Scripture defines faith (πίστις) as the substance of that which is hoped for, the conviction of accomplished deeds not seen in Hebrews 11:1. It is therefore not an attitude or belief that is dictated by probability, that is wishful thinking based upon a desire, want, or need; rather, it is a conviction based upon a promise.
Substance is referring to the underlying essence by which something exists. Christ is the exact image of God in the flesh. Through His life the fundamental nature of God was made visible to humans, Hebrews 1:3.
Conviction is the act of presenting evidence to persuade a person’s mind to believe in the truth. This evidence is established upon accomplished deeds that are not seen. We see this demonstrated in the actions of God when He determined to show the heirs of promise the immutability of His determination by giving two immutable facts, it is impossible for God to lie and making an oath based upon His word, Hebrews 6:13-18. The conviction of faith is therefore based upon the facts related to accomplished deeds that God has done.
Therefore, faith is the essence of that which is hoped for, and by the conviction based upon the facts of the promise that hope is based upon, the individual expressing belief will act according to their confidence in the person making the promise.
Many times in Scripture Jesus called out the faith of those around Him, especially of those who would not normally have faith. When a Centurion, a Gentile, asked Jesus to heal his servant, he expressed faith in the fact that Christ is the Messiah promised to the Jews by only asking that Jesus speaks the words, for one who is of authority only […]