Search

Is Belief the Same as Faith? Bible Verses About Faith and Belief

Faith and belief are foundational parts of our lives as believers. Throughout history, theologians and scholars have grappled with the subtle differences that separate these terms. Although Christians use the words interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between them. Join us as we use Bible verses about faith and belief to explore what God’s Word says about their differences. 

 

3 Bible Verses About Faith and Belief

When asking questions about biblical topics, reading what the Bible says is the best place to start. Here are 3 Bible verses about faith and belief to set the foundation for us.

 

  • “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him…Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” —James 2:14, 17

 

You can say you have faith, but the true test comes when God asks you to act in faith. Faith without works is dead. Your faith in God should push you to action and obedience, even when it seems overwhelming or impossible.

 

  • “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” —James 2:19-20

 

Satan and his legions believe in God and tremble before Him because of His great power. But their belief does not move them to serve God. 

 

  • “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” —Hebrews 11:1

 

Believers often reference this verse when discussing faith. It kicks off the chapter of Hebrews that introduces the Hall of Faith inductees and why their stories are so pivotal in our lives. We’ll look at those stories later. Now that we have read Bible verses about faith and belief, let’s examine their modern-day definitions.

 

The Difference Between Faith and Belief

According to Merriam-Webster, belief is “a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing.” Belief is a state of mind and does not motivate us to act. It can change how we view life or approach certain situations, but faith determines how we act when it gets down to the wire. 

 

Faith is “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” Another Bible verse about faith is James 2:17, which says, “…faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” Faith is rooted in a belief that something exists when there is no proof and spurs us to action in honor and obedience. Woman reading Scriptures about faith.

Can You Have Belief Without Faith?

John 14:12-2 says, “Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” 

 

You can believe in something without having faith, but you cannot have faith without belief. For example, many people agree you should exercise and eat healthy foods. They believe the health reports in medical journals, but some do not allow the facts to change their lifestyles. It is possible to believe in God’s existence but not have faith in who He is and allow it to change how you live. 

 

Your faith in God directly correlates to your flourishing as a believer. Believers are called to take up the shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16) each day as part of putting on the armor of God. The shield of faith is our defense against the lies, doubts, fears, and attacks Satan uses to keep us hiding in fear rather than standing in confidence. We activate the shield of faith by memorizing Bible verses about faith, learning from mentors, and obeying the Holy Spirit’s convictions.

 

The Hall of Faith

The Hall of Faith is a collection of famous heroes from the Old Testament who faithfully followed the Lord and were obedient to His calling, even if they did not see the fulfillment of what God promised. It takes faith to do something without knowing what the outcome will be. In the Hebrews 11 “Hall of Faith,” we see examples of people who demonstrated trust and obedience because of their faith in God.

 

Noah (Hebrews 11:7)

Noah prepared for a flood even though he had no idea what it would be like. God had warned him of the coming disaster, so by faith, Noah built an ark and stored provisions for himself and his family. God rewarded his faith by preserving his family and providing for them after the flood. 

 

Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-10)

When God called Abraham to move to an unknown land, Abraham obeyed in faith. He trusted God to show him the way and reveal the details he needed. God promised to give him a son and make his descendants as numerous as the stars. He lived to see his son but did not live to see all of his descendants. He had to have faith that God would fulfill what He promised.

 

Sarah (Hebrews 11:11-12)

God promised Sarah she would conceive and bear a son in her old age. Although she initially laughed at the thought of bearing a child, she believed God would be faithful to fulfill His promise to her. Because of their faith, Abraham and Sarah became the parents of many nations. 

 

3 Tips to Help You Grow Your Faith

Developing practical ways to grow your faith can be overwhelming. Here are three easy ways to take small steps toward growing your faith.

  • Make small changes.

What are your spiritual goals? Consider making a list of goals you want to achieve to help deepen your relationship with God. These goals could include memorizing verses, reading your Bible daily, or finding a mentor to teach you what investing in a personal relationship with Jesus looks like. Making a list of 3-5 simple goals you want to complete in the last part of this year will help you stay on track with your faith and make small changes that leave a lasting impact. 

  • Step out of your comfort zone.

Is God convicting you to step outside your comfort zone in any area? Maybe He is asking you to increase your tithe from 5% to 10% of your income. He might be prompting you to volunteer with a different ministry or take an evangelism class to learn how to share your faith with others. Whatever He asks you to do, you can trust He has a plan to grow and refine your faith if you are obedient. Obey His promptings and see what He does with your faithfulness! 

  • Pray about everything.

Prayer is how we communicate with God. We should pray and ask Him for wisdom in all areas of our lives, from our finances to our relationships to our daily drive to work or school. If you are struggling to have faith and feel beaten down by the enemy’s attacks, tell God about your struggle. Ask Him for boldness and confidence, and then do what He asks you to do. The enemy will try to keep you captive by making you doubt whether you should do what God asks. Don’t let him win! Share your struggles with God and let your faith in Him spur you to obedience and action.

 

Takeaway

Your faith is marked by what you do and how you live. According to James, faith without works is dead. Your actions should demonstrate your faith. If God asks you to confess hidden sin, move to a different job, or give up an addiction, you must have faith in His sovereignty and perfection to follow through and be obedient. Memorize the Bible verses about faith we shared at the beginning and ask for accountability from your community group or mentors when you struggle to do what God has asked you to do. He will reward your obedience as you walk in faith.