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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Faith. Hebrews 11:7. Faith is distinguished from credulity in that it does not accept anything as true which is not based on sufficient evidence; it is contrasted with unbelief in that it accepts whatever is proposed to it when the testimony thereof is adequate. Faith may be dead, if it be merely in the understanding, admitting facts as true, but not realizing their bearing upon ourselves. Such a faith is that historical faith, which credits the narrative of our Lord's passion and death, but seeks not, through them, remission of personal guilt. The faith of devils goes farther than this; for they "believe and tremble," James 2:19; but they find no means of release from their apprehended doom. True "faith is the substance (or realizing) of things hoped for, the evidence (or sure persuasion) of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1. With such a faith "Abraham believed God; and it was counted unto him for righteousness." Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6. So those who believe in Christ, accepting his offered mercy, relying on his never-forfeited word, are for his sake regarded as God's children. Hence men are said to be "justified by faith." Romans 3:23-26; Romans 6:1. Faith, if genuine, will work by love, Galatians 6:6, yielding the fruits of a holy life and conversation. Matthew 7:20; James 2:26. There are various shades of meaning belonging to the word "faith" in Scripture; sometimes it means the gospel revelation. Acts 6:7; Romans 10:8. The precious gift of faith and the increase thereof should be earnestly sought in humble prayer. Luke 17:6; Philippians 1:29.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Faith'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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