From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

TRUST. —That personal trust is the innermost essence of the faith that God requires, is almost universally recognized by Protestant theologians. Only in rare instances may one still meet with the pronounced intellectualistic view which regards faith as the assent to a sum of doctrines. On the other hand, one may note here and there a tendency towards the opposite extreme—to ascribe a value to faith as a subjective state without special regard to the reality of its ground and content. But the one view is as un-Evangelical and un-Biblical as the other.

When Bellarmin ( de Justif. i. 4) declares: ‘haeretici fidem fiduciam esse definiunt; Catholici fidem in intellectu sedem habere volunt,’ he states accurately enough the fundamental distinction between the Catholic and the Evangelical conception of faith, and yet in his discussion he betrays a fatal misapprehension concerning the latter. Protestants do define faith as fiducia (trust); but this is not a bare and empty trust—the inanis haereticorum fiducia against which the Council of Trent impertinently protested. A trust that is merely subjective is indeed groundless and empty, and therefore worse than worthless (cf.  1 Corinthians 15:2;  1 Corinthians 15:17-20). Faith has no value per se  ; its value lies solely in its object. If the object is unreal, the faith is vanity. Or if the object, though real, is not strong enough to bear up him that trusts himself to it, his confidence can bring him only loss. It is not enough that a man believes; the vital question is, whom he believes. We may not divide men into the two classes: those who believe and those who do not. For in varying degrees of confidence all men believe (trust). He who doubts God, believes men or the spirit of this world. Confidence in any object other than God, who alone has power over sin and death, could not in any case have saving value. And even so our faith would not be ‘saving,’ unless God freely purposed to save. And man, though free in the act of faith, is utterly unable to produce it of himself. Only the revelation of His grace can call forth and ground faith in God. Any possible confidence toward God not grounded in the revelation of His purpose is not faith, but presumption.

When it is said that Christian faith is personal trust in God in and through Jesus Christ, one need not conclude that ‘faith’ and ‘trust’ are exactly equivalent terms. The thought is only that the deepest essence of faith is trust, and that there is no Christian faith that is not personal trust in God. An examination, however, of the passages in the NT in which these words occur will clearly show that even here—to say nothing of later ecclesiastical usage—faith, formally regarded , is the more comprehensive term.

‘Two factors ( Momente ) are to be distinguished in faith, one relating to the object, the knowledge of God mediated through Christ, the other relating to the state of the subject, the trust in salvation resting upon Christ. But the two cannot be separated from each other, since the Christian knowledge of God arises only in and with the trust in salvation. To the distinction between these two sides of faith correspond the two formulae fides quae creditur = the content of faith, and fides qua creditur = the attitude of faith. Only it should be kept in mind that the content of faith consists primarily not in a theologically formulated doctrine, but in the immediate beholding and understanding of the saving revelation itself’ (Kirn, art. ‘Glaube’ in PRE [Note: RE Real-Encyklopädie fur protest. Theologic und Kirche.] 3 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] ).

It is accordingly unwarrantable to speak of ‘a purely intellectual faith in God.’ The mere holding a doctrine to be true is not faith at all. Earlier dogmaticians divided the function of faith into three acts: notitia , knowledge, instruction in the facts and doctrines of Christianity; assensus , assent to the teaching; fiducia , personal trust. This view, however, is misleading; for faith, however many aspects it may have, is yet an integral thing, not formed by the synthesis of several acts. And

notitia and assensus have nothing to do with religious faith except as they are included in the fiducia . That saving trust does not arise without the hearing of the message of salvation (ἀκοή,  Romans 10:17) is self-evident and undisputed. On the other hand, the assensus , as the sure persuasion of the power of Christ as Redeemer and of the reality of the God who is above the world, is brought about only in and with the fiducia .… Only this one thing must remain unobscured, that the right and proper answer of man to the saving revelation that comes to him is the fiducia , and that out of it grows all certainty and knowledge of God and Divine things’ (Kirn).

Some, again, have attempted to draw a positive distinction between faith and trust, regarding faith as the receiving from God, and trust as the yielding of self to God. The essential characteristic of faith is indeed receptivity; but it is a mistake to suppose that the trustful yielding of self to God is anything more or other than the opening of the heart and life to His influence and control through the overmastering revelation of the grace of Christ. In other words, even the trustful devotion of self to God remains at bottom a receiving from God.

The attempt has been made (cf. esp. E [Note: Elohist.] . W. Mayer, Das christliche Gottvertrauen und der Glaube an Christus , 1899) to show that while Christ, according to the NT, is the object of ‘faith,’ only God is the object of the full ‘trust’ of the Christian. As Jesus, the Christ, revealing in word and deed the Father’s holy love, bears the offer of salvation to men, so through their faith in His revelation He brings men to the Father in trust. Trust in God is the consequence of faith in Christ. But can this view be consistently maintained? Faith in Christ—not as Prophet merely, but as the Bearer of salvation—is justified only as we have ground for the assurance that in Him God is dealing with us. So then faith in Christ is trust in the Father, and trust in the Father as revealed in Christ is also trust in the Son, the Bearer of salvation ( John 14:1 ff.). Certain it is that the writers of the NT saw in Christ more than Teacher and Example. Even as their exalted Lord He continued to be a personal Helper.

So long as the revelation of God’s grace was not yet complete in the sending forth of His Son and then of the Spirit of His Son ( Galatians 4:4-6), faith could not rise to its full measure. Before Christ the full conception of faith could not be reached. The word ‘trust’ occurs frequently in the Psalms and not seldom in certain other OT books. It does not, however, signify the perfect fellowship of the child of God, but only a reliance upon God’s faithfulness. The predominant idea in the trust of the OT was hope . There were heroes of faith before Christ, but their faith could not be perfect, for they had not received the object of their hope ( Hebrews 11:39-40) In Christ the filial disposition is established (cf. e.g.  Hebrews 1:1 ff.). And so fundamental and all-comprehensive was His work as Mediator of the New Covenant that He could be truly called ‘the author and perfecter of faith’ ( Hebrews 12:2). Only as men know God in Christ can they know what faith in its full sense is. The life of faith is communion with God in and through Christ, and the nerve of that communion is personal trust. Christian trust is reliance upon God, but not upon ‘God out of Christ.’ Neither can it be reliance upon Jesus except as the essential revelation of the Father.

Not unknown in Church history is a view of the redemptorial work of Christ which would make it consist in appeasing an angry God. According to this view Christ and not the Father is the Reconciler, God and not the world is reconciled. In such a case perfect childlike trust is not to be thought of. There would be no firm ground for it. If God has once changed His purpose, why should He not do so again? Only where God is manifest in Christ as the Reconciler of the world ( 2 Corinthians 5:19) can there be perfect security for time and eternity. Where Christ is thought of as having wrought a change in the will of God, men will with wavering hope implore Him to intercede with God on their behalf, and will perhaps also invoke the aid of many saints. Perfect assurance is not to be reached by this road.

Only as we have the Son do we have the Father ( John 14:6 ff.,  1 John 2:23-24), but we have the Son only because of the Father’s love ( John 3:16). Jesus knows the Father, and He teaches us to know Him. His life is the glorious example of trust in the Father’s love. But it is not through the contagious example of the ‘inner life’ of Jesus that men are led into perfect filial trust. He promised His disciples a perfect joy, which no one should take away ( John 16:20-24), but this was to come only after He should have been glorified. God’s boundless love for sinners must first be manifested in the cross of Christ ( Romans 5:8;  Romans 8:32). Yet even Christ’s dying and rising again on our behalf ( 2 Corinthians 5:15) is not the final proof of God’s love. God has also sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts ( Galatians 4:6,  Romans 8:14 ff.). The gift of the Spirit means the reality of communion in prayer, and the Spirit’s work in us is the pledge of our complete salvation at last (cf. e.g.  Romans 8:26,  2 Corinthians 5:5). To be rooted and grounded in the love of God, that one may be strengthened to know that love which passeth knowledge ( Ephesians 3:17 ff.); to know and have believed the love which God hath in us ( 1 John 4:16); and to keep ourselves in the love of God ( Judges 5:21)—this is the meaning of Christian trust.

Since the sovereign grace of God manifested in Jesus Christ is the only ground of our assurance, we must place no confidence in the flesh ( Philippians 3:3 ff.). The seed of Abraham or of Israel may not trust in this relation ( Matthew 3:9,  John 8:33 ff.,  Romans 2:28-29,  Galatians 3:28-29). Nor may we trust in works of righteousness ( e.g.  Romans 3:19 ff.,  Ephesians 2:9,  Titus 3:5), or in our good purpose, effort, or zeal ( e.g.  Romans 9:16;  Romans 10:6 ff.,  Philippians 3:6). Even the confession of Christ and the profession of faith will avail nothing without the vital union with Him in the faith that works by love ( Matthew 7:21 ff.,  James 2:14 ff.,  1 Corinthians 10:1-13,  Revelation 3:1). Moreover, not even what men call a good conscience can give security ( 1 Corinthians 4:3-4,  1 John 1:8 ff.). The wondrous fact of fellowship in the love of God is indeed a token of the life of God in us. And where in so ever our heart condemn us, we shall obtain assurance in the way of sincere obedience to the Spirit of love. God is greater than our heart—He can pardon and heal. And when by His grace our heart is set free from self-condemnation, our communion with God may be unbroken.

