Belief versus Faith

Drew Berding

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In the Greek language, there is only one word (pisteuo) that is translated into English as either “belief” or “faith,” depending on the translator. However there is a crucial distinction between these two concepts. God is looking for our faith, not our belief. Remember, even the demons believe,1 but it is faith that pleases God.2

The following table contrasts the two ideas:

BELIEFFAITH
Head knowledge–>Heart knowledge
Fleshly–>Spiritual
Working for love–>Abiding in love
Unchanged–>Changed
Pride–>Humility
Passive–>Excited
Doctrine–>Reality
Intellectual assent–>Ah-ha!
Objective–>Subjective
Shallow–>Deep
Legalism–>Grace
No risk; no reward–>Risky; rewarding
Temporal–>Eternal
Please self–>Please God
Insecure–>Secure
Left behind?–>Raptured
Saved?–>Saved!

Sadly, most Christians are stuck at the belief stage and never go on to maturity.3

So the key question is: “how do we move from belief to faith?” Or perhaps we should ask first: “Do we even want to make that step? Or are we satisfied with the ‘status quo’ or maybe afraid of the cost of going forward?” No! Let’s “press on to maturity!” (Read this about Maturity)

Photo Attribution: Vicrtoria Palacios – Unsplash.com

  1. James 2:19, You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
  2. Heb 11:6, And without faith it is impossible to please Him.
  3. Heb 6:1-2, Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.

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NOTE: Bible references unless otherwise stated are from the NASU (New American Standard Updated) copyright the Lockman Foundation.

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