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What is Faith?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Phantasman, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Phantasman

    Phantasman Newbie

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    And how much of it do we have to have?

    I have been pondering this all of my life. I have always asked God to allow me to keep what faith I have and to give me more of it..........daily.

    Faith, to me is believing that Jesus and his message of eternal life is real to the best of our ability.

    But there is always going to be a doubt, as there is never a 100% faith factor. Even Jesus said if we had the faith the size of a mustard seed........

    So I'm trying to think how much faith is needed? We all sin.
     
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  2. seeingeyes

    seeingeyes Newbie

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    Great question!

    I think 'faith' is one of those words that loses meaning by becoming Christian jargon. (Not that there is anything wrong with jargon, per se, but we end up with one 'regular' meaning and one 'Christian' meaning. Which is confusing to those who aren't fluent in Christianese. :))

    Faith is not mere mental assent. It isn't just convincing ourselves that something is real (whether it is or not.) Faith is trust.

    So how much faith do we need? Let's bring it down to an earthly analogy:

    Let's say your wife says, "I trust you." And then she follows you around everywhere you go to make sure that you aren't stepping out on her. Does she have faith in you? Nope. It doesn't matter how vehemently she claims to trust you if her actions show otherwise.

    Now if we have faith (trust) in Jesus, how exactly would that change our behavior? What exactly is it that we expect him to do, or not do?
     
  3. gasman64

    gasman64 Newbie

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    Actually, it doesn't say faith the 'size' of a mustard seed, but faith 'as' a mustard seed, which has the smallest of seeds but grows to be the largest of herbs..meters high in fact. It describes how faith should grow. Not be limited to it's beginning. That is always misquoted.
     
  4. Phantasman

    Phantasman Newbie

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    Good observation, gasman
     
  5. CalledOutOne

    CalledOutOne The World Weary

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

    In other words, it's a trust in God. When we have saving faith, we actually trust that Christ died in our place and absorbed ALL of God's wrath for us. So now there is none left. We are free from the penalty of our sin.
     
  6. gordRedeemed

    gordRedeemed Well-Known Member

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    I think faith is knowledge and remembrance of where we came from and who we are. That we are all children of God, born with that divine spark, a spark that gets smothered by the world.
     
  7. Phantasman

    Phantasman Newbie

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    In days gone by, faith was attacked as heresy, apostasy, etc., with many losing their lives. These people lived in a world where people fell off of the edge of the ocean and the sky had a limit where God lived. Faith was tested by accepting rulers as supreme beings lest forfeiting your life.

    Today we have the freedom to choose. But with our gained knowledge and civilized culture brings greater obstacles. Sometimes it seems hard to logically hard to accept that if one where to stand in what would be the middle of the universe as we think it is, look in all directions and see nothing but stars in all directions for billions of light years, and on this little planet, it was all made for us.

    The big question always is Did God create man or did man create God?

    One has to drop logic and have faith that the scriptures are true to be a Christian. After all, so many died defending them and living them. And it does seem to have it's advantages. And physical death a reality.
     
  8. Ran77

    Ran77 Senior Contributor

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    That's a good question. It sort of seems like a convenient belief for man, since there is no hard evidenc of God's existence.


    :thumbsup:
     
  9. iamauthentic

    iamauthentic Newbie

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    NIV:

    Matthew 17:20
    He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

    NASB
    Matthew 17:20
    And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

    KJV says it as "as." it just depends on your translation.

    the point is that we dont need great faith when we have a great God.
     
  10. Xpistis sopheiaX

    Xpistis sopheiaX Newbie

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    I think that is a good question, but I'm not sure there is a really great answer for it.

    However the Gospel of Philip does give what I think is a good hint: "Faith receives, love gives. No one will be able to receive without faith. No one will be able to give without love. Because of this, in order that we may indeed receive, we believe, and in order that we may love, we give, since if one gives without love, he has no profit from what he has given."

