What Is Faith?
FAITH does not require proof or evidence to believe, it simply trusts.
FAITH is, fully persuaded and convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt.
FAITH is, one hundred percent certain, has complete confidence, and trust.
FAITH is, absolute certainty in one's belief, and totally trusting in that belief.
FAITH compels one to follow their convictions with integrity, honor, and courage.
FAITH enables one to be steadfast in adherence to one's decision, with full devotion to one's allegiance.
FAITH is, The Manifestation Of LOVE Embracing HOPE.
It only takes a little FAITH to produce a Big Miracle, and Miracles still happen, if you let them. What do I mean; "if you let them?" Let me give you an example.
If a person was praying for exactly .98 cents, and God impressed upon me to give that person .98 cents, and I did not let my fears and doubts stop me from doing it in FAITH, it would be a Miracle. Hows that? Because that person was praying for an exact amount (.98 cents), and If I didnt know the exact amount they prayed for, and I gave them exactly what God told me to, they experienced a Miracle, because he got exactly .98 cents, and it was a direct result of divine intervention. If I did exactly what I was lead to do in FAITH and I did not add my 2 cents in, to round it off to a Buck, It is a 100% God Miracle.
Miracles are much better, and much more transforming to a persons life and soul than just good deeds. Good deeds are good, but glory is given to God when real Miracles happen. People are never the same after they experience a true Miracle of God.
It is not easy living these days under the pressures of day to day life there are so many uncertainties we face from day to day. I understand that and I know a lot of people who need a Miracle because of that. Who knows what to believe in or who to trust anymore? Many people are full of doubts, and fears, and just struggling to survive.
There are hundreds of thousands of people in debt and just about every kind of hardship one could imagine. Women With Lots Of Children, No Husband And No Child Support, Cancer Patients, AIDS Patients, Victims Of Violent Crimes, Addictions and Dependencies, People Having Medical Problems, People In Pain And Suffering, Abused Spouses and Children, Depressed People That Are Down And Out, Some Lost Their Job, Had A Business Failure, Divorce, Disasters, Accidents, Loss Of Loved Ones, Overspending Problems, Victims Of Scams, People Caught In The Middle Of Economical Or Big Business Swings, And The Seemingly Never Ending List Of Trials And Tribulations That People Are Facing Everyday That Are Very Real.
Who or What should a person turn to when these things happen? Who, or What should a person put their FAITH in? Should it be; medicine, money, position, status, looks, talent, or technology? Or, should we put our Faith in God?
I have seen many people when faced with things they have no power over, look to someone or something more powerful than themselves for help. Some try to do it all themselves and hide their pain, shame and suffering, but it never has a happy ending.
I wrote this information down and have made it available for free (you may copy it). The reason I wrote it is because I talk to many people each day that need more FAITH. I was lead to help others find out what I have been learning about FAITH. I simply would like to share what has helped me and so many others, and I my intent is not to offend anyone.
First I would like to share what I learned from the Holy Bible because many of the people I talk to tell me they believe in God, and they have a Bible around their home.
I really got into my quest after I found out about someone that I could relate to in the Bible. His name was Saul, latter it was changed to Paul by God. Of all the bible writers, no one excites me more than, the Apostle Paul. He made some real bad choices. He blindly followed the leaders of the church in his day and did horrible things and even took many innocent lives. He was forgiven by God for all his past mistakes, sins and wrong doings. He was so grateful that he devoted his life to God's service in FAITH (the right way). He thought he was doing right, when he followed the commands of the religious leaders and killed multitudes of men, women and children because of the Law. He was acting on the command of the church and told to preserve God's law by enforcing it. He allow the important people to tell him what to do and what God's Will was for his life, instead of trusting in the voice of God and the truths of the Heart. God's Will or Mans Law?
Paul talked about FAITH in his writings more often than the anyone else. Paul in quoting from the God's words to Habakkuk in the Old Testament of the Bible wrote: "My righteous one will live by reason of FAITH, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. Without FAITH it is impossible to please God well." (Habakkuk 2:4)
Paul frequently spoke of those whose FAITH had weakened or died. FAITH was an important subject with Paul. He shared why he felt many had lost FAITH and tried to warn people about how it could happen. For example, Hymenaeus and Alexander "experienced shipwreck concerning their FAITH," (1st Timothy 1:19, 20) Some, were like Demas who abandoned Paul because "he loved the present system of things." By their unchristian, irresponsible actions they "disowned the FAITH." (2nd Timothy 4:10) Others were deceived by false wisdom and "deviation from the FAITH." (1st Timothy 5:8)
FAITH is the assured expectation (to be sure) of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld (certain of what we do not see). Many believed but they did not trust in God's promises. Some only believed in what they could see. Paul said, "It is easier to work for visible wealth than for unseen spiritual riches." (Matthew 19:21, 22)
The Greek word for FAITH is [PISTILS] which means steadfastness. FAITH is defined in the dictionary as confidence, unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence, to trust, to be convinced, to be fully persuaded and have complete reliance upon, steadfast in adherence to none's belief and decision, devotion to one's allegiance, a compact, to take refuge in, full assurance.
Believing in God is a lot different from having FAITH in God. To believe in the truthfulness that God exists or to mentally accept some religious truths is not necessarily having FAITH in God. Believing is an act of mental acceptance and it does not require trusting in someone or something with absolute certainty. FAITH on the other hand is an act of believing and trusting. It is an active principle of God's Will.
Someone who wants you to believe them would say "believe me" whereas, someone who wanted you to have FAITH in them would say "Believe on me." The first requires mental acceptance of something as fact but the second is simply a state of being in total acceptance of something, having absolute certainty and trusting in it's truthfulness.
Like water, which is made up of two parts Hydrogen and one part Oxygen (H2O) FAITH is a combination of things. The combination of these parts make water what it is. The same is true with FAITH. The parts; profession, confession, actions and so on and the combination of belief (which is the state of believing; conviction or acceptance that certain things are true or real even though absolute certainty may be absent) and trust (which is a state of confidence and assurance in the honesty, integrity, and reliability of someone or something) make FAITH what it is. It is simply a state of being.
The trusting part can be hard for some, especially if a person has been abused, lied to a lot or had contradictory, inconsistent circumstances like bad examples, and/or events that happened in their life beyond their control. Let's see if we can learn about FAITH and get it. I have FAITH in you and what lead this message to you.
When The Son Of Man Arrives, Will He Really Find
Those that have FAITH in Jesus Christ and what he said and did have a reliance upon the testimony of Jesus which requires FAITH. The Christian believes Jesus Christ is the redeemer whereby a sinner rests upon him alone for salvation. It requires FAITH to accept Jesus Christ's words as truth. His mission, his atoning death, and his resurrection are the cornerstone of Christian teachings and The Gifts Jesus spoke of are accepted in FAITH, which is not obtained from evidence or proof. Jesus taught, FAITH is trusting and believing in God. (Acts 6:7) (Acts 24:24) (Romans 1:5.)
We can pray for an increase in FAITH (Luke 17:5) and the Spirit of God applies the truth to the soul and Love works into FAITH (Galations 5:6). If you trust God then Let Go and Let God Take Over. FAITH is one of three primary Christian Graces. It arrives from Desire, Like and Love. We can also increase and build FAITH stronger by exercising our FAITH.
The Bible teaches us to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, [have FAITH in Jesus Christ) and you shall be saved (Acts 16:30-31). "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13 [Acts 2:21).
In the Bible we can see in the book of Hebrews, chapter 7, verse 25, that; "He (Jesus Christ) is able to save completely (Forever) those who come to God through him because he (Jesus Christ) always lives to intercede for them."
The book of Acts, chapter 4, verse 12, tells us how important Jesus Christ is. It says, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." We can be saved if we will confess with our mouth, that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in our heart (have FAITH) that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead (see Romans chapter 10:9) (Romans chapter 3:22-27). The book of Acts, chapter 15, verse 11, says we are justified by God's Grace. "For by grace are you saved through FAITH; and that not of yourself: It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). If you have accepted Jesus Christ in FAITH, God's Gift of Grace is sufficient, no matter what the situation is or the circumstance or condition a person is in.
Jesus Christ said "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that hears my words, and believes on Him that sent me [God), has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." The book of Romans, chapter 10, verse 17, also reads; "So then FAITH comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
THE MEANING OF FAITH
(Pistis, fides). In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word means essentially steadfastness, cf. Exod., xvii, 12, where it is used to describe the strengthening of Moses' hands; hence it comes to mean faithfulness, whether of God towards man (Deut., xxxii, 4) or of man towards God (Ps. cxviii, 30).
As signifying man's attitude towards God it means trustfulness or fiducia. It would, however, be illogical to conclude that the word cannot, and does not, mean belief or faith in the Old Testament for it is clear that we cannot put trust in a person's promises without previously assenting to or believing in that person's claim to such confidence.
Hence even if it could be proved that the Hebrew word does not in itself contain the notion of belief, it must necessarily presuppose it. But that the word does itself contain the notion of belief is clear from the use of the radical, which in the causative conjugation, or Hiph'il, means "to believe", e.g. Gen., xv, 6, and Deut., i, 32, in which latter passage the two meanings -- viz. of believing and of trusting -- are combined. That the noun itself often means faith or belief, is clear from Hab., ii, 4, where the context demands it.
The witness of the Septuagint is decisive; they render the verb by pisteuo, and the noun by pistis; and here again the two factors, faith and trust, are connoted by the same term. But that even in classical Greek pisteuo was used to signify believe, is clear from Euripides (Helene, 710), logois d'emoisi pisteuson tade, and that pistis could mean "belief" is shown by the same dramatist's theon d'ouketi pistis arage (Medea, 414; cf. Hipp., 1007).
In the New Testament the meanings "to believe" and "belief", for pisteon and pistis, come to the fore; in Christ's speech, pistis frequently means "trust", but also "belief" (cf. Matt., viii, 10). In Acts it is used objectively of the tenets of the Christians, but is often to be rendered "belief" (cf. xvii, 31; xx, 21; xxvi, 8). In Romans, xiv, 23, it has the meaning of "conscience" -- "all that is not of faith is sin" -- but the Apostle repeatedly uses it in the sense of "belief" (cf . Rom., iv, and Gal., iii). How necessary it is to point this out will be evident to all who are familiar with modern theological literature; thus, when a writer in the "Hibbert Journal", Oct., 1907, says, "From one end of the Scripture to the other, faith is trust and only trust", it is hard to see how he would explain 1 Cor. xiii, 13, and Heb., xi, 1. The truth is that many theological writers of the present day are given to very loose thinking, and in nothing is this so evident as in their treatment of faith. In the article just referred to we read: "Trust in God is faith, faith is belief, belief may mean creed, but creed is not equivalent to trust in God." A similar vagueness was especially noticeable in the "Do we believe?" controversy- one correspondent says- "We unbelievers, if we have lost faith, cling more closely to hope and -- the greatest of these -- charity" ("Do we believe?", p. 180, ed. W. L. Courtney, 1905). Some writers have repudiated all idea of faith as an intellectual assent, and consequently they fail to realize that faith must necessarily result in a body of dogmatic beliefs. "How and by what influence", asks Harnack, "was the living faith transformed into the creed to be believed, the surrender to Christ into a philosophical Christology?" (quoted in Hibbert Journal, loc. cit.).
We can see many examples of faith in the Bible. Deuteronomy 32:20 And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very coward generation, children in whom is no faith.
Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
In Matthew 6:30 We are told 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?
In the book of Matthew, chapter 8, verses 5 through 13 and (Luke 7:1-10) we can see that Jesus was entering the town of Capernaum and a centurion (army officer) requested Jesus heal his servant who was paralyzed, suffering, and dying. Jesus offered to go to the officers home where the sick servant was but the centurion being humble, having complete FAITH and confidence in the authority of Jesus, believed that if Jesus would only just speak the word, his servant would be healed. Jesus wondered at the centurions FAITH and said he had not found such great FAITH in all of Israel. Jesus also told the centurion; "As you have believed, so be it done unto you" (another Greek translation is "as you believed let it occur to you") and the servant was healed in that same hour. This is a good example of humility, trusting in the authority and power of Jesus and having Great FAITH that brought glory to God. (Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.)
Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
In the book of Matthew, chapter 9, verses 2 through 8, the book of Mark chapter 2 verses 1-12 and in the book of Luke chapter 5 verses 17-26 we can read that Jesus was in the city of Capernaum preaching and teaching the Word of God to the Pharisees (Teachers of the Law). Four men brought a man who was sick with the palsy to the place Jesus was preaching for a healing. The men could not get inside the house where Jesus was because of the large crowd so the men dug a hole in the roof and lowered the sick man down on his bed to Jesus. Jesus recognized their act of FAITH, forgave the sick man his sins and healed him. Jesus was harassed by the doubting religious leaders for doing it and they accused him of blasphemy but Jesus did not allow their doubt and self righteousness stop him from having mercy and compassion. This is a good example of persistence, determination, courage, and FAITH that brought glory to God. (Matthew 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.) (Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.) (Luke 5:20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.)
In the book of Matthew chapter 9 verses18-26, the book of Mark chapter 5 verses 22-42 and in the book of Luke chapter 8 verses 40-56 we are told that a ruler of a synagogue named Jairus came to Jesus and told him that his daughter was dying. The ruler of the synagogue had unwavering FAITH and he believed on Jesus without a doubt. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that if Jesus would just lay his hands on his daughter, she would be healed and live. Jesus and his disciples went to the rulers house and when they entered the house they saw people weeping and wailing. The house was full of confusion and Jesus is told the girl died. He simply told the people not to be afraid, "only believe" (which translates in the original Greek to "be having FAITH"). The people were hurting and they did not trust in what Jesus was telling them to do so they scornfully laughed at him. The people doubted Jesus had the authority and/or the power to do anything about the dead girl. Jesus had all the doubters put outside and he took three of his disciples along with the girls parents into the girls room. Jesus took the girls hand and said "little girl, to you I say get up." Her Spirit returned, she arose, and she was healed. Jesus did not allow what the people said to him to influence anything. The guests and relatives doubt and ungrateful attitude did not effect him. Jesus was still moved with compassion and he carried out his mission to bring glory to God through an act of Love. He simply put the doubt and confusion out of the house and he stood fast on Gods promises. Steadfast FAITH moved by compassion and love operating in one accord, without a doubt, produces miracles. Matthew 9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.) (Luke 8:48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.)
In the book of Matthew chapter 9 verses 20-26, the book of Mark chapter 5 verses 25-34 and in the book of Luke chapter 8 verses 43-48 we can read that a women who was diseased and suffering twelve years from bleeding had spent everything she had on many doctors trying to find a cure for her pain and suffering. She expected to get well trusting in her doctors but instead she only got worse. The woman heard about Jesus visiting the area and made her way through the crowd to get closer to where Jesus was. All she kept saying to herself was "if I can only touch his outer garment, I shall get well." She touched his outer garment and right away Jesus felt the virtue going out of him and she was healed. The women was truthful when Jesus question her about what she had done and he let her know that her FAITH had made her well. She was willing to go to any length to do what she believed in and she trusted in Jesus and his authority and power to heal her. She had FAITH and she acted on it. She was one hundred percent certain God is able and willing to fulfill every one of his promises and that He could do for her what she could not do for herself. If God is in control you can "Expect A Miracle." (Mark 5:34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.)
The most unfortunate thing that happens to a person who fears failure is that they limit themselves by becoming afraid to try something new. In the book of Matthew chapter 9 verses 27-31 we are told about two blind men who came to Jesus and asked him to heal them. Jesus asked them "do you believe I am able to heal you?" They replied "yes" and Jesus touched their eyes and said "according to your FAITH, be it unto you." (Matthew 9:29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.)
Matthew 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?
In the book of Matthew chapter 15 verses 21-28 we can see that a women asked Jesus to heal her daughter who was demonized. The women was humble and continued to be persistent in FAITH with her request. Jesus acknowledged her FAITH and told her "be it unto thee even as thou wilt," and her daughter was healed. This is a grand example of persistent FAITH, supplication, and humility that brought glory to God and a miracle. (Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.)
Matthew 16:8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
In the book of Matthew chapter 17 verses 14-21 we are told about a man that came to Jesus and told him he thought his son was a lunatic. The boy would have violent seizures and convulsions and throw himself into fire and then throw himself into water so that his whole body was covered by sores. The man brought the boy to Jesus disciples first but they could not cure him. Jesus told them they did not have enough FAITH and explained that in that kind of situation, prayer and fasting was needed to break the stronghold of darkness. Jesus told the disciples that with FAITH nothing was impossible. Prayer, Fasting and FAITH in God are a powerful combination that will break even the strongholds of darkness. (Matthew 17:20 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.)
Jesus gave an example of how much FAITH was needed to accomplish what might seem impossible in the book of Matthew chapter 17 verse 20. He said we can do anything if we have FAITH. Just a little FAITH, like that of a Mustard Seed. Mustard seeds are one of the smallest seeds. When they grow they turn into one of the largest of the garden plants and they became a place where the birds of the air can perch in its branches and they can enjoy the shade it offered from the hot sun. See also the book of Matthew chapter 13 verse 31 and the book of Mark chapter 4 verse 31.
In the book of Matthew chapter 21 verses 18-22 we can learn that Jesus came upon a fig tree and saw that it was not bearing any fruit. Jesus used the fig tree as a symbol and example to explain a heavenly truth and he demonstrated to his followers how powerful FAITH is. He spoke a command and the fig tree withered away. It was so quick that his disciples were amazed. Jesus said to them "I say unto you, if you have FAITH, and you do not doubt, you shall not only do this which has been done to the fig tree but also if you say to a mountain; be removed and be cast into the sea, it shall be done." "All things whatsoever you ask in prayer, believing (Greek translates to, "Be having FAITH" or believing and trusting) you shall receive." (Matthew 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.)
In the book of Matthew chapter 23 verses 1-39, Jesus was teaching a multitude of people about how phony the Scribes and Pharisees were (they were the religious leaders that taught that people should observe the customs, and traditions of Jewish law to the letter of the law). Many Scribes and Pharisees didn't even observe and practice what they were teaching. They laid heavy burdens on the people and they were hypocrites full of iniquity. The religious leaders there were more concerned about power, their image, their position of rank and money. They were burdening the people with threats of physical punishment, disassociation and eternal damnation if they did not follow their commands and/or rules (which was the law) to the letter. Clearly the religious leaders were judging people by their outside appearances instead of looking at the inward motives and intentions of the person. Jesus taught the people that to be the greatest, the master, one should become lest, the servant. He told the teachers of the law that they should apply justice that is equitable, impartial, and fair. Furthermore, he told them to have mercy and FAITH when making decisions or judgments. A good example of applying FAITH as a principle to guide ones decisions and a good lesson that shows how complicated laws, traditions and rituals are no substitute for putting your trust in God and believing that He is in control. God reveals the inward motives and intentions of people to those that believe and trust in Him and He guides the faithful in how to apply justice that is equitable, impartial, and fair. (Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and Cummins, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.)
