1.4 Faith as mankind's response to the revelations of God

Faith is one of the basic realities of human life. It does not refer primarily to a particular doctrine or view of the world, but rather to a more or less well-founded conviction, in other words, something held to be true as contrasted with verifiable knowledge. Furthermore, "faith" in the non-religious sense signifies a subjective attitude of confidence in someone.

All people believe, regardless of whether they profess a religious doctrine or not. Their way of life is predominantly defined by that which they believe. In this respect, an individual's personal beliefs also shape his personality.

In the religious sphere, faith is manifested when a person binds himself to a divine being or principle.

The foundation and content of Christian faith is the triune God. The belief in God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has been made accessible to mankind by Jesus Christ.

Fundamental statements about faith are recorded in Hebrews 11: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (verse 1). Here it is emphasised that faith is indispensable for entering into the proximity of God: "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (verse 6).

However, it remains an act of grace on the part of God whenever a human being finds his way to Him through faith. Believers should recognise faith as a gift, and put it into practice in their lives (see 4.2.1.5).

See also