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In Hebrew the word is אֵֶמוּנָה and in Greek it is πιστις. We are talking about faith and if you can’t read either of those two words, it doesn’t mean you don’t have faith. You don’t have to be a Hebrew or Greek scholar to have faith. You don’t have to understand all the mysteries or lock God down into a box, tethered by your own presuppositions and assumptions.




God is much bigger than that. God is so big, in fact, that we is trustable. He is faithable. He is the One we can lean on even when we fail to understand what is going on.


There is a world of difference between belief and faith. I can believe eating better will result in weightloss. It is quite another thing to live as if that knowledge is true. Faith is the second. Faith is leaning into the invisible and trusting you won’t fall over. Faith is peering over into the black abyss as if the bottom is merely inches away.




It doesn’t consist of the things we do but it is demonstrated that way. Faith is the person who is willing to walk out on the glass bridge because they trust it will hold. Belief is the lady standing off to the side, not willing to venture out because she knows in principle it will hold but not in a practical enough sense to venture out.


Faith allows us to venture. It allows us to explore. It allows us to go places and do things we might not otherwise because we know there is more going on than what we can see. Faith knows that our enemies and our adversaries are outnumbered by our protectors and avengers. If only we had eyes to see the spiritual reality! We don’t but we live as if we do and that is called faith.

4 Responses

  1. For me Matt it’s tenacity in the face of adversity.
    If you read the fourth chapter of Romans Abraham’s life is marked by faithfulness.
    To me that echoes back 2 chapter 3 of Romans.
    Showing God’s faithfulness to his Covenant through faithfulness to all of his words as written in the prophets.
    as witnessed and as Jesus says the two greatest Commandments r love God just like you love your neighbor.
    It’s impossible to have one without the other.
    That is exemplified by the Trinity loving each other and loving they’re very good creation.
    Enough to die for it.
    Separation from each other on the cross.
    To cleanse the Temple of all evil.
    The body of his children The Dwelling Place of the Holy One through the spiritc

    1. That works in many ways. However, Abraham was not always the most tenacious in adversity. I guess you could counter with that was when his faith wavered a bit and yet ultimately he had faith even though it wasn’t perfect all the time.

      I struggle a bit with the separation from the Father at the cross. I take Jesus reference to Psalm 22 as a reference to the whole psalm that literally says God hasn’t turned from the afflicted one but has heard his cry for help.

  2. Matt, overall this is a good article. Yet, I have a problem with it

    Your knowledge of the Biblical languages is far greater than mine, yet as I look at ‘believe’ and ‘belief’ in the English translations, I find them translated from pisteuo (believe or have belief) and pistis which is usually rendered as ‘faith’ but is translated ‘belief’ in 1 or 2 verses in the major translations I consulted (ASV, KJV, RV, and NIV), most notably 2 Thessalonians 2:13 in all of these, and Romans 10:17 in the ASV & RV, which two are, as you well know, are the American & British versions of the same basic translation.

    My point is that faith is the noun and believe is the verb translations of the same Greek word-family. The significance you gave to ‘belief’ does not rise to the level of meaning of either pistis or pisteuo as used in the New Testament. Rather, it reflects the popular use of believe and faith today, a usage that obscures the close relationship between faith and believing in the New Testament.

    1. Words certainly have a range of meaning and then they also have popular usage that may not always reflect biblical usage…take “love” as an example of that in English.

      James 2:19 is an instance that shows the difference I am talking about where demons believe Jesus is the Christ but they don’t have trusting faith, nor are they faithful in any sense to God. There is intellectual ascent to a given truth without the corresponding component of trust.

      In Greek they are certainly related and have overlapping ranges of meaning that can be connected with trust in both words. Pistis seems to me to have more of a “faithfulness” component that beliefs/pisteuo does in many instances.

      So you are correct about their overlap but it is a bit muddy that in practice and given multiple definitions of the words and application of these words today give me something to base my statement on 🙂

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