Upon the immovable foundation of the reconciliation of the world in Christ ( 2 Corinthians 5:14 ff.) the individual appropriates to himself the promise by faith. Thereby he experiences a present grace and rejoices in the sure hope of the glory of God ( Romans 5:1-2). Because he has the earnest of the Spirit—because God’s love has been shed abroad in his heart—he can even glory in tribulations ( Romans 5:3-5, cf.  Romans 12:12). Even bearing the cross and being crucified with Christ are his joy and glory ( Galatians 2:20;  Galatians 6:14,  Philippians 3:8 ff.). Out of the richness of the grace of this fellowship he can know that all things work together for his good, that is, for his salvation, and he is persuaded that nothing can separate him from the love of God which is in Christ. There is no power that can gainsay the loving will of the eternal God ( Romans 8:18-39). In every condition he proves the sufficiency of Christ’s grace ( e.g.  2 Corinthians 12:9), and by prayer and supplication finds that God’s peace, far surpassing all understanding of men, keeps guard over his heart and thoughts in Christ Jesus ( Philippians 4:6-7). Through faith he is kept in a hope sure and steadfast unto the final salvation which awaits him ( e.g.  1 Peter 1:3 ff.). But the sureness of the hope does not work carelessness. ‘Every one that hath this hope set on him purifieth himself even as he is pure’ ( 1 John 3:3). The true believer is ‘careful without care.’ Moreover, the grace of our fellowship works zeal in service ( 1 Corinthians 15:10). Only the Christian can enjoy perfect freedom from anxious care in order that he may devote himself fully to the work which God has given him. The past is under the blood and the future is secure in the promises of God (Tholuck). And because he sees in Christ the grand purpose of God in the redemption of the world and the security for the final accomplishment of that purpose, he cannot despair of the world any more than he can despair of himself. Because he knows the grace of Christ he can gladly accept his own lot in life, and ‘in the patience of hope and the labour of love’ serve and wait and watch ( Luke 12:35-36,  2 Corinthians 5:9-10).

Christian trust is a state of heart; yet it has seemed better to lay stress upon its ground and essential significance than upon its psychological aspects. Christian joy and peace are effects of a power beyond ourselves. Only God can give them. It is our part to make sure of our union with Christ, and then to see that we receive not the grace of God in vain ( 2 Corinthians 6:1). The full realization of the meaning of Christ’s promise of peace is not to be had at once. It is the goal of the path of trust. But if there is established the relation of such confidence in God that all our weaknesses, doubts, fears, and sins drive us to our sure Helper, the goal of perfect peace will surely be reached at last (cf.  Matthew 11:28-30,  Hebrews 4:16).

Literature.—The art. Faith is presupposed throughout, and also that of Dr. Warfield in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible. See also Drummond, Pax Vobiscum  ; Herrmann, Faith and Morals , and The Communion of the Christian with God  ; Kähler, Zur Lehre von der Versöhnung , and Der Lebendige Gott  ; J. G. Tasker, ‘Trust in God and Faith in Christ’ in ExpT [Note: xpT Expository Times.] xi. [1900] 490.

J. R. van Pelt.

Webster's Dictionary [2]

(1): ( n.) A business organization or combination consisting of a number of firms or corporations operating, and often united, under an agreement creating a trust (in sense 1), esp. one formed mainly for the purpose of regulating the supply and price of commodities, etc.; often, opprobriously, a combination formed for the purpose of controlling or monopolizing a trade, industry, or business, by doing acts in restraint or trade; as, a sugar trust. A trust may take the form of a corporation or of a body of persons or corporations acting together by mutual arrangement, as under a contract or a so-called gentlemen's agreement. When it consists of corporations it may be effected by putting a majority of their stock either in the hands of a board of trustees (whence the name trust for the combination) or by transferring a majority to a holding company. The advantages of a trust are partly due to the economies made possible in carrying on a large business, as well as the doing away with competition. In the United States severe statutes against trusts have been passed by the Federal government and in many States, with elaborate statutory definitions.

(2): ( n.) An equitable right or interest in property distinct from the legal ownership thereof; a use (as it existed before the Statute of Uses); also, a property interest held by one person for the benefit of another. Trusts are active, or special, express, implied, constructive, etc. In a passive trust the trustee simply has title to the trust property, while its control and management are in the beneficiary.

(3): ( v. i.) To be confident, as of something future; to hope.

(4): ( n.) An organization formed mainly for the purpose of regulating the supply and price of commodities, etc.; as, a sugar trust.

(5): ( a.) Held in trust; as, trust property; trustmoney.

(6): ( n.) Assured resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship, or other sound principle, of another person; confidence; reliance; reliance.

(7): ( n.) Credit given; especially, delivery of property or merchandise in reliance upon future payment; exchange without immediate receipt of an equivalent; as, to sell or buy goods on trust.

