Thursday, April 28, 2011

Faith Is.....

Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Hebrews 11:1 is not really a definition of faith. It doesn't specifically tell us what faith is; it really gives a larger picture of how faith performs in an individual's life.

Let's look at a passage of scripture and let the Bible give us the definition of faith.

Mark 5:24-34

"A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Based upon the above passage, what can we learn about defining faith? Jesus told the woman her faith healed her. What was her faith? Well, she first heard something. She had to have believed what she heard. Then she took action based upon what she heard and believed.

The Greek word in the above passage for the word "faith" is pistis. Vine's Expository Dictionary defines that Greek Word to mean "primarily, "firm persuasion," a conviction based upon hearing (akin to peitho, "to persuade"), is used in the NT always of "faith in God or Christ, or things spiritual."

So, we see that based upon the passage above and the Greek word Jesus used in the passage, a correct definition for faith is a "firm persuasion" or "conviction based upon hearing." This definition of faith demonstrates exactly why the woman in Mark 5 was healed. She heard and has a conviction based upon that hearing.

This brings up another interesting thought. What if she hadn't heard about Jesus? What if she had been listening to something else? Do you think it is important what we listen to?

1 comment:

  1. Love it again.. "firm persuasion" I need to dwell on this thought. How awesome was it that Jesus could be in a crowd and be so aware of everyone around him, yet be so aware of the indidual too.

    yes it definitly matters, what we listen too.