Faith----A Divine Gift

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by rufus, Mar 13, 2003.

  1. rufus

    rufus
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    Faith

    "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1). It is synonymous with trust. It is a divine gift (Rom. 12:3) and comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). It is the means by which the grace of God is accounted to the believer who trusts in the work of Jesus on the cross (Eph. 2:8). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). It is by faith that we live our lives, "The righteous shall live by faith" (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17).

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  2. Ray Berrian

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    Rufus,

    Your explanation of faith is par excellence but it is not an entity that God gives only to His elect ones; faith is rather the sinner's response to His Gospel call and a sinner's gift of a remorseful and trusting attitude offered to Almighty God, through Jesus Christ.

    Sinners turn from their sins to God; regeneration does not spearhead either repentance or faith in Jesus. If a sinner is regenerated first, then repentance and faith would be superfluous/needless.

    His Divine order is repentance, faith, and then justification/regeneration and positional sanctification. These last three take place all at one time.
     
  3. rufus

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    I must, good sir, respectfully steer contrary to you on this, based on my exegesis of Ephesians 2:8-9 and a few passages in the Gospel of John and perhaps a few more in Romans.

    Hey, but I do appreciate your gracious answer to my post. You know, someone has said he had rather be kind than right. I say, why can't we be kind and right or kind and wrong.

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  4. russell55

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    I might include that verse from Hebrews 12 that says that Jesus if the originator and perfecter of our faith.
     
  5. Ray Berrian

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    Christ is the Author and Finisher of faith. Without Him we would not have regeneration or eternal life. He does the work of ministry in our hearts. Notice the author says, that 'He is the Author and Finisher of our faith.' The author of the book, perhaps the Apostle Paul identified his faith with that of the congregation. [Hebrews 12:2] Only a human being can respond with faith; the faith is not directly from Almighty God. Hebrews 11:6 also indicates that faith has to come from a sinner's heart in order to please God. Notice also the human beings responsibility to ' . . . seek Him.' In Ephesians 2:8 it is God who offers grace; faith is the conduit from the human heart/life that responds to the Lord in one way or the other.

    "What sayest thou?"
     
  6. KenH

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    Ray,

    The Bible states that Jesus is the Starter of faith and Jesus is the Completer of faith. There isn't any room for man to charge in and claim faith is his own concoction. [​IMG]
     
  7. rufus

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    FANTASTIC!

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  8. Ray Berrian

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    Ken H,

    You should never refer to faith as a 'concoction.' Our view doesn't allow for a sinner to run in and claim his own concoction. The Spirit convicts, Christ invites . . . 'Come unto Me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.' He gives grace and spiritual rest only if the sinner invites Christ into his or her life. [John 1:12] This experience and response toward God we call faith or believing and trusting in Christ. [John 3:16]

    Your view, let me speculate, is something like God tells angels to dispatch faith to His favored sinners, soon to be the elect in a small box with a red ribbon on it. Or perhaps His alleged Authored faith is merely absorbed into the life of the preferred sinner. This is the bigoted god of John Calvin but not the Almighty God of the Bible.

    God has ordained that His Son by the Spirit comes very close to the sinner convincing him of his responsibility toward Almighty God. In Calvinism there is an absolute shunning of human responsibility and this is a contraposition of God's directives in His carefully scripted words and Divine will.
     
  9. Frogman

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    Bro. Ray,

    The Bible does say Christ is the author and finisher of our faith.

    The Bible also says the angels are ministering spirits to those that are heirs to salvation.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  10. Ray Berrian

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    Brother Dallas,

    Thanks, I do know and have preached on the subject of angels coming out of Hebrews 1:14. Are you hinting that you think angels might personally deliver faith to the preferred sinners? Actually, I was not serious about this possible dispatch of Divine angels.
     
  11. Frogman

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    No, you are probably reading that into my statement. All who are or shall be saved are elected by God the Father, they are purchased by Christ and they are regenerated by the Holy Spirit. The angels, I take Hebrews to mean, are 'ministering spirits' at no time do they impart these things we discuss, they may look into them, but cannot affect them.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  12. Ray Berrian

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    Ken H,

    You said in your post, 'Election in the Bible is always unto salvation. Punishment in Hell is always because of sin, not due to not being of the elect.'

    I understand the above statement as salving your conscience, because of the inexplicable and blatant Augustinian/Calvinistic view of God condemning sinners, for no apparent Biblically noted reason. The non-elect will not only go to the gates of Hell, but will end up in the flaming fires of Hell forever. Sin is why they end up there; the Lord administers their sorry end and if not, who puts them there?

