Belief vs. Faith
You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble.
– James 2:19 (NABRE)
Well, so much for “belief!” And here are all the instances in the NABRE in which “faith” and forms of “save” are found in the same verse. Note the difference between James 2:14 and the others.
Matthew 9:22 Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your FAITH has SAVEd you.” And from that hour the woman was cured.
Mark 5:34 He said to her, “Daughter, your FAITH has SAVEd you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
Mark 10:52 Jesus told him, “Go your way; your FAITH has SAVEd you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
Luke 7:50 But he said to the woman, “Your FAITH has SAVEd you; go in peace.”
Luke 8:48 He said to her, “Daughter, your FAITH has SAVEd you; go in peace.”
Luke 8:50 On hearing this, Jesus answered him, “Do not be afraid; just have FAITH and she will be SAVEd.”
Luke 17:19 Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your FAITH has SAVEd you.”
Luke 18:42 Jesus told him, “Have sight; your FAITH has SAVEd you.”
1 Corinthians 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to SAVE those who have FAITH.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been SAVEd through FAITH, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God;
1 Timothy 2:15 But she will be SAVEd through motherhood, provided women persevere in FAITH and love and holiness, with self-control.
James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has FAITH but does not have works? Can that FAITH SAVE him?
James 5:15 and the prayer of FAITH will SAVE the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.
1 Maccabees 2:59 Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael, for their FAITH, were SAVEd from the fire.
Sirach 49:10 Then, too, the TWELVE PROPHETS– may their bones return to life from their resting place!– Gave new strength to Jacob and SAVEd him by their FAITH and hope.
And, there is that great chapter on FAITH and WORKS, Hebrews 11.
I’m reminded of a saying that goes something like this: Faith and certainty are perfect strangers, but faith and doubt walk hand in hand. One might say that we are commanded to step out on faith to do the good works for which we are created.
Assyria and the Jews
How do we find the right balance of history and theology in the Old Testament? I strongly recommend A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson. It is unusual to find a faith-affirming secular book but this one qualifies. I read it a dozen years or so ago and kept and intend to keep on keeping it. It is only $2.99 on Kindle.
The first 135 pages or so cover Abraham to the AD70 destruction of the Jewish Temple. If you can read that 135 pages and then quit, I will be surprised. The book was published in 1987 so the last thirty years or so are missing. Here are a couple of teasers (showing my underlining from the first reading) included just for the purpose of teasing you to buy and read the book for better understanding of the OT. The first is a glimpse of the advanced theology of the ancient Jews. The second mentions Persia, Babylonia, Assyria, and Cyrus’s return of the Jews to their homeland, all referred to in this morning’s MPG meeting.
In a prologue to the book, Johnson gives for reasons for writing this book First is this: “When I was working on my History of Christianity, I became aware for the first time in my life of the magnitude of the debt Christianity owes to Judaism.”
And today we get a little bonus, a glimpse into Father Linsky’s past life as a military chaplain.