Are BELIEF and FAITH the same thing? For the longest time I thought they were interchangeable words, having the same meaning. I’m not sure why it’s took me so long to understand, but I now know that BELIEF and FAITH are two different things.

You see, you can have a BELIEF that you carry “inside” you your whole life. If you never act on that BELIEF it will not do you any good. For example, you can BELIEVE that a microwave can cook a slice of bacon. You can BELIEVE that your entire life. But, until you stick a slice of bacon in the microwave and push the power button, all you have is a BELIEF (and uncooked bacon). But, when you take a slice of bacon, stick it in the microwave and push the power button, your belief has been activated. You have just experienced the meaning of faith. FAITH has an action attached to it.

BELIEF is inward… FAITH is outward. BELIEF can’t be seen in a person… FAITH can.

For the longest time I stumbled over the definition of FAITH as it is recorded in Hebrews 11:1. It says that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” All this time I was confused because I thought FAITH and BELIEF were the same thing, but Hebrews is saying FAITH is SUBSTANCE and EVIDENCE. It’s tangible. It can be SEEN. It is an unseen BELIEF that has been activated.

A story is told of a tight rope walker who was going to walk a tight rope across Niagara Falls. He asked the surrounding crowd, “Do you BELIEVE I can do this?” All the people shouted, “Yes! We believe!” The tightrope walker then singled out a man in the crowd and asked him, “Do you BELIEVE I can do this?” The man replied, “Yes! I believe!” So the tightrope walker said, “If you BELIEVE I can do it then you come with me. I will carry you on my back!” Suddenly the man’s BELIEF was challenged, but eventually, the man agreed to let the tightrope walker carry him across Niagara Falls on his back. His BELIEF was turned into FAITH because the people could SEE his BELIEF in action.

Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved THROUGH FAITH….” We are not saved simply by BELIEVING in Jesus, but by an action of FAITH. Are your actions in keeping with your inward BELIEFS?

James 2:17 (NIV)
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

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