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Believers

A "believer" can be defined as "a member who accepts something as true." Although their original meanings differed (faith was an intellectual process, while belief involved action), belief and faith are interrelated, in that, from a Christian perspective, a believer is defined as "someone whose actions are based on their faith." The English word faith came from the Latin word fides (from which also came fidelity - an act of being faithful) which meant "active loyalty to whom one is bound by promise or duty." True believers don't just "talk the talk," they "walk the walk" - see The Way.

Believers Believers and Unbelievers

Many became believers in the early days of the church:

"And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits [see Casting Out Demons], and they were all healed" (Acts 5:14-16 RSV)
Note: while many miracles were performed by Peter and all of the other apostles, Peter and the others made it very clear that the power was not their own: "why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk?" (Acts 3:12 RSV)

From ancient times to the present, believers and unbelievers are often found within the same family:

"To the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner desires to separate, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. For God has called us to peace." (1 Corinthians 7:12-15 RSV)

Speaking in tongues (i.e. other languages - see Speaking In Tongues) was a tool for bringing the Gospel message to unbelievers, while Prophecy was useful only if and after they became believers, who would believe the Truth:

"Thus, tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers." (1 Corinthians 14:22 RSV)

While believers should make every effort to help unbelievers understand, believers were not to unnecessarily associate with unbelievers, who would drag them down, morally and religiously:

"What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? What agreement has the Temple of God with idols? For we are the Temple of the living God; as God said, "I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:15-18 RSV)

Fact Finder: (a) Does true faith, being a true believer, involve active obedience to the Truth? (b) Is faith without "works," or action (which to a Christian means obedience to God's Law - see Works) a dead, useless faith?
(a) 1 Peter 1:21-22 (b) James 2:17-26


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