Definition for FAITH

FAITH, n. [W. fyz; Arm. feiz; L. fides; It. fede; Port. and Sp. fe; Fr. foi; Gr. πιστις; L. fido, to trust; Gr. πειθω, to persuade, to draw toward any thing, to conciliate; πειθομαι, to believe, to obey. In the Greek Lexicon of Hederic it is said, the primitive signification of the verb is to bind and draw or lead, as πεισα signifies a rope or cable, as does πεισμα. But this remark is a little incorrect. The sense of the verb, from which that of rope and binding is derived, is to strain, to draw, and thus to bind or make fast. A rope or cable is that which makes fast. Qu. Heb. Ch. Syr. Sam. בטח. Class Bd, No. 16.]

  1. Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence; the judgment that what another states or testifies is the truth. I have strong faith or no faith in the testimony of a witness, or in what a historian narrates.
  2. The assent of the mind to the truth of a proposition advanced by another; belief, on probable evidence of any kind.
  3. In theology, the assent of the mind or understanding to the truth of what God has revealed. Simple belief of the Scriptures, of the being and perfections of God, and of the existence, character and doctrines of Christ, founded on the testimony of the sacred writers, is called historical or speculative faith; a faith little distinguished from the belief of the existence and achievements of Alexander or of Cesar.
  4. Evangelical, justifying or saving faith, is the assent of the mind to the truth of divine revelation, on the authority of God's testimony, accompanied with a cordial assent of the will or approbation of the heart; an entire confidence or trust in God's character and declarations, and in the character and doctrines of Christ, with an unreserved surrender of the will to his guidance, and dependence on his merits for salvation. In other words, that firm belief of God's testimony and of the truth of the Gospel, which influences the will, and leads to an entire reliance on Christ for salvation. Being justified by faith. Rom. v. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb. xi. For we walk by faith, and not by sight. 2 Cor. v. With the heart man believeth to righteousness. Rom. x. The faith of the Gospel is that emotion of the mind, which is called trust or confidence, exercised toward the moral character of God, and particularly of the Savior. Dwight. Faith is an affectionate practical confidence in the testimony of God. J. Hawes. Faith is a firm, cordial belief in the veracity of God, in all the declarations of his word; or a full and affectionate confidence in the certainty of those things which God has declared, and because he has declared them. L. Woods.
  5. The object of belief; a doctrine or system of doctrines believed; a system of revealed truths received by Christians. They heard only, that he who persecuted us in times past, now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. Gal. i.
  6. The promises of God, or his truth and faithfulness. Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? Rom. iii.
  7. An open profession of Gospel truth. Your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Rom. i.
  8. A persuasion or belief of the lawfulness of things indifferent. Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Rom. xiv.
  9. Faithfulness; fidelity; a strict adherence to duty and fulfillment of promises. Her failing, while her faith to me remains, / I would conceal. Milton. Children in whom is no faith. Deut. xxxii.
  10. Word or honor pledged; promise given; fidelity. He violated his plighted faith. For you alone / I broke my faith with injured Palamon. Dryden.
  11. Sincerity; honesty; veracity; faithfulness. We ought, in good faith, to fulfill all our engagements.
  12. Credibility or truth. [Unusual.] The faith of the foregoing narrative. Milford.

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