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Author Topic: What is FAITH?  (Read 3431 times)
nChrist
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« on: November 08, 2003, 12:28:00 AM »

Oklahoma Howdy to All,

A good friend, Symphony, suggested this thread. I hope that it turns out to be all that Symphony had in mind.

I'm hoping that unbelievers and believers can discuss the topic of "FAITH" here in peace and love.

Let me begin by asking some questions, but providing no answers. Each person will have ideas about what the elements of Faith might be, with or without a belief and love of Jesus Christ.

Unbelievers are cordially invited to participate. Believers are cordially invited to give examples of "FAITH" from HIS Holy Word or by examples in personal experiences.
-----

What is "FAITH" and where is it formed? "FAITH" is many times talked about in relation to heart, so what is heart?

Is knowledge or belief a matter of brain or heart? If so, are we talking about simply two organs of the human body?

Why are so many things implied to be a matter of the heart? Does the heart do anything more than pump blood? What is heart if we are not talking about the simple but critical organ that pumps blood?

Is "FAITH" sometimes much more than a simple brain function? Is "FAITH" more than the function of any combination of human organs? If so, are we talking about something separate and distinct from human organs? How about soul or spirit? Can soul or spirit be defined as a function of bodily organs? Is it true that soul or spirit is the difference between man and animals?

If a person's physical body dies, is there still a soul or spirit? If so, does "FAITH" either in belief or unbelief of Jesus Christ remain with the soul or spirit?

Are there different kinds and magnitudes of FAITH? If so, WHY? What leads to FAITH, builds FAITH, strengthens FAITH, or demonstrates FAITH?

Give us some questions and answers about FAITH from several perspectives (i.e. man, Bible, Jesus).

Give us some examples of FAITH to discuss, some from a man's perspective and some from Biblical perspectives.

Thanks for the idea Symphony. I hope that many will enjoy this and participate.

Love In Christ,
Tom
 
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2003, 02:05:43 AM »

Oh, oh, I know this one Grin I stil have the answer in my clip board from the last post I replied to:

Hebrews 11:1- Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I think that cover it pretty good. Belief is what isn't proven, belief in that which you can't find evidance for is real.
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2003, 03:30:35 PM »

Oh, oh, I know this one Grin I stil have the answer in my clip board from the last post I replied to:

Hebrews 11:1- Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I think that cover it pretty good. Belief is what isn't proven, belief in that which you can't find evidance for is real.

Oklahoma Howdy to Tibby,

Any discussion of FAITH from a Biblical perspective would certainly include Hebrews 11. Look at the verse you quoted again. There is substance and evidence for FAITH, the opposite of what you said.

It is interesting that the sense of sight is used in this verse to illustrate the fact that not seeing something DOES NOT make it any less real. This brings up one of the questions I wanted to discuss. Are there other senses in the soul and spirit of man? Is there a spiritual sight and a spiritual feeling aided by the Holy Spirit? The answer is "YES". I'm not talking about anything made by man or anything related to magic, rather of Biblical senses.

What is it that causes that first spark of FAITH when a person first believes and accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour? It is not what man calls blind faith. There is most definitely substance and evidence for what is first believed and the FAITH that continues to grow.

The first substance and evidence for FAITH is the hearing of the Word of God, and this is just the beginning.

Love In Christ,
Tom
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2003, 04:02:03 PM »

What makes something real? Is belief reality? Is reality with our senses tell us? Hebrews 11 is a liars paradox in a way, like When Nietzsche says “The only truth is there is no truth” If the statement is true, it is false, if it is false, it’s true.

Faith the substance (something tangible) of hope (something intangible), faith the evidence (something detectable by senses) of things unseen (something undetectable by the senses)

By this statement, reality is not what your senses tell us. For fait hot be real, you have to have faith IN faith.

Faith is unadulterated trust in God, without any physical proof. I was going to ask this question in another post, but since it is here:






Faith to move mountains, is that over exaggeration to prove a point, or a realistic example of faith in action?
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2003, 04:06:27 PM »

A good example of faith coming by hearing of Jesus Christ is given in Acts 2. It demonstrates what hearing the word does, (pricks the heart),  and the response to it through believing. It demonstrates faith as believing after hearing and asking what actions must be taken and then acting on them when told.


  Acts 2:36.  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
 37.  Now when they heard this, (hearing), they were pricked in their heart, (believing, trust, faith), and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? (Action to be taken.)