In the book of Mark chapter 4 verses 35-41 and in the book of Luke chapter 8 verses 22-25 we can read that Jesus was in a boat with his disciples going across a lake when a violent windstorm came upon them The waves were beating on the boat and the boat was filling up with water. Jesus was asleep and a disciple woke him up because many of them were afraid they would drown and perish. The disciples thought Jesus didn't care and even asked Jesus, "Don't you care that we about to die." Jesus just got up and rebuked the wind. He said to the sea; "peace, be still". At once the storm stopped, everything cleared up and a great calm set in. Jesus questioned his disciples about their FAITH because they acted faint-hearted, cowardly, and they doubted. Fear had overcome the disciples and they were reduced to mere cowards. They were terrified because they chose to allow what they gained from worldly experiences and what they were experiencing physically to effect their FAITH in God to protect them. (Mark 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?) (Luke 8:25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! For he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.)
In the book of Mark chapter 10 verses 46-52 and in the book of Luke chapter 18 verses 35-42 we can find that Jesus and his disciples were together with a large crowd and they were leaving the town of Jericho. A blind man named Bartimaeus, who was sitting by the roadside begging heard that Jesus was coming and started shouting for Jesus to have mercy on him and heal him. Many people told the blind man to be quite but the man cried out even more. Jesus called for the blind man and asked him what he wanted. The blind man told Jesus he wanted to see. Jesus just told him "Go your way; your FAITH has made you whole." At once the man was healed. What a wonderful lesson of steadfast FAITH. The blind man never allowed the people to shut him up and he didn't give up. A good lesson on not allowing people to silence your FAITH. Shout it from the roof tops, "your FAITH will make you whole." (Mark 10:52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.) (Luke 18:42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.)
In the book of Mark chapter 11 verses 15-26 we learn that Jesus was with his disciples in Jerusalem and Jesus was upset that the moneychangers and merchants were using God's Temple as a place to make money. Jesus told them it was God's house of prayer and it should not be used as a means for financial gain. Shortly after Jesus left the temple area Peter, one of Jesus disciples, noticed the fig tree that Jesus had commanded to wither up earlier. The tree had completely withered up from the roots. The impossible became possible and Jesus reminded Peter that if he had FAITH in God and did not doubt in his heart, and if he believed what he was speaking was occurring, it would happen. Jesus taught that everything we pray for we should ask for it in FAITH like we have received it, and we will receive it. (Mark 11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.)
In the book of Luke chapter 7 verses 36-50 we can read that Jesus was invited by a religious leader (a Pharisee) to have dinner. When Jesus was at the mans house a women who had lived a very sinful life showed up with an alabaster jar of perfume. It was a gift for Jesus. When she met Jesus she wept in repentance and her tears fell on Jesus feet. She wiped Jesus feet with her hair and kissed his feet then poured the expensive perfume on his feet. The Religious ruler told Jesus that she shouldn't be doing that because she lived such a bad life but Jesus saw that she loved him. She Manifested her love by embracing her hope in his authority, ability and power to forgive her. She acted in FAITH and because of her honesty, her repentance, and her confession, Jesus forgave her many sins and simply told her; your FAITH has saved you, go your way in peace." She was given the courage to change the things she could and her FAITH produced a change that set her life going in a new direction. (Luke 7:9 When Jesus heard these things, he marveled 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 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.)
Luke 12:28 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?
In the book Luke chapter 17 verses 5-6 we are told that the disciples of Jesus asked Jesus to increase their FAITH. Jesus told them if they just had a little bit of FAITH they could do the impossible. He gave an example that they could say to a Black Mulberry Tree "be uprooted and planted in the sea and it would obey them." The Black Mulberry Tree is a shrub or a tree with milky juice and multiple false fruits that resemble Raspberries. Jesus clearly tells us with this example that nothing is impossible when we have just a little FAITH. (Luke 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.) (Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.)
In the book of Luke chapter 17 verses 11-19 we can see that Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem when ten men who had leprosy met him at a distance. They called out for Jesus to have mercy on them. Jesus understanding their pain and suffering was moved and healed them. Jesus told the men to go show themselves to the priests and as they were leaving they were cleansed. Only one of the men who had been healed of leprosy returned to Jesus. He was a foreigner. He threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked Jesus. Jesus told him to: "rise and go; your FAITH has made you well". I don't know what happened to the other nine men but the one who showed his gratefulness defiantly was made well (he was made whole, not just cleansed). (Luke 17:19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.)
In the book of Luke chapter 18 verses 1-9 we are told that Jesus was teaching on the importance and necessity of always praying and having FAITH. He used a Parable (an illustration) to get his point across. Jesus told his disciples a story about a judge who had no fear of God and didn't care about men. A widow who was persistent with a judge about getting justice from her adversary. At first the judge was unwilling to help her but the widow continually came to him with her plea and took so much of his time up that he finally consented to helping her. Jesus went on to say that the judge pointed out to the widow that God will surely bring about justice for His chosen ones in the end. Those who cry out to God day and night will be heard. What the unjust judge asked at the end of his talk was very important. He said "when the Son of man comes, will he find FAITH on the Earth"? We can see that even the unjust will admit that persistent FAITH and continuous prayer is important and necessary. (Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?)
In the book of Luke chapter 22 verses 24-33 we can read that Jesus was with his disciples at the last supper and a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be the greatest. Jesus told them that the one who rules should be like a servant, not a ruler. Then Jesus told Simon that Satan wanted to test and tempt him. Jesus went on to tell him that Satan wanted to sift him like wheat. This was to happen to see if Simon would be faithful through those trials and tribulations. Jesus told him that he had prayed for him and that his FAITH would not fail him. Then Jesus told him that when he had overcome the temptations, trials, and tests, he could strengthen his brothers. When face tests, trials and tribulations and our FAITH prevails we become stronger, and we are able to help others with our experience, strength, and hope. A good lesson on trusting and believing, have FAITH in God to overcome all obstacles. (Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.)
