Faith vs Works: What exactly is "faith"?

Something that I think is neglected in almost every Protestant/Catholic debate about Justification is a definition of “faith”. According to the church, is the faith of justification as Paul and others discuss
1)“a trust that Christ’s perfection and merits have been applied to me personally and I am really saved” (as Luther taught),
or is it
2)“consenting to accept as true all truths and teachings revealed by God”.

In other words, are Protestants and Catholics referring to the same thing when they refer to “faith”?

The New Testament discusses “faith” in many places, but I don’t believe it ever actually says “believe this or that and you’ll be saved”- it simply says “believe”. What does the church say? I think clarifying what the church defines as faith would help the Catholic teaching on justification to make more sense.

The following links should help explain the Catholic teaching on Sola Fide. If you have any further questions, please contact Catholic Answers directly.

Recommended Reading:

Salvation is “just believing in Jesus”…
Doesn’t the good thief prove sola fide?
Sola Fide before the Reformation?

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