As an evangelical youth worker, when speaking to groups of teens, children, or adults I will frequently exhort them to place their “faith” in Jesus Christ alone. Only He can save us from what truly we need to be saved from. What do I (and so many others who use this biblical word) mean by “faith”? Often, I will mention the word “trust” in connection with the word “faith,” expressing the idea that faith in Jesus involves trusting Him.

But, that raises the question: what is meant by the word “trust”? Recently I came across a helpful blog post by R.C. Sproul explaining three aspects of saving “faith.” He explains them using three Latin words from the Reformation days. Here is a very brief summary:

    1. notitia: “believing in the data or the information”
    2. assensus: “persuaded of the truthfulness of the content”
    3. fiducia: commitment of the mind and heart to “put my life in the lap of Jesus”

In other words, faith in Jesus includes the following:

  • knowing the information that He died for our sins, rose again, etc.
  • believing this information is factually true and personally relevant
  • committing with our mind and heart to trust Him alone as our Savior and follow Him.

Read the whole post by Sproul to get a better understanding of biblical, saving faith.

So, next time you here me say “place your faith in Jesus,” hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of what I mean.

I welcome questions for further clarity. Smile