(8): ( n.) Assured anticipation; dependence upon something future or contingent, as if present or actual; hope; belief.

(9): ( n.) That which is committed or intrusted to one; something received in confidence; charge; deposit.

(10): ( n.) The condition or obligation of one to whom anything is confided; responsible charge or office.

(11): ( n.) That upon which confidence is reposed; ground of reliance; hope.

(12): ( n.) An estate devised or granted in confidence that the devisee or grantee shall convey it, or dispose of the profits, at the will, or for the benefit, of another; an estate held for the use of another; a confidence respecting property reposed in one person, who is termed the trustee, for the benefit of another, who is called the cestui que trust.

(13): ( n.) To risk; to venture confidently.

(14): ( n.) To give credence to; to believe; to credit.

(15): ( v. i.) To have trust; to be credulous; to be won to confidence; to confide.

(16): ( v. i.) To sell or deliver anything in reliance upon a promise of payment; to give credit.

(17): ( n.) To place confidence in; to rely on, to confide, or repose faith, in; as, we can not trust those who have deceived us.

(18): ( n.) To hope confidently; to believe; - usually with a phrase or infinitive clause as the object.

(19): ( n.) to show confidence in a person by intrusting (him) with something.

(20): ( n.) To commit, as to one's care; to intrust.

(21): ( n.) To give credit to; to sell to upon credit, or in confidence of future payment; as, merchants and manufacturers trust their customers annually with goods.

King James Dictionary [3]


1. Confidence a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person.

He that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.  Proverbs 29

2. He or that which is the ground of confidence.

O Lord God, thou art my trust from my youth.  Psalms 71

3. Charge received in confidence.

Reward them well, if they observe their trust.

4. That which is committed to one's care. Never violate a sacred trust. 5. Confident opinion of any event.

His trust was with th' Eternal to be deem'd

Equal in strength.

6. Credit given without examination as, to take opinions on trust. 7. Credit on promise of payment, actual or implied as, to take or purchase goods on trust. 8. Something committed to a person's care for use or management, and for which an account must be rendered. Every man's talents and advantages are a trust committed to him by his Maker, and for the use or employment of which he is accountable. 9. Confidence special reliance on supposed honesty. 10. State of him to whom something is entrusted.

I serve him truly, that will put me in trust.

11. Care management.  1 Timothy 6 12. In law, an estate, devised or granted in confidence that the devisee or grantee shall convey it, or dispose of the profits, at the will of another an estate held for the use of another.

TRUST, To place confidence in to rely on. We cannot trust those who have deceived us.

He that trusts every one without reserve, will at last be deceived.

1. To believe to credit.

Trust me, you look well.

2. To commit to the care of, in confidence. Trust your Maker with yourself and all your concerns. 3. To venture confidently.

Fool'd by thee, to trust thee from my side.

4. To give credit to to sell to upon credit, or in confidence of future payment. The merchants and manufacturers trust their customers annually with goods to the value of millions.

It is happier to be sometimes cheated, than not to trust.

TRUST, To be confident of something present or future.

I trust to come to you, and speak face to face.  2 John 1:12 .

We trust we have a good conscience.  Hebrews 13

1. To be credulous to be won to confidence.

Well, you may fear too far--

Safer than trust too far.

To trust in, to confide in to place confidence in to rely on a use frequent in the Scriptures.

Trust in the Lord, and do good.  Psalms 37

They shall be greatly ashamed that trust in graven images.  Isaiah 42

To trust to, to depend on to have confidence in to rely on.

The men of Israel--trusted to the liars in wait.  Judges 20 .

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [4]

A — 1: Πεποίθησις (Strong'S #4006 — Noun Feminine — pepoithesis — pep-oy'-thay-sis )

is rendered "trust" in  2—Corinthians 3:4 , AV; see Confidence , No. 1.

B — 1: Πείθω (Strong'S #3982 — Verb — peitho — pi'-tho )

intransitively, in the perfect and pluperfect Active, "to have confidence, trust," is rendered "to trust" in  Matthew 27:43;  Mark 10:24;  Luke 11:22;  18:9;  2—Corinthians 1:9;  10:7; Phil, 2:24; 3:4, AV (RV, "to have confidence");  Hebrews 2:13; in the present Middle,  Hebrews 13:18 , AV (RV, "are persuaded"). See Agree , No. 5, Persuade

B — 2: Πιστεύω (Strong'S #4100 — Verb — pisteuo — pist-yoo'-o )

"to entrust," or, in the Passive Voice, "to be entrusted with," is rendered "to commit to one's trust," in  Luke 16:11;  1—Timothy 1:11; "to be put in trust with,"  1—Thessalonians 2:4 , AV (RV, "to be intrusted").


Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [5]

TRUST . See Faith.