Belief vs. Faith

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by skypair, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. skypair

    skypair
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    "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."

    "For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God..."

    The purpose of this thread is to examine BELIEF, as the Bible has is, as a prerequisite for salvation versus FAITH received as a consequence of salvation. And I want to look at it in order to form a more perfect understanding of biblical sotierology (vice the "I am elect" thread).

    It does appear, does it not, that the gospel first enters into a person from the ears to the mind, which in my understanding is the spirit of a man (his mind, emotions, and will). Does it seem plausible that, in the workings of the mind, a person decides whether the gospel is believable or not? Many people call it "mental assent" when something is believed and we also know that no one is saved by "mental assent," right? But it is at least necessary before the gospel will have any impact upon a person, right?

    So "believe ... and thou shalt be saved." What connects those two things -- "believe" and "saved?" And how is faith made a gift of salvation? Simply this: the thoughts/BELIEFS of the spirit are received as a new "world view," as Truth, in the soul. The outcome of that transaction is that FAITH is "gifted" along with "regeneration"/rebirth, and eternal life conquors the former "death"/depravity of the soul/conscience. From then on, the soul "governs" the spirit's thoughts and successively, the body's actions to be more like the Truth or wisdom "engrafted" in the soul. As more Truth is believed and received by the spirit, more "control" is given to the soul over our thoughts and behavior.

    The one critical piece of truth that MUST be believed and received in obedience to the gospel is "I died in Christ at the cross so that I may live according to His life during my life." Do you see how this one truth just welcomes 1) reconciliation with God and 2) God's sanctification of our lives?

    I know this is going to take some thinking on some people's parts who haven't ever really distinguished a difference between soul and spirit. And it may be that they can't see how I lump some of the concepts together (soul/conscience, for example). But here goes: We are created in the image of God and so our soul is "lord" of our spirit and body. Christ was obedient in Spirit and Body to the Father about Whom Jesus knew all Truth. And so I'm going to say this as Christ might have --- "Thy word is Truth." If we begin "welcoming" sanctification, we will believe and receive the Word of Truth, engraft it through Bible study and practice, ever growing "unto the measure of the stature of Christ." Remember, our primary "world view"/FAITH is "died with Christ - live for Christ." (Rom 5:10)

    So FAITH resides as tested and proven truth in the soul -- BELIEF unproven thoughts and hopes, resides in the spirit. Belief, by this view, is "in vain" if it has not been received according to obedience. The "conversion" of spirit belief to soul faith is by obedience which scripture commands us "Repent, and be baptized ... in the name of Jesus Christ ... and receive the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38 In fact, with the Holy Ghost, we receive faith, eternal life, the gifts of the Spirit, the adoption of sons, etc. as well. These are all Truths that should live out in our spirits and in our behavior.

    Can I have an "Amen?" :jesus:

    skypair

    Coming up: How this same pattern "plays out" as Christ "prepares" our "places" in heaven.
     
    #1 skypair, Oct 5, 2008
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  2. Dr. Bob

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    "Believing" is the verbal form of "faith". English just doesn't sound right if we said "Faithing" in Jesus.

    But mean exactly, 100% the same.

    But in agreement (!!!!) with sky, both words have dual meanings (some words have 30-40 meanings!) and they cannot be distinquished except in context. And we need to realize that.

    That is "temporal faith/believing", like when I flip the light switch I believed there would be light and when I sat in the chair to read the BB, I had faith it would hold my incredible bulk!

    Everyone has faith; everyone believes.

    And the other aspect is "saving faith/believing", which is unique and a gift of God.

    But all "faith" and "believing" use the exact same greek words.
     
  3. MB

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    A man doesn't just up and decide to believe a thing. Man believes because he has become convinced.
    Haven't you ever discoverd something is true even though you didn't want to admit it? Haven't you ever had to admit that you were wrong about something you thought was true?
    I have and that is when I discoverd why we believe a thing to be true. It isn't because we decide but because we become convinced of it as truth and can't help our believing of it because we have been convinced.
    What would cause you to decide if a thing were true or not? If a thing is true shouldn't it be throughly convincing. I can't be completely convince of a thing unless all that is claimed are positively convincing. If one thing comes up that isn't positive then I can only believe the positive I then reject the negative until it becomes a positive.
    Saving faith is given to us because it isn't our own to begin with. Sure we believe and have our own faith but is it a righteouss faith. Is it perfect?. Is it a doubless faith?. No it isn't. We could move mountains if we had perfect faith. We could even save our selves. The problem is we don't have perfect faith. This is why we are given the faith of Christ. This is how it is all of God and not of our selves.
    MB
     
  4. mark1

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    I must say, coming from you is a surprise Sky. How can anyone come to God, unless they "believe" there is a God?

