Vines Expository Dictionary defines Faith as:
Vines Expository Dictionary wrote:Faith
pistis (G4102), 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."
The word is used of (a) trust, e.g., Rom3:25 [see Note (4) below]; 1Co2:5; 1Co15:14, 1Co15:17; 2Co1:24; Gal3:23 [see Note (5) below]; Phi1:25; Phi2:17; 1Th3:2; 2Th1:3; 2Th3:2;
(b) trust-worthiness, e.g., Mat23:23; Rom3:3, RV, "the faithfulness of God"; Gal5:22 (RV, "faithfulness"); Titus 2:10, "fidelity";
(c) by metonymy, what is believed, the contents of belief, the "faith," Acts 6:7; Acts 14:22; Gal1:23; Gal3:25 [contrast Gal3:23, under (a)]; Gal6:10; Phi1:27; 1Th3:10; Jude1:3, Jude1:20 (and perhaps 2Th3:2);
(d) a ground for "faith," an assurance, Acts17:31 (not as in KJV, marg., "offered faith");
(e) a pledge of fidelity, plighted "faith," 1Ti5:12.
The main elements in "faith" in its relation to the invisible God, as distinct from "faith" in man, are especially brought out in the use of this noun and the corresponding verb, pisteuo; they are:
(1) a firm conviction, producing a full acknowledgement of God's revelation or truth, e.g., 2Th2:11-12;
(2) a personal surrender to Him, John1:12;
(3) a conduct inspired by such surrender, 2Co5:7. Prominence is given to one or other of these elements according to the context.
All this stands in contrast to belief in its purely natural exercise, which consists of an opinion held in good "faith" without necessary reference to its proof. The object of Abraham's "faith" was not God's promise (that was the occasion of its exercise); his "faith" rested on God Himself, Rom4:17, Rom4:20-21. See ASSURANCE, BELIEF, FAITHFULNESS, FIDELITY.
1. pisteuo (G4100), "to believe," also "to be persuaded of," and hence, "to place confidence in, to trust," signifies, in this sense of the word, reliance upon, not mere credence.
It is most frequent in the writings of the apostle John, especially the Gospel. He does not use the noun (see below). For the Lord's first use of the verb, see John 1:50. Of the writers of the Gospels, Matthew uses the verb ten times, Mark ten, Luke nine, John ninety-nine. In Acts 5:14 the present participle of the verb is translated "believers. See COMMIT, INTRUST, TRUST.
AMG Complete Word Study Dictionary mentions this about the Hebrew word translated believe
AMG Complete Word Study Dictionary wrote:Hebrew: Believe
’āman: A verb meaning to be firm, to build up, to support, to nurture, or to establish. The primary meaning is that of providing stability and confidence, like a baby would find in the arms of a parent.
It is used to signify support of a pillar (2Ki18:16); nurture and nourishment (Num11:12; Rth4:16; thus, a nurse, 2Sa4:4); cradling in one's arms (Isa60:4); a house firmly founded (1Sa2:35; 1Sa25:28); a secure nail that finds a solid place to grip (Isa22:23); a lasting permanence (Psa89:28 ; with negative particle, Jer15:18).
Metaphorically, the word conveys the notion of faithfulness and trustworthiness, such that one could fully depend on (Deut7:9; Job12:20; Psa19:7 ; Isa55:3; Mic7:5).
Therefore, the word can also signify certitude or assurance (Deut28:66; Job24:22; Hos5:9) and belief, in the sense of receiving something as true and sure (Gen15:6; Exo4:5; 2Ch20:20; Psa78:22; Isa53:1; Jon3:5).
There is a host of other sources and commentaries that pretty much stick with the above definitions for faith and believe in both Hebrew and Greek correlate with Both Vines and AMG' cited above.
Faith-believing as mere mental ascent alone is not saving faith in God's Grace. It is merely a mental exercise.
Faith in God's grace will change a person, if it does not, then it is not faith in God at all but faith in man's definitions.
There are kinds and types of faith and belief.
For example, Even the devils believe in God as it mentions in James 2: 19, therefore, I guess you can say that they become saved because they believe.... However, this is not the case at all as the context makes it clear demons cannot be saved because they exercise simple belief
in God and tremble.
So if it is by pure intellectual assent, mere persuasion alone that saves as is suggested by several well meaning and intentioned folks here, then, demons are likewise saved because they believe too. Of courses those of you that teach that mere intellectual assent and persuasion in Jesus is what saves know that this is not the case - demons are not saved because they believe in God (Jesus is God manifest in the flesh and demons trembled before him too in the gospel account of the demonic man and the swine).
What the basics of the words believe and faith used in both OT and NT meaning according to the context of scripture they are used in in reference to God conveys that we attach ourselves to the Lord because He is always faithful. That as a child we are nurtured, taken care of by the Lord. He is trustworthy.
The Holy Spirit teaches us, we learn of him, it takes faith to be changed by him as well as folks will see the results of this change as well as failures and God's grace that restores us from our failures in living action. However the modern church will seldom forgive or accept those who fail and endless debate whose is right, who is on first, etc and etc.
Our faith is in God's grace through Jesus Christ and according to the bible, such grace from the Lord will do what in our lives?
Well what does the bible say - Titus 2:11 NIV, Titus 2:12 NIV and Titus 2:11,12 NASB
Sorry folks, as it says - Grace instructs us to deny ungodliness.
In this I rejoice because like every other christian we we will fall short from time to time. This in turns unleashes God's gracious chastisement that teaches me I am loved by God and thus rely on him alone to cleanse me because he is faithful. This in turn teaches me to become more attached to the Lord, more faithful to him to forsake ungodliness in my personal life. This is not sinless perfection in this life doctrine. It is how saving Faith in Jesus works. A child needs many baths but remains prized by the parents nevertheless. So how is it with God toward us?
He is trustworthy, He changes me, often with harsh lessons, and He instructs me. I learn obedience,I learn to love God, and I learn to become also trustworthy to God as well too as he is doing this in my life - Romans 8:29.
To reduce the meaning to faith and believe to a one size fits all definition of merely intellectual credence to a list of facts is not saving anyone, nor transforming anyone into what Romans 8:29 mentions.
I like the old Hebrew Idea of Grace and faith. God so loved, that he granted me the favor of his Grace to change me, so I attach myself to his trustworthy nature and character to learn of him so I am translated out of darkness into his marvelous light. I am, by faith/belief learning to shed darkness and walk in His light.
Lets us not forget what Jesus said about this concept:
Mat 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Mat 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
The manner in which faith and belief is taught in modern times justifies hiding the light under a basket and doing nothing with ones salt of the earth.
If that is what you desire, so be it. Not so with me.
Lordship Salvation is one matter as it teaches work based to stay saved salvation. The Hyper Grace movement is another matter well as it leads to justify a saltless form of Christianity. Personally, I find both these sides unappealing.
No matter what one thinks, Romans 8:29 is true. There will be change wrought by God's Grace in a Christian's life that is measurable. Even the person who the moment comes and finds Christ's salvation and dies the next millisecond shows a change.
So do not waste my time with the same old arguments used to support ones' superior faith his or her intellectual abilities and not Christ. Instead learn to surrender your life, your pride, your need to be right, your need to be important, significant, accepted, esteemed by people.
Learn to rest that the Lord God is the only one who matters and the only one who gives true esteem to you. Trust him - he will change you from seeking these things to seeking him alone, all in due course of time till one goes home to be with Jesus.
He is faithful and by his faithfulness we too will become faithful to him. It is that simple.