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"Belief" vs. "Knowledge"



The Key to KNOWING both God and Christ depends on one's sincerity and heart, AND, as Jesus so clearly stressed, separating religious tradition from God's Word~!

As a Catholic, I was programmed by the church to think of words like "Hell" only as the Church taught- thus did NOT know them.
If you are too afraid or offended at the challenge to QUESTION what you have been taught by men, you NEVER will....
Yes, the "internal knowing" that you are talking about is a much deeper level of "knowing" that can ever be gained from the teachings of someone else, regardless of that individual's supposed authority. Because we as Christians believe we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and have a relationship with the Father and the living Christ through prayer, this can approach the level of "knowing" that we are talking about when we say "I know my spouse." I still think (per my original post) that what we are talking about is more of a "strong conviction" than an actual knowing, but certainly what you are talking about is as close to actual knowing as we can get.


How does the bible define belief, or faith?
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Faith, belief, is alive on our inside. Knowledge is reiteration of cause for that faith as we realize our surroundings, our world, this reality, is due to a source. A creator, a power unseen, unfathomable to our limited understanding as humans.

The Greek root for belief is Pisteuo,
Strong's Concordance
pisteuó: to believe, entrust
Original Word: πιστεύω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: pisteuó
Phonetic Spelling: (pist-yoo'-o)
Short Definition: I believe, have faith in
Definition: I believe, have faith in, trust in; pass: I am entrusted with.

Charles Spurgeon's writings addressed this in, All of Grace.

Below is a part of that sermon.

What is faith? It is made up of three things—knowledge, belief, and trust.

Knowledge comes first. "How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? I want to be informed of a fact before I can possibly believe it..."

The mind goes on to believe that these things are true. The soul believes that God is, and that He hears the cries of sincere hearts; that the gospel is from God; that justification by faith is the grand truth which God hath revealed in these last days by His Spirit more clearly than before. Then the heart believes that Jesus is verily and in truth our God and Saviour, the Redeemer of men, the Prophet, Priest, and King of His people. All this is accepted as sure truth, not to be called in question...

So far you have made an advance toward faith; only one more ingredient is needed to complete it, which is trust. Commit yourself to the merciful God; rest your hope on the gracious gospel; trust your soul on the dying and living Saviour; wash away your sins in the atoning blood; accept His perfect righteousness, and all is well. Trust is the lifeblood of faith; there is no saving faith without it.

His summary:
Faith is believing that Christ is what He is said to be, and that He will do what He has promised to do, and then to expect this of Him.
Aug 19, 2005
Faith is to believe without evidence. Knowledge is the confirmed or supported believes. Knowledge is thus ready to be conveyed as a human consensus.

We all know that black hole exists, however to 99% humans this is actually a belief with no evidence presented to them. We treat it as a fact simply because it is conveyed as a human consensus based on the credibility and reliability of our scientists. Our scientists are acting as a middle man or eye-witness between the truth and humans in majority.

We take knowledge mostly by faith. It is a process of conveying and believing. You thus need to preach and take the gospel with faith, because God (not man) knows that these are the two factors for a truth to convey among humans.

During your school age, you have lab classes for chemistry or physics, which allow you take knowledge by evidence. In other times you gain knowledge by believing in what is said in text books.
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Summer Rose (Methodist and New J.C Hammer lol)
Dec 29, 2017
A recent thread on the Theology forum that was closed before I could comment on it had touched on the difference between “belief” and “knowledge.” This is one of my particular areas of interest.

One can certainly have belief without knowledge. One can believe something that is simply not true. One has no knowledge it is true because it is in fact not true. One's belief is simply false.(

Or one can believe something that is in fact true, but for reasons that are false. The fact that what one believes is actually true is a matter of pure happenstance. One does not have knowledge, or even a belief that is justified. One has only an unjustified belief that happens to be true.

One can also have a belief that is entirely justified without actually knowing it is true. If one's mental faculties are operating properly and one has a sufficient basis in experience or evidence for what one believes, then one's belief is justified. It is not necessarily true, and one cannot say that one has knowledge it is true, but at least one is justified in believing it.

James 2:19 (NASB) states, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” Since the demons occupy the same (spiritual) level of reality as God, they may both believe and actually know that God is one. They know this in approximately the same direct way that I know my wife is a woman or my Ford is in my garage.

The interesting question is the sense in which we as Christians know God. I may believe in God, and my belief may be justified, but do I know Him? In what way (if any) do I know Him that the demons James is talking about do not?

As a Christian, I believe I am actually indwelt by the Holy Spirit. I know God, or at least believe I do, through the relationship I have with Him via reading His word, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and prayer.

In one sense, my “knowledge” of God may be less solid than that of the demons, who have direct knowledge of His existence and monistic nature that I don't. In another sense, my “knowledge” of God is far solider than that of the demons, since I have (or so I believe) an ongoing father-child relationship with Him while the demons have only their superficial knowledge of His existence and nature.

I think it is more accurate to say that Christians “believe” rather than “know.” Our experience of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit and communing with God through prayer strengthens the foundation of our belief and makes it supremely well-justified to us, but it is not really “knowledge” in the sense in which we ordinarily use the term or that makes sense to a non-believer.

This is why James talks of faith. Even when I have the solidest possible foundation of evidence and my belief is justified to the nth degree – for example, when I step onto an aluminum ladder that I have carefully examined – there is still an element of faith. I do not know the ladder will support me unless and until I make the tiny leap of faith of actually stepping onto it.

With Christianity, the leaps of faith are much larger – the leap that God actually exists and the additional one that, if He does exist, He is the God of Christianity. After we take these leaps and enter into a relationship with Him, we may use the language of “knowledge,” but in my view what we're really talking about is “a much stronger foundation for belief.”

I at least do not say that I know God exists or that, if He does, He is the God of Christianity. I say I believe these things. I demonstrate my faith, to God and to others, by trying to live my life as though what I believe is true, even though I cannot say I know it is.

Even as a Christian, I don’t find it convincing when fellow Christians speak of “knowing” things they really don’t know (especially when they suggest that those who don't use this confident language of "knowing" are somehow lesser Christians). I think it is fair, however, to suggest to a non-believer that he or she may, after committing to Christ, eventually arrive at a much higher level of certainty of belief (through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, reading God’s word, and prayer) than seems possible in his or her current state of unbelief.

My closest analogy is with my direct experience of some paranormal phenomena. In my mind, I know they are real.

This is why some Near Death Experiencers have a disdain for non-experiencers. They know (they say) while non-experiencers merely believe (so if there is any area of disagreement, it's the non-experiencers who must be wrong).

I could say the same about the paranormal phenomena I have experienced. However, my experiences are not "knowledge" for anyone but me. They give me a very strong foundation for belief, and the beliefs I hold are justified by these experiences and a wealth of other evidence. But even in regard to these phenomena, I must acknowledge that I do not really know. I could have been fooled, my senses may not have been operating properly, or there may be an explanation entirely different from the one I attach to what I experienced. So, as with God, I never claim to know.
Finally, somebody who understands me.

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