    We don't let you off with this kind of light weight explanation and poorly framed answer, to your view offered in paragraph number one. If Unconditional Election were true then God by electing His people to Heaven would of necessity mean that He also determined the sad, fate for eternity, of all His less favored created beings.
     
  13. The Archangel

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    Ray,

    This is the bigoted god of John Calvin but not the Almighty God of the Bible.


    Oh this is a bit much, don't you think?

    God is no respector of persons. For one to be a bigot or bigoted, one must, by definition, be a respector of persons.

    Blessings,

    Archangel
     
  14. Ray Berrian

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    Archangel,

    My only point is that God would be a 'respecter of persons' if He hand picked the minority for Heaven and the majority to Hell. He also would be unjust and would lack 'goodness' if He damned only the few, and saved the majority.

    His atonement provided possible forgiveness for every sinner. [Hebrews 2:17 d; Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 9:26]
     
  15. The Archangel

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    Hello Ray, I hope all is well with you!

    I believe it would be the case--God being a respector of persons--if He saved those who believed. Why not? IF God says, "I'll save you if..." Then there is a condition that we must first meet. That is a "work." To do any work so that God will save you is to turn God into a respector of persons.

    If we say to God, "I believe so you must..." we seek to put God over the proverbial barrel. If that is the case, then, God is a respector of persons. It would be like Him saying, "You've done this; you've met my requirement, I guess I'll have to save you.

    This of course doesn't happen. Now, repentance is required for salvation, don't get me wrong. But, repentance is a fruit of regeneration, not the cause of it.

    In fact, the only way that God can truly be "No respector of persons" is to elect "According to His own good pleasure."

    Blessings,

    Archangel
     
  16. Ray Berrian

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    God tells us in John 3:16 that He sincerely wants us to believe in Him. A sinners honest response to the offer of salvation could hardly be called a work leading to eternal life with Christ.

    At the Cross God did every thing He needed to do in order to pave the way for the sinner to believe in Him. He died for the lost ones. So when a sinner believes in Jesus forgiveness from the Being of Christ is not something that, as you said, He must do. He gladly forgives any repentant sinner; this is why He died on the middle Cross.

    It is ludicrous to believe that someone would be holding God over a barrel when a sinner says I believe in you Lord and I want to be saved, so you must save me. Christ's death on the Cross is a 'Green Light' for all sinners to find new life in Him through the Spirit. This is why He died.

    It could never be construed that God is a respecter of persons because He gladly responds to the cry of any sinner to be saved eternally.
     
  17. KenH

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    But your scheme, Ray, does make God out to be a respecter of persons as you believe that God saves on the basis of something the person does(repenting, believing) instead of God saving a person on the basis of what Jesus did.
     
  18. Ray Berrian

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    What I have tried to explain to you is God's scheme for the ages. As long as you understand my thoughts that's about all I can do to convince you that He is not a respecter of persons. Romans 2:11 says, ' . . . there is no respect of persons with God' Could the Lord have said this in a more simple and clear way?
     
  19. KenH

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    I understand, Ray. The Bible says that God is not a respecter of persons. It is the free will scheme for salvation that makes God out to be a respecter of persons.
     
  20. The Archangel

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    Ray, I hope all is going well today!

    Can a sinner with, as the Bible says, such a warped heart actually respond to God? That is the question. It would be like a lecturer speaking to a group of profoundly deaf people. He sincerely wants them to hear him but they are unable to hear at all.

    The problem that I have with this is two-fold:

    1. IF Jesus' death only "paved the way," then it accomplished no salvation. It allowed salvation to be put in the hands of humans who respond to God. That doesn't wash with the whole of the Bible.

    2. IF Jesus' death accomplished forgiveness for all the sins of everyone, then all are saved. God, because He is just, cannot twice-punish sin. So, if a persons sins are paid for, there is no sin-debt left to be paid by them. This degenerates into universalism quickly. In fact, the British General Baptists (early in the Baptist Movement) did have a big problem with this. They moved to the logical extension of a general atonement--universalism.

    Please see objection Number 1 above.

    Perhaps. But it most certainly cannot be construed that God is a respecter of persons if He were to elect some by His own free will and good pleasure. This postion is totally dependant on God. It has nothing to do with people, generally. Therefore, it is the better "No respecter of persons" position.

    Blessings!!!!!!!! [​IMG]

    Archangel
     

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