Two Kinds Of Faith

Hebrews 11:1,2
There are two kinds of faith, yes or no?

In verses 1,2 we have the explanation of “ faith ”. “ Faith ” is “ pistis ”. It means persuasion.

There are two kinds of “ faith ” because there are two sources of “ faith ”. One is human , and one is from God, as a source.

You and I, in the human, whether we are saved or not, we live by “faith” everyday. We get dressed, get in the car, go to work. We don’t show up with our bathrobes on thinking, I didn’t know if I was going to make it here or not!

So, to have somebody take the Bible and appeal to us to believe , and if you refuse to believe, or “persuade” yourself, then God can’t bless you…many believers have been under and believed that for years. That is the human kind of “persuasion”.

The God kind of “persuasion” describes what God’s Spirit does in the life of the believer. "Faith” is the presence and the activity of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life.

In Galatians 5:22 , it says “But the fruit of the Spirit (speaking of the Holy Spirit) is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” . “ Faith ” is a fruit of God’s Spirit. “ Faith ” is a persuasion which God’s Spirit produces, not man.

1 Corinthians 12:9. Chapter 12 is talking about what we affectionately know as the Gifts of the Spirit. With the emphasis of the Holy Spirit in verse 9, “ to another faith by the same Spirit.” He’s talking about what God’s Spirit gives to people. “To another faith by the same Spirit, to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit.” “Faith” is given by the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 12:2 We are told to run the race “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”. Do you see the word “our”? It’s not in the Greek text. It’s the word “the”. He is the author and the finisher of the faith. “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

back to Galatians 5:22, the newer translations will take the phrase “the faith of Christ” and change it to “faith in Christ”. The translators said it makes it sound like it’s the Lord’s faith! No! It’s the faith “of” Christ. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, For I have been crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life that I live, I live by the faith of the Son of God…”. We live by faith in Christ, but the basis of myfaith ”….It is Hisfaith ”, not mine.

There is a persuasion that is spiritual, that you can’t see. God is Faithful to produce in us, and minister in us, those things that He wants us to do. That ministry that we need, and all of that is called “ faith” .

The description of “faith” is two things. The substance or basisof things hoped for, the evidence …”, or more literally, the conviction,of things not seen. ” Now, take this description of what “faith” does, and to it’s definition of persuasion, that “ faith ” is the basis of “ things hoped for ”.

… as the next phrase says, “ the conviction of things not seen .” A “ conviction ”! That’s a persuasion !

My beliefs are based on the conviction of God’s Spirit that lives in me. That’s “ faith ”! It’s not my “ faith ”! My humanfaith ” wavers, but when I look down deep, there is something there that is a stabling force. That is the basisof things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Spiritual things! Spiritual truths!

Verse 2, “For by it (“faith”) the elders obtained a good report ”, or testimony .

In Hebrews 11:3-31, the writer of Hebrews now illustrates “ faith ” in action . Here is where we apply both kinds of “ faith ”. Beginning at Genesis Chapter 1, he (the writer) will take us all the way through the Old Testament, in chronological order, through Joshua. The first thing he does is take us to Genesis Chapter 1, the illustration from Creation.

God’s Spirit brings a conviction to cause the believer to perceive and to see God’s handiwork, to see His attributes and characteristics, everything in and expressed by Creation.

It’s by “faith” we perceive. Now that either means I, in my humanfaith ”, choose to believe what the Bible says about Creation, versus some other theory, or some other alternative, but you see, that also means that if I do that, at some time I could come to a point where I say, Yeah I don’t believe that anymore!-I am possessed by the Spirit of God. God’s Spirit convicts me and persuades me and proves to me that it’s true, even in my own doubt processes. In fact, in my human I can disbelieve it all I want to, but I can’t get away from it. God’s Spirit and His conviction never changes. I can waver, I can fight against it, I can scream at Him! I can burn my Bible! It doesn’t make any difference. It’s still true!

So it’s by “faith”. Either it’s by humanfaith ”, where one has to persuade themselves that what the Bible says is true, or it’s coming from a persuasion and conviction by God’s Spirit that what God’s Word says is true.