    Luk 7:50

    And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.


    This faith is the same Greek word of “faith” as the following.

    Eph 2:8

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:


    Grace is the gift of God:

    Jhn 3:16

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


    Rom 3:24

    Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:


    Rom 5:2

    By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    pistiV
    pistis
    pis'-tis
    from peiqw - peitho 3982; persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself:--assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

    No, we don't just up and believe, Christ is the author and finisher of our faith.

    Titus 2:
    11: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
    12: Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
    13: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
    14: Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

    Hbr 2:9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

    How do we get that Grace. "by faith".
     
    #4 mark1, Oct 5, 2008
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  5. MB

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    We die to sin in our repentance because we turn from our sins. We don't repent because we decide to. We repent because of the conviction that the Holy Spirit lays on our hearts. Again our repentance is the result of the work of God. In fact none of us would ever repent unless it was the work of God. We can reject the convinction but that doesn't make it go away.
    I would only chage the last in quotation marks I underlined.
    I died with Christ, and Christ lives my life for me.
    I can't give you an amen because what you have here is confusion. I don't mean that in a demeaning way either. I feel compelled
    to tell you the truth. Since we are not omnipresent we can't divide ourselves in such a way. Spirit or soul cannot believe unless the whole of man is convinced. You may place your faith in something you do not believe. Called "a leap of faith" but unless the Lord catches you , you will fall flat on your face. However man has no saving faith until it is given him. Man is granted repentance. Man is granted Salvation. Man is granted faith. Man is not in control, God is. He has allowed man to rebel or reject Him. However to not rebel or reject Him is not a decision to be saved. Salvation is all of God.

    MB
     
  6. mark1

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    Woe unto the rest!

    Rom 10:17So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    2Ti 4:2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
     
    #6 mark1, Oct 5, 2008
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  7. skypair

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    The decision part refers to whether or not it is true for you. That "decision" personalizes belief.

    Yes, I have had to make such decisions and I have even had to make them regarding Calvinism (heaven help us! :laugh: ). I have taken the word of God and Calvinist assertions about it and let them teach me -- lead me -- into the truth that encompasses BOTH! How do you think I come by "regeneration precedes faith?" How do you think I come by faith as a "gift" rather than it being my own?

    But y'all are "elitists." It's "Calvinism or the highway" with y'all! You won't consider that maybe -- just maybe -- there is a flaw in Calvinism. That maybe -- just maybe -- Calvinist theology had overlooked, ignored, discarded something in order to make its theology "systematic." And the truth is, if you consider those "somethings," your theology wouldn't be so "systematic" and so you "hold your ground" while Christians all around are trying to tell you your ground is SAND!


    That's a DECISION, MB! You CHOSE to believe that what you heard was true. If you hadn't chosen it, then this would have occurred: "When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart." Mt 13:19 Not deciding is not "understanding." Please disabuse yourself of such faulty logic!

    That's what I said. We have belief -- we "change our mind/heart" -- we receive faith.

    skypair
     
    #7 skypair, Oct 5, 2008
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  8. skypair

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    Speak rationally, please! There IS a choice to make -- repent or don't repent. Do you know what a "guilt trip" is? It's someone trying to lay guilt on you for something you believe you didn't do. Do you not make a decision before you respond to your wife/husband on that issue? Do you not decide to "squirm out of it" or "confess and repent" of it??? Yes, it IS based on truth -- truth AS WE PERCEIVE IT!

    That is absolutely a part of our decision.

    Again our repentance is the result of the work of God. In fact none of us would ever repent unless it was the work of God. We can reject the convinction but that doesn't make it go away.

    IF you let Him. Do you always let Him? Again, you are denying "human responsibility," MB. You're like a "welfare queen" if this truly speaks of your spirit/thinking -- always accepting, never working.

    Huh?? Can you discern between your body and spirit??? Do you think your body, "flesh and blood," will exist forever -- contrary to 1Cor 15:50?? What makes you so sure that soul and spirit are not divisible -- besides Heb 4:12 and 1Thes 5:23 to the contrary??

