1trust \ˈtrəst\ noun
[Middle English, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse traust trust; akin to Old English trēowe faithful—more at TRUE] 13th century
1 a: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
b: one in which confidence is placed
2 a: dependence on something future or contingent: HOPE
b: reliance on future payment for property (as merchandise) delivered: CREDIT 〈bought furniture on trust〉
3 a: a property interest held by one person for the benefit of another
b: a combination of firms or corporations formed by a legal agreement especially: one that reduces or threatens to reduce competition
4 archaic: TRUSTWORTHINESS
5 a (1): a charge or duty imposed in faith or confidence or as a condition of some relationship
(2): something committed or entrusted to one to be used or cared for in the interest of another
b: responsible charge or office
c: CARE, CUSTODY 〈the child committed to her trust〉—in trust: in the care or possession of a trustee
2trust verb intransitive
1 a: to place confidence: DEPEND 〈trust in God〉 〈trust to luck〉
b: to be confident: HOPE
2: to sell or deliver on credit verb transitive
1 a: to commit or place in one’s care or keeping: ENTRUST
b: to permit to stay or go or to do something without fear or misgiving
2 a: to rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of: BELIEVE 〈trust a rumor〉
b: to place confidence in: rely on 〈a friend you can trust〉
c: to hope or expect confidently 〈trusts that the problem will be resolved soon〉
3: to extend credit to—trust•abil•i•ty \ˌtrəs-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun—trust•able \ˈtrəs-tə-bəl\ adjective—trust•er noun—trust•ing•ly \ˈtrəs-tiŋ-lē\ adverb—trust•ing•ness noun
State wholly and steadfastly in God.
Faith lies at the very heart of Christianity, and its importance for today’s Christian is clear from the fact that Protestantism was born through the rediscovery of the great words “The just shall live by faith” (Rom 1:17 KJV).
Faith in the OT and NT carries several meanings.
It may mean simple trust in God or in the Word of God, and at other times faith almost becomes equivalent to active obedience.
It may also find expression in the affirmation of a creedal statement.
Thus it also comes to mean the entire body of received Christian teaching or truth.
So in Colossians 2:7, the term suggests something to be accepted as a whole and embodied in personal life.
In 2 Timothy 4:7 Paul witnesses to having “kept the faith.”
In the OT, faith first involved God as the Creator, Sustainer of life, and the Controller of history.
Psalms such as 19 and 24 are evidence of the trust in God as the Creator, whose sovereign power continues to operate in the creation.
The OT also strongly emphasizes faith as confidence in God’s covenant or in the covenant God has made with Abraham and his descendants.
The call of Abraham and the promise that his descendants would be used in the history of redemption became the basis of the narratives of the OT, being seen as the working out of that covenant.
Once the nation Israel is brought into being, God sustains and protects it.
The land which was promised to Abraham and his descendants remains theirs.
The exodus from Egypt is a prominent indication that God is at work restoring his people to the Promised Land.
The obedience of the people of God as the proper expression of faith is seen clearly in the OT.
Without seeing God, his people believe and obey him.
Abraham leaves his native land to go into unknown territory.
The people of Israel leave Egypt following the leadership of God to a land they cannot see.
The promise of God gives them courage to possess the land that has been promised to them.
After the exodus the covenant of Abraham was confirmed with the people of Israel by the sprinkling of blood (Ex 24:6, 7).
There was to be strict obedience to God’s commands as an expression of faith.
This response of human faith to Jehovah’s faithfulness was national and collective.
There also were, however, commands to and instances of personal faith.
Not only the narrative and legal portions of the OT, but also the poetic and prophetic writings emphasize faith.
The Psalms abound in expressions of personal confidence in Jehovah even in dark times.
Habbakuk points out that “the righteous shall live by his faith” (2:4).
From such instances it is clear that as Jehovah’s education of Israel proceeded, the matter of faith in God’s faithfulness became more and more a matter of individual and personal response, and it is in the prophets that several ingredients such as trust, obedience, fear, and certainty blend into the understanding of such personal faith.
As over against the OT, where the accent is on the faithfulness of God, in the NT the emphasis is placed on the active, responding faith of the hearer to the promised, final revelation in the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Both verb and noun regularly describe the adequate response of man to Jesus’ word and deed and to the gospel of the primitive church.
The Synoptic Gospels.
The most striking feature of the synoptic Gospels is the use of faith without identifying its object.
“If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed” (Mt 17:20).
“Your faith has saved you” (Lk 7:50).
“When Jesus saw their faith” (Mk 2:5).
Jesus is portrayed as one who by his work and word opens the door to faith and makes faith possible.
The question is not whether the faith is in Jesus or in the Father; the implication is undoubtedly both, but as with every true bearer of the Word of God the eye of faith is turned to the One who sends.
The restored portion of the synagogue at Capernaum, the city where Jesus saw the faith of the men who lowered the paralytic through the roof of a house (Mk 2:5).
On more than one occasion Jesus denies the request for a miracle to substantiate his words (Mt 12:38, 39; 16:1–4).
Faith is response to the Word alone without any supporting props.
No sign is to be given but the sign of Jonah.
In the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19–31) Jesus denies the request for the spectacular and insists that the hearer must respond to the word given to him (cf.
The Word demands self-surrender and commitment.
Hence, the very nature of the Word and of faith becomes an obstacle to the proud and the powerful.
Faith is the medium by which the power of God is made visible.
It moves mountains, heals the sick, and is the means of entrance into the kingdom.
It may be mingled with doubt, as with the father who sought healing for his son (“I believe; help my unbelief!”
[Mk 9:24]), or as with John the Baptist in prison, who, even with his doubts, was confirmed by Jesus as the greatest of the offspring of woman (Mt 11:2–15).
Peter’s (and the other disciples’) perception was very faulty, but Jesus affirms Peter’s confession as the foundation stone of the church.
The synoptic Gospels portray the early faith of the disciples in all its limitations and weaknesses, yet it is still faith in that it is their positive response to Jesus’ word and work.
The Fourth Gospel.
Faith is an especially significant concept in the Gospel of John, though the word (in the Greek) occurs only as a verb.
Quite often the reference has to do with the acceptance that something is true, that is, simple credence, or belief: “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me” (Jn 14:11); “If you had believed Moses, you would believe me” (Jn 5:46).
This is consistent with the importance of “truth” in the fourth Gospel.
also Jn 8:24; 11:27, 42; 16:27, 30; 17:8.)
Even more significant is the special expression “to believe into” in the sense of putting one’s trust into another.
The particular form of the expression is without parallel before the fourth Gospel and may well express the strong sense of personal trust in the eternal Word made flesh.
In John 3:16 whoever puts trust in him has eternal life.
Those who put their trust in him are given power to become sons of God—to be born of God (Jn 1:12).
They will never thirst (6:35); they will live, even though they die (11:25).
In other places John speaks of trust or faith in an absolute sense, that is, without referring to the one in whom trust is placed.
In John 11:15 Jesus arrives after the death of Lazarus and is glad “in order that you might believe.”
The outcome is going to be faith.
Similarly in the prologue (Jn 1:7), John the Baptist bears witness in order that through him all might believe.
As Jesus satisfies the doubt of Thomas concerning the resurrection, he says, “Have you believed because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (20:29).
In these and other passages the fundamental outcome of Jesus’ witness to himself is trust.
Faith and knowledge are closely related.