What is faith? What is the meaning and significance of faith?
From ancient times to the present day in human history, man has sought God, because there were always religious nations while non-believers were exceptions in those nations.
The apostle Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews raises the question about the nature of faith, and he gives a response, saying: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Of course, the apostle Paul is not here talking about the proof that the apostle Thomas wanted to believe in resurrected Christ or in the Resurrection of Christ (John 20:24-25).
The apostle Thomas desired material evidence, but the apostle Paul speaks of the evidence within the framework of spiritual realities. Man of faith, having a religious experience, an experience of relationship with God, considers them to be for him a spiritual evidence of God and spirituality.
Paul’s definition of faith is brief. We can say that somehow the words “faith” and “trust” are synonymous. So the faith is confidence in any evidence, whether written or oral.
Faith has an important place in the personal will of man, providing the possibility of confidence to choose this or that testimony revealed to him. That testimony in a religious sense concerns the supernatural realities.
Faith saves human from hopelessness during lifetime and especially at the end of life because for the unbeliever his life is lost in despair, into destruction, but for the believer with the end of earthly life, eternal life begins.
Formation of faith is based on the natural and supernatural revelations. Natural revelation is the existence of the universe and nature. When watching them a person realizes that they are created by divine reason.
The supernatural revelation is God’s partially or direct revelation that comes down to special people and saints. We read about this in the Scriptures, and in the hagiographies. The Scripture is also one of those revelations that brings evidence of the existence of God, the creation of the universe and human by God and of divine providence to care for all creation.
Is faith a natural phenomenon or it is formed, brought up over the years?
These are the two aspects that complement each other. In the explanation of the mystery of baptism, we read that the person confirms his faith during the ceremony. At that time, when we renounce Satan and profess the Creed, the faith strengthens in our soul.
All adults who are baptized in the church, in front of the holy altar, confess their faith and vow to remain true to the faith.
Concerning small children, they are baptized by the faith of their parents in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, that is when the light of faith arises secretly in their souls. In other words, according to this view, faith is the grace that God gives to us. It means that all people have the ability to have faith, but the question is whether all humans have that desire. Some people reject faith. They, however, are separate individuals and not societies or nations.
The apostle Paul expresses the other point of view, saying that faith comes from hearing, which is the testimony and personal choice to have a confidence of that witness. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:14, 17), says the apostle. Faith is a great feeling, love, loyalty, and filial devotion to God.
You can also read: