't mean she didn't have faith. Doing something even when you doubt shows more faith that God is all powerful and in control even when you don't understand.

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