What is Faith?


"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).

What does the Bible say about faith?

No Christian or even someone of a different religion, will deny the importance of faith.

For Christians, in particular, this word will have an even deeper meaning. After all, one of the main verses of Scripture is "the righteous will live by faith" (Hb 2:4/Rm 1:17).

That is, faith is the reason why the righteous live. But what does that mean exactly?

Perhaps the best explanation of the purpose of faith is found in the first letter of the Apostle Peter:

"So that the genuineness of your faith […] may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Without having seen him you love him; though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy" (1 Peter 1:7-8).

Perhaps the best explanation of the purpose of faith is found in the first letter of the Apostle Peter:

It is not a simple blind belief or great hope. When a Christian prays to Christ, he does not think he is being heard, he KNOWS that he is being heard.

Faith, for example, is not praying believing that a person can be healed. But make sure the Lord is able to heal you and will do it if that is His will.

Faith is what enables the preaching of a message that is received as "folly for Gentiles and stumbling for Jews" (1 Cor. 1:18). The news that God became incarnate and gave Himself for the sins of everyone who believes in Him (John 3.16).

Therefore, we have faith because of the salvation of our souls and the full relationship with Christ. But how do you get that faith?

If faith is not believing with all my strength, where does it come from? How can I get it?

"Because by grace you are saved through faith; and this does not come from you; it is a gift from God; not by works so that no one can boast" (Eph 2.4).

The only way to receive grace, salvation, is through faith. And the apostle Paul, in this passage, makes it clear that this does not come from us, but is a gift from God.

Another passage that proves Paul's statement comes in a speech by Peter, in the temple, after healing a paralytic.

"…by faith in his name, has made this man strong whom you see and know; and the faith which is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all" (Acts 3.16).

If you know the story, you know that the paralytic did not believe much that he would be cured and did not even ask for it, before, he asked for alms. However, the faith that this man received did not come from his desires, but came through grace, through Jesus Christ.

Therefore, the gift that leads us to believe in Christ and to be saved, faith, is a gift from the Lord.

Another situation where this is evident is the Apostles' perception of their inability to control their own faith. In chapter 17 of the Gospel according to Luke, the author narrates the episode where the Apostles argue Jesus about forgiveness.

After Jesus said that if up to 7 times a repentant brother asked for forgiveness, they should forgive them.

Their reaction: "increase our faith". They understood that the author and finisher of the faith is Christ Himself.

Does this mean that we have no role in this?

No way!

We not only have a responsibility to care for and nourish our faith, but we are the tool to open the doors of faith to other men:

"So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ." (Rm 10:17).

Preaching comes from hearing the Word of God. No one comes to faith in Christ without first hearing the Gospel and his Word.

So today we have two important roles in relation to faith: listening to the Word and proclaiming the Word.

God bless you!