By The Very Rev. Daniel P. Richards
Faith is one of those words that we know, and yet we don’t. Faith is something we have and that is given by God. It is belief and trust. It is an act. Pisteo is a tricky little word. We have access to God through it. We seek healing through it. We abide in it.
In the Bible faith is used in all the ways listed above. When you look at the word’s usage, it can be confusing, but also we start to see a shape to this thing that is so central to our understanding of who we are in relationship to God.
Strong’s Concordance and Dictionary of Biblical Greek uses the word conviction three times in its definitions of pisteo. I have often argued for the word trust because it is a more relational word. We trust in God. We also believe in God. But when the word is used in the New Testament, it says often that Jesus sees “their faith.” He “saw their faith” in bringing the sick to him. It is observable.
Faith is seen in what we do when we come to God, to pray, to give thanks, to seek healing or to heal. Our faith is what we have received, what we have, and what we do as we welcome, worship, study, and serve. It is why we live the way we live. It is a tricky little word that we know and we don’t. It calls us deeper into our life of Grace.