"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.