Does Saving faith Involve an Act of the Will?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    Some say the will is passive in faith, yet God commands us to exercise faith, and reprimands us for have in little or no faith.

    Consider the things we are truly passive concerning, such as the natural color of ones skin, whether or not one is born with or without freckles, the natural color of ones eyes or the number or fingers and toes we are born with. Would it be just to reprimand one for these passive issues, or to chide or punish one for them? If not why not?

    If we are passive in faith and yet a Just God reprimands and punishes those that fail to exercise faith, why would it not be just to punish one for the color of their natural hair or the natural color of their skin?
     
  2. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Yet another question may be, if faith is not an act of the will, and the will of man is passive in faith, how can God blame or punish man for a lack of faith?

    Accidents are often the result of things our will is passive concerning. If one is minding their own business walking down a sidewalk and a car jumps the curb and runs one over, can the pedestrian be chided for failing to avoid something he had no idea was coming? If a man is walking down a sidewalk, and an earthquake rattles a brick loose from a building above the sidewalk, and the brick falls to the ground striking such a one on his head, can one be chided or punished for failure to avoid such an accident, something his will was indeed passive concerning?

    God blames and punishes man for a failure to exercise faith. He withholds His blessings when we fail to exercise faith. How can either be just on the part of God if in fact the will is passive in faith? God is indeed Just, and the word 'just' has clear and easy to understand implications.

    How can saving faith be passive and yet God holds man accountable for either having faith or failing to exercise faith, if in fact faith does not involve an act of the will?

    One of the strongest arguments in favor of faith being an act of the will, is the fact that God blames and punishes man for a failure or lack of faith.
     
    #2 Heavenly Pilgrim, Apr 22, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2012
  3. Moriah

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    Not only that which you say, but the Bible says God credits us with righteousness. How do we get the credit for believing if God made us believe?

    Romans 4:5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

    Read these scriptures. Where does anyone get the idea that man cannot believe but that God makes him believe?

    John 6:29 Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

    Romans 3:22 righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

    Romans 4:6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
     
  4. Amy.G

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    You two should get married.
     
  5. DHK

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    Their beliefs are similar aren't they.
    I don't believe that faith is a gift of God, except after salvation. Where does it teach that God gives spiritual gifts to unsaved individuals. You don't see that in Scripture.

    What is the source of faith?
    "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."
    Seldom do individuals get saved the first time they hear the gospel. I did, but when I hear the testimony of others I seem to be the exception. Usually a person sits in church and they hear the word being preached over and over again and some time down the road they make a decision "of the will" and become saved.
    What happened? Their faith grew as they heard the Word of God. They became more confident in the message that it was true, and its promises were true.
    Christianity is a relationship. Not until after the disciples came to Christ did they pray: "Lord increase our faith." That is, increase our confidence in you that you might work mighty things through us.
     
  6. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: In a sense you might say we are already, both being part of the bride of Christ. :thumbs:
     
    #6 Heavenly Pilgrim, Apr 22, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2012
  7. Moriah

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    To that, I say Amen, Amen, and Amen!
     
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Yet another notion that faith is indeed accounted to us precisely as an act of the will, a work in a sense.

    Notice what God accounts to us 'as righteousness,' 'even our faith.'

    Hebrews chapter 11 is the faith chapter of Scripture.
    By faith the elders obtained a good report;
    By faith Abel "received a witness that he was righteous."
    By faith Enoch was translated, and he received the testimony from God that he "pleased God."
    Noah became the "heir of righteousness," which is by faith.
    Abraham by faith obeyed and became an heir of righteousness.
    Sara by faith judged God faithful who had promised.

    The list goes on and on. One thing to notice how that ones faith is counted to them as righteousness. Righteousness is an act done in accordance to what is right. God judges faith as if though one has already acted righteous, just as God judges lust or hate in the heart as if though one has already committed adultery of murder. Faith is judged and accounted to us precisely as a work is judged, with the same corresponding reward or punishment as if though the act had been completed. In this sense faith is indeed a work in the eyes of God.

    One needs to understand that the relationship that exists between the will forming an honest intent and that of the actual doing is one of necessity. One can ONLY do as one wills. Once the mind has made the decision by 'faith' , God accounts such action by the will 'as if though' the subsequent outward manifestation of that intent that would naturally follow, has already been accomplished, for good or for evil.

    Faith is therefore indeed an act of the will , and is judged antecedent to the actual doing, precisely as all works are judged. One never has to actually complete any action, for good or for evil for God to attach moral praise or blame for such intents.

