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Forum Home > Theology Forum > What are the differences between 'Faith' and 'Believe'

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Pastor Matt,

When you have a little time or in a study where the question would be appropriate I would like to know how to articulate the difference between Belief and Faith interpretations.  

For Example: 

Abraham’s belief was credited to him as righteousness; believe on the name of the Lord and you will be saved;  It is by faith you have been saved ect…


I am wondering if it is a struggle with synergism and legalism… if there is any difference at all… in authors, language, etc...


SLBC Parishioner


SLBC Parishioner,

Not sure if this will answer your question or not...  but let me give it a shot..

Believe and Faith are the same word in the original greek (i.e. pistis).

Our English word for 'Believe' is the verb form of pistis.

Our English word for 'Faith' is the noun form of pistis.

That is why I many times substitute the word 'faithing' for the word 'believing.' 

*Believe and Faithing = Verbs

*Faith = Noun

In scripture I would also see words such as 'trust and obedience' as synonyms to faith.  For example in Romans 1:8 Paul says of the Romans, "your faith is proclaimed in all the world." In concluding the letter to the Romans he says in 16:19, "For your obedience is know to all...

I see obedience as a synonym to the word faith due to Paul's usage of them in Romans 1:8 and 16:19, but also because when we are obedient to Christ there is an abandonment of our own pride and efforts and trust/faith in one that owns and captivates us. 

Finally, I would ask the question of 'faith.'  Is it something that we conjure up in ourselves or is it something that is given to us?  In Ephesians 2:8-9 we read, "For by grace you havebeen saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,not a result of works...."  What is the gift?  Grace and Faith.  Faith is a gift to us and comes about as we hear the Word (Romans 10:17). Faith is nothing more than the 'instrument' that 'receives' God's blessing (i.e. through faith...  by faith...). 

Anyway, hopefully that helps clear some things up and doesn't muddy the water any more... Feel free to keep these email dialogues going...  they are a joy for me because it causes me to look to the word and be blessed along with you in your journey...

Buried in Christ,

Pastor Matt


February 19, 2010 at 1:33 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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