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 my “ faith ”….It is His “ faith ”, 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 basis “ of 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 human “ faith ” wavers, but when I look down deep, there is something there that is a stabling force. That is the basis “ of 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 human “ faith ”, 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 human “ faith ”, 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.