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I don’t have either. Not in that false dichotomy. Faith, according to the Bible, is the substance of things hoped for. I hope for the one and only core claim of the Bible to be true. That Jesus was God incarnate.

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Your “faith” that the Bible teaches that the earth is young and evolution is not true is not God-given. It is faith in finite human reasoning and incorrect interpretation of the Bible.

Is God short of time? YECism belittles the import of Psalm 8:4, not only because of the vastness of the size of the universe, but also because of the vastness of its antiquity.

What is man, that you are mindful of him?[!]

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I agree in many ways. We have to rely on both kinds of faith. I believe that the Holy Spirit is a very real power of Yahweh that works on the hearts of his people. However, we cannot use it as a catch all for truth or as the trump card. So while everything in the Bible is about a truth, we have to use our human brains to interpret it.

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I think that one of the things we need to grapple with as Christians is how to apply both faith and scientific scepticism.

Most people tend to view the two as polar opposites, but I don’t think that’s what the Bible intends us to do at all. We’re told in places such as 1 John 4:1 and 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 that we need to test everything and not just fall hook, line and sinker for whatever people are trying to spoon-feed to us.

The approach that I came up with is to recognise that the two serve different but complementary purposes. Scientific scepticism (which is not the same as theological scepticism by the way) is simply about establishing the integrity of what you are being told. Are they getting their facts straight? Are they reporting things accurately and interpreting them honestly? Do they actually know what they are talking about? Or are they just making stuff up? The purpose of science is to give us a framework with which to check these things in a methodical and systematic way: by taking observations and measurements, and by following tried and tested rules and protocols in how we analyse and interpret them.

Faith, on the other hand, is about how you respond to what you are being told. There are times when a sceptical approach (even a rigorous, methodical, scientific one) is not appropriate, and can even do more harm than good. One such example is innovation. There are many, many inventions that would never have got off the ground if their inventors had taken a methodical, sceptical approach to them. Inventors, investors, and venture capitalists very often have to take a step of faith in deciding where to put their money. A sceptical approach would demand to see evidence that a business idea would actually be profitable, and that is not always forthcoming. In fact, sometimes the ideas that turn out to be the most successful are ones where the naysayers were shouting the loudest! Faith is a bit like that: it concerns plans, hopes, aspirations, vision, and calling, and these are often not decisions that can be made on the basis of empirical evidence alone.

You can see the two playing together most effectively in TV shows such as Dragon’s Den. The Dragons start off by asking the entrepreneurs some tough questions. Have you done your market research? Have you had any feedback from prospective clients or customers? Do you have a balance sheet that you can show us? Do you even know what a balance sheet is? And so on and so forth. But once they’ve had their answers, the next step – making an offer – is where faith comes into play. Sometimes they make an offer even though the evidence that their investment is going to pay off may be thin on the ground. But they are only going to do this if the entrepreneur knows what they are talking about and is being straight with them. If they get the impression that they’re facing someone who doesn’t know what a balance sheet is, or whose product is falling apart at the seams, or who is being rude to them, then they’re going to say, “I’m sorry, but I’m out.”

? :slightly_smiling_face: With YECism, it’s force-feed, and if you don’t swallow, you’re a heretic “making God a liar”!

(The US has an exact analogue of Dragns’ Den called Sark Tank.)

Let’s leave YECism out of it. @Kelli hasn’t mentioned the subject in this thread, so neither should we. I know she likes to beat that drum pretty heavily, but one of the ways in which we need to respond to YECs is to show them that we can live a life of faith in Christ without it. This means affirming them when they say things that we can go along with.


What about you? Are you persuaded and convicted by God’s spirit that the earth doesn’t move, as the Bible says?

How do you know that it is God’s spirit that is convicting? The bible warns against taking spiritual guidance at face value.

Fiath is, by nature, beyond proof and rationale. If you have to prove it then it is not faith. If something appears to disprove your faith then you have to decide whether what your faith is telling you is paramount over the visible evidence to the contrary. However, if it is a case of comparing one faith against a disparate one then it becomes a personal choice.


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