Thayer Definition: pistis – Pistis
a) Conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the New Testament, of a conviction or belief
respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the
included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it.
1a) Relating to God
1a1) The conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all
things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ.
1b) Relating to Christ
1b1) A strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah
through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God.
1c) The religious beliefs of Christians.
1d) Belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God
or in Christ, springing from faith in the same.
b) Fidelity, Faithfulness
1a) The character of one who can be relied on.
II. There are Three Systems of Human Perception.
a. Faith is a non‑meritorious system of perception based on confidence in the authority and the veracity of another. Faith is not based on one’s own knowledge, as is rationalism or empiricism.
b. Rationalism is reason from the source of knowledge in itself, superior to and independent of any other source of perception. Rationalism says that reality is what you think to be true. Rationalism requires a high I.Q., from which systems of philosophy are often developed.
c. Empiricism is knowledge from perception by observation and experience rather than by theory. All ideas are derived from some sensuous experience using the eyes, ears, nose, touch, etc, having no innate or a priori conceptions.
Perception by faith is always non‑meritorious. It depends on the authority, veracity, and ability of someone else. Faith requires authority, the authority of God and His Word.
III. Faith also means a system of doctrine perceived by faith; i.e., what is believed.
Rom 14:22 “The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.”
A description of faith is found in 2 Cor 4:8-18.
2 Cor 4:18 “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen [essence of God]; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Faith is the means by which we perceive reality in the invisible essence of God.
Sometimes both the faith‑rest technique and doctrine are described in the meaning of pistis, as in 2 Cor 5:7, “We walk by faith and not by sight.”
Your eyes are in your soul, and your soul must have Bible Doctrine. We see the unseen through doctrine.
We see the justice and integrity of God through His Word.
His Word gives us relationship with His integrity and that is what sustains us in time of disaster.
IV. Faith is used as an attribute. Pistis (faith) is what causes trust, reliability, faithfulness, and integrity. Titus 2:10; 2 Thess 1:4
Titus 2:10-15 “10not pilfering, but showing all good faith that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect. 11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; 14who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. 15These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”
2 Thess 1:1-12
V. We are to demonstrate our faith among believers and unbelievers. Rom 1:12
Rom 1:12 “That is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
1. Our faith is the basis for fellowship among the church.
A church is not a one-man show; Pastor to listeners. A church is where we are “encouraged together by mutual faith both of you and me.”
Paul is saying, I will give, you will give. There will be giving and receiving on both sides.
Paul is saying their faith is very important and that it has a very definite place in the life of the church.
Peter says the same thing in:
2 Peter 1:1 “Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
1 John 1:3 “What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.”
These believers had to take part in the great exchange of faith.
The church is dependent upon the faith of the members and the faith of the Pastor.
2. Faith shows itself and encourages us by the way we each live.
Our lives have to be obvious to others that we have and are applying faith.
Our lives have to change from showing the worries and concerns of life to showing a faith rest and trust in God.
We have to stop entering into the sins we use to commit and demonstrate in faith a constrained life following Christ’s Word.
In Rom 1:12 Paul couldn’t wait to see that type of person.
In these people it was obvious that the Grace of God had taken hold of their lives.
3. Faith only comes with knowledge, knowledge of the Word of God.
That was his encouragement. To see their spiritual growth demonstrated.
The Roman believers could talk about their faith, discuss it, rejoice in it and share their experiences of faith.
4. Faith demonstrates itself in growth, development and increase.
When your whole outlook has developed and grown in faith it is encouraging to those around you.
Seeing you take hold of that which you believe is encouraging.
5. Faith shows itself in concern for others. It shows itself in prayer.
Rom 15:30 “Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.”
6. Striving together is the whole part of the life of the church. The church is fellowship.
The picture of faith demonstrated in a church is of people exchanging experiences, thoughts, understandings, mutually giving and receiving, helping one another, and all participating in this together.
Throughout history Christian people have always like to be together to talk about these things, and to help one another and to stimulate one another.
Their hearts are warmed, their feelings are kindled, their aspiration are stimulated and as a result a great fellowship “you and I sharing the mutual faith both of you and me”.
We together enjoy the things of God. We pray to him together, His blessings come down upon us together.
Rom 1:12 That is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.