What does the Bible say about “Faith?”

The Bible says that “faith” means “trust” or “confidence.” In our modern language, “faith” is used in many different ways. One way is to express the system of spiritual beliefs that we adhere to, such as the Christian faith or the Muslim faith. One of the modern definitions of faith is “a strong belief in someone or something for which there is no proof.” We often us the term “blind faith” to express this definition, but the Bible doesn’t define faith that way.

A large portion of the manuscripts used to translate the Bible into English are written in Greek. The corresponding Greek word for faith isthe nounpistis. The simple definition of this word is “trust” or “confidence.”This is easily confirmed by checking any good biblical lexicon or Bible dictionary. One example is in Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, which defines the Greek word“pistis”as: “the predominant idea of (trust or confidence).”

Understanding the definition of “faith” as “trust” or “confidence” takes the mystery out of what it means. Regarding many Christian doctrines and tenets that we don’t understand, we are often told that they are mysteries and that we have to “take it on faith.” But how are we to “trust” something we don’t understand? Trust is built on experience and familiarity. When you flip a light switch, you trust the light will come on because that’s the experience you have with electricity. When it doesn’t come on, you are confident it’s a bad bulb.

Trust is built with time and experience. As we trust God by obeying His commandments, we will experience the blessings He has promised. God asks us to “test and approve”that the Bible is His will for us.“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approvewhat God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Rom. 12:2 NIV). Trust is at the core of any relationship. You never feel close to someone you don’t trust. God wants our relationship with Him to be based on trust. In fact, He says: “And without faith (which is trust) it is impossible to please God(Heb. 11:6 NIV).

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