Faith objectively, stands for the sum of truths revealed by God in Scripture and tradition and which the Church presents to us in a brief form in her creeds, subjectively, faith stands for the habit or virtue by which we assent to those truths. It is with this subjective aspect of faith that we are here primarily concerned. Before we proceed to analyze the term faith, certain preliminary notions must be made clear.
The twofold order of knowledge. That these two orders are distinguished from one another not only in their principle but in their object; in one we know by natural reason, in the other by Divine faith; the object of the one is truth attainable by natural reason, the object of the other is mysteries hidden in God, but which we have to believe and which can only be known to us by Divine revelation."
Now intellectual knowledge may be defined in a general way as the union between the intellect and an intelligible object. But a truth is intelligible to us only in so far as it is evident to us, and evidence is of different kinds; hence, according to the varying character of the evidence, we shall have varying kinds of knowledge. Thus a truth may be self-evident -- e.g. the whole is greater than its part -- in which case we are said to have intuitive knowledge of it; or the truth may not be self-evident, but deducible from premises in which it is contained -- such knowledge is termed reasoned knowledge. If the authority upon which we base our assent is human and therefore fallible, we have human and fallible faith; if the authority is Divine, we have Divine and infallible faith.
Again, evidence, whatever its source, may be of various degrees and so cause greater or less firmness of adhesion on the part of the mind which assents to a truth. Thus arguments or authorities for and against a truth may be either wanting or evenly balanced, in this case the intellect does not give in its adherence to the truth, but remains in a state of doubt or absolute suspension of judgment; or the arguments on one side may predominate; though not to the exclusion of those on the other side; in this case we have not complete adhesion of the intellect to the truth in question but only opinion. Lastly, the arguments or authorities brought forward may be so convincing that the mind gives its unqualified assent to the statement proposed and has no fear whatever lest it should not be true; this state of mind is termed certitude, and is the perfection of knowledge. Divine faith, then, is that form of knowledge which is derived from Divine authority, and which consequently begets absolute certitude in the mind of the recipient that such Divine faith is necessary, follows from the fact of Divine revelation. For revelation means that the Supreme Truth has spoken to man and revealed to him truths which are not in themselves evident to the human mind. We must, then, either reject revelation altogether, or accept it by faith; that is, we must submit our intellect to truths which we cannot understand, but which come to us on Divine authority. For a truth to be the object of an act of Divine faith, it must be itself Divine, and this not merely as coming from God, but as being itself concerned with God.
The evidence upon which we assent to this Divine truth must also be itself Divine, and there must be as close a relation between that truth and the evidence upon which it comes to us. But no one but God can reveal God; in other words, God is His own evidence. There is a controversy whether the same truth can be an object both of faith and of knowledge. In other words, can we believe a thing both because we are told it on good authority and because we ourselves perceive it to be true? Some say that once a thing is seen to be true, the adhesion of the mind is in no wise strengthened by the authority of one who states that it is so, but others maintain, that there may be a knowledge which does not entirely satisfy the mind, and that authority may then find a place, to complete its satisfaction and there can be no evidence commensurate with such a mystery save the Divine testimony itself, and this constitutes the motive for our assent to the mystery, and is, in scholastic language, the objectum formale quo of our assent. If then, we are asked why we believe with Divine faith any Divine truth, the only adequate answer must be because God has revealed it.
St. Thomas says, "Faith has the character of a virtue, not because of the things it believes, for faith is of things that appear not, but because it adheres to the testimony of one in whom truth is infallibly found" The light of faith. -- An angel understands truths which are beyond man's comprehension; if then a man were called upon to assent to a truth beyond the ken of the human intellect, but within the grasp of the angelic intellect, he would require for the time being something more than his natural light of reason, he would require what we may call "the angelic light". If, now, the same man were called upon to assent to a truth beyond the grasp of both men and angels, he would clearly need a still higher light, and this light we term "the light of faith" -- a light, because it enables him to assent to those supernatural truths, and the light of faith because it does not so illumine those truths as to make them no longer obscure, for faith must ever be "the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not" (Heb., 11: 1). Although the Divinely infused light of faith is more powerful than the natural light of reason, nevertheless in our present state we only imperfectly participate in it; and hence it comes to pass that it does not beget in us real vision of those things which it is meant to teach us; such vision belongs to our eternal home, where we shall perfectly participate in that light, where, in fine, in God's light we shall see light' (Ps. xxxv, 10)."
The necessity of such light is evident from what has been said, for faith is essentially an act of assent, and just as assent to a series of deductive or inductive reasonings, or to intuition of first principles, would be impossible without the light of reason, so, too assent to a supernatural truth would be inconceivable without a supernatural strengthening of the natural light "Quid est enim fides nisi credere quod non vides?" (i.e. what is faith but belief in that which thou seest not?) asks St. Augustine; but he also says: "Faith has its eyes by which it in some sort sees that to be true which it does not yet see- and by which, too, it most surely sees that it does not see what it believes" [Ep. ad Consent., ep. cxx 8 (al. ccxxii), P.L., II, 456].
In the book of Acts chapter 3 verse 16 we are told that John was with Peter in a place called Solomon's Colonnade and the Apostle Peter was speaking to some onlookers. Peter then healed a crippled beggar. Further on in the book of Acts chapter 3 verse 67 after Peter healed the beggar he said to the crowd "By FAITH in the name of Jesus this man whom you see and know was made strong." It is Jesus name and his FAITH that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you all can see." The power in the name of Jesus and FAITH of the crippled beggar produced a healing so powerful that it was able to restore a man that was crippled from birth. Nothing is impossible when you have FAITH. (Acts 3:16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.)
In the book of Acts chapter 6 verses 5-8 it points out that some Grecian Jews complained because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. The twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ decided it would be wrong for them to neglect the ministry of the Word of God. They could not neglect the ministry in order to wait on the tables of people so they chose seven men full of the Spirit of God and wisdom to take care of what needed to be done. One of the seven men picked was called Stephen and he was a man full of FAITH. The Word of God spread and their numbers increased rapidly. Great wonders and miracles were performed and a large number of priests even became obedient to what had then become "THE FAITH." (Acts 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch) (Acts 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.)