    In this passage faith seems to be the vehicle that allows us to receive things from God. I think this passage may indicate that we receive Gnosis with faith.
     
  11. Phantasman

    Phantasman Newbie

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    Interesting. Then the amount really is not questioned. But one would think it should be. How many times did Jesus say "Oh ye of little faith"? Which would say that they had some, at least. But much less than a mustard seed?

    Paul said that he had "all" faith as to remove mountains. Jesus had the most as to make the dead rise and heal sick, make oceans walkable and tame weather. So faith seems measurable.

    The more faith one has, the more ability, it would seem, that one has the power to exercise spiritual control over the physical. Since the physical was created by the spiritual, it must be controlled by it. Jesus did this effectively and taught the apostles to do it also. They had the most faith, as they saw the living proof, something we today are void of. But we may experience bits and pieces that we can chalk up to spiritual experiences, miracles, etc. to make us believers.

    Everyone has to have faith in something. Even if it is just themselves. We are born with that void that we are always searching to fill. That is what divides man from the animal kingdom. Animals do not have souls. Humans do.
     
  12. strangertoo

    strangertoo sin is diabolical abuse of fellow humans-1John 3:8

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    people believe in all manner of things for the strangest reasons, even in religion of sinners who cannot know God [according to scripture adn common sense]... for God is Love, so faith in God is faith in Love .. any sin is unloving abuse of others , so is not faith in God but faith in Satan :-

    1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

    few people have faith in God in this life [Matt 7:14] and the rest are destroyed [Matt 7:13] , but countless many are later saved [Rev 7:9-10] so we know destruction even of this whole created universe has no impact whatever on the spirit as it is of God, and from which all men are resurrected, all freed from hell [despite popular myths of sinners to the contrary based on a simple obvious mistranslation in scripture] ... again Jesus says so -Rev 20:13 ... so men are not all saved at once , and God knows full well in advance that few will have faith in Him , in Love, in tHIS life , indeed only tens of thousands [Jude 1:14], so only one in three million alive today is actually a Christian, one of His , not one of Satan's, a sinner all their life ...

    not much to ponder, simply admit to oneself whether one chooses to Love all folks or continues to sin against them...

    no, faith is vain, empty, unless one Loves all folks always ,as Jesus comands, it is not about failure to Love, sin abusing others for one's sick amusement, fun, profit, greed, learned habits , getting sex, getting money, whatever ...

    James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

    if one's Love does not cause one to Love then clearly it is not Love at all, just words, empty words...

    James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

    I think you misunderstood, Jesus IS the seed that grows the kingdom of God for ALL men eventually, GROWS ... it is PROGRESSIVE then NOT all 'saved' at once ... FEW are FIRST because FEW are raedy yet to CHOOSE Love, to do it despite a whole world following Saytan, following sin , not Love , including mass religion of men -Rev 13:3-4

    You won't get far with understanding if you start with a lie like that to yourself ! ... Jesus never sinned, so we do not all sin , how important is that to show the lie that men are all born sinners which sinners say without even thinking Jesus showed it is FALSE :-

    Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

    Now the very FOUNDATION of God, the FIRST step, is water baptism, CEASING from sin... so many folks give up without trying BECAUSE OF THE LIE , but why should God say one has to give up sin to be saved if it were impossible ? ... NAY , it is sinners who lie , even to themselves, because Satan taught them the lie and the believe him, have faith in him...

    2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

    JUST FOR ONCE, read it CAREFULLY without skipping.... those who are His STOP sinning , no-one is a Christian who doesn't stop sinning, NO MATTER that a billion and more CLAIM to be Christians... as Jesus says, he WILL reject all who still sin by his return :-

    Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    Luke 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

    So, 'FAITH' in God is faith to stop sinning , stop ABUSING others with sins against them and Love them instead... it is COMMON sense backed by undeniable scripture and equally it is the God of Love one mist worship in the end , not the fake god image created by satan in religion of thsi world -Rev 13:3-4- which all the world WILL FOLLOW ... how many saints have FAITH in God - Jude 1:14 - tens of thousands only in this world stop sinning, but countless many in the next [Rev 7:9-10]
     
  13. Jpark

    Jpark Well-Known Member

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    Faith is maintaining purity and a peaceful state of mind.