    You mean as in the case of believing that "Calvinism IS the gospel?" :cry:

    Yet you say He has not "allowed" us to receive Him?? Do you limit God's "permissive will?" By what scripture??

    skypair
     
  9. MB

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    We come by it all as a gift from God.
    All any of us can do is not decide to rebel when we hear the gospel. Rebellion is the only decision we can make. It's either rebel or not. That isn't a choice to be saved.
    Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    You can't deal with the part that it isn't of our selves.
    I'm not a Calvinist so how does this pertain to me.
    You refuse to admit that it was God who gave us the Bible. That God sends the preacher for you to hear it from and the Holy spirit who uses both to convince us of the truth. You have to do something to save your self it can't be all of God according to you. You have to have a part because you want to claim you had something to do with it. When scripture says it is not of our selves.

    When we understand something it isn't because we chose to but because the truth is clear. There isn't anything to decide about the truth when you recognize it as such. With your position anyone who believes is saved and that isn't true many hold the truth in unrighteousness.( Rom 1:18 )
    God changes the heart not the man through conviction. This is the whole reason for my disagreement with you. You still cling to the idea that you can do something to win your own Salvation. Sky God has already done it all. He never asked for your help. Like I've said man's only choice is to not receive Salvation to reject it.
    By the way Calvinist do not believe you can resist God's grace.

    MB
     
  10. MB

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    Exactly faith comes by hearing the word of God and where do you suppose the word came from God? If so then God is responsible for your faith. Your faith is the results of God and His word.
    The only doctrine that is worth it's salt, is the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
    MB
     
  11. mark1

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    So, all you have to do is "hear" the word?

    Jhn 12:38That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
     
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  12. MB

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    There is one thing about the gospel. It's truth is recognized the minute you hear it because it is recognized as something that has been written on our hearts.
    I disagree
    These are my words. At least you're starting to sound like me.
    A confession of works for Salvation eh? Please tell me you are confessing it instead of preaching it.
    God can do anything Sky but we can't. It's why we call Him God because He is all powerful
    Calvinism isn't anything important to me Sky. It's your ignorance of Calvinism that causes you to assume I'm a Calvinist.
    Not one word of what you said in this last statement is true. I have never said God does not allow us to receive Him. When you make accusations you should be able to back them up.
    MB
     
  13. MB

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    If anyone listens to the word they will have faith. listening means that you pay attention to it. The word will accomplish that which God has sent it for because it is effective.
    Isa 55:11
    So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

    Being effective means that it will convince you of Christ. Being convinced is what faith is and belief is faith in action. At this point as always before Salvation man has a choice. He can choose to disregard it He can hold the truth in unrighteousness .
    Rom 1:18
    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    Though the man disregards it doesn't mean the man doesn't understand it as truth. Men can believe and not submit to the righteousness of God.
    Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
    Rom 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
    Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

    Even though our faith is a gift from God through His word it isn't the faith that saves us. We are saved by the faith of Jesus Christ.
    Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

    Salvation is all of God other wise men are there own co-redeemers with reason to boast.
    Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    MB
     
    #13 MB, Oct 5, 2008
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  14. mark1

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    I don't disagree with any of this. I believe the faith before salvation is the "measure" of faith, dealt to every man. I suppose we might differ on the "through faith". I consider it a vehicle to "Grace", which is the gift of God. :thumbs:
     
  15. skypair

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    How was it "written on your heart?" And when? Please describe the "procedure."

    So I need to specify. OK, you would say that God doesn't allow the non-elect to receive Him, right?

    skypair
     
  16. MB

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    Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
    In the words of a great president Ronald Regan. "There you go again"
    There is no such thing as a man who cannot be saved. The sacrifice of Christ for the sins of the world is efficient for all.
    Let's knock off the accusations of me being a Calvinist. You know better.
    MB
     
  17. skypair

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    OK, good hypothesis. So one would have had to see and believe that as a foundation for hearing and believing the gospel? Might some have been saved by believing the gospel alone? What about those who see the gospel in Catholicism?

    skypair
     
  18. MB

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    You and I both know that there is more to Salvation than just recognizing truth. With out submission belief is worthless. Salvation requires belief, repentance and submission. When men hear the gospel for the first time. The whole reason they realize it's true is because it agrees with what has been manifested in there hearts.
    It doesn't mater where you see the gospel. However Catholicism distorts the gospel. So the likelihood of being saved through that particular view is unlikely although not imposible. The purest understanding of the gospel is with out, outside influence.
    If a man just goes by what the Catholic Bible leaving out the foot notes. They would know the Papacy is truly anti Christ and the rituals of that church are against scripture. Yet there is enough there to lead men to Christ.
    MB
     
  19. skypair

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    That's what I call "unity of the knowledge and faith of Christ!" :thumbs: I am sorry I misunderstood you, MB. Must have been "technical difficulties!" :laugh:

    skypair
     

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