Faith vs belief, hope,wishful thinking and trust?
My understanding on this subject is referenced in Heb 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
The original Greek for faith is “pistis” which means assurance; substance/”hypostasis” or support;hoped/”noieo” or considered/understood; evidence/”elenchos” or proved.
From the above original derivations, one sees the context has symmetry and that “faith/pistis” is consistent with proof; something real, present and seen; not future as in hope or wishful thinking. Paul differentiated faith from “hope” in Rom.8:24 “…hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?” Salvation is future and hoped for as in “the hope of salvation“(I Thessalonians 5:8).
Faith without proof is dead and can only be proven or shown with “works“(James 2:14-26). Faith in Jesus means proof or evidence of Jesus and his power. Being the Creator YHVH (factual, evidentiary, faith or pistis), he can deliver what he promised to us, from whence we believe and hope to receive actual salvation in the future when we are changed from “mortality to immortality in a twinkling of an eye” (I Cor. 15:51-53). Notice that the personhood and historical reality of Jesus served as the evidence, the anchor, assurance and substance of our hope. Having faith means having proof or evidence from which one derives conviction/assurance, to believe and hope that promises will be fulfilled. Faith in the Father means proof of the Father, his existence, All-powerful, that being so, in itself is evidence that he can deliver on his promises.
The faith of Abraham is evidence-based as he was talking to EL SHADDAI/YHVH/pre-incarnate Jesus himself. He knew he helped him in wars against enemies, that this person is Almighty and can deliver what he promised. While our faith is essential for salvation, the initiating event is the faith “of“ Jesus in the Father, without which, our own faith is meaningless and ineffective . Jesus has faith in the Father because as YHVH Creator of Genesis, he was with the Father from the beginning; a definite proof.
Because of evidence or substance of things hoped for, i.e., faith(pistis), we base our conviction/assurance. We then believe and trust that what Father God and YHVH/Logos/Jesus promised, they will fulfill. The apostles did not just “trust“, believe or hope because of lack of proof/evidence. They saw the resurrected Christ and miracles he did.
They did not just believed willy-nilly. In fact, they were skeptical at the end, abandoned and marginalized him as others before him, who claimed “messiah” died at crucifixion and did not resurrect. Peter “denied Jesus 3 times” and Thomas has to touch him for proof. They found evidence, by his resurrection (as he prophesied while with them), that he was what he claimed to be and will fulfill his promise to them, that they believed and trusted. Faith in God, of all those promised to people and before the apostles, were evidence-based. Then they believed in his promises and trusted in him. Faith is not hope nor wishful thinking or trust. Rather, it is evidence-based and substantive, i.e., can be substantiated with facts.
So, every time we see the word “faith/pistis” in the Bible, take that as meaning fact, proof, evidence, assurance and not belief, trust nor hope. When the Bible says “have faith” it means have “substance…evidence” of and about God through the “eyes of witnesses” , human or divine witness like Jesus, the only witness of the Father. Moreover, faith is given by God as in:
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” (NIV)
God bless 🙏👍
Original post: October 27, 2015