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"Insights" from the New Testament Greek

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 "Insights" from the New Testament Greek

By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida

Without "Faith" it is Impossible to Please God", Heb. 11:6

  Please concentrate, and listen carefully to this "insight", because most people, that I know, think of "faith" as simply "believing", and the stronger you can "believe", the more "faith" you are having. People say "I sure wish I had your faith", and "just have faith", as if Biblical faith is a quality that we have control over, and that we can work up more "faith" by just "believing harder".

  That misconception comes from assuming that the Bible word "faith" is a verb. But, the common word for "faith" in the New Testament is the Greek word "pistis". This word is used 244 times in the New Testament, and it is a NOUN, not a verb! The verb form is "pisteuo", which is translated "believe", meaning "to trust in and rely on". To "believe", is something we do, but "pistis", or "faith" is not the "act of believing", but "the things that are believed".

  "Faith" is the supernatural "engine" that powers our Christian life. I only find ONE way for us to acquire "faith" in the New Testament, "so then faith (cometh) by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God", Rom 10:17. One way only, from hearing, reading, or being taught the Word of God. It cannot just be "worked up", "desired", or "prayed for".

  "Faith", the noun, in the New Testament is a three stage process:

   1. God's Word is taken into our mind through hearing or reading, and Godís Spirit supernaturally gives us a spiritual understanding of it and places it into our soul. Faith is being "measured out" by God to each of His children, Rom. 10:17, Rom. 12:3, 1 Cor. 12:9, and 2 Cor. 10:15.

   2. God gives us a test on the Scriptures we take in, to see if we really believe it, Jas 1:3, and the testing of our faith is more precious than pure gold! 1 Pet. 1:7.

   3. When the test is passed, God makes that Word to be "faith", a permanent part of our human soul, our spiritual "engine" and we "grow". Paul says in Rom. 1:17, that we grow in stages or plateaus of faith, from "faith to faith".

  In Heb 11:1, personal faith gives us "the assurance (hupostasis) of things hoped for, and the conviction (elengkhos) of things that cannot be seen". The remainder of Hebrews chapter eleven is a wonderful list of Bible heroes who accomplished the things they did through the Spirit of God and the Word of God resident in their souls (faith).

  It is our "faith", God's Word resident in our soul, that enables us to live a godly, successful, Christian life in this world full of evil, 1 Jn 5:4. James 1:21 commands us to "Receive with meekness the engrafted word". The word "engrafted" here is the Greek word "emphutos", meaning "to implant" Godís Word in our soul.

  There is as much difference between "faith" and "believing" as there is between a "noun" and a "verb". Where Godís Word says "THE faith", it refers to the Bible itself, but where the word "faith" occurs without the article "the", try reading it as "Godís Word implanted in the soul", and see if it doesnít increase your Bible understanding!

  I only know of one thing we can take to heaven with us, and that is Godís Word implanted in our soul!

  Bob Jones