In 1 Tim 6:11 and 2 Tim 2:22, Paul urges his son in faith, Timothy, to follow/seek after several virtues among them faith.
Faith can be broadly classified into three:
1. Common Faith
Faith is a built in part of all humans. Believers and non-believers alike, we all believe.
We express common faith even outside spiritual affairs. A good example is when you board a bus and put your life into the hands of a stranger without any questions.
2. Saving Faith
This is the kind of faith that brings men to Christ Jesus. It is also called believing faith.
We first believe that God exists and He has a plan for our salvation. After which we say yes to Him.
3. Faith as a fruit
It is better known as faithfulness. It is the quality of being loyal in character, and service to God. It is because of being faithful to God, that we will be found worthy to enter heaven.
The scriptures define faith as "confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1
There are two types of faith that we can possess as believers.
1. Heart Faith
The kind of faith where you express full confidence in God. It is spirit based and not based on physical senses.
The father of faith, Abraham, had this type of faith when God made the promise of an heir to him. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith. Those that possess heart faith are not influenced by circumstances or past experiences.
2. Sense Faith
The kind of faith where your belief is evidence based. You basically allow your thoughts and emotions to affect the confidence you ought to have.
As much as Thomas wanted to belive that Jesus had risen, he needed evidence.
We shall outline four types of faith that are distinguished by four Latin words.
1. Assencus Faith
This is faith as a BELIEF.
As believers, we believe in Christ Jesus and what He is all about. There are people that believe in other gods. Assencus is simply the acceptance that something is true or real.
The opposite is doubt and disbelief.
2. Fiducia Faith
This is faith as TOTAL TRUST. The total reliance on God where a believer is never anxious about anything; their trust in God is radical.
With fiducia type of faith, one has no side plans that they could have as back up incase God goes silent on them or does not come through.
Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego had their total trust in God. They did not negotiate. All they knew was WHO their trust was in. They were faith full.
The opposite is worry, mistrust or anxiety.
3. Fidelitas Faith
This is LOYAL faith. It is characterised by faithfulness and loving God with all your heart.
Please note that a faithfull man is different from a faithful man.
A man of faith (faith full) has a vision while a faithful man has direction .
Therefore, a faithful man of faith has a vision and direction.
A faithful person is loyal and adheres to something firmly.
A faith full person is full of faith literally.
It is possible for a man to have vision with no direction and viceversa.
It is the commitment of ourselves at the deepest level. It is purity in faith.
Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego were loyal to God.
The opposite is infidelity and unfaithfulness.
4. Visio Faith
This is visionary faith. It is a way of seeing the whole measure of God.
According to Matt 17:20, with faith as small as a mustard seed, you can tell a mountain to move from point A to point B and it obeys.
Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego possessed all the four types of faith mentioned above. They believed in God as their God, trusted Him, were loyal to Him and had the visionary faith.
Faith is therefore, making the invisible visible. It is the belief and full conviction that something is sure.
The assurance of God's Word and all that He has done. With faith, you create something out of nothing.
For instance you can have faith that you will get married within a certain duration of time, with no one in the picture yet.
Believing alone, however, is not enough.
James 2:19 records that even demons believe that there is one God and shudder.
Actually, faith without action is dead. James 2:17 'In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.'