Faith "not of yourselves" Eph 2:8

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by steaver, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. steaver

    steaver
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    I want to start this from scratch by presenting a question.

    How can faith in Jesus Christ come from anything that is me acting apart from God?

    Everyday I live my life "knowing" that Jesus Christ is Lord. That is faith is it not? I don't have to think about it. I don't have to work it up from within. I have absolutely no control over the fact that I know Jesus Christ is God, my God. So how is this faith credited to me as though it is something I am generating from myself? As if i get up each morning and decide whether or not I am going to believe in Jesus today? It is just there all the time. I don't look for it. I don't say today your going to have faith steaver. It appears to me that I have no control over it. It is part of my life. I cannot stop believing in Jesus anymore than I can stop believing in me! Why do i hear "ye must continue to believe, ye must continue to believe"? How can I not? Does anybody else feel like they could ever stop "their" faith in Jesus? How? How can I stop believing that which I know is true??

    God Bless!
     
  2. ccrobinson

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    No, I don't believe that I could ever "stop" my faith in Jesus. It's as much a part of me as breathing is. I don't consciously think, "Breathe." I just do it. I don't consciously think, "Faith." I just have it. I don't understand how you could ever "unknow" something.
     
  3. webdog

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    It would help to post the entire verse in context.

    Eph 2:8(HCSB) For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift--

    The greek for this, or "that", is touto. It is singular , referring to God's grace. If you translate the verse to mean that God's grace AND faith are not from us, but God's gift, the text would have read..."for by grace you are saved through faith, and these are not from yourselves; it is God's gift."

    It is apparent, then, that faith IS something that ALL men are born with, with the capability in exercising to either choose of reject God.
     
  4. Humblesmith

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    working from memory here...but tauto is nueter, faith is feminine. So the only thing that makes sense in greek is for the "that" to be the whole preceeding phrase, namely 'saved by grace through faith' which is a singular concept. But your conclusion is correct.
     
  5. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Your faith (both initial and continual) is totally up to you.

    Salvation is a joint process between God and you. God provides the grace. You - and you alone - provide the faith. Salvation is dependent upon both of you doing your job.

    God did his part by providing salvation for all through Christ and calling everyone to repentence. Your job is to use your own free will and provide the faith. If you are smart enough to respond and choose to have faith, and then continue to believe and have faith of your own accord throughout your entire lifetime, then you have salvation.

    OR, perhaps salvation is of the Lord.
     
  6. BobRyan

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    John 12:32 "I will DRAW ALL mankind unto ME"

    John 1 "He is the light that coming into the world ENLIGHTENS EVERY one of mankind"

    John 16:8-12 "The Spirit of Truth -- convicts the WORLD of sin and righteousness and judgment".

    Romans 12 "UNTO EACH one is given a measure of faith".

    The fact that God "So loved the WORLD" that He provides salvation to all - DRAWS ALL and ENABLES all to choose Him - does not remove our responsibility to "act".

    So there is no text that says "faith not of yourselves" because the focus of God's Word is ALWAYS that we MUST act. "That WHOSOEVER BELIEVES in Him might not perish..."

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. Tazman

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    You answered your own question. Your faith is you choosing to believe in something.
    If you believe in God it is because you decided by the inspiration of God to believe in Him.

    That is actually a good thing you feel that way. But don't let that feeling make you think that you did not chose to have faith. Everyone should feel compelled because the evidence is so obvious, however Jesus was never afraid to credit people the power of THEIR own faith in Him:

    Matthew 9:22 Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment.

    Mat 9:29 29Then he touched their eyes and said, " According to your faith will it be done to you";

    Luke 17:19 Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

    good.

    It's simple, because it's possible for someone to not STOP believing. If you accept all the teaching in scripture you will accept the warnings as well. It's not that people stop believing that Jesus is real and that he can save or that God exist, no not at all.

    In some cases people kept ignoring the spirit and started deliberately sinning while knowing Jesus such that nothing else can save them (meaning there is no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation that will consume the enemies of God) Heb 10:26

    In other cases some people go arrogant

    Rom 11: 17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

    If you are able to accept the warnings as they truly are it should give you Godly fear which is not of yourself.


    Jesus is no different in John 15: (vine and branches). He expects fruit from those connected to the vine, but if no fruit GOD HIMSELF WILL CUT Loose the branch.

    Well Jesus knew hearts will associate expectation with harshness or lack of grace, so he gave another parable for the believers

    Matthew 25:

    The Parable of the Talents

    14"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.

    Notice two when straight to work believing the master and showing trustworthiness, BUT the other chickened out and did not even attempt to apply himself (remember his still a servant)

    This is that servants response:

    24 "Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man , harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'

    Now this guy produced nothing because he misunderstood the master calling him a hard man because he gave the servant something to do :rolleyes:

    26 "His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! :eek: So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

    God can use the least to the greatest of us, but he will not tolerate lazy excuse making servants
    Well, so much for the "God knows that I can do nothing" mentality

    End result of not someone who didn't believe, but some one who believe, who didn't care enough to do something with it:

    (faith without deeds)

    28" 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness , where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

    Now don't go applying this to unbelievers again, because in order to be thrown into darkness, you would have 1st needed to be in the Light [​IMG]

    Think about it. [​IMG]
     
  8. steaver

    steaver
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    If I can declare that it is "my" act of faith that has saved me, then isn't that a "boast" just the same as the Jews declaring that "their" act of circumcision is saving them? The Jews will say that they are only doing what God has commanded them to do, that they are not boasting. How are they any different than us declaring that we are only doing what Jesus has commanded us to do? Wasn't "my" faith placed there by God when I said yes to His offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ when I received the rebirth from Him?

    God Bless!
     
  9. Tazman

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    Blinders,

    Wipe you slate clean then approach scripture.


    Which comes first your acceptance or forgiveness?

    God inspired faith but It is our choice when and when we place it.

    Really simple.
     
  10. steaver

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    I'm not sure, in the parable (Matt 18) the man was forgiven first, it doesn't say whether he then accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, it sure did not look like it since he had no change of heart towards other people. It never says he accepted the forgiveness. Jesus healed ten lepards I believe it was and only one accepted Him as Lord. Jesus said that when He was healing people it was the same as forgiving them their sins. The woman caught in adultery did not ask for forgiveness either, Jesus just gave it before she accepted Him as Savior. It doesn't say whether or not she accepted eternal life later or not.

    What do you think comes first?

    God Bless!
     
  11. bmerr

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    Steaver,

    bmerr here. We need to understand that the faith/belief that makes one acceptable to God is the faith/belief that obeys His commands. Heb 5:9 tells us that Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to those who obey Him.

    There is another verse in one of Peter's epistles (forgive the lack of Scripture reference, I am unarmed at the moment), that presents belief and disobedience as opposites. If we follow this logically, we find that belief = obedience.

    To apply this to your opening post, while the knowledge of the deity of Christ etc, may always be in one's mind, the willingness to obey the commands of Christ may not be. To disobey is to disbelieve.

    Fortunately, God does not demand perfection from us mere men. That standard has already been met in Jesus Christ. God does demand faithfulness, though, as a bride to her Husband. This is something all are capable of, but all are not necessarily willing.

    The woman caught in adultery was also given a command to obey: "Go and sin no more". If she continued in the lifestyle that had brought her under condemnation, would she not later fall under condemnation? I'd say she would.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  12. BobRyan

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    Whosoever Believes – is saved.

    Romans 10
    saved - salvation to those who believe. The fact that one who believes and is saved will continue to read and study and obey - does not abolish the fact of salvation just as stated above - at the time we believe.
    Salvation comes to the one who confesses and believes. Then we go on to follow in the works of obedience – including water Baptism
     
  13. BobRyan

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    In Rom 10 the sequence is the expected Arminian sequence.
    #1. Believe in Christ after hearing the Gospel as you are being DRAWN to God
    #2. This is a step toward God in righteousness
    #3. Confess that you know believe and you will be “born-again” forgiven and saved!

    By contrast the “expected” Calvinist sequence is
    #1. Regenerated by God – forgiven, born-again “Alive and IN Christ”.
    #2. Discover that God has saved you and that you are already born-again.
    #3. Believe in the one that has put you in this saved state of existence.
    #4. Confess that you are not only born-again and alive-in Christ, but NOW you also believe!

    Notice that the “expected” Arminian sequence also appears in Acts 26 -
    #1. Eyes opened by the preaching. Paul needs to go and be used by God to Open their eyes to truth.
    #2. They need to CHOOSE to turn from darkness to light. (Christ is the one who coming into the world enlightens all mankind)
    #3. And having turned – to be transferred FROM the dominion of Satan TO The dominion (Kingdom) of God. (Born again) Child of God.
    #4. Having transitioned into God’s kingdom they are forgiven and saved.
     
  14. BobRyan

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    The basics of the ONE Gospel message that goes into all the World via nature.


    Now the part everyone knows --

    The full text quoted in vs 18 above is as follows
    Clearly Paul is appealing (again) to nature's voice in declaring the truth of God - so that "they (the people - Jew and gentile) did hear" - fulfilling the
    condition –

    And using that Ps 19 context – Paul then continues…

    and this - is in perfect agreement with the opening context of the book of Romans - chapter 1.
    Clearly - they are without excuse because God did manifest himself as described in the text and still they refused the God that "draws all men unto him".
    So although Paul points to the witness of God's creation in Ps 19 as proving that
    Israel is "without excuse" and did have the opportunity to "believe" - he also points to the motive of jealousy as God's witness to non-Hebrew people results in salvation.


    Again – Paul emphasis the Gospel message of Isaiah (the Gospel prophet) confirming Paul’s statement that the Gospel message was given and that men rejected it then as they do today.

    Indeed - God's chosen race, royal priesthood, holy nation - seemed to be rebelling against the God that called them, that chose them - in spite of the witness we see proclaimed in the OT and in Psalms 19 regarding creation itself.
     
  15. Tazman

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    How come no one who uses Romans 10 as a bases for initial salvation/belief share it in proper context.

    It would seem to me that this epistle (specifically Rom 10:9) is written to believers not unbelievers and it should hardly be considered the bases to fully convert one who never was apart of Christ to Him for the first time.

    I believe in context that if a believer that has lost faith pray Jesus into there heart will be saved.

    The specific issue that was going on is Jewish believers trying to combined/replace Jesus with the Law of Moses (specifically circumcision) 2:7,25, 3:1-9, 3:29,4:14, 9:24.)


    1Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. 4Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

    5Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them."[a] 6But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) 7"or 'Who will descend into the deep?'[c]" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,"[d] that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."[e] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."[f]

    14 How , then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"[g]


    Paul take us back to the beginning of the message the way everyone in His time would receive it, including Jews:

    1. The apostles will be sent by God.

    2. The will preach the word. Amen.(what is the message preached that would be preached? Mat 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-20, Acts 2:38-40 for starters)and Mark 1:15 "King of God is near, Repent AND believe the good news!" - Jesus

    3. They Must hear (the truth specifically)

    4. They Must believe what they had heard

    5. They must confess (not just with words, but action) that Jesus is Lord! Notice Paul done this calling on His name while being baptized Acts 22:16 14"Then he said: 'The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name .' [​IMG]


    Now I can't see how a none-believer (someone who never committed/baptized into Christ) gets to Pauls point of referennce in verses 9 & 10 WITHOUT having been through verses 14 & 15

    There is more to say, but I'll wait..

    Grace and Peace.

    [ January 22, 2006, 06:26 PM: Message edited by: Tazman ]
     
  16. BobRyan

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    In Romans 11 Paul points to the reader and says "you stand only by your faith" and says we should "fear" for "IF He did not spare them neither will He spare you". I think Paul considers that many of the readers are in fact saved - standing by faith and they need to persevere in it.
     
  17. Tazman

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    Well a little more on the true issues in the early church.....


    Gal 5:7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9"A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough." 10I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. 11Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate :eek: themselves!

    You know it's funny that there seems to be this rejection of baptism as necessary in our century, but It NEVER a rejection or lessoned requirement in the early church. Furthermore, any current justification of rejecting Baptism as a essential element in initial salvation is often referencing something related to the law, like "Works" and stuff. The apostles NEVER made any such reference.

    Just a thought [​IMG]
     
  18. Claudia_T

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    1Tm:1:19: Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck

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

    If all men are born with a measure of faith (which the Bible says they are) then apparently some have chosen not to exercise it.

    You have to "put on" faith. which is a decision.

    1Thes:5:8: But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

    Eph:6:16: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.


    "If" you continue in the faith means you may perhaps choose not to do so.
    Col:1:23: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister


    If God just automatically gives you faith through no choice of your own, then that would make a mockery ofthis Bible Passage:

    Rom:11:20: Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear
    21: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
    22: Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

    You could go on and on with Bible verses like this, I really dont know how people get these ideas that you dont ever have to actually "do" anything... but that God just does everything for you. If that were the case then the Bible would need only be a couple of pages long.

    Claudia
     
  19. Tazman

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    It's called "Cheap Grace" :D The American way. Get something for nothing :rolleyes:

    Yeah baby [​IMG]

    OSAS :(
     
  20. Don

    Don
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    Yo, Taz: I suppose you make arrangements to pay for the Christmas and birthday gifts others give you?
     

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