Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What About Trust?



In the previous post, I was asked in a comment, "What do you mean by the crux of salvation is in our trusting Christ?". This is such a huge topic and requires a long answer, so I decided to write my response as a new post. 

 (pistis/pisteuw

These are the Greek words used for what I have come to understand as trust. Consider the following notes I got from a study we did in church. 
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Without initially trying to define what Jesus/the New Testament writers meant by the concept (pistis/pisteuw), let’s consider its use and leave its actual meaning open for the moment by just denoting it as “π”.

1. Jesus makes “π” toward himself the basis for forgiveness of sins.

2. Jesus makes “π” the means of accessing the power of God.

3. Jesus makes “π” the basis for receiving healing.

4. Jesus makes “π” the means of escaping destruction.

5. Jesus says that “π” is the work of God for man. 

6. Jesus says Π is the basis for resurrection from the dead.

7. Jesus says that the withholding of “π” is a means of protection against false prophets. 

8. Jesus makes “π” the unique identifier in defining our connection to himself.

9. John says that “π” was the ultimate purpose of the ministry of John the Baptist. 

10. John connects “π” toward the name of Jesus with being given authority to become a son of God. 

11. John says that “π” is the basis for receiving the Holy Spirit.

12.  John says that the reason he wrote his Gospel was to produce “π”  toward Jesus, and that thereby you might have life.

13. Paul says that Abraham‘s “π” toward God “was accounted to him for righteousness”. 

14. Paul says that our “π” in Jesus Christ is the means of our justification.

15. Paul redefines sin as “whatsoever is not of “π”. 

16. Peter said that “π” was the means by which the hearts of the gentiles were cleansed.(Cornelius’ household).

17. Paul quoting the OT says “the just shall live by “π””.

18. The Hebrew writer says it is impossible to please God without “π”, and then goes on to characterize most of the most notable holy men from the OT as having accomplished what they did (not by “grace” interestingly enough) but by “π”. 

19. Paul says in answer to the question, "Why is it that (Romans 9:31)... Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness."?  "Because they sought it not by “π” ".

Any one of these uses is of a type that demands our serious attention.  The fact that there are this many weighty statements connected by a common concept demands colossal attention.

From Liddell and Scott we have the following lexicon entries (notice that in English translations pi,stij usually becomes "faith" on account of the weighty influence of Latin on scripture where pi,stij became fides)

33665  pi,stij
pi,stij, h`, gen. ewj: dat. pi,stei, Ion. pi,sti¯: Ion. nom. and acc. pl. pi,sti¯j; dat. pi,stisi: (pei,qomai):-trust in others, faith, Lat. fides, fiducia, Hes., Theogn., Att.; c. gen. pers. faith or belief in one, Eur.:-generally, persuasion of a thing, confidence, assurance, Pind., Att.
2. good faith, trustworthiness, faithfulness, honesty, Lat. fides, Theogn., Hdt., Att.
3. in a commercial sense, credit, trust, pi,stij tosou,twn crhma,twn evsti, moi para, tini I have credit for so much money with him, Dem.; eivj pi,stin dido,nai ti, tini Id.
4. in Theol. faith, belief, as opp. to sight and knowledge, N.T.
II. that which gives confidence: hence,
1. an assurance, pledge of good faith, warrant, guarantee, Soph., Eur.; pi,stin kai. o[rkia poiei/sqai to make a treaty by exchange of assurances and oaths, Hdt.; ou;te pÅ ou;qV o[rkoj me,nei Ar.; pi,stin dido,nai to give assurances, Hdt.; dido,nai kai. lamba,nein to interchange them, Xen.:-of an oath, qew/n pi,steij ovmnu,nai Thuc.; pi,stin evpitiqe,nai or prostiqe,nai tini, Dem.:- fo,bwn p. an assurance against fears, Eur.
2. a means of persuasion, an argument, proof, such as used by orators, Plat., etc.

