Faith refers to (1) the exercise of our capacity to trust someone or something, as, for example, a rock climber has faith in his or her rope; (2) a set of beliefs, such as “Catholic faith”; (3) a deeper, very personal movement of the heart toward God that includes the first two meanings, yet moves beyond them into personal fellowship with God.
The Bible is most concerned with faith in this third sense. For example, when Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), He did not follow up with a question about the strength of Martha’s faith or about a system of beliefs, important as both are. Rather, He asked important as both are. Rather, He asked her, “Do you believe this, Martha?”
Biblical faith, or believing, is not a static system of beliefs or casual assent to the idea that God exists. Faith is not so much something we have but something we do. Biblical faith is motivated by the Holy Spirit in our minds and heart and always shows itself in acts of love that reflect God’s care for all the world.
Biblical faith is always growing. It is very powerful , yet never perfect. Jesus said it could more mountains (Matthew 17:20), yet faith is often imperceptible and sometimes seems to barely “work” Biblical faith is never a matter of character strength, as if by force of will a person could make herself or himself strong in faith. It is always a matter of surrender, simple daily trust that creates in us a growing confidence of God’s strategic care. “Faith” is our best term to describe the lifetime dynamic between the sovereign, eternal God and the amazing creature called the human person.
EPHESIANS 2:8 –8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: