The following is a comment I made on Rose's Reasonings.
Trust and believe are synonyms. Trust denotes belief in a certain proposition having to do with the reliability of a thing or person. It is not some element beyond belief. For instance, if I were to say that I trust the babysitter I could equally state it in this propositional form:
I believe that the babysitter is qualified and reliable to take care of my children.
When we speak of trust, there may be some form of emotional element attached to it, but that is a secondary matter that comes by way of the results, not being part and parcel with the action of faith.
First off, we must realize that believing the facts concerning Christ's passion, Person, and resurrection is not salvific! It is when one believes in Jesus that he has eternal life. But what does it mean to believe in Jesus? I guess we could say that believing in Jesus is trust in Him. But in every realm where trust is mentioned, there is a context. I don't trust the babysitter to do my taxes nor do I trust the airline pilot to make a medical diagnosis.
I trust the babysitter for the well-being of my children on my night out.
I trust the pilot for my well-being during travel.
Every belief or trust can be denoted by propositional language, and apart from belief in a proposition, faith/trust does not occur. Each instance of faith/trust can be expressed in propositional form. Here are some sets illustrating my point:
A) I trust in the airline pilot.
A) I believe that the airline pilot is able and qualified to properly fly this aircraft and to get me to my destination safely.
B) I trust in the babysitter.
B) I believe that the babysitter is able and qualified to care for my children and keep them safe when I am out for the evening.
C) I trust in Jesus (or equally, I believe in Jesus)
C) I believe what Jesus has promised He is able, willing, authorized, qualified, and desirous to perform.
The gospel message states that anyone who believes in Jesus has eternal life. The moment that one believes in Jesus (as in C above) he has everlasting life. Therefore, one knows if he has placed his reliance or trust in Jesus (in the sense of believing that Jesus is able, authoratative, qualified, reliable, desirous, etc.. to perform what He promised); and because he:
1) Knows he believed in Jesus
2) Jesus promises eternal life to the one who believes in Him
3) He knows he has everlasting life.
There is no "personal" act of trust beyond an act of faith. This is nonsense and unbiblical. There can be no case made to state that saving faith is a combination of belief + trust. Reliance is not an emotion and ethereal object. Reliance is faith in propositional truth.
For instance, Let's say I have an infant who has never been babysat before: after several weeks of going through interviews and reading resumes and calling references, a single babysitter shines above the rest. Her credentials are impeccable, her experience is broad, her references all check out, etc... This convinced me that she is reliable. I now believe in that babysitter. But again, what do I mean about that? Let us break it down again.
Based upon the persuading evidence of her credentials, experience, references, etc., I now believe that this babysitter is able and qualified to care for my children! Faith (or belief or trust) in the babysitter was the passive result of becoming convinced/persuaded as to the reliability of the babysitter.
But something happens the moment I am convinced/persuaded of that proposition:
1) I feel relief!
2) This babysitter has impressed me and I can act upon my new found confidence and hire her
3) A relationship initiates which makes the act of trust (which is the passive result of becoming persuaded as to the reliability of the babysitter) seem to have a "personal" element to it, but in reality it is just a resultant effect.
But we must not
confuse the act of trust/belief/faith (they are all synonyms!!
) with the "feelings", emotions, subjective mindsets, and commitments that may result from the act of reliance upon another. When we do so we not only err, but we destroy objective assurance as well. How are we to determine how to guage this "personal" response to see if we have adequately met this extra step for salvation?
Really, this kind of theology is based upon a pop-psychology and not on logic and the bible. If you all have never read Gordon Clark's wonderful book "Faith and Saving Faith" you ought to give it a read to save yourselves from this kind of ethereality when discussing faith!
Notice this statement of Scripture:
Rom 4:20-22What is the "therefore" therefore in verse 22?
20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness."
Because Abraham was fully convinced that what God had promised He was also able to perform, it was reckoned to him as righteousness!
Abraham was eternally saved because he was fully persuaded/convinced that what God promised He was able to perform.
Can you get this?
This is propositional material. This is the description of trust/faith/belief in God in propositional language. This is an act of reliance stated in propositional form. Abraham considered God able, reliable, authorized, desirous, and willing to perform His promise, therefore
it was accounted unto him as righteousness.
"Whoever believes in Me has everlasting life"
This is the promise of Jesus!
When I believe that what Jesus has promised He is able to perform, the result is that I have everlasting life! Receiving everlasting life is a result of placing one's reliance upon Jesus. But again, I must drive home this point. How is that done!? It is by becoming fully persuaded/convinced of the reliablity of Jesus Christ. And again, this can be denoted in propositional language:
I believe that what Jesus promises He is able to perform, therefore as a result I have eternal life.
Lets not make it any more difficult than it really is.
The gospel message is to be preached far and wide so that it may increasingly invite men and women to believe in Jesus for eternal life. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God through the instrument of the evangelist to persuade and convince the lost to believe in Jesus for eternal life.
Let us not balk at this, belief is the passive result of being persuaded, and this notion is biblical.
23 So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. 24 And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved.