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Faith, when it is a noun, is about the content of what we believe.  Faith, when it is a verb, is about confident trust in Christ.  Together, these two aspects of faith speak about the life of the follower of Jesus.

When our faith is a noun, we seek to mine the Bible for all its truths.  Followers of Jesus seek to know the truth, knowing that the truth will set them free.  We learn, with Jude (in verse 3), that the truths of our faith are always under attack.  False teachers abound.  False teachings are everywhere.  The truths of God, of Christ, of the meaning of the cross, about what it means to be human, about what it means to be sexually faithful to our Lord – these truths are constantly being denied.  In response, we need to learn and reinforce these truths.  We need to teach them to our children.  We need to teach them to new converts.  We need to teach them to the immature and those who are stumbling.  And even those of us who are mature need to rehearse these truths continually.  To be a disciple in the faith is to cling to the truth and to reject that which is false.

This is why Jude told us to contend for the truth.  We are to fight for it.  We are committed, not to latest trends, but to the historic truths, once for all delivered to the saints.  We rejoice in the truth and weep over the errors that lead men and women into darkness.  This is faith as a noun.

Faith, when it is a verb, refers to our active trust in Christ.  The scriptures are filled with the promises of God. Most specifically, we have the strong promises that come to us in the cross of our Saviour.  There we learn that our standing before God does not depend upon our performance or our righteousness and faithfulness, but on Christ’s performance, and on His righteousness and faithfulness.  Christ was crucified for us, and His cross is sufficient to forgive us of every sin.

Along the way, we struggle.  At times we worry.  Is the promise of Romans 8:28 as good as it sounds?  Will God really cause all things to work to our long term good?  Our emotions may tell us it is not so.  But the scripture promises us it is.  Our battle is to discount our emotions, and to enhance our confidence in the promise that comes to us in scripture.

Other struggles overcome us.  We may fear death.  The resurrection counters by promising us that we will rise with Christ.  We need to trust the promise of Easter.  We may complain because things have not worked out as well as we had hoped.  But the scripture tells us to be thankful in all circumstances, knowing that God is at work in us.  We need to trust that promise. We are tempted to sin, but the scripture promises us that no sin has overtaken us, that God will not give us the strength to resist.  The Holy Spirit will help us in our darkest hours.  We need to trust that promise as well.  Faith is a verb.

Faith as a noun believes in the revealed truth of God.  Faith as a verb trusts in the promises of God.  Let’s determine to do both.  As we do, we will find ourselves growing more deeply in the life of following Jesus in all things.

Dr. John Neufeld

Dr. John Neufeld

Dr. John Neufeld is the national Bible teacher at Back to the Bible Canada. He has served as Senior Pastor, church planter, conference speaker and educator, and is known both nationally and internationally for his passion and excellence in expositional preaching and teaching.

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