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NOTES ON THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH
by Doctor Fred Wittman (cont.)

III. THE INDICATION OF THE WORDS USED

     What do the Hebrew and Greek words tell us about faith?

     1. Old Testament Words --Hebrew words and their meanings.

         A. The word “faith” occurs only twice in The Old Testament in English.

              a. ’emuwn - ‘established, trustworthiness:--faith’ (Deut. 32:20).

              b. ’emuwnah - ‘firmness, fidelity:--faith (Hab.2:4).

         B. The word ‘trust’ is The Old Testament English word for The New Testament
              “faith.”

a. chashah - ‘to flee to a place for protection, to take refuge or shelter’ (Ruth 2:12; Ps.57:1).

b. batach - ‘to trust or confide in, to lean upon or have confidence in another’ (2 Kings 18:5,19,20,22; Jer. 17:7,8).

              c. galal - ‘to roll upon’ (Ps. 22:8).

              d. siym - ‘to stay oneself upon , to commit his heart to’ (Job 34:14).

     2. New Testament Words-- Greek words and their meanings.

Both words emerge from the root, peíth0 - ‘to persuade or convince.’ In order to have faith or to believe one must be persuaded.

A. pístis - ‘faith’ (noun); {pistós - faithful (adjective)} - ‘trust or confidence springing from faith’ - a conviction full of trust (Mt. 8:10; Rom. 4:5,9).

B. pisteú0 - ‘to believe’ - ‘to have faith, to entrust, to commit to or to put in trust with another’ (Jn. 1:7,12,50; 2 Tim. 1:12).

IV. THE INTERPRETATION OF ‘FAITH’

     What is Biblical Faith?

     1. Negative Definition - What Biblical or Scriptural faith is not!

         A. From the stand point of Results

a. Faith which does not impel to action is not Scriptural or Biblical Faith (2 Tim. 1:12).

b. Faith which does not result in a changed relationship to The God in The Lord Jesus Christ is not Scriptural or Biblical Faith (Jn. 1:12,13).

c. Faith which does not work transformingly in the life is not Scriptural or Biblical Faith (Eph. 2:8,9,10; 2 Cor. 5:17; James 2:17-20).

B. Biblical or Scriptural faith is not mere mental assent or intellectual agreement with historical facts or even agreement with spiritual truths.

     2. Positive Definition - What Biblical or Scriptural faith is!

Biblical or Scriptural faith is an active abiding personal trust in The God of The Scriptures and in The Lord Jesus Christ, Whom He has sent. which results in transaction, action, relationship, transformation, trials, and ultimate triumph (Jn. 5:24; 6:29; 14:1).

A. Three evidences that Faith is the Biblical faith that The God requires to receive salvation and all spiritual blessings.

              a. Action (Jn. 5:24; 2 Tim. 1:12;

              b. Relation(ship) (Jn. 6:29; 10:24-29); and

              c. Transformation (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15; 2:20).

Biblical or Scriptural faith is an active abiding personal trust in The God of The Scriptures and in The Lord Jesus Christ, Whom He has sent, which (trust) results in transaction, action, relationship, transformation, trials, and ultimate triumph.

     3. Acrostics:

         A. Finding                               B. Forsaking   (Mk. 10:50-52)

              All                                           All

              In                                             I

              The                                         Take

              Hope (Christ, 1 Tim. 1:1)          Him

4. Simply Stated: Faith is obedience to The God’s Word without understanding why or how!

         A. Implicit Obedience - Unquestioned, Precise, wholehearted!

         B. Immediate Obedience - Undelayed, Prompt, posthaste!

         C. Importunate Obedience - Uninterrupted, Persistent, steadfast!

  V. THE RIGHT KIND OF FAITH

     1. A Faith that Works - How does faith operate?

         A. It Takes The God at His Word (Jn. 12:42-44).

         B. It Brings man to The God (Heb. 11:6).

         C. It Believes The God (Heb. 11:6):

              a. Is - continuously exists,

              b. Is Holy (Enoch, Gen. 5:21,24), 

              c. Is The Holy God of Love, and

              d. Is The Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

         D. It obeys The God without understanding why or how!

              a. Enoch (Heb. 11:5 cf. Gen 5:21-24; Jude 14);

              b. Noah (Heb. 11:7);

              c. Israel:

                   (1) Passover (Heb. 11:28);

                   (2) Red Sea (Heb. 11:29 cf. Ex.14:1,2.9.11-14);

                   (3) Jordan (Josh. 3:13,15,16);

                   (4) Jericho (Heb. 11:30 cf. Josh. 6:1-20).

         E. It Works (James 2:14-26; Heb. 11:17; Eph 2:8,9).

              Compare the man of faith (Abraham) with the man of the flesh (Lot) (Gen. 13).


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Last modified: March 30, 2004