Living in prison I began to see that prisoners experience the concept of faith to a greater degree than most people in a free society. In prison there are limits and lines of demarcation. A prisoner has faith that if he disobeys the rules he will suffer severe consequences. Therefore he rarely breaks the rules. A prisoner has faith that if he crosses the perimeter line or climbs the fence he will be shot. This produces obedience and he does not cross the line or climb the fence. A prisoner has faith in the system that if he behaves in a certain manner he will be rewarded and/or paroled earlier. His faith leads him to obey and perform certain acts.
In reading the Bible I discovered that this is precisely the way faith in God is to be understood. I am to practice “obedience that comes from faith.” Romans 1:5. Romans 1:17 states, “The righteous will live by faith.”
Romans 1:17 is interesting. Paul is quoting from the Old Testament. I went back to the Old Testament to see what light could be shed on this word “faith”. Habakkuk said, “But the righteous will live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4. The word “his” is not referring to a deity, but to you and me. That is interesting. You and I will live (eternally) by “our” faith. The word faith also had an interesting concept. In the Strong’s Concordance, the definition for this word faith is as follows:
“faithfulness, truth, faithfully, faithful, faith, stability, steady, truly, verily.”
Numbers 5:6 1 Chronicles 10:13, 14
Numbers 12:7 Romans 1:5
Hebrews 11 James 2:22
Revelation 2:19 Revelation 14:12