This is to introduce my “Faith Studies” series and offer a thank you to Northwest Connection Publisher JoLinn Kampstra for your invitation. These studies are based on the belief that the only truth about the true standing of men and women before Creator God is found in Scripture, that is, the 66 books of the Bible, all written by Jews, Romans 3:2 who were inspired by the Holy Spirit, 2 Timothy 3:16. References will be from the King James Version (KJV) because that’s what I’ve used for almost 70 years. Of course, the reader is invited to reference the translation with which they are comfortable.
The Bible is a commentary on itself. In order to understand it, Scripture must be compared with Scripture, consideration given to the immediate context in which a word or passage occurs, all while depending on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 2:14 – 15. In these studies, I rely heavily on J. B. Smith’s Greek-English Concordance to the New Testament (NT), which uses numbers assigned to each Greek word in the Greek manuscript/s from which the English NT is drawn. This concordance lists the various English words translated from each Greek word. For instance, the English word “faith” occurs 240 times in the KJV NT. It is translated once from the Greek word elpis (word #1680) out of the 54 times elpis occurs in the NT, while the other 53 occurrences are translated “hope.” The other 239 times the word “faith” occurs in the NT are translated from the Greek word “pis’tis” (G4002). However, in addition to the 239 times “pis’tis” is translated “faith,” it is also translated once each as “assurance,” “believe,” “belief,” “them that believe” and “fidelity.” Thus, the Holy Spirit inspired the NT writers to use the Greek word “pis’tis” a total of 244 times.
This study of faith began many years ago because of questions I had about the way it was being used. My method of study is, basically, to trace the word faith as well as related words through the Bible. A few key verses demonstrating the importance of faith: “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 11:6; “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 1:17; “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2. And of course the Holy Spirit’s definition of faith: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1.
These articles will begin in the Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Romans, that being the capstone or pinnacle in God’s teaching of salvation by His Grace through faith. As evidence to the fact faith is the theme of Romans, the word faith occurs 40 times in Romans, the most frequent in any NT book.
With this brief introduction, my hope and prayer is that these studies will stimulate a deeper interest in readers to study God’s Word.
Jim retired from the Phoenix, AZ Police Department after over 30 years of service, his last assignments were as a Major over the Detective Division and then the Internal Affairs Bureau for 11 years. He subsequently served as Police Chief at the City of Peoria, AZ Police Department after which he started his own Private Detective Agency, with which he is still involved. His avocation is the investigation of Biblical faith.