As a new believer, and for the first three years of my life as a Christian, I struggled with the notion of faith. Those around me could not explain to me what faith was. I remember one pastor at a conference I attended, describe saving faith as a belief which overcomes our fears. He said saving faith might be illustrated like this: "I am fearful of heights. God asks me to enter a 20 story building and go up to the top floor. There you will find some men washing windows from a cat walk that is suspended from the roof of the building. God then commands me to step out of the building's window onto the cat walk. I obey. That is an example of saving faith."
All around me I found men who struggled to define what saving faith was. Everyone used the word but could not define it.
What are your thoughts? Have you experienced the same in your own walk? Do men or women around you struggle with the word "faith?"
| 2004/2/11 7:44||Profile|
| Re: Faith|
I have always defined saving faith as a realization that God is more real than you are, a knowledge that He is always present where you are, and an awareness of Him just as you are aware of your right arm. Even when your eyes are closed, you feel that your right arm is there; even though you cannot see God, you feel that He is there. It also implies a basic understanding of God's personality, of His wishes, of His likes and dislikes. It is not only an awareness of God but also an awareness of His Mind.
| 2004/2/11 17:46||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Faith|
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
[b]FAITH[/b], n. [L. fides, fido, to trust; Gr. to persuade, to draw towards any thing, to conciliate; to believe, to obey. In the Greek Lexicon of Hederic it is said, the primitive signification of the verb is to bind and draw or lead, as signifies a rope or cable. But this remark is a little incorrect. The sense of the verb, from which that of rope and binding is derived, is to strain, to draw, and thus to bind or make fast. A rope or cable is that which makes fast. Heb.]
1. Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence; the judgment that what another states or testifies is the truth. I have strong faith or no faith in the testimony of a witness, or in what a historian narrates.
2. The assent of the mind to the truth of a proposition advanced by another; belief, or probable evidence of any kind.
3. In theology, the assent of the mind or understanding to the truth of what God has revealed. Simple belief of the scriptures, of the being and perfections of God, and of the existence, character and doctrines of Christ, founded on the testimony of the sacred writers, is called historical or speculative faith; a faith little distinguished from the belief of the existence and achievements of Alexander or of Cesar.
4. Evangelical, justifying, or saving faith, is the assent of the mind to the truth of divine revelation, on the authority of God's testimony, accompanied with a cordial assent of the will or approbation of the heart; an entire confidence or trust in God's character and declarations, and in the character and doctrines of Christ, with an unreserved surrender of the will to his guidance, and dependence on his merits for salvation. In other words, that firm belief of God's testimony, and of the truth of the gospel, which influences the will, and leads to an entire reliance on Christ for salvation.
Being justified by faith. Rom 5.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb 11.
For we walk by faith, and not by sight. 2 Cor 5.
With the heart man believeth to righteousness. Rom 10.
The faith of the gospel is that emotion of the mind, which is called trust or confidence, exercised towards the moral character of God, and particularly of the Savior.
Faith is an affectionate practical confidence in the testimony of God.
Faith is an affectionate practical confidence in the testimony of God.
Faith is a firm, cordial belief in the veracity of God, in all the declarations of his word; or a full and affectionate confidence in the certainty of those things which God has declared, and because he has declared them.
5. The object of belief; a doctrine or system of doctrines believed; a system of revealed truths received by christians.
They heard only, that he who persecuted us in times past, now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. Gal 1.
6. The promises of God, or his truth and faithfulness.
shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? Rom 3.
7. An open profession of gospel truth.
Your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Rom 1.
8. A persuasion or belief of the lawfulness of things indifferent.
Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Rom 14.
9. Faithfulness; fidelity; a strict adherence to duty and fulfillment of promises.
Her failing, while her faith to me remains, I would conceal.
Children in whom is no faith. Deu 32.
10. Word or honor pledged; promise given; fidelity. He violated his plighted faith.
For you alone I broke my faith with injured Palamon.
11. Sincerity; honesty; veracity; faithfulness. We ought in good faith, to fulfill all our engagements.
12. Credibility or truth. Unusual.]
The faith of the foregoing narrative.
Websters 1828 Dictionary
| 2004/2/11 18:49||Profile|
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17 There are two greek words for "word." Logos implies the written word. Rhema implies the spoken word. In the verse above, the word Rhema is used. So faith come by hearing the spoken word of God. God thoughout Scriptures, speaks in one way or another to those who will hear. He spoke Himself, "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." Genesis 22:18 Also, "Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine." Exodus 19:5
Also, "Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God." Is 50:10
He speaks through the prophets and angels. He speaks to us through the written word of God. "For the word of God is [b]living and powerful[/b] and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12.
So faith comes from hearing God speak to us. Think about how Joshua was able to please God. Was it not because God spoke to him first. He had a choice to obey or disobey. Look to Abraham. God came and spoke to him through dreams and angels. Look to the OT for God's voice.
| 2004/2/13 7:49||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
Look to the OT for God's voice.
And the New for the fullness of expression of that voice.
Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.
| 2004/2/13 8:03||Profile|
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. [b]In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.[/b] And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend (overcome) it." John 1:1-5
In another place, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." John 8:56
I wonder if anyone knew as much as Enoch, Elijah, Ezekiel, Moses, Abraham, or Joshua. And of course the Apostles, especially John.
When Paul wrote Romans 10:17, he was refering to the OT saints.
| 2004/2/13 8:21||Profile|
rookie wrote: "There are two greek words for "word." Logos implies the written word. Rhema implies the spoken word. In the verse above, the word Rhema is used."