Acts 2:38...............Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, ( an action of faith and a result of that action), and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (a result of faith in action)



Acts 2:41.  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:,(action being carried out through faith ), and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. ( a result of faith in action)
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2003, 06:01:53 PM »

Faith to move mountains, is that over exaggeration to prove a point, or a realistic example of faith in action?

Oklahoma Howdy to Tibby,

Here, we are not talking about "Faith" in ourselves, rather of Faith in Almighty God. Moving mountains would be small in comparison to what Almighty God can and has done. Creation would be the largest example, and we can certainly use all of our senses in this example.

There are scores of signs, miracles, and wonders documented in the Holy Bible, and I wouldn't consider any of them to be exaggeration. The splitting of the Red Sea and the feeding of multitudes come to mind immediately, but there are too many other examples to list. "Faith" involves substance and evidence to believe what Almighty God has said, what Almighty God has Promised, and TRUTH Almighty God has revealed to us in HIS HOLY WORD.

Love In Christ,
Tom
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2003, 06:07:58 PM »

Oklahoma Howdy to Ollie,

Thanks Brother. There is "Faith" in action throughout the Holy Bible. Hearing of the Word of God is most certainly the first substance and evidence that leads to belief and faith.

In Christ,
Tom
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2003, 06:16:18 PM »

Oklahoma Howdy to All,

Faith (Vine)
 <1,,4102,pistis>
primarily, "firm persuasion," a conviction based upon hearing (akin to peitho, "to persuade"), is used in the New Testament always of "faith in God or Christ, or things spiritual."

Trust, confidence, assurance, and reliance are terms most closely associated with "Faith" throughout the Holy Bible. Faith, in fact, becomes a walk in the Spirit, a way of life. This way of life is by 'Faith", not by sight. The strength of "Faith" is not based upon self, rather on Almighty God and belief in what HE has said and what HE has promised. So, the power of "Faith" rests in and through Almighty God. So, the first spark of "Faith" comes by hearing the Promises of Almighty God through HIS HOLY WORD.

Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

1 Corinthians 2:5  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Philippians 1:25  And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;

Galatians 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Acts 17:31  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

2 Corinthians 5:7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

Romans 4:20  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
Romans 4:21  And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

I am totally persuaded that HE is able and will perform all that HE has promised.

Love In Christ,
Tom
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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2003, 11:15:54 PM »

Oklahoma Howdy to All,

I may not say very much with this post and simply let the scriptures speak for themselves. Please do read them slowly and go back to each portion of Scripture in the Holy Bible and use the references, comparisons, and contrasts available in your study materials. Hopefully you will at least have a Bible designed for study with links and cross references. Regardless of what study aids you may use, you will find many of the beautiful portions of Scripture linked together and referenced for a better and more clear understanding of the Gospel of God's Grace.

----------

Galatians 3:22  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Galatians 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Romans 3:25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Romans 3:3  For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

Romans 4:20  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
Romans 4:21  And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

John1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Galatians 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

John 6:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Mark 1:15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Romans 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Ephesians 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

2 Peter 1:1  Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

Hebrews 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

John 20:31  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

2 Timothy 3:15  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Acts 10:43  To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Acts 13:39  And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Romans 3:21  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Romans 3:22  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Romans 3:28  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Galatians 2:16  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Acts 26:18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

John 20:31  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Galatians 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

John 3:15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:47  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

Hebrews 4:3  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

1 Peter 1:5  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Romans 5:2  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Ephesians 3:12  In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Galatians 3:22  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Acts 11:15  And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
Acts 11:16  Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
Acts 11:17  Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?

Ephesians 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Romans 10:3  For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Romans 10:4  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Romans 3:27  Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

----------

As you study these beautiful portions of Scripture, you will find links and references to a host of other beautiful portions of HIS HOLY WORD that clearly explain why the GOSPEL OF GOD'S GRACE is SUCH WONDERFUL GOOD NEWS!

Love In Christ,
Tom
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2003, 10:57:16 PM »

Hebrews 11:6.  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2004, 05:04:36 AM »

Faith to move mountains, is that over exaggeration to prove a point, or a realistic example of faith in action?

Oklahoma Howdy to Tibby,

Here, we are not talking about "Faith" in ourselves, rather of Faith in Almighty God. Moving mountains would be small in comparison to what Almighty God can and has done. Creation would be the largest example, and we can certainly use all of our senses in this example.

