Faith

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by JMF, Nov 24, 2002.

  1. JMF

    JMF
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    Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Romans 3:24-31 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

    Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

    Galatians 3:1-5 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

    Is faith a work? I know Calvinists are big on saying that if the will of man had anything to do with their salvation then it was something they did. So I ask again is faith a work?
     
  2. npetreley

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    Faith is a gift from God, not a work, as Ephesians 2:8 says.
     
  3. KenH

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    Amen, npetreley. [​IMG]

    Ken
     
  4. swaimj

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    Faith is not a work and...Eph 2:8 does not say that it is a gift. ;)
     
  5. KenH

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    Sure it does.

    Ephesians 2:8(NASB)
    8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;


    I know people go round and round and round about the Greek used here. Everything associated with salvation is a gift of God. If anyone does not believe everything associated with salvation is a gift of God, then he believes that salvation is by works. Salvation(of which repentance and faith are a part) is either a gift or it is merited. It cannot be both.

    Ken

    [ November 24, 2002, 07:48 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    PHil 1:29 says it is and you can't get away from that on grammar [​IMG]
     
  7. swaimj

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    Fair enough, Pastor Larry. However, Paul is speaking to people who are already saved and he is speaking to them as a group, in contrast to the group who are unsaved and who are persecuting them. To derive from this verse all the deterministic concepts that calvinists hold in regards to faith being a special gift given to some and denied to others is, I think, an exegetical stretch.
     
  8. KenH

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    Romans 3:24,28(NASB)
    24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
    28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.


    We see here that the Christian is justified as a gift, and that the Christian is justified by faith. Therefore, faith must be a gift.

    Ken

    [ November 24, 2002, 09:27 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  9. swaimj

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    Once again, Ken, your evidence is from a passage from Paul to a Christian audience. I think the teaching of this passage is clear, I think I grasp it intellectually, and I have no problem with it. My problem is that calvinists extrapolate from a passage like this that salvation is a gift for and available to only a few. Once again, exegetically unjustifiable.
     
  10. KenH

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    1) The whole New Testament was written to Christians. From what book of the New Testament am I supposed to find evidence that was not written to Christians? :confused:

    2) Who said anything about faith being available only to a few. Not me. I believe there will be more people in heaven than in hell as I have explained my reasons why previously in this forum.

    Ken
     
  11. swaimj

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    In the book of Acts, you will find sermons preached by the apostles to audiences of unsaved people. Though the book of Acts is written to believers, these sermons are delivered to the unsaved. In these you will find the Biblical pattern of preaching to the unsaved. In these you will find that the gospel is for all men and that faith is commanded of all men. In the responses to these sermons you will find that men who reject the gospel do so out of their sinfulness even though they hear it, understand it, and know it to be true. They do not reject it because they were preordained to reject it or because they were denied the "gift of faith".
     
  12. JMF

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    Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:(and the non-elect of course)

    Psalms 78:19-22 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people? Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:

    Why was the Lord wroth?
    Because they believed not in God

    John 6:28-29 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
     
  13. npetreley

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    True, but this doesn't speak for or against faith as a gift or work. One might just as well quote, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men..." Does that make godliness and righteousness an attainable work?

    Assume for a moment that faith is a gift, and not a work. Does the answer Jesus gave contradict that? No - because it is the work of God that you believe and trust him whom he has sent.

    Now assume that faith is a work. Does the answer contradict that, either? No. He could have said, "This is your work to do, that you strive to believe on him whom he has sent," and that would put an end to all argument. But that's not what Jesus said.
     
  14. tyndale1946

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    If Faith is a work to obtain eternal salvation... What work did the thief do that was crucified with Jesus... Who Jesus told this day shalt thou be with me in paradise?... He didn't say anything to the other thief... Why?... Keep with scripture no assumptions allowed!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    So faith is only a gift to those who are already saved?? You might get away with that kind of exegesis over there but you wouldn't get away with it here [​IMG] I think you would have a very hard time making that distinction on the basis of the text. To say that Paul is writing to believes doesn't help, IMO. I can't see where it is any different. The context of Phil 1:29 is salvation and Christian life ... faith and suffering. For those who would question the suffering, don't forget that the suffering came from teh same place the faith did.
     
  16. Monergist

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    Romans 10:16-17 (ESV)
    But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?" [17] So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

    Q: If faith comes by hearing, how can it not be a gift?

    [ November 25, 2002, 09:58 AM: Message edited by: TimothyW ]
     
  17. swaimj

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    That is not what I am saying, but let me restate my argument to try to make it more clear. In Verses 27-30 (the paragraph surrounding the verse in question) Paul is speaking to the Phillipian believers as a group (Hint: check the number of the of the word translated "you" and you will see that it is plural). He is speaking to them as a group. Also, he is contrasting them with the unbelievers (the other group in the context) who do not have faith and who are persecuting them (v. 28). Understanding this, it is bad exegesis to derive from this passage that there is a gift of faith that is given to some individuals and withheld from others. That is not what Paul is teaching. Yet, since that is the conclusion to which calvinists have come, you misconstrue this verse to support it. That is called proof-texting Pastor Larry, and whether "there or here", it is poor exegesis and bad practice. [​IMG]
     
  18. KenH

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    I totally agree with what I quoted from you above. [​IMG] I would add that repentance is also commanded of all men.

    Ken
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    I understand your point. I disagree with your exegesis. Consider your own statements, that I believe undermine your stated position.

    Correct. So what is the difference between these two groups (according to the context)? The believers are being persecuted by the unbelievers. Why?? Because it has been granted to the bleievers, not only to believe, but also to suffer. Why aren't the unbelievers suffering? Because it has been granted to them neither to believe nor to suffer. That is the plain reading of the text; I can't see how anything else remains in the realm of exegesis.

    In other words you admit the difference between believers and unbelievers. What you ignore is the textual explanation for why such difference exists. The unbelievers neither believe nor suffer; the believers both believe and suffer. What is the difference?? It is the gift of grace from God (euchariste)--the believers have it; the unbelievers don't.

    Yet it is exactly what Paul says. Why do you disagree?? I cannot see how you can possibly deny that faith is a gift. To put my question another way, if faith is not a gift of grace, then why does Paul say that they have been given faith? If you want to say it is not saving faith, then what kind of faith is it?

    I don't think it is the calvinists who are reading their position into the text here. I think you are ignoring the plain reading of the text because, in your mind, "The text can't be saying faith is a gift because faith is not a gift." In other words, you argue to your conclusion based on your presupposition that faith is not a gift. However, the text explicitly says otherwise.

    To say that Paul is talking to believers is a no-brainer. Of course he is. Why would he be telling unbelievers that they have been given faith? They haven't been, by definition, or else they would no longer be unbelievers.

    I have not misconstrued anything nad "proof-texting" is usually the last resort of those who can't answer the text. The text explicitly says that they have been given faith. To deny that they have been given faith is to misconstrue the text. That is the bad exegesis here. In exegesis, you let the text say what it does. You cannot shoehorn your own views into the text.
     
  20. Bro. James Reed

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    Amen to that, Pastor Larry! :D I am glad it is a gift. Who are we, to even think that we could attain salvation by taking something from God? If it is not a gift, then we must have stolen it, right? "N"..."O" Instead of trying to prove that faith is not a gift, we should be praising God & thanking Him for giving this gift to us. Otherwise, how could we, lowly worms, attain it? In Christian Love, Bro. James
     

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