    Job 4:6 “Is not your fear of God your confidence,
    And the integrity of your ways your hope?

    1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God;

    2 Cor. 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    1 John 4:17-18 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

    John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
     
  14. strangertoo

    strangertoo sin is diabolical abuse of fellow humans-1John 3:8

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    Faith in God and Jesus is faith in Love... which first of all means no more sinning, no more abuse of folks...

    2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

    1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
    1 John 4:16 ... and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

    but faith is empty until one DOES Love , it is not a matter of saying, but of doing :-

    James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

    just look how many claim 'faith' without works of Love by quoting one line of scripture and ignoring this valid point by James in scripture ...

    for a second witness though :-

    Romans 2:13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God,
    but the doers of the law shall be justified...
     
  15. fatboys

    fatboys Senior Veteran

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    I have a sincere question. How does God give us faith? Is not faith a hope and belief in something we know to be true but can not see? Now perhaps God gives us the opportunity to have faith in him, but isn't it up to us as to whether or not we have faith?
     
  16. Soulgazer

    Soulgazer Christian Gnostic

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    If you see some mountains wizzing by, you'll know that somebody finally found some.

    No, it's not up to us. Faith is trust. Trust is built. Not being at all factious, what has God done for you personally, to cause you to trust Him? If it hasn't happened, it will sometime. Take a look back through your life. You would not still be you if too many things were changed.

    You can chalk it up to random chance, or you can attempt to find some order in the chaos that is your, and everyone else's, life. Once you find that order, you will find that trust.

    I don't have faith in belief, churches, the bible, the Nag Hammadi.... I have of faith in Christ, God and myself. If these other things agree with what I have found to be true, great, they can come along. Though I still can't move mountains without equipment.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  17. fatboys

    fatboys Senior Veteran

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    I can agree with that. I guess I understood from here that somehow God magically installed faith in us. By the way I think the Nag Hammadi is great.
     
  18. Phantasman

    Phantasman Newbie

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    Bingo!

    The events in ones life that one just has a hard time explaining.

    I was driving on the Interstate eating a hamburger when it got lodged in my throat. I couldn't breath. I pulled over and got out of the car in a panic trying to figure out what to do. I tried to stop someone waving my hands and pointing to my throat. People would blow their horns and speed by. I finally fell to my knees. Almost ready to lose consciousness a big burly young guy and his small wife had pulled over in front of my car and ran back to me. I pointed to my throat and she said "he's choking".

    Now I live in the mountains of Tennessee and this was a backwoods boy. I'm 230 and he was all of 300lbs. He grabbed me from the back to attempt what I thought was a heimlich maneuver. He grabbed me from behind and picked me up off of the ground and shook me like a salt shaker, which dislodged the portion in my throat just enough for me to gasp for needed air. His female counterpart brought the soda from my car to wash down the rest. I sat gaining my breath with my head down and shaking.

    When I gained my composure and looked back up, they had driven off.

    I never knew who they were. But will never forget them of their act of kindness, or that God sent them to me.

    I knew I was panicked during the process. I don't remember praying, maybe I did, or maybe the spirit prays for you. I do believe one thing. God has a sense of humor. I sure he laughed watching me get my brains rattled by that big angel.
     
  19. daq

    daq Messianic

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    Bingo? I say your testimony here is the Bingo! That is fantastic and glory to the Maker; for now you know that you are not the mighty one ... :)
     
  20. seeingeyes

    seeingeyes Newbie

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    Praise God!

    I betcha didn't know that God lives in backwoods Tennessee and drinks too much soda. :D

    He's so cool.
     
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