The Meaning of Faith

In this blog we have maintained that salvation is more than belief in Jesus and his death for our sins.  In previous blogs, we have documented other Christian thinkers who have also put forth this idea (see our blogs dated July 12, 17, and 24, 2011).  Recently, I have been reading a book by Alister E. McGrath on apologetics.  In this book he expresses some of the same ideas we have articulated in this bog but in a slightly different way. [1]  He maintains the word “faith” has a meaning that is greater in the Greek and Hebrew languages than the meaning we ordinarily attribute to it.  Faith includes:

  1. Belief that certain things are true.  This is solely what most people think faith means.
  2. Trust in the promises of God.  Faith is not just intellectual but is the response of the whole person to God.  As we have said in this blog, it is the response of our entire soul to God, not just our belief system.
  3. Acting on the promises of God.  We might believe and have trust in someone or something but until we actually act on that belief and trust, we will not accomplish anything.  If we do not put into practice what we believe, belief and trust are meaningless and irrelevant.

The view of salvation expressed in this blog is a view that any rational person would conclude is correct if they understood the human condition and examined what the entire Bible says about the subject.  God is interested in making a new creation of us (II Corinthians 5:17), not just changing our belief system.


[1]   Alister E. McGrath, Intellectuals Don’t Need God, Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan Publishing House, 1993, pp. 49-52.

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