    Moriah, I had just finished writing this when I read your post. You brought up the connection concerning righteousness first, and an excellent observation. I hope my post dovetails your ideas as well. Faith is accounted to us precisely as actions in accordance to God's moral law, i.e,., righteousness. God again judges faith as an act of the will in lock step with righteousness.
     
  9. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP:
    Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

    The measure of faith speaks to the abilities necesssary to exercise faith, coupled with God providing the object of Himself and Christ to place our faith in VIA OBEDIENCE.
     
  10. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    If nothing other than the fact we are all created by God as spiritual moral beings is a 'spiritual gift' beyond measure!
     
  11. Moriah

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    Your post definitely dovetails my ideas. What you say here about God judging faith as if though one has already acted righteous is an excellent point. I must say though, that if a person still does not understand that part sufficiently when hearing the gospel, then I do believe that they might have to actually do an action to show God that they themselves know what kind of faith they must have. Just like, when Abraham took Isaac to kill…God knew that Abraham would follow through what He had asked, but God wanted Abraham to know for himself too. I hope you understand what I am saying.

    What you pointed out about faith also relates to repenting…God judges the repenting as one who is truly sorry for their sins.
     
  12. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Excellent points Moriah. God can take it out as far as He so desires to show to others whatever He so desires. He alone can see and ascertain the thoughts and intents of the heart. To show the rest of creation His Justice and truth, He obviously gives us examples that go beyond the initial stages of intent of the mind. Then the rest of us can have 'faith' in His judgments, even when we cannot see what He sees.
     
  13. Moriah

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    I love it! What an absolute blessing to speak of my beliefs and to have someone who knows exactly what I am talking about, and to have one who can even expound on it!
     
  14. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Amy might need to consider a marraige.:laugh:

    At times she certainly sounds a lot like DHK.:tonofbricks:
     
    #14 Heavenly Pilgrim, Apr 22, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2012
  15. DHK

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    He is listing spiritual gifts given to believers, not unbelievers!
     
  16. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    God says He gives to ALL men a measure of faith, and that it is NOT something meted out to merely to a select few. I will believe God's Word, that 'all men' means just that, ALL men. :thumbs:
     
  17. DHK

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    And your point is?
    We all have faith.
    I have been saying that all the time.
     
  18. The Biblicist

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    2 Thes. 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

    Let's see, you say "all" men do and Paul says "all" men do "not have faith"! Now who should we believe? I think I will go with Paul.


    Jn. 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
    65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

    Let's see, you say "all" men have faith and Jesus says that the reason some did not believe and never believed "from the beginning" was because "NO MAN CAN" come to him except it is "GIVEN" him by the Father. Who shall we believe? I think I will go with Christ.


    Heb. 11:66 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    Rom. 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    Paul says "without faith" it is impossible to please God all who are "in flesh cannot please God" therefore those in the flesh are without faith. You say "all" men have faith and thus "can" please God but Paul says those "in the flesh CANnot please God" hence they must be without faith.


    Heb. 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    You say "all" men have faith but Paul says that Jesus is the "author" of faith not men and thus faith does not originate from men but from Christ. Who shall we believe you or Paul? I think I shall take Paul.



    Rom. 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

    You say "all" men have faith but Paul says it is "of faith" that it might be "by grace" as grace makes the promise SURE TO ALL THE SEED! That is all the promised seed are given faith "by grace" and therefore faith does not originate with man but with God. I think I will go with Paul



    Since anything by grace cannot be of works (Rom. 11:6; Eph. 2:8-9) and since grace originates from God as UNDESERVED favor then faith does not originate from men but from grace and is not a work but the "gift" of God (Eph. 2;8).
     
  19. The Biblicist

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    No he does not! You are not reading the verse right! In fact you are completely rewriting it to suit your own purpose. READ WHAT IT ACTUALLY STATES! It actually says

    "TO EVERY MAN AMONG YOU" - He is talking to Christians not to lost people. He did not say "to every man born of woman" or "to all the world" etc.

    The whole "saved" past tense aspect of salvation is "through faith" and it in its entirety is "NOT OF YOURSELF for it is a GIFT of God." - Eph. 2:8. To claim that all men have faith is a direct contradiction to the Scriptures (2 Thes. 3:2) and a complete repudiation of Christ's words in John 6:65 which is an explanation why "FROM THE BEGINNING" some of them did not believe - because faith must be "given" or no man CAN come - metaphor for believing in Christ as you come to Christ by faith or you do not come at all.
     
    #19 The Biblicist, Apr 22, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2012
  20. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    God says He gives to ALL men a measure of faith, and that it is NOT something meted out to merely to a select few. I will believe God's Word, that 'all men' means just that, ALL men.

    That's the gospel truth and I sticking with it. :thumbs:
     

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