Summary: One of the biggest errors that have crept into the church over the years has been the teaching that ‘faith’ is a thing, power, or force to obtain or possess.
Many believe that if a person can conjure up enough ‘faith,’ they can be healed of any ailment, declare things into existence, and receive all the money they could ever want. Conversely, it is believed that if a person is not healed or has little money, they lack in personal faith.
Most believe that the biblical definition of faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1 ESV). However, that is an explanation of what ‘faith’ is and not what it means.
In the Old Testament, God is called "the God of truth" (Isa 65:16 YLT). In the original Hebrew, it means the "God of Amen." The Hebrew word “aman” is where we get the word ‘amen.’ It is often translated as ‘believe’ and means to stand fast, endure, to be true. Figuratively it means to firmly trust and believe without a doubt in absolute certainty - to be faithful. God is the One who remains eternally faithful and true, the One who can always be relied upon.
In the New Testament, Jesus is given the same title; "the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness" (Rev 3:14 YLT), “..for as many as [are] promises of God, in him [are] the Yes, and in him the Amen” (2 Cor 1:20 YLT). Jesus is the “Yes,” and the “Amen” who is eternally true and reliable. The word “amen” in Greek means "true and faithful.” It is a formal word that was used to confirm a statement, an oath, or a covenant contract. Jesus is the God of Amen, the “God of faithfulness.”
The word “faith” used in the New Testament comes from the Greek word “pistis.” It is defined as the living, divinely implanted, acquired and created principle of inward and whole-hearted inward confidence, assurance, firm persuasion, trust, absolute reliance, dependence upon, (and belief in) God and all that we hear from Him in His written Word, the Bible.
The root of “pistis” is the word “peitho,” which is a primary verb - an action word that is in a continual state of being, moving forward or reverse, never standing still. Faith, in and of itself, is dead apart from trust. Faith, without works, “is dead” (James 2:17). The working of faith is trust.
The present tense of the Greek word "pistis" is the word “believe.” It denotes the act and process of faith, which is trust, and must be continually exercised to experience its benefits. It is impossible to please God if a person does not trust Him (Heb 11:6). Those who live their life in biblical faith will tend to be more trustworthy, reliable and committed to fulfilling the tasks and responsibilities given them by the Holy Spirit (Acts 14:22; Eph. 6:16; Col. 1:23; 2:57; 1 Th. 5: 8; 1 Tim. 2:15, 3:9; 6:12. 2 Tim. 3:8; 4:7; Titus 1:13; Heb 10:23-38; 2 Pet. 1:5-10).
Faith, along with love, is “found in” Jesus and comes abundantly from Him because He is the “author and perfecter of faith (Heb 12:2; Eph 6:23; 1 Tim 1:14). Learning to trust God is a result of teaching. Christians are to fix their focus on Jesus alone because “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17 NIV).
The world can’t exist or operate without faith. It is impossible to become a Christian and please God. It is the absolute fundamental element of Christianity. It is just milk, and a tricycle with training wheels, in the nursery school of discipleship (Heb 5:12-6:3). There is no exhausting it.
God gave EVERY Christian all the faith they needed to believe Jesus is the Savior. It is God who gives them the faith to trust Him today. Christians must learn to put on the faith He has given them just as they put on their clothes each day.
"But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” (1 Thess 5:8 NIV)
When a person places their faith in Jesus, they believe/trust in Him, and He grants His righteousness to them. That doesn't make them co-equal with Him as a little god. The “righteousness of God" is not a ‘law’ righteousness but a ‘faith’ righteousness. It comes through the faith possessed by Jesus and is imparted to all who are willing to receive. Christians have the faith of Jesus!
“Even the righteousness of God which is by the faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference” (Rom 3:22 KJV).
Faith, as described in the Bible, is God's gracious gift, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast, for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:8-10 ESV).