The Biblical View of Faith:
The Difference Between Faith and Mere Belief
Excerpted from The King James Version Defended by Edward F. Hills (1912-1981)
Click for music in a new window
What is the difference between faith and doubting? Many Christians are unable to answer this question because they confuse divine, God-given faith with mere animal or human belief. Animal belief arises spontaneously out of habit. If you put your dog's food in a certain bowl, he will soon believe that this is the place to go when hungry. But if you stop putting food in the bowl, his belief will begin to give place to doubt and will eventually cease. Our human beliefs likewise arise involuntarily out of our experience. For example, unless we are very ill or in great danger, we cannot help believing that we will be alive tomorrow, because this has always been our experience. Yet we cannot be sure. So when we believe anything , we partly doubt it, and when we doubt anything we partly believe it.
But our faith in God is different from all our other beliefs. For otherwise this faith would be in part a doubting, and our thinking would be no better than a dog's. God is the Truth, the Supreme Reality on which all other realities depend. A God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He (Deut. 32:4). And because God is most real, we must believe in Him as such. We must let nothing else be more real to us than God. For this is faith! Anything less than this would be doubting. We must make God and Jesus Christ His Son the starting point of all our thinking.
We see, then, the difference between the carnally minded man and the spiritually minded man. The carnally minded man begins his thinking with something other than God and then believes in God merely as a probability or a possibility. Hence he cannot distinguish between believing and doubting. All his beliefs are doubtful. The spiritual man takes God and Jesus Christ His Son as the starting point of all his thinking.