There are scores of signs, miracles, and wonders documented in the Holy Bible, and I wouldn't consider any of them to be exaggeration. The splitting of the Red Sea and the feeding of multitudes come to mind immediately, but there are too many other examples to list. "Faith" involves substance and evidence to believe what Almighty God has said, what Almighty God has Promised, and TRUTH Almighty God has revealed to us in HIS HOLY WORD.

Love In Christ,
Tom

AMEN!!!!!

Brother Love Smiley

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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2004, 08:32:59 AM »

Well, I see a lot of the scripture has already been covered here.

Faith...where did it come from? How did I "get" it....people have asked before, and how difficult it is to define the faith I possess.

It didn't come through me, or through my own understanding, but it's there.

Before I knew and understood the word of God, He offered me that faith....what a gift it was. How? He gave me a miracle; one that couldn't be done, except by His will. That was the "seed" of faith He planted in me, and the same seed he grew in me, as I studied his Word.

We have an amazing and awesome God!

Gracey
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2004, 10:38:32 AM »

PART 1

Sorry this got so long but the more I read of it the better it gotand the more I wanted to share of it.  (its only 8 parts  Grin)

I. FAITH DEFINED
(Pistis, fides). In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word means essentially steadfastness, cf. Exod., xvii, 12, where it is used to describe the strengthening of Moses' hands; hence it comes to mean faithfulness, whether of God towards man (Deut., xxxii, 4) or of man towards God (Ps. cxviii, 30). As signifying man's attitude towards God it means trustfulness or fiducia. It would, however, be illogical to conclude that the word cannot, and does not, mean belief or faith in the Old Testament for it is clear that we cannot put trust in a person's promises without previously assenting to or believing in that person's claim to such confidence. Hence even if it could be proved that the Hebrew word does not in itself contain the notion of belief, it must necessarily presuppose it. But that the word does itself contain the notion of belief is clear from the use of the radical, which in the causative conjugation, or Hiph'il, means "to believe", e.g. Gen., xv, 6, and Deut., i, 32, in which latter passage the two meanings -- viz. of believing and of trusting -- are combined. That the noun itself often means faith or belief, is clear from Hab., ii, 4, where the context demands it. The witness of the Septuagint is decisive; they render the verb by pisteuo, and the noun by pistis; and here again the two factors, faith and trust, are connoted by the same term. But that even in classical Greek pisteuo was used to signify believe, is clear from Euripides (Helene, 710), logois d'emoisi pisteuson tade, and that pistis could mean "belief" is shown by the same dramatist's theon d'ouketi pistis arage (Medea, 414; cf. Hipp., 1007). In the New Testament the meanings "to believe" and "belief", for pisteon and pistis, come to the fore; in Christ's speech, pistis frequently means "trust", but also "belief" (cf. Matt., viii, 10). In Acts it is used objectively of the tenets of the Christians, but is often to be rendered "belief" (cf. xvii, 31; xx, 21; xxvi, Cool. In Romans, xiv, 23, it has the meaning of "conscience" -- "all that is not of faith is sin" -- but the Apostle repeatedly uses it in the sense of "belief" (cf . Rom., iv, and Gal., iii). How necessary it is to point this out will be evident to all who are familiar with modern theological literature; thus, when a writer in the "Hibbert Journal", Oct., 1907, says, "From one end of the Scripture to the other, faith is trust and only trust", it is hard to see how he would explain 1 Cor. xiii, 13, and Heb., xi, 1. The truth is that many theological writers of the present day are given to very loose thinking, and in nothing is this so evident as in their treatment of faith. In the article just referred to we read: "Trust in God is faith, faith is belief, belief may mean creed, but creed is not equivalent to trust in God." A similar vagueness was especially noticeable in the "Do we believe?" controversy- one correspondent says- "We unbelievers, if we have lost faith, cling more closely to hope and -- the greatest of these -- charity" ("Do we believe?", p. 180, ed. W. L. Courtney, 1905). Non-Catholic writers have repudiated all idea of faith as an intellectual assent, and consequently they fail to realize that faith must necessarily result in a body of dogmatic beliefs. "How and by what influence", asks Harnack, "was the living faith transformed into the creed to be believed, the surrender to Christ into a philosophical Christology?" (quoted in Hibbert Journal, loc. cit.).

END OF PART 1
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« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2004, 10:39:15 AM »

PART 2

II. FAITH MAY BE CONSIDERED BOTH OBJECTIVELY AND SUBJECTIVELY
Objectively, it stands for the sum of truths revealed by God in Scripture and tradition and which the Church (see FAITH, RULE OF) presents to us in a brief form in her creeds, subjectively, faith stands for the habit or virtue by which we assent to those truths. It is with this subjective aspect of faith that we are here primarily concerned. Before we proceed to analyze the term faith, certain preliminary notions must be made clear.
(a) The twofold order of knowledge. -- "The Catholic Church", says the Vatican Council, III, iv, "has always held that there is a twofold order of knowledge, and that these two orders are distinguished from one another not only in their principle but in their object; in one we know by natural reason, in the other by Divine faith; the object of the one is truth attainable by natural reason, the object of the other is mysteries hidden in God, but which we have to believe and which can only be known to us by Divine revelation."
(b) Now intellectual knowledge may be defined in a general way as the union between the intellect and an intelligible object. But a truth is intelligible to us only in so far as it is evident to us, and evidence is of different kinds; hence, according to the varying character of the evidence, we shall have varying kinds of knowledge. Thus a truth may be self-evident -- e.g. the whole is greater than its part -- in which case we are said to have intuitive knowledge of it; or the truth may not be self-evident, but deducible from premises in which it is contained -- such knowledge is termed reasoned knowledge; or again a truth may be neither self-evident nor deducible from premises in which it is contained, yet the intellect may be obliged to assent to it because It would else have to reject some other universally accepted truth; lastly, the intellect may be induced to assent to a truth for none of the foregoing reasons, but solely because, though not evident in itself, this truth rests on grave authority -- for example, we accept the statement that the sun is 90,000,000 miles distant from the earth because competent, veracious authorities vouch for the fact. This last kind of knowledge is termed faith, and is clearly necessary in daily life. If the authority upon which we base our assent is human and therefore fallible, we have human and fallible faith; if the authority is Divine, we have Divine and infallible faith. If to this be added the medium by which the Divine authority for certain statements is put before us, viz. the Catholic Church, we have Divine-Catholic Faith (see FAITH, RULE OF).
(c) Again, evidence, whatever its source, may be of various degrees and so cause greater or less firmness of adhesion on the part of the mind which assents to a truth. Thus arguments or authorities for and against a truth may be either wanting or evenly balanced, in this case the intellect does not give in its adherence to the truth, but remains in a state of doubt or absolute suspension of judgment; or the arguments on one side may predominate; though not to the exclusion of those on the other side; in this case we have not complete adhesion of the intellect to the truth in question but only opinion. Lastly, the arguments or authorities brought forward may be so convincing that the mind gives its unqualified assent to the statement proposed and has no fear whatever lest it should not be true; this state of mind is termed certitude, and is the perfection of knowledge. Divine faith, then, is that form of knowledge which is derived from Divine authority, and which consequently begets absolute certitude in the mind of the recipient
(d) That such Divine faith is necessary, follows from the fact of Divine revelation. For revelation means that the Supreme Truth has spoken to man and revealed to him truths which are not in themselves evident to the human mind. We must, then, either reject revelation altogether, or accept it by faith; that is, we must submit our intellect to truths which we cannot understand, but which come to us on Divine authority.
(e) We shall arrive at a better understanding of the habit or virtue of faith if we have previously analysed an act of faith; and this analysis will be facilitated by examining an act of ocular vision and an act of reasoned knowledge. In ocular vision we distinguish three things: the eye, or visual faculty the coloured object, and the light which serves as the medium between the eye and the object. It is usual to term colour the formal object (objectum formale quod) of vision, since it is that which precisely and alone makes a thing the object of vision, the individual object seen may be termed the material object, e.g. this apple, that man, etc. Similarly, the light which serves as the medium between the eye and the object is termed the formal reason (objectum formale quo) of our actual vision. In the same way, when we analyze an act of intellectual assent to any given truth, we must distinguish the intellectual faculty which elicits the act the intelligible object towards which the intellect is directed, and the evidence whether intrinsic to that object or extrinsic to it, which moves us to assent to it. None of these factors can be omitted, each cooperates in bringing about the act, whether of ocular vision or of intellectual assent.
(f) Hence, for an act of faith we shall need a faculty capable of eliciting the act, an object commensurate with that faculty, and evidence -- not intrinsic but extrinsic to that object -- which shall serve as the link between faculty and object. We will commence our analysis with the object:-

END OF PART 2
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« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2004, 10:39:46 AM »

PART 3

III. ANALYSIS OF THE OBJECT OR TERM IN AN ACT OF DIVINE FAITH
(a) For a truth to be the object of an act of Divine faith, it must be itself Divine, and this not merely as coming from God, but as being itself concerned with God. Just as in ocular vision the formal object must necessarily be something coloured, so in Divine faith the formal object must be something Divine -- in theological language, the objectum formale quod of Divine faith is the First Truth in Being, Prima Veritas in essendo -- we could not make an act of Divine faith in the existence of India.
(b) Again, the evidence upon which we assent to this Divine truth must also be itself Divine, and there must be as close a relation between that truth and the evidence upon which it comes to us as there is between the coloured object and the light; the former is a necessary condition for the exercise of our visual faculty, the latter is the cause of our actual vision. But no one but God can reveal God; in other words, God is His own evidence. Hence, just as the formal object of Divine faith is the First Truth Itself, so the evidence of that First Truth is the First Truth declaring Itself. To use scholastic language once more, the objectum formale quod, or the motive, or the evidence, of Divine faith is the Prima Veritas in dicendo.
(c) There is a controversy whether the same truth can be an object both of faith and of knowledge. In other words, can we believe a thing both because we are told it on good authority and because we ourselves perceive it to be true? St. Thomas, Scotus, and others hold that once a thing is seen to be true, the adhesion of the mind is in no wise strengthened by the authority of one who states that it is so, but the majority of theologians maintain, with De Lugo, that there may be a knowledge which does not entirely satisfy the mind, and that authority may then find a place, to complete its satisfaction. -- We may note here the absurd expression Credo quia impossibile, which has provoked many sneers. It is not an axiom of the Scholastics, as was stated in the "Revue de Metaphysique et de Morale" (March, 1896, p. 169), and as was suggested more than once in the "Do we believe?" correspondence. The expression is due to Tertullian, whose exact words are: "Natus est Dei Filius; non pudet, quia pudendum est: et mortuus est Dei Filius; prorsus credibile est, quia ineptum est; et sepultus, resurrexit; certum est, quia impossibile" (De Carne Christi, cap. v). This treatise dates from Tertullian's Montanist days, when he was carried away by his love of paradox. At the same time it is clear that the writer only aims at bringing out the wisdom of God manifested in the humiliation of the Cross; he is perhaps paraphrasing St. Paul's words in 1 Cor., i, 25.
(d) Let us now take some concrete act of faith, e.g. "I believe in the Most Holy Trinity." This mystery is the material or individual object upon which we are now exercising our faith, the formal object is its character as being a Divine truth, and this truth is clearly inevident as far as we are concerned; it in no way appeals to our intellect, on the contrary it rather repels it. And yet we assent to it by faith, consequently upon evidence which is extrinsic and not intrinsic to the truth we are accepting. But there can be no evidence commensurate with such a mystery save the Divine testimony itself, and this constitutes the motive for our assent to the mystery, and is, in scholastic language, the objectum formale quo of our assent. If then, we are asked why we believe with Divine faith any Divine truth, the only adequate answer must be because God has revealed it.
(e) We may point out in this connexion the falsity of the prevalent notion that faith is blind. "We believe", says the Vatican Council (III, iii), "that revelation is true, not indeed because the intrinsic truth of the mysteries is clearly seen by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God Who reveals them, for He can neither deceive nor be deceived." Thus, to return to the act of faith which we make in the Holy Trinity, we may formulate it in syllogistic fashion thus: Whatever God reveals is true but God has revealed the mystery of the Holy Trinity therefore this mystery is true. The major premise is indubitable and intrinsically evident to reason; the minor premise is also true because it is declared to us by the infallible Church (cf. FAITH, RULE OF), and also because, as the Vatican Council says, "in addition to the internal assistance of His Holy Spirit, it has pleased God to give us certain external proofs of His revelation, viz. certain Divine facts, especially miracles and prophecies, for since these latter clearly manifest God's omnipotence and infinite knowledge, they afford most certain proofs of His revelation and are suited to the capacity of all." Hence St. Thomas says: "A man would not believe unless he saw the things he had to believe, either by the evidence of miracles or of something similar" (II-II:1:4, ad 1). The saint is here speaking of the motives of credibility.

END OF PART 3
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Matt 5:11  Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:
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