These two words are probably two of the most common words used when reference is made in talking about religion. For instance you have probably heard someone say, "What is your Faith?", or "What do you believe?" But what are they really asking? Most of the time they are really asking, "What denomination do you belong to?" or "Where do you go to church?"

But what do these two words really mean? Do they have the same meaning? If so, then, why have two different words? or do they have different meanings? therefore to be used as the appropriate word to relay a particular thought or idea? Now while we are talking about word meanings, the most common thing people do to find the meaning of a word is to grab the dictionary and look the word up. Well, be warned, the dictionary may not be the best source to use in finding a word's meaning. Why? Because it defines words by their 'common' usage. English (and other languages as well) is a changing language. New words are being added all the time, for instance, 'internet', 'I-Pod', 'television', now wait a minute, 'television' is not a new word. Well, yes it is, If you could go back in time to lets say to 1850 and was talking to someone and mentioned the word 'television', would they know what you are talking about? of course not. And today words like 'out house' is very seldom used any more, and will one day just fade out of existence. That is why Medical and other specific information requirements are often written in Latin, because it is what is known as a 'dead language'. The meanings of the words are not changing, so what it says is what it says.

So, what does BELIEF mean? When you 'believe' something, that means: "You accept it as fact!"

And FAITH? (according to the Bible in Hebrews 11:1 ) says. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

So, what's the difference? BELIEF usually deals with things in the past or present. Example: "I believe that Tokyo, Japan exist." I have never been there and seen it for myself, but I have seen pictures and was told that they were of Tokyo and I have known some people that claim they have been there. Therefore I believe Tokyo, Japan exist. In other words, I accept it as fact, that Tokyo is right there in Japan, even though I personally have never seen it.

I also have FAITH that it will be there tomorrow. Even though it might not be. (Total devastating earth quake that sinks the entire island of Japan, the end of the world as described in the Bible, etc.) Because I believe it exist today, I have Faith that it will continue to exist tomorrow. I have that trust, hope and desire.

Another example: (present) "I BELIEVE that Jesus the christ is the son of God" and (future) "I have FAITH that God will keep the promises he has made. Because He said He would." 2 Peter 3:8-9

While we are talking about 'words and their meanings', I feel it is necessary to mention about the word PROPHECY. Here again, is a word that people grossly misuse. (Remember what we said about using the dictionary.) In todays mind of thought, when you hear the word 'prophet' or 'prophecy', you think of a 'fortune teller' or 'fortune telling'. Well, that is not what these words mean. They actually (per: Strong's Concordance: Prophet = in old testament = Strong word # 5030 = NABIY' (Hebrew)= a spokesman or speaker; and in the new testament = Strong word # 4396 = PROPHETES (Greek) = interpreter of oracles or of hidden things, someone that reveals what they have received by inspiration from God. & Prophecy = Strong word # 5016 = NABUW'AH (Hebrew)= specific and genuine.)

So a PROPHET is a person that 'reveals' and PROPHECY is the 'information' the prophet reveals.

Now many times this "information" is dealing with future events, but 'not' always. Case in point: Look at Luke 22:64 . Here you have the word 'prophesy' being used to show a 'past tense' action. Where Jesus was blindfolded and slapped then asked to 'reveal' who it was that had already slapped Him.

So, BELIEF 'usually' deals with things in the past or present.
And FAITH 'usually' deals with things in the future.

What do you think about this lesson ???
Go to the COMMENTS link and enter YOUR COMMENTS so we can SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH together.


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