In the book of Acts chapter 11 verses 19-24 a man of God called Barnabas was sent by the church at Jerusalem to a town called Antioch where Stephen was telling the Jewish community about Jesus Christ and the "Good News." The evidence of the "Grace Of God" was present and they were encouraging many to trust in the Lord. They told the people to "Be True With All Their Hearts." Barnabas, like Stephen was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and FAITH. To be true to the FAITH, is to be faithful, loyal, constant, reliable, certain, right, correct, real, genuine, authentic, honest, virtuous, actual, and it also implies conformity with a standard or model that actually exists. What a wonderful lesson on the attributes of FAITH. (Acts 11:24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.)
The book of Acts chapter 13 verses 1-12 tell us that after certain prophets and teaches were in Antioch fasting and ministering to the Lord, the Holy Spirit sent Barnabas, Saul [who was also called Paul], John, and Mark out to do some special work. As they went across the whole island of Paphos ministering and sharing the "Good News" they were met by a Jewish magician and sorcerer named Barjesus. Barjesus was a false prophet who always stayed close and on the good side of Sergius Paulus [the deputy governor of the country] and a prudent man. The governor Sergius Paulus called for Barnabus and Saul one day because he wanted to hear the word of God. Barjesus the magician and sorcerer did not like the followers of Jesus and he withstood them by trying to turn the deputy governor away from the FAITH. Even though the false prophet tried to stop the deputy governor from believing in Jesus, Saul [Paul] full of the Holy Spirit looked the sorcerer straight in the eyes and said "You son of the devil, full of all subtlety and mischief. You are the enemy of everything that is right. Won't you stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? You are full of evil tricks and lies, always trying to change the Lord's truths into lies." Saul continued to speak in FAITH and said "The hand of the Lord is upon you and you will be blind, not even seeing the light from the sun for a while." Immediately there fell on Barjesus the sorcerer and magician a mist and everything became dark. All he could do was stumble and grope around trying to find someone that would lead him by the hand. The deputy governor saw what had happened and was astonished. A simple truth, the powers of darkness, sorcerers, magicians and false prophets are no match for the "FAITH." (Acts 13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.)
In the book of Acts chapter 14 verses 8-10, Paul was speaking in Lystra and a man crippled in his feet from birth was listening to him. Paul saw that he had FAITH to be healed and called out to him, "stand up on your feet". The man jumped up and began to walk. Here we learn that we can see FAITH in a person. (Acts 14:9 The same heard Paul speak: who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,)
We are told in the book of Acts chapter 14 verses 21-22 that Paul and Barnabus were preaching the "Good News", and strengthening and encouraging the disciples to remain true to the FAITH. They taught the disciples that FAITH was needed to make it through the many hardships they had to face to enter the Kingdom Of God. Nowadays we will need even more. (Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.)
The book of Acts chapter 14 verse 27 points out that Paul and Barnabus were in Antioch gathered together with the church. They were telling the people what they had gone through and about what God had done through them. It was established that God had opened the door of FAITH to the Gentiles [non-Jewish people]. This is an open invitation for everyone to experience the inexhaustible, unlimited, abundant supply of FAITH that comes from believing and trusting in God. (Acts 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.)
The book of Acts chapter 15 verses 5-11 tell us about some men that were teaching a brother that unless he got circumcised according to the customs of the "Law Of Moses" he couldnt be saved. The apostles and elders met together to consider it and they discussed the matter a lot. Peter (who was the disciple that Jesus said he would build his church on in the book of Matthew chapter 16 verses 17-19) got up and said "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the Gospel and believe". Peter was referring to the time when Jesus said things about Peter in the past. It was because Peter had a revelation from the Father that Jesus was the Messiah, he did not learn it from man, it was revealed by God. Peter went on to say that "God who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving them the Holy Spirit . . . and He purified their hearts by FAITH". Peter continued to say that no one should put God to the test or put burdens on the people that they themselves could not even bear. Furthermore, he said "We believe it is through the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that we are saved". Grace is a gift, Gods unmerited love, goodwill, and favor. Grace is given freely. Having FAITH in God, accepting His free gift of Grace through Jesus Christ and trusting in Him is what FAITH is all about. If we have FAITH in God, He will forgive us, purify our hearts and make all things new. Jesus did everything he did to bring glory to the Father and the Father honored him for it. (Acts 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.)
In the book of Acts chapter 16 verse 5 it tells us that Paul and Silas went about Syria and Cilicia strengthening the churches. They went through Derbe and stopped in Lystra where they met Timothy. Timothy made a sacrifice and allowed Paul to circumcise him so he could be used by God in the ministry to His chosen. Timothys mother was a Jewess and his father was a Greek and the Jewish people would not have listened to him unless he had obeyed their laws and got circumcised. Soon after Timothys dedication to God through circumcision they all went from town to town delivering the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. "So the churches were strengthened in FAITH and grew daily in numbers". Sometimes sacrifices are necessary and they must be made because of your FAITH. To be fully used by God, one must be willing to go to any length to do Gods Will. (Acts 16:5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.)
In the book of Acts chapter 20 verse 21 we can see that Paul was in Miletus and he sent a message to Ephesus for the elders of the church to come to him. When they got there he reminded them about how he served the Lord with great humility and that he was severely tested by the plots of the Jewish people. His focus of teaching was that the Jewish and the Greeks must turn to God in repentance and have FAITH in the Lord Jesus Christ. When we have turned to God in repentance and we have humility when our FAITH is severely tested the Grace of God that surpasses all understanding in our Lord Jesus Christ will give us peace. (Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.)
In the book of Acts chapter 24 verse 24 tells us that Paul was ordered under guard by a governor named Felix because charges were being brought against him for stirring up riots and being a troublemaker among the Jewish community. Paul was teaching one day and the governor and his wife Drusilla were listening to him. Paul spoke about FAITH in Christ Jesus and he taught about righteousness, self-control, and the judgments to come. We can see that Paul was big on teaching about FAITH. Teaching others about FAITH, the wonders and the miracles that people will experience from having FAITH was exciting to Paul. (Acts 24:24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.)
In the book of Acts chapter 26 verse18 reveals that Paul had to stand before Porcius Festus the new governor who took over for Felix. The Jewish leaders and chief priests wanted Paul moved to Jerusalem so they could ambush and kill him along the way but Paul explained what had happened in his life to the new governor and Festus didnt see anything wrong in what Paul had done. Your confession of FAITH has an effect on others. Governor Felix consults King Agrippa about it and the King questions Paul more. Paul tells the king about his life and how he use to be. Then Paul gives his testimony about the voice of the Lord coming to him on the road to Damascus. He said the voice told him that he would be used to open the eyes of his people, turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God. He went on the explain to the king that everything that was happening, was so the people could receive forgiveness of their sins and a place among those who were sanctified by FAITH in the Lord. The scripture makes it very clear that we are sanctified by our FAITH in the Lord here. (Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.)
