As we say in the message above, it is sad when we are discussing an important subject and the other person uses a simple word, but we don’t know what they mean as is the case with the word ‘Faith’. The Oxford English dictionary that we quote in the above message defines it as, ‘a certainty’ OR ‘an unproven conviction’ ! Not very helpful with an important subject like this. We know that, with the passing of the years, words change their meaning. But to have two opposing definitions in use at the same time is hopeless.
Faith is used 247 times in the King James Version of the Bible and when we add other words containing ‘faith’, like faithfully, etc., it rises to 360 times. Other English translations use the word extensively as well. The New International Version for instance, uses Faith 270 times and the group total is 443. So, we need to know which definition applies to this group of words in the Bible. Is it a certainty or is it an unproven conviction? For instance, look at the opening words of the Bible.
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Genesis 1 (NKJV)
12 I have made the earth, And created man on it. My hands stretched out the heavens, And all their host I have commanded. Isaiah 45
Let’s see if the Bible defines the word faith as it is used in His word, because,
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1
The power of God’s Holy Spirit in directing what men say is amazing. Jeremiah was a prophet that was given the task of telling Israel they were wicked and must listen to God’s message or their capital city – Jerusalem – would be destroyed, many of them killed, and the survivors taken captives to Babylon. But the people rejected his message, abused and persecuted him.
So Jeremiah said to himself, “They don’t want to listen to my warnings because they don’t believe them or care because they enjoy the ways of idol worship. I need not go on repeating this message. The suffering their response causes me is too much for me cope with.” But see what happened …
9 Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not. Jeremiah 20
When God needs His message to be proclaimed no man can stand in its way – a fact many other scriptures confirm. Thus, making clear God’s word should be trusted as absolute truth.
19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Numbers 23
Therefore, what God says has, and will always be fuilfilled and having faith in the Bible makes that faith a certainty.
9 Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; Deuteronomy 7
There is one problem remaining for those new to the Bible. We need more than the Bible telling us it is certainly true because many people today think it is not a reliable book. We need independent evidence that it is true, which is readily available, but we don’t have the space in this article to demonstrate that.
But sceptics claim that the prophecies were written after the event took place. However, there is excellent well-founded proof that this is not true.
There are many prophecies that were predicted in the Old Testament that have been fulfilled in the New Testament and scholars using scientific methods are able to show us evidence that the Old Testament was complete before the birth of Christ which was predicted in many parts of the Old Testament.
We have articles in this series which demonstrate that the New Testament was written after the Old Testament and we recommend that you read these as soon as is convenient. These confirm that the Bible is to be trusted as the true foundation of ‘True Faith.’.
“How can Israel be God’s Witnesses?” and if you click on the article title you will be taken to the one requested. Please bear in mind that these short articles are designed to whet the appetite of the reader for deeper study. So please be ready to ask questions in the Comments Box at the top right of this page. We only respond to questions and comments and will not approach you again unless request.