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Monday, February 27, 2006

My Statement of Faith

The topic of faith, its meaning and origin has surfaced on many blogs and on the Protestant Pub forum where I enjoy discussing these things. It seems the meaning of the word has been expanded in common language over time beyond its scriptural meaning. I believe the scripture is very clear on what faith is as well as its origin.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Romans 10:17 (KJV)

What is hearing? And what is heard? I’ll save those questions for another day.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

Faith is both an invisible substance and real evidence but faith is not a work. It is the substance through which we are saved and it is the intangible evidence of those things we hope for as believers. When we ascribe certain works to faith and call them faith we have established a means by which we can judge the heart of others. We now can say, “If you don’t do this work then you have no faith”.

Rather than judge one another let us judge our own selves knowing that no one can see our faith by our judgments against each other but rather they shall know us as believers by our love for one another.

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18 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Good thoughts, Kc.

2/27/2006 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks Matthew. ;-)

2/27/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

"It is the substance through which we are saved and it is the intangible evidence of those things we hope for as believers."

How do we know faith is nothing more, or the same as, simple knowledge, or possession of fact? Meaning, I have knowledge that you are Kc. This 'knowledge' can be said to be 'intangible evidence' and it could likewise be 'substance' through which salvation can occur.

But don't we ascribe to faith something more than simple or mere mental assent? The whole 'you know God is one, good the demons do too'.

The lost and apparently the demons (as well as THE demon) KNOW that God is God. They have 'knowledge' in this fact. But don't we need more than simply 'knowing that God is God'?

Meaning that if we ascribe faith as only a mental ascent, a 'knowledge' of something (much the same as I know you are Kc), then what would this knowledge be?

So, I have a few questions, which would perhaps go better upon the forum, but I'll posit here for discussion from those who don't frequent it (pagans).

1. What is the difference between 'faith' and mere ascent of a fact, such as I 'know' Kc is Kc.

2. If faith is only mental ascent, only knowledge of a fact, what is the required knowledge? Need we know that God is Trinitarian? Need we know that Jesus came in the flesh? What exactly is needed to be known?

3. If faith is more than simple mental ascent, what is that extra part? We would no doubt recognize that it is at least mental ascent (I doubt anyone save the extreme loons would posit a pre-cognate faith). So, if we recognize that it is at least mental ascent, and we likewise assume that it is more, what is that extra requirement? Behavior? REPENTANCE? Obedience? Love? Devotion? What?

I must say my friend, this is leading me to think in a way I haven't in a while. My brain is on overdrive. You are da' man.

I must warn you as well. Any effort you take to even attempt to answer these questions will lead you into the realm of the theological, MY playground. Not for the faint of heart. But I will be with you, be not afraid. ;)

2/27/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Hurry up and answer me...Gaw! I know I only posted it about twenty minutes ago, but I NEED to discuss. hehe

Would you like to bring this topic up or should I? Perhaps I should raise it in the form of the questions that I have given to you, on the pub.

2/27/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam I would think that from the definition faith is not knowledge. Is knowledge a substance? Is knowledge faith? The mental assent, which you describe is the belief of that which the Holy Spirit testifies to be the Truth, that is that Jesus is Christ, the Son of God. Having believed this Jesus says that we who believe this are given the gift of eternal life. By virtue of our faith in Jesus we receive it. While demons do believe this as well, they are not given the gift and have no faith in Him at all. They only fear Him. If this gift were all that is necessary to complete our "sanctification" or to deliver us blameless before God then we would be instantly glorified and live a perfect and sinless life on earth. We do not and we remain under the curse of sin yet we are no longer bound by sin. Faith is the substance “by” which many great works are accomplished, such as listed in Hebrews 11, but these works are not faith itself. This substance is required in order to please God and only by it can we live just yet it in itself is not a work. Faith alone is the evidence of all we believe according to scripture yet it is not scripture.

2/27/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger forgiven said...