Reply: Actually Rhema and Logos are interchangeable and are used equally to denote either written or spoken words.
| 2004/2/13 17:07||Profile|
by Husley: Actually Rhema and Logos are interchangeable and are used equally to denote either written of spoken words.
I am the least of any in terms of knowledge of language and translating them. With that said, and again with ignorance my companion, I checked the concordance for these two words Rhema and Logos. Neither are used to express the other in definition. Jeremy, when you say that they are interchangeable, can you share with me why they are so?
It does not seem that Paul uses these words freely. What is the significance?
| 2004/2/13 20:29||Profile|
This was a question that I had brought up to one of the Greek professors at my college. He's the one who first told me that the words were interchangeable. I later asked some of the Biblical language experts on another forum I belong to and they concurred that the two can either mean spoken or written.
I don't have all my study tools here with me at home so I'll write what little I know with what I have here.
Here's what I found in my Zondervan's Analytical Exhaustive Concordance:
Logos: word, spoken or written, often with a focus on the content of a communication; matter, thing. "The Word" is a title of Christ empasizing his own deity and communication of who God is and what he is like.
It doesn't give as detailed a definition of rhema. Here's what it says:
Rhema: word, saying; matter, thing.
Here's a sample of some of the listings of the uses of either Logos and Rhema:
John 2:22 Then they believed the Scripture and the word- Logos (written)
John 3:34 the one whom God has sent speaks the word- Rhema (spoken)
John 15:20 Remember the word I spoke to you- Logos (spoken)
2nd Cor 10:10 and his *speaking* amounts to nothing- Logos
Rhema is used mainly in reference to speaking. However, Logos appears from what I've seen in my concordance to be used freely either way. This is a very concise sampling of the uses of these two words.
Vincent's Word studies in the New Testament says this about Logos in John 1:1
The Word (Logos) This expression is the key-note and theme of the entire gospel. Logos' comes from a word (greek symbols used here which I'm unable to type) with the primitive meaning of which is: to lay, then, to pick out, gather, pick up: hence to gather or put words together, and so to speak. Hence logos is, first of all, a collecting or collection of both of things in the mind, and of words by which they are expressed. It therefore signifies both the outward form by which the inward thought is expressed, and the inward thought itself, "to think" and "to speak".
He notes John's reference in the opening of his gospel the Genesis ch.1:
The word here points directly to Gen.1, where the act of creation is effected by God speaking (compare Psalms 33:6).
Rhema appears to be used a lot when the writers are wanting to stress the entirety of the message (gospel):
John 17:8 I have given them the words(rhema) that You have given Me.: words here means he has given the whole message
Rhema, word, as distinguished from Logos, word, in classical Greek, signifies a constituent part of a speech or writing, as distinguished from the contents as a whole. (in other words logos might point out single words or phrases while rhema referrs to the whole message) The distinction in the New Testament is not sharp throughout. It is maintained that rhema in the NT, like the Hebrew gabar, stands sometimes for the subject-matter of the word. However, Vincent goes on to say that the writers of the NT did not always follow these rules. Which is to be expected since their native tongue was Aramaic and not Greek. It would be the same as someone from Mexico writing a book in English without having mastered the language. The translation would be rough in some places, and this is true also in the NT. While on the surface this might seem embarrasing to the church and was a scource of reviling from critcs of the scriptures in its day, today it only helps to further solidify the authenticity of the scriptures.
To continue what you were saying about Romans however, you are on the right track to what this passage is saying.
Romans 10:17 in the NKJV starts of with "So then". This implies that he is summing up what he just said, so the root of this verse can be found in the following verses.
14How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!"
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?"
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Verse 17 is better translated: "So then, fait comes by the message, and the message by the command of Christ." Rhema here is translated as command.
Verse 17 answers the questions posed in verses 14 and 15. (14)How can someone believe? (17)The message of the gospel (15)How can they hear the gospel without someone being sent to them? (17)The messagengers of the gospel are sent by the command(rhema) of Christ.
| 2004/2/14 6:52||Profile|
| Re: Faith|
"As a new believer, and for the first three years of my life as a Christian, I struggled with the notion of faith. Those around me could not explain to me what faith was....
"All around me I found men who struggled to define what saving faith was. Everyone used the word but could not define it.
"What are your thoughts? Have you experienced the same in your own walk?"
"Do men or women around you struggle with the word "faith?"
For openers, I'll offer one definition that George Mueller, Watchman Nee, A.W. Tozer, Major W. Ian Thomas and others have offered. (See, for example, what George Mueller had to say in the biographic, autobiographical material that Greg (wrtbooks) posted today.)
"FAITH IS BELIEVING THAT WHAT GOD SAYS IS TRUE."
"Abraham believed God and it was accounted unto him for righteousness" (Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:6, James 2:23).
The Hebrew for "believed" is "amened".
Abraham "amened" God, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness."
The renewed spirit in the regenerated (or "awakened"--take your pick) man or woman has been given the capacity to perceive Divine facts, the Divine realities from the written word of God.
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence (conviction) of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1)
Nee likes the word, "substantiating". Faith is the substantiating, the process of saying "amen" to, the inner response to, the perceived Divine realities.
Expectation is an essential part of genuine faith, too. In one of the February Day by Day Devotions that Mike (crsschk)is posting, Tozer says something like "Faith without expectation is not real faith."
("I believe, Lord. Help my unbelief!")
To which He says (with a twinkle in His eye), "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the (read or heard) word, rhema(!) of God" (Romans 10:17).
| 2004/2/14 18:17||Profile|