Faith Refresher (most of this post is from Strong’s Concordance & Blueletterbible.org):
Faith defined according to Strong’s Concordance based on the Greek word “pistis”
4102 pístis (from 3982/peithô, “persuade, be persuaded”) – properly, persuasion (be persuaded, come to trust); faith.
******Faith (4102/pistis) is always a gift from God, and never something that can be produced by people. In short, 4102/pistis (“faith”) for the believer is “God’s divine persuasion” – and therefore distinct from human belief (confidence), yet involving it. The Lord continuously births faith in the yielded believer so they can know what He prefers, i.e. the persuasion of His will (1 Jn 5:4).
[4102 (pistis) in secular antiquity referred to a guarantee (warranty). In Scripture, faith is God’s warranty, certifying that the revelation He inbirthed will come to pass (His way).
Faith (4102/pistis) is also used collectively – of all the times God has revealed (given the persuasion of) His will, which includes the full revelation of Scripture (Jude 3). Indeed, God the Lord guarantees that all of this revelation will come to pass! Compare Mt 5:18 with 2 Tim 3:16.
1. The root of 4102/pistis (“faith”) is 3982/peithô (“to persuade, be persuaded”) which supplies the core-meaning of faith (“divine persuasion”). It is God’s warranty that guarantees the fulfillment of the revelation He births within the receptive believer (cf. 1 Jn 5:4 with Heb 11:1).
Faith (4102/pistis) is always received from God, and never generated by us.
Ro 12:3: “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith (4102/pistis)” (NASU).
Eph 2:8,9: ” For by grace you have been saved through faith (4102/pistis); and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (NASU).
Gal 5:22,23: “22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith (4102/pistis),23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
2 Thes 1:11: “To this end (glorification) – indeed each time we pray about (peri) you for the purpose (hin) of our God counting you worthy of the call – even that He may fulfill (His) every good-pleasure that comes from (His) goodness and work of faith, in (His) ability.”
Reflection: Faith is only (exclusively) given to the redeemed. It is not a virtue that can be worked up by human effort.
2. Faith (4102/pistis) enables the believer to know God’s preferred-will (cf. J. Calvin; see 2307/thelçma). Accordingly, faith (4102/pistis) and “God’s preferred-will (2307/thelçma)” are directly connected in Scripture.
2 Ro 12:2,3: ” And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will(2307/thelçma) of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 3For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith(4102/pistis)” (NASU).
” BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH(4102/pistis); AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK,MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM” (NASU).
1 Jn 5:4: “For whatever is born of God conquers the world; and this is the conquest that has conquered the world – our faith
3. In sum, faith (4102/pistis) is a persuasion from God that we receive as He grants impulse (“divine spark”; cf. the Heb hiphil form of believe, *mn, in a later discussion). Faith is always the work of God and involves hearing His voice – whereby the believer lays hold of His preferred-will (cf. J. Calvin).
Hab 2:4: “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live in his faith” 4102/pistis, “faith from the Lord”).
More on what faith is . . . and isn’t
1. In Scripture, faith and belief are not exactly the same. Faith always comes from God and involves His revelation therefore faith is beyond belief!
2. Faith is God’s work; faith is never the work of people. We cannot produce faith ourselves, nor can we “drum it up at will.” Rather, faith comes as Christ speaks His rhema-word within (see Ro 10:17, Gk text).
3. In all of Scripture, only the term faith is ever used in the following way: Ro 14:23: Whatever is not of faith (4102/pistis) is sin.” Heb 11:6: “And without faith(4102/pistis) it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (NASU).
The Lord offers to in-birth faith in each scene of life – so that each matters equally in eternity . . . no matter how insignificant they seem (Lk 16:10 with Lk 17:6 and 2 Pet 1:2).
*****Our part is to simply receive the divine persuasions (FAITH) as God speaks to us through His Word and by His Holy Spirit. As we agree with His word (the bible) and the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth, we allow God’s faith to have full effect in us without our own thoughts and limitations getting in the way. It is then that we see what God has promised come to pass in our lives (healing, peace, joy, freedom, forgiveness, redemption, provision…), because we have allowed his faith to also become our faith as we’ve said “yes, I believe and therefore I receive.”