Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "Soteriology"
Return to Syllabus
BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
The word faith occurs 247 times in the Word of God. The English word is used
only twice in the Old Testament (Dt. 32:20 and Hah. 2:4). In the ASV, the word
faith is rendered faithfulness in both these verses. However, the fact of
faith is prominent in the Old Testament.
- THE IMPORTANCE OF THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH
Faith is the most basic and fundamental virtue of the New Testament. Every
other virtue depends on it.
Mt. 15:22-28; 8:5-10; Mk. 10:46-52; Heb. 11:6; 2 Pet. 1:5-7; 1 Cor. 13:13
- THE ESSENTIALS OF FAITH
In the exercise of true faith, the whole personality is involved.
- Knowledge is necessary
(2 Chr. 9:5; Rom. 10:13-17).
- Assent is necessary
(Mk. 12:32; Mt. 9:28; Jas. 2:19).
- Trust is necessary. By this is meant an action of the
will in committing oneself to Christ as Saviour, or to God in respect to the
spiritual issue at hand.
Faith is the consent of the will to the assent of the understanding (Jn.
- THE MEANING OF THE WORDS
- Old Testament words
Chasah - meaning to flee to a place; to take refuge or shelter (Dt'. 32:37;
Jud. 9:15; Ruth 2:12; Ps. 46:1).
Batach - to trust or to confide (Dt. 28:52; Jud. 20:36; 2 Ki. 18:5,19-20,
Aman - to stay, to support (Jud. 11:20; Job 4:18; Mic. 7:5).
Galal - to roll (Ps. 22:8).
Chool or Cheel - to turn around, to twist, to twirl; ultimately it means
Yachal - to wait (Isa. 51:5; Jer. 13:25).
- New Testament words
Pistis (noun) - trust or confidence springing from faith in the same (Mt.
8:10; Rom. 4:5,9; Eph. 2:8).
Pisteuo (verb) - to have a conviction full of joyful trust (Jn. 1:7,12,50;
Rom. 1:16; 2 Tim. 1:12).
"A faith which does not impel to action, which does not result in a changed
relation to God and Christ, which does not work transformingly in life, is
not Biblical faith."
Biblical faith is personal trust in the God of the Scriptures and in Jesus
Christ whom He hath sent, especially in regard to having borne our sins upon
- USAGE OF FAITH
- Faith is used in connection with God.
Heb. 11:6, cp. Lk. 11:5-10; Acts 27:22-25,44; Rom. 4:19-21, cp. Gen. 15:4-6
- Faith is used in connection with Christ.
- There must be a knowledge of the claims of Christ as to
His person and mission in the world.
- As to His person that He is God Jn. 9:35-38; 10:30;
- As to His work (Mt. 20:28; 26:28; Lk. 24:27,44).
- There must be an assent to all these claims (Jn.
6:68-69; 16:30; 20:28; Mt. 16:16).
- There must be a personal appropriation of Christ as
being all that He claims to be (Jn. 1:12; 5:24; 11:25-27).
- Faith, consisting of knowledge, assent, and
This is what is meant by believing with the heart (Rom. 10:9-10).
- Faith is used in connection with prayer. 1 Jn. 5:14-15;
Jas. 1:5-7; Mk. 11:24
- Faith is used in connection with the promises of God.
- We must believe that the promises are worth their full
value (Heb. 11:6).
- We must step out upon the promises which may be unseen
and nonexistent as far as our vision is concerned, but to faith they are
- There is a connection between faith and works.
Jas. 2:14-26; Rom. 4:1-12
- THE MANIFESTATION OF FAITH
- Faith in Christ is manifested by bringing to Him our need
and surmounting all the obstacles that lie between us and Him (Mk. 2:3-5).
- By holding on to Christ for the desired blessing in the
face of discouragement, even in the face of His apparent refusal to bestow
it (e.g., Mt. 15:22-28).
- By prompt and exact obedience to the commandments of Him
in whom we have believed, simply because He commands (Heb. 11:8,17).
- By a disregard for the difficulties that lie in the way
of fulfillment of God's promises (Heb. 11:17-19, cp. Rom. 4:18-21; Num.
13:31-33, cp. 14:3-9).
- By steadfastness in the path God points out in the face
of obstacles, peril, and apparent loss (Heb. 11:27).
- THE SOURCE OF FAITH
- The Divine side of faith
- It is the work of God (Rom. 12:3).
- The Word of God is the instrument that God uses in
imparting faith (Jn. 20:31; 2 Tim. 3:15; Jas. 1:21; Rom. 10:17; Acts 4:4).
Faith comes through the Word and grows by feeding upon the Word. Faith is
nourished by the Scriptures.
- Faith is the work of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22; 1 Cor.
The Word is the instrument made a living reality in the heart by the
- The Lord Jesus Christ is the Author and Finisher of our
faith (Heb. 12:2; Mt. 14:30-31).
- The human side of faith
- Prayer is an instrument in the development of faith
(Lk. 11:9,11,13; 22:32; Mk. 9:22-24).
- Our faith grows by the use of the faith which we
already have (Mt. 25:29, cp. context, vv. 14-28).
- Faith is associated with a close following of the Lord
Jesus Christ (Lk. 22:54).
- THE RESULTS OF FAITH
- We are saved by faith (Eph. 2:8,10).
- We have joy and peace through faith (Isa. 26:3; Phil.
4:6-7; 1 Pet. 1:8).
- Works are wrought through faith (Heb. 11:32-34; Mt.
- GOD'S ORDER IS: FACT, FAITH, FEELING
It is never reversed. If faith looks at feeling, it collapses. If it looks at
(Scriptural) fact, it is stabilized.
Return to Syllabus
200 Manor Avenue
Langhorne, PA 19047
United States of America
Notes" Study materials on this website are made available
here free, through the generosity of Cairn University,
and may be copied for use in Bible study groups, in limited numbers, providing
that no charge is made for them. No further distribution or use
of these materials is allowable under U.S. or International Copyright
Law without the express permission of Cairn University.