33663  pisteu,w
pisteu,w, f. eu,sw: plqpf. pepisteu,kein: (pi,stij):-to trust, trust to or in, put faith in, rely on, believe in a person or thing, c. dat., pÅ tini, Hdt., Att.; with neut. Adj., lo,goij evmoi/si pi,steuson ta,de believe my words herein, Eur.:-later, pÅ eivj Qeo,n to believe on or in God, N.T.; pÅ evpi. to.n Ku,rion Ib.:-absol. to believe, Hdt., Thuc.:-Pass. to be trusted or believed, Plat.; pisteu,esqai u`po, tinoj to enjoy his confidence, Xen.; pÅ para, tini( pro,j tina Dem.; w`j pisteuqhso,menoj as if he would be believed, Id.:-Med. to believe mutually, Id.
2. to comply, Soph.
3. c. inf. to believe that, feel sure or confident that a thing is, will be, has been, Eur., etc.; pÅ poiei/n to dare to do a thing, Dem.:-Pass., pisteu,omai avlhqeu,sein I am believed likely to speak truth, Xen.
4. c. dat. et inf., toi/si evpi,steue siga/n to whom he trusted that they would keep silence, in whose secresy he confided, Hdt.
5. to believe, have faith, N.T.
II. pÅ ti, tini to entrust something to another, Xen., etc.:-Pass., pisteu,omai, ti I am entrusted with a thing, have it committed to me, Id.



Now, these same uses with refs.


1. Jesus makes “π” toward himself the basis for forgiveness of sins.

Luke 7:48-50   48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.  49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?  50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Matthew 9:2   2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

2. Jesus makes “π” the means of accessing the power of God. Mat 17:20

Matthew 17:19-20   19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?  20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Matthew 21:22   22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.



3. Jesus makes “π” the basis for receiving healing. Mat 8:13,9:29, 9:22

Luke 18:40-42  40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him,  41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.  42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

Matthew 9:20-22  20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:  21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.  22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Matthew 9:28-29   28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.  29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

4. Jesus makes “π” the means of escaping judgment and/or destruction.

John 3:14-16  14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  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 3:36   36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 5:24  24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.


5. Jesus says that “π” is the work of God for man. 

John 6:28-29   28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.


6. Jesus says it is the basis for resurrection from the dead or eternal life.

John 6:40   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   47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.


7. Jesus says that the withholding of “π” is a means of protection against false prophets. 

Matthew 24:23-24   23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.  24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
John 2:23-25   23 ¶ Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.  24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.


8. Jesus makes “π” the unique identifier in defining our connection to himself.


Matthew 18:6   6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

John 14:12  12 ¶ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

John 17:20-21   20 ¶ Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Acts 5:14   14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.

1 Timothy 4:12   12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.


9. John says that “π” was the ultimate purpose of the ministry of John the Baptist.  Jn 1:6-7

John 1:6-7  6 ¶ There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

10. John connects “π” toward the name of Jesus with being given authority to become a son of God. 

John 1:12  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:

11. John says that “π” is the basis for receiving the Holy Spirit.

John 7:37-39  37 ¶ In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

12.  John says that the reason he wrote his Gospel was to produce “π”  toward Jesus, and that thereby you might have life.

John 20:31 - 21:1   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. 


13. Paul says that Abraham‘s “π” toward God “was accounted to him for righteousness”. 


Galatians 3:6-7   6 ¶ Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.


14. Paul says that our “π” in Jesus Christ is the means of our justification. Gal 3:24

Galatians 2:16   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.

Galatians 3:24   24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.


15. Paul redefines sin as “whatsoever is not of “π”.  Romans 14:23

Romans 14:23  23 ... for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.


16. Peter said that “π” was the means by which the hearts of the gentiles were cleansed.(Cornelius’ household).


Acts 15:8-9   8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;  9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.


17. Paul quoting the OT says “the just shall live by “π””.


Galatians 3:11   11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.  (Hab 2:4)



18. The Hebrew writer says it is impossible to please God without “π”, and then goes on to characterize most of the most notable holy men from the OT as having accomplished what they did (not by “grace” interestingly enough) but by “π”.


Hebrews 11:6  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.

Hebrews 11:8   8 ¶ By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.


Hebrews 11:32 - 12:1   32 ¶ And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:  33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,  34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.  35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:  36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:  37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;  38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.  39 ¶ And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:  40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. 


19. Paul says in answer to the question, "Why is it that (Romans 9:31)... Israel, which followed after the law of righeousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness."? "Because they sought it not by “π” ".

Romans 9:31-32   31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.  32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.


20. In the passive voice, this word is clearly used to mean " to entrust".

Romans 3:2   2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.


So then, just how prevalent is this concept in the New Testament?

Over 580 refs from noun,verb, and related...

Compare-

Love - 109

Grace - 147

Holiness - 10

Hope - 79

Obey/Obedience   -  35
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This is why I believe "the crux of salvation is in our trusting Christ."