Looking into the book of Romans chapter1 verses 5-17 we can read that Paul was writing the Romans when he said that obedience comes from FAITH. Just to get a little background here, Paul used to be called Saul prior to his Christian conversion. He was born in Taris of Cilicia (it was the intellectual center of the east) and he was of the tribe of Benjamin. Paul was brought up in the Hebrew FAITH and his father was a Pharisee. He was from a very influential and powerful family. Paul was also a Roman Citizen and he had many connections in high places. Stoicism, a materialistic belief leaning more toward natural law or nature law or a God is in all belief, was the dominant philosophy were Paul grew up. Prior to his conversion he was a strict follower of the law and tradition. He was entrusted by the High Priest and Jewish leaders the job of persecuting the Christians. He had a lot of FAITH and that is why he was so obedient to Gods calling. At this point Paul was longing to go to Rome and see his brethren because stories of their FAITH were getting back to him and their FAITH was being reported all over the world. He wanted his brothers to know what he had been experiencing also, and he wrote them so that they could be mutually encouraged by each other and by each others FAITH. He continues to write to them "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by FAITH from first to last, just as it is written": "The righteous will live by FAITH " (The book of Hab. Chapter 2 verse 4) (Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name.) (Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.) (Romans 1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.) (Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.)
The book of Romans chapter 3 verse 3 tells us of Gods faithfulness. Paul asked the question, "what if someone did not have FAITH? Will their lack of FAITH nullify Gods faithfulness? The answer was "Not at all". His point was that no one will be declared righteous because they observed the law. Rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. (Romans 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?)
Further on in the book of Romans chapter 3 verses 21-31 Paul tells us of a Righteousness apart from the law that is obtained by FAITH. In the book of Romans chapter 3 verses 22-31 Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ said that no one is declared righteous by observing the law and that because of the law we become conscious of sin. He goes on to tell us that righteous from God comes through FAITH in Jesus Christ to all who believe that we are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came in his sacrifice and atoning blood which paid for the sins that were left unpunished and that were committed beforehand. He maintains all men have sinned and that a man is justified by FAITH and that God is available to not only the Jewish peoples but too everyone. He adds, we should not nullify the law because of our FAITH but rather we should uphold the law because of our FAITH in God. Here we can see that our righteousness comes from God through FAITH in Jesus. We should also obey the law and have FAITH in God to take care of everything. (Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference) (Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;) (Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.) (Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.) (Romans 3:30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.) (Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.)
In the book of Romans chapter 4 verses 4-25 Paul explains FAITH by using Abraham as an example of how we are justified by FAITH. He tells us that Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. Abraham did not work for God so God would be obligated to pay him but he trusted God. We can read that King David a man loved by God who said that a man was blessed when God credited his righteousness apart from works in the book of Psalms chapter 32 verses 1-2. The question was brought up if Abraham was credited his righteousness because of his FAITH before he was circumcised or after and explained that he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of righteousness that he had by FAITH while he was uncircumcised. It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that they would inherit the world but through the righteousness that comes by FAITH. Gods promised come by FAITH so that it may be by grace and guaranteed. Abraham did things against all hope, without weakening in his FAITH and believed so much that he became the father of many nations and gave the glory to God. "He was fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised" and that is why it was credited to him as righteousness. (Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Romans 4:9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. (Romans 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also) (Romans 4:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.) (Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.) (Romans 4:14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect) (Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,) (Romans 4:19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb) (Romans 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;)
In the book of Romans chapter 5 verses 1-2 Paul teaches us about FAITH by saying "Therefore, since we have been justified (freed from blame, declared guiltless and absolved) through FAITH, we have peace (to effect a reconciliation, an undisturbed state of mind, absent of mental conflict, serenity, calm, quite and tranquil) with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through our Lord Jesus Christ we have gained access by FAITH into this grace (the unmerited love and favor) of God in which we now stand." This paragraph says a lot about faith. Peace, Access to God and we are brought into Gods
Grace because of FAITH. (Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ) (Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.)
In the book of Romans chapter 9 verses 30-32 we see that Paul teaches that Gods Sovereign Choice was to extend His offer of Grace to all races of people who have FAITH so all could be made righteousness. Not because of their zeal to pursue a law of righteousness (following the letter of the law) and not because of their works (good deeds) but made righteousness because of their belief and trust, which is having (FAITH) in God. (Romans 9:30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.) (Romans 9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;)
In the book of Romans chapter 10 verses 5-17 Paul uses Moses (a prophet of God) as an example of FAITH. He was talking about those that have pursued a relationship with God and tried to establish their own righteousness with the law and Paul said "Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes." Paul talks about how Moses said "The man who does these things will live by them." W are told that "the Word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of FAITH we are proclaiming:" "That if you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." "Everyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame." Further in verses 16-17 Paul says " Consequently, FAITH comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ. (Romans 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) (Romans 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;) (Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.)