Hi Kc
Martin Luther more than 450 years ago the monk of Wittenberg strode up and nailed papers to door of the castle church and thereby began what we call the Protestant Reformation. Here was a man who had tried his very level best to find his way to heaven according to the pathway of works. He had done everything the church of his day suggested. He had tried fasting, indulgences, the sacraments, the intercession of the saints, penances, and confessions. He had endured long night vigils and heavy days of labor. He had done everything he could, but the harder he worked, the more his inner distress increased. Latter he was inlighten by the Lord that Faith in the way to salvation.

Great Piece Brother

Doug

2/27/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Great post, Kc!
Faith seems to have a lot in common with the word "trust" IMO. Faith is believing with trust.

Demons may know about Christ, but none of them are the subject of His salvation. To compare human beings' "mental assent to the facts" with James 2:19 is silly, IMO. That verse isn't even talking about "believing that Jesus is the Christ" ... it is talking about believing "that there is one God." This has nothing to do with mental assent to the gospel message and believing it applies to you. I hear this verse used a lot to hit non-calvinists over the head.
Thump!
Did you hear it?

2/27/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam sorry to be so slow responding but duty does call from time to time. ;-)

Doug thanks for the info and the encouragement. ;-)

Rose I think that's an excellent way to perceive faith and yes I have my lumps. ;-)

2/27/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Mr. Webster defines faith as unquestioning belief tht does not require proof or evidence. I'd say it's more than that. True faith is belief that God exsists (according to Hebrews) and it is belief in divine revelation. It accepts God as Lord and Father, His soverignty, without doubt. The Holy Spirit testifies to our spirit of the truth of God.

2/27/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger earth from eic said...

Hey Kc,

Just wanted to let you know that I was back blogging. Thanks for all your encouraging comments and your prayers.

2/27/2006 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger An Ordinary Christian said...

Hi! What a following you have! Faith is a wonderful subject. Faith can be painful. I want to be one, as it says in Hebrews, who through faith and patience, inherit the promises. Ahhhh. To be with Him! Then will not be the time for faith, because then we will see Him face to face. But now we see dimly, and what do some of see? We see Jesus, who is coming for us quickly on a white horse. I will keep my light burning. God bless you and Corry and your family!

2/27/2006 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger jeff said...

The interesting thing about faith is that many try to, as you alluded, achieve it through works. Instead, our good works are the evidence of our faith, not the source of it.

Nicely said, KC.

2/27/2006 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Sis. Beth thanks so much for your thoughts and to you and Titus for being such a good friend to all. ;-)

Chris welcome back brother! I'm thankful to hear from you and look forward to reading you again. ;-)

Andrea I am so blessed be able to follow all who visit here. I love my blogger buddies and look forward to that wonderful day too! You're a wonderful inspiriation. ;-)

Jeff good to see you man and congrats on the new setup! Good point on the source of works. ;-)

2/28/2006 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Kc, if faith is not 'knowledge', you would at least have to say it is AT LEAST knowledge. Or it contains knowledge. Or it necessarily must have knowledge present. If not, then you would run the risk of saying that someone can have faith, without ever even knowing the name of Christ, or who Christ is. The moment you say that they necessarily must know that 'Christ has come in the flesh', you then posit the idea that faith must be accompanied by a certain knowledge.

2/28/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

2 Corinthians 4:6 says ,"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

It is through that knowledge that we come to have faith. ;-)

2/28/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

I agree with your simple and clear presentation of faith. And it's a depressingly important topic.

Understanding/knowledge is the prerequisite so it shouldn't be considered part of faith.

We wouldn't define a car as the design of a car even if they are necessary :)

Although I don't think mine had 'em.

3/01/2006 11:30:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jodie thanks for the support. I really hope that by being more specific in our definitions we'll be able to clear up more misunderstandings among ourselves. ;-)

3/02/2006 04:50:00 AM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

Amen to that :)

3/03/2006 12:44:00 AM  

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