Faith – Apistos – Faithless

Faith 2As mentioned in my introduction to faith post, I was in Sunday School class a while back and had the opportunity to discuss Christian maturity with the teacher, and as you may have guessed, we wandered off into the subject of faith.

Faith

He had told me there are a number of Greek words in the New Testament that are translated “faith” in our English Bible, and I let him know I thought otherwise.

So I came home and did a quick study, using Blue Letter Bible web site.  The following table gives a summary of the New Testament Greek words used when describing our English word “faith”.

Strongs # Greek Transliterated English Equivalent
New Testament (Greek) for “faith”
G571 ἄπιστος apistos that believe not, unbelieving, faithless, unbeliever, infidel, thing incredible, which believe not
G1680 ἐλπίς elpis hope, faith
G3640 ὀλιγόπιστος oligopistos of little faith
G4102 πίστις pistis faith, assurance, believe, belief, them that believe, fidelity
G4103 πιστός pistos faithful, believe, believing, true, faithfully, believer, sure not tr
G6066 ὀλιγοπιστία oligopistia littleness of faith

This post will consider Apistos, ἄπιστοςNo Faith

Strong’s Definitions
ἄπιστος ápistos, ap’-is-tos; from G1 (as a negative particle) and G4103; (actively) disbelieving, i.e. without Christian faith (specially, a heathen); (passively) untrustworthy (person), or incredible (thing):—that believeth not, faithless, incredible thing, infidel, unbeliever(-ing).

Apistos

This is the root word discussed earlier, with the prefix of “a” attached.  Having this prefix, negates the word, or in other words, creates the opposite of the term.
Consider a man who calls himself a theist – one who believes in God.  Place an “a” in front of this term and you find Richard Dawkins. (an athiest).

Faithless

The first time I find this word is in Matthew 17Faithless

Mat 17:17

And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.”

Often this term is used of the religious men and women living when the Messiah walked among us.  It isn’t clear, at least for me, whether the faithless generation Jesus is upset about is the multitudes in verse 14 or the disciples in verse 16.  (I’m leaning its the disciples – gulp!)  No matter – the point is that no faith was evident, Jesus was upset and it is the disciples that could not heal the lunatic.
I find it instructive that if Jesus was referring to the disciples, and I think He was, right after the rebuke, the disciples came to Him, asking of thier failure.
They were teachable – He was of the nature that He could rebuke and still find in His disciples a willingness to come to Him.  Maybe the disciples were extremely humble (really Carl?) or maybe, just maybe, the disciples understood the grace He lived that any hurtful truth did not negate His deep love for His followers – They knew He  spoke truth, and that He was full of grace – Who else could they go to?
Do not be faithless!
Exercise the gift of faith that resides in you and trust in the only One who truly deserves your  love and life.  Consider the gospel of the grace of God – the sacrifice of His only Son and that while we were enemies of both the Son and the Father! 
Do not reject love! 

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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

One thought on “Faith – Apistos – Faithless

  1. I always find it interesting that Jesus always referred to his chosen church at the time as faithless and like you said here, even the disciples were rebuked as faithless. At the same time the centurion was commended as having great faith.

    I think Jesus would say the same things if He came to the earth today. We get so comfortable sitting in a pew and trust that because our names are on the books that were good, when really we have a great lack of faith.

    I know I need a stronger and more enduring faith. The disciples were teachable, and because of this, Jesus was able to use them to build the Christian church. I think one of the most important things that we can do is always make sure we are teachable.

    God Bless and thanks for your consistent effort to write. Sometimes I find it hard to even do one article a week, but I’m hoping to start devoting more time to writing.

    Like

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