Difference between Belief and Faith

 I am often asked, "What is the difference between belief and faith?" biblically they are synonymous, faith is believing.

  • Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
  • Numbers 14:11 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?
  • Deuteronomy 32:20 And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.

To understand faith biblically you must understand that the Bible only uses faith in one regard, faith toward God/Jesus.

  • Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Men have faith in almost everything they normally do. Without faith your a psychotic Paranoid Personality. Men have faith that they can drive head long at each other with only a four inch painted line to keep them from crashing. We could not open a door without faith that there was nothing on the other side that was going to hurt us. The Bible uses the word ‘faith’ in one sense, in reference to one thing and one thing only, “faith toward God.” Faith toward God, faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ, is its only biblical use.

  • Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
  • Romans 4:3-9 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness…. for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

Although faith is synonymous with believing, believing is not always synonymous with faith.

  • John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Faith is believing in that which is not seen. This is not the same as blind faith. There can be evidence that points to something which produces the faith to believe it. All creation is evidence of God.

Faith, belief, and hope, are all used synonymously at times to express our faith.

  • Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

What you have faith in, believe, you hope for.

  • Romans 8:24-25 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

We believe on, put our faith in, Christ and he becomes our hope.

  • 2 Corinthians 3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

Hebrews one was mention in another response.

  • Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

We know this is not the definition of faith, it is rather an effect of faith. It is our “faith toward God” that is the substance of things hoped for. It is our walking in the faith, living by the faith, that is an evident token of the things unseen.

  • Philippians 1:27-28 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 28And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

Our living our faith condemns the lost, that is why they hate us. Our being steadfast in the faith is a witness of the truth and to them evidence of their own destruction. Our “faith toward God” is a testimony of the things we hope for and the evidence of those things not seen as yet. Trusting God, believing his word and obeying it is our works without which we have no testimony of our hope and salvation. That is why our faith without those works is dead.

  • James 2:17-18 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

You can have faith in Christ unto salvation, but you cannot show your faith without living it.