In the book of Romans chapter 11 verses 17-22 Paul is teaching about the first fruits of an offering to God in the Parable of the Olive Tree. He is teaching about how God accepts all that come to him in FAITH . He uses an example of an Olive Tree and the grafting of branches to it to explain that God accepts Gentiles also. He told the Gentiles he was preaching to in verse 18 that "You do not support the root, but the root supports you." He warns the Gentiles about boasting and explains in verse 20 that "some were broken off from God because of unbelief" Those that stood by FAITH were accepted. And in verses 22 he goes on to say we should consider how stern Gods was to those that fell. "Consider Gods kindness to us, provided that we continue in His kindness, otherwise we will be cut off." This is a wonderful example of Gods Mercy extended to both Jews and Gentiles and what God expects of us. (Romans 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear)
In the book of Romans chapter 12 verses 1-8 we learn that we should become living sacrifices, which is our spiritual worship pleasing to God, not conform to the pattern of this world and be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Then we will be able to test and approve what Gods will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. We should not think of ourselves as more highly than we ought, but rather think of ourselves with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of FAITH God has given us. In verses 4-8 we are taught, just as of each of us has many parts to our bodies and each part has different functions, so is the body of Christ. We are the many that form one body in Christ and each member belongs to all the others. We all have different gifts, according to the grace given to us. For an example Paul taught if a mans gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his FAITH. He went on to say that it applies to each gift. This clearly shows FAITH is in direct proportion to ones trust and belief in God and in accepting (to take what is offered or given) Jesus Christ. By submitting and accepting Gods invitation willingly we are adopted into the family of God. An exchange takes place that has been accepted by God for payment for our sins and the legal consequences of those that live by the law are pardoned. (Romans 12:3 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.) (Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;)
In the book of Romans chapter 14 verses 1-23 Paul teaches us about the Weak and the Strong and conscientious differences of opinions. He said to "accept him whose FAITH is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters." He went on to say "one mans FAITH allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose FAITH is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not." He goes on to say, we must not condemn others for what they do in their FAITH because God has accepted them and he reminds us "who are we to judge someone elses servant?" It does not matter if a man considers one day more sacred than another or every day alike, whether a man eats meat and gives thanks to the :Lord or he is a vegetarian that gives thanks to the Lord for what he eats. He who abstains, does so unto the Lord and the one who partakes does so unto the Lord. He explains that none of us in the FAITH dies to ourselves alone. If we live, we live to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. He is speaking of Gods divine ownership. We give ourselves to God and he will reveal what true universal worship is. Paul says that each one of us will have to give an account of ourselves to God and that is why we should stop passing judgment on one another. If we do anything that would distress a brother because of what we eat or do, we are no longer acting in love, and love is what makes FAITH grow. We learn that the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating, drinking, rituals, traditions or following the letter of the law but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." In verse 23 he sums it up by saying, the man who has doubts about what he is doing is condemned if does not eat (drink, walk, drive, hear, speak, touch, smell, act, and live) in FAITH; and everything that does not come from FAITH is a sin. (Romans 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.) (Romans 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.)
In the book of Romans chapter 16 verses 25-26 Paul was talking about the proclamation (or the announcing of something officially) which is the declaring Jesus is the Christ which was to come according to a revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past. He said Jesus Christ has now been revealed and made known through prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, to all nations for the obedience of the FAITH (or so all nations would believe, trust and have FAITH, in God and be obedient). (Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith)
Again, it is evident that this "light of faith" is a supernatural gift and is not the necessary outcome of assent to the motives of credibility. No amount of study will win it, no intellectual conviction as to the credibility of revealed religion nor even of the claims of the Church to be our infallible guide in matters of faith, will produce this light in a man's mind. It is the free gift of God. Hence, "faith is a supernatural virtue by which we with the inspiration and assistance of God's grace, believe those things to be true which He has revealed". The same decree goes on to say that "although the assent of faith is in no sense blind, yet no one can assent to the Gospel teaching in the way necessary for salvation without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, Who bestows on all a sweetness in believing and consenting to the truth". Thus, neither as regards the truth believed nor as regards the motives for believing, nor as regards the subjective principle by which we believe -- viz. the infused light -- can faith be considered blind.
The place of the will in an act of faith. -- So far we have seen that faith is an act of the intellect assenting to a truth which is beyond its grasp. But to many it will seem almost as futile to ask the intellect to assent to a proposition which is not intrinsically evident as it would be to ask the eye to see a sound. It is clear, however, that the intellect can be moved by the will either to study or not to study a certain truth, though if the truth be a self-evident one -- e.g., that the whole is greater than its part -- the will cannot affect the intellect's adhesion to it, it can, however, move it to think of something else, and thus distract it from the contemplation of that particular truth. If, now, the will moves the intellect to consider some debatable point-e.g. the Copernican and Ptolemaic theories of the relationship between the sun and the earth -- it is clear that the intellect can only assent to one of these views in proportion as it is convinced that the particular view is true. But neither view has, as far as we can know, more than probable truth, hence of itself the intellect can only give in its partial adherence to one of these views, it must always be precluded from absolute assent by the possibility that the other view may be right. The fact that men hold much more tenaciously to one of these than the arguments warrant can only be due to some extrinsic consideration, e.g. that it is absurd not to hold what the vast majority of men hold. And here it should be noted the intellect only assents to a statement for one of two reasons: either because that statement is immediately or mediately evident in itself -- e.g. a first principle or a conclusion from premises -- or because the will moves it to do so. Extrinsic evidence of course comes into play when intrinsic evidence is wanting, but though it would be absurd, without weighty evidence in its support, to assent to a truth which we do not grasp, yet no amount of such evidence can make us assent, it could only show that the statement in question was credible, our ultimate actual assent could only be due to the intrinsic evidence which the statement itself offered, or, failing that, due to the will. Hence, the act of faith as the assent of the intellect determined by the will. The reason, then, why men cling to certain beliefs more tenaciously than the arguments in their favour would warrant, is to be sought in the will rather than in the intellect. Authorities are to be found on both sides, the intrinsic evidence is not convincing, but something is to be gained by assenting to one view rather than the other, and this appeals to the will, which therefore determines the intellect to assent to the view which promises the most. Similarly, in Divine faith the credentials of the authority which tells us that God has made certain revelations are strong, but they are always extrinsic to the proposition, "God has revealed this or that", and consequently they cannot compel our assent; they merely show us that this statement is credible. When, then, we ask whether we are to give in our free assent to any particular statement or not, we feel that in the first place we cannot do so unless there be strong extrinsic evidence in its favour, for to believe a thing merely because we wished to do so would be absurd. Secondly, the proposition itself does not compel our assent, since it is not intrinsically evident, but there remains the fact that only on condition of our assent to it shall we have what the human soul naturally yearns for, viz., the possession of God, Who is, as both reason and authority declare, our ultimate end; "He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved", and "Without faith it is impossible to please God." St. Thomas expresses this by saying: "The disposition of a believer is that of one who accepts another's word for some statement, because it seems fitting or useful to do so. In the same way we believe Divine revelation because the reward of eternal life is promised us for so doing. It is the will which is moved by the prospect of this reward to assent to what is said, even though the intellect is not moved by something which it understands.
But just as the intellect needed a new and special light in order to assent to the supernatural truths of faith, so also the will needs a special grace from God in order that it may tend to that supernatural good which is eternal life. The light of faith, then, illumines the understanding, though the truth still remains obscure, since it is beyond the intellect's grasp; but supernatural grace moves the will, which, having now a supernatural good put before it, moves the intellect to assent to what it does not understand. Hence it is that faith is described as "bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ" (II Cor., x, 5).