Sunday, April 27, 2008

Faith vs. Belief

I was having breakfast with a group of friends sometime ago and as women will do when they converse, we discussed our trials with family, work, etc. As we are all Christians, solutions included prayer and biblical precepts. Then all became quiet as we sipped our coffee and finished our eggs.

Presently, one of my companions broke the silence with an insightful question, "What is the difference between faith and belief?" Without a pause, I blurted, "Faith is believing that God can do all things; belief is believing that he will do them for you."

Some weeks have passed since that breakfast and as my eyesight has mended enough to use the computer, I decided to validate the words that had spewed from my mouth.

Faith comes from the French root, Fidere-to trust- sometime around the year 1250. This word was commonly attached to religious duty in fulfilling one's trust.

The history of the word 'Believe' surprised me. The word origin is from the Saxons meaning to hold dear or love. The word evolved in 1549 as an attachment to Christian believers, howevcr, the word was used as 'Believe On' rather than our present day 'Believe In'.

So we see that faith encompasses the corporate belief in God and our adherence to his precepts, but belief is the personal devotion and love of that faith.

"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith." Romas 3:21-25 RSV

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you have it backwards.

Belief is a tacit assumption of truth and acceptance of truth based on the assumption.

Faith is the trust in and confidence demonstrated towards an end.

I would purport that if you can answer the question (immediately or eventually) of "why" then you believe. But if there is not answer to why and you still hold fast to an idea or concept, then you have faith.

Try it and see what you find.