Faith is a gift

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by npetreley, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley
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    I have argued before at length that the plain reading of Ephesians 2:8 shows that faith is a gift. I will not go through the entire argument again, but summarize it this way:

    8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God

    Only a very poor writer or communicator would have written the above if he meant "salvation is the gift of God." The way to say that in proper grammar would be "By grace you have received salvation..." because the "it" in the "it is the gift of God" could then refer back to "salvation".

    As the verse stands, though, "it" would have to refer back to "saved" for the Arminian interpretation to be true.

    One never says, "For by grace you are saved through faith, and [...] it [saved] is the gift of God." But one would certainly say, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and [...] it [faith] is the gift of God...".

    Rather than focus on that one verse, though, we can find supporting evidence in the Bible that faith is given as a gift.

    Acts 18:27 And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; 28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.

    The believed through grace. They did not obtain grace because they believed. They believed because they had obtained grace.

    Acts 13:48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

    As many as -- not one more, not one less -- but as many as had been appointed to eternal life, believed. They believed because they were appointed to eternal life. They were not appointed to eternal life because they believed.

    2 Thes 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Here we have the whole of process of salvation wrapped up in one. Sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. Notice that santification by the spirit precedes belief in the truth, but that they are connected with the word "and", not "then". Why is that? Because one necessarily guarantees the other, and the other is immediate.

    Put another way (I believe this is the way A.W. Pink put it), consider that Jesus says, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Like a blind man, he cannot see unless he is given sight. But when he is given sight, he sees. He cannot see unless he is given sight, but there is no time lapse between the moment he is given sight and the moment he sees. He is given sight AND he sees.

    So it is that when you are given the Spirit (an act of grace from the Father), you "see" and believe.

    That is why it says those who had believed through grace -- they believed because of and through the gift. They did not receive the gift because of their belief.
     
  2. Doubting Thomas

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    The "gift" refers back to the whole salvation "by grace through faith", not just the "faith".
    God's Salvation by grace is a gift and the faith through which we receive grace is part of that gift, but if we don't exercise the gift of faith we can't be saved. God doesn't excercise the faith for us.
     
  3. Me2

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    Huh?

    If man does anything of his own, then the gift isnt free.

    man cannot "believe" anything for he doesnt have the right spirit.

    True righteous faith is the product of another spirit that carnal man doesnt possess.

    True faith is not a product of man. it is a product of this "new" spirit that man receives. it is the faith of the resurrected spirit of the man called Jesus Christ.

    Jesus christ tells us HE/we can do nothing outside the will of the father. What He/we hear we do.

    Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
    Phi 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

    True faith is merely a response of reality. of what is. of what has and is happening in the spirit realm. it is free for it is the product of the spirit of Jesus Christ which is a product of the Creator. what God speaks he/we hear and do.

    either man hears satan with the carnal spirit or hears the father with the spirit of christ.
    either he hears satan or he hears God.
    its all or nothing.

    its the faith of Jesus Christ or the faith of "another" jesus.

    God exercises righteous faith in his elect.

    1Th 5:24 Faithful [is] he that calleth you, who also will do [it].

    Me2
     
  4. Doubting Thomas

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    Huh?

    If man does anything of his own, then the gift isnt free.


    Me2
    </font>[/QUOTE]That makes no sense. If someone offers me a million dollars, I still have to receive it. I don't passively obtain it, and, in fact, I could refuse it.
     
  5. Me2

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    that is the arogancy and fallacy of carnal man. the idea of the existence of a "free will" offering concerning something that must already be in mans body.

    think about it.

    can man understand anything of God without the mind of God? No. it is spiritually discerned

    He first receives the mind of Christ and then is told what has occurred. He is told to reason with God.
    He first receives the eyes of Christ and then is told to look.
    He first receives the ears of Christ and then is told to listen.

    This is a communication of God the holy spirit and the righteous spirit that is newly received within man.

    carnal man cant nor will not be inclined to hear God. To search out to God. for God is his enemy. his competitor.

    What actually does happen When God calls man?

