Where Does Faith Come From?

Definition of Faith

The theological definition for the Bible term “faith” (Greek pistis) is primarily, firm, persuasion, a conviction based upon hearing, is used in the New Testament always of faith in God or Christ, or things spiritual. (VINES EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, p. 401)

The Source of Faith

A Bible passage which explains the source of one’s faith is Romans 10:17: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We must understand that hearing alone does not bring salvation, but faith in the message heard does… Salvation comes when the message of the gospel is preached, believed, and then confessed by men. That message must come from the Word of God [the Bible]. (LIBERTY BIBLE COMMENTARY, Vol. 2, p. 387)

Another passage that relates to the subject of faith is Hebrews 1:11: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. In this passage we learn that faith would be regarded as the foundation upon which hope is built…” Faith has the connotation of assurance (see Hebrews 3:14; 2 Corinthians 9:4; 11:17) … Faith might be looked upon as the guarantee … the “title deed” of things hoped for … Faith carries the central idea of something that underlies visible conditions and guarantees a future possession. (LIBERTY BIBLE COMMENTARY, Vol. 2, p. 704)

One additional passage that is important in the study of faith is Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” This passage notes that an individual must have faith that is absolutely reliant upon God’s testimony regarding the mission and atoning death of God’s only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:24). … The individual must have faith in the Redeemer, whereby he rests completely upon Christ alone for salvation (see John 3:15,16,18; Ephesians 2:8). (DAVIS DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE, p. 240)

In summary, faith is the affirmative response to God’s will and Word. Man possesses faith when he takes God at His Word. One does not need to see something to believe it. Faith is the acceptance of something merely because God has said it. “…blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” said Jesus (John 20:29). (LIBERTY BIBLE COMMENTARY, Vol. 2, p. 705)”

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Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

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