    God gives him the law to utterly KILL ALL REMNANTS OF WHO THE CARNAL MAN IS!!!!
    and carnal man believes this.

    ergo God kills, judges and resurrects man (who is called to be the elect) before the man understands this. he is told What happened! not what is going to happen.
    (if perchance, they choose to be saved..not..just kidding. man doesnt choose to be saved. God chooses man first) [​IMG]

    Me2
     
  6. Doubting Thomas

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    that is the arogancy and fallacy of carnal man. the idea of the existence of a "free will" offering concerning something that must already be in mans body.

    think about it.

    can man understand anything of God without the mind of God? No. it is spiritually discerned

    Me2
    </font>[/QUOTE]That's why the Holy Spirit must convict unsaved man of the Truth. (Without the Holy Spirit's convicting work no one could exercise faith). Despite this, however, man can choose to reject the truth rather than embracing it.
     
  7. Me2

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    look at the two groups of followers called of the father.

    one group called to live under the law without the righteousness of Christ and the other who live by the law that is within the spirit of Christ.

    take for instance 1 John

    1Jo 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [no doubt] have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

    1Jo 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.


    this is evidence that there are two predesigned outcomes of the calling of the father. both receiving the seed. yet one group not being a real part of the "whole" for they didnt receive the spirit. this was predesigned to occur. it is predesigned that they be exposed and leave.

    it was not because of "free will" of man. it was because the elect was chosen to receive the spirit FROM THE BEGINNING!!!!! while the other group never receveied the spirit FROM THE BEGINNING!!!

    they were predestined before the foundation of the world to serve a cause that has a specific goal.

    to fulfill a role predesigned especially for them. they are predesigned to live their life.
    To choose and be what they are to be, to reach a preconceived, predesigned goal of the creator.
    they have no free will to agree or deny what their roles are. they do what the will of their creator designed them to accomplish. wether it be to an evil cause or good cause. wether to be a vessel of wrath or vessel of mercy.

    there is no conviction. there is an illusion of reason. what has already been designed and concluded that the follower reach in their comprehension.

    the elect will be saved and reach a maturity to fulfill a role designed of the father.
    the reprobate will be retarded and misunderstand what has predesigned by the father.

    Me2
     
  8. Doubting Thomas

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    There is no conviction?!? Perhaps you ought to take that assertion up with Christ. (John 16:8)
     
  9. npetreley

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    Oy vey, here we go again.

    That's circular reasoning. You say "If someone offers..." That's very different than "If someone gives..." You PRESUME that grace is "offered". It is never stated as something that is offered, it is always given.

    And your analogy is bogus, as well, but I'm tired of pointing that out. It should be obvious by now.
     
  10. Skandelon

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    Something can actually be given and still not applied.

    I could believe something to be true yet refuse to acknowledge it as such. Read Romans 1 and you will see that they clearly saw and understood God's divine attributes and eternal nature, they KNEW God, but refused to acknowledge what they KNEW to be true.

    Knowing that something is true is easy and within all man's capasity. Even the demons believe and shutter. Its what one chooses to do with what they have been given that matters. We are stewarts of God's revelation and gifts. Faith is a gift and we are to act within it.
     
  11. Me2

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    conviction is seen through the humility of a dying sacrifice offered by a merciful God. WHEN JESUS RETURNS, he will do it within the bodies of our fellow brothers and sisters.
    they too will convey the very same humility and mercy towards Gods creation. and nothing less.

    faith comes to man in the form of the resurrected spirit of the sacrifice offered by the creator himself. this very same faith is displayed by agape love.

    1Jo 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
    1Jo 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death.
    1Jo 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.
    1Jo 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.


    the overpowering Love within the spirit of Christ convicts all Elect of unrighteousness. It compells them to abide in the fathers wisdom and only the fathers wisdom. He cannot rely upon his own imaginations for fear of displeasing the source of this love.

    this is also a sign that God has placed in those with their original carnal reprobate faith.
    they lack this love for their fellow man.

    Me2
     
  12. npetreley

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    I would go so far as to say that unless the Spirit of God quickens, the Spirit's conviction leads only to denial or hardness. That's why the elect respond but the non-elect resist. The same Spirit convicts both, but only inhabits and quickens the elect.
     
  13. Me2

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    Heres a tricky set of scriptures to work out...

    1Jo 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

    Mat 10:36 And a man's foes [shall be] they of his own household.

    if We say we hate our brother. we are not a true child of God. yet our brothers are our enemies within the household. in short God is telling the elect that to love their enemies is a sign of agape love..

    (so, how many enemies have you condemned to hell or the lake of fire forever cancelling out their opportunity to receive the love of God?)

    the faith of christ is just that. it is the faith of the character of the christ. that is his job. to keep the gate open for mankind to receive the blessings of their creator. that includes our enemies as well..barr none.

    Me2
     
  14. BobRyan

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    Salvation is a gift and faith is a gift.

    In case of salvation - it is a free gift offerred to all.

    In the case of faith - it is a free gift given to all "For unto EACH one is given a measure of faith" Romans 12:3

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. Tumbleweed

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    Although it must be our policy to make the Bible the arbiter of all disputes, the Bible consists of words, the meanings of which must be grasped.

    Consider for a moment what it is to "believe". Most dictionary definitions are fairly imprecise (To accept as true, credit with veracity, etc). This vagueness is because the world often uses the word Believe in ways which are very different to Biblical belief. For example, someone wears a crystal around their neck or sleeps under a cardboard pyramid and says they do this because they "believe" it gives them supernatural powers or whatever. This is not scriptural belief; it is mere superstition. Why? Because despite a complete lack of evidence, they nevertheless "choose to believe" in the hope of some benefit to themselves

    However when it comes to belief as per Jn.3:16, we are talking about something far more than a mere grasping at the concept of Christ because Heaven sounds more appealing then Hell. On the contrary, faith is a personal knowledge of Him (slight as that may be at first) that causes our sin-weary souls to lean fully upon Him.

    Now, I put it to you that this belief is impossible without subjective evidence - that God must reveal Himself to us personally, this being the very cause of our believing. (No, not some mystical charismatic experience, but an enabling by God whereby we see Him in a vital way we never did before.) If, in our unaided flesh we simply "choose to believe" as Arminians assert, in what way does this differ from superstition, other than that we happened to have chanced upon something that is true?

    Saving faith is not a choice of the flesh driven by self-interest or the result of being emotionally traumatized by some evangelist's dead-cat stories, nor any other Arminian device commonly used to gain "decisions". No, if ever there was a true saying, it is this: "Seeing (by the grace of God) is believing".

    - Paul
     
  16. psr.2

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    Faith...gift?

    Romans 10:17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    God would not have placed the whosoever in the bible if it was just the elect or chosen.

    God would not have placed "if" in the bible if it was only the elect or chosen.

    Those who cling to the calvinistic doctrine do not rightly divide the word of God.
     
  17. Ray Berrian

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    It is abundantly clear in the Bible that faith is a human beings response to the call of God; faith is not the arbitrary gift coming from God.

    Ephesians 2:8 clarifies the idea that grace is the gift that is offered from God to sinners.

    The Apostle Peter indicates that faith is the human, volitional response toward the Lord God. In I Peter chapter one the apostle, three times, says, 'Your faith . . . ' not Almighty God's faith. He does not need faith; He is self-existent, forever.

    Vs. 7 'That the trial of your faith . . . {= human response}.

    Vs. 9 'Receiving the end of your faith . . . ' = {human response}.

    Vs. 21 ' . . . that your faith and hope might be in God.' = {human response}.

    It is sloppy exegesis to say that faith comes from God. The author of the Book of Hebrews, who wrote to Israelite people blames them because after hearing the preaching of the Gospel, they refused to 'mix (their) faith after hearing the truth. [4:2] Clearly, God could not mix faith for the unbelievers; it was their responsibility to respond to the Lord.

    The Greek word for 'mixed' is (sugkekerasmenos) meaning to commingle, combine or to temper together. In other words grace and faith are not given to His soon to be elect people. There is a Biblical synergism between God's gift of proffered grace and the sinners free will and response to His superlative gift of salvation.

    John Calvin did not get all of Romanism out of his mind and 'blood, if you will.' He systematized the beliefs of Augustine into Protestant Reformation theology and some people have swallowed it, 'hook, line and sinker.'

    Berrian, Th.D.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    You have just redefined faith here.

    You have people seeing so that they can believe and faith is believing so that we can see. If we believe on him THEN we will see and know him. You make it seem as if he must reveal himself so that one can believe. In one way, you are correct. He must reveal himself, not by sight, but by word. Thus, the gospel is the means God has chosen to reveal himself to man, not some secret irresistable revelation of Himself to certain individuals that scripture never expounds upon.
     

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