Is "faith" a gift of God's grace

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by canadyjd, Jan 23, 2008.

?

Is "Faith a gift of God's grace?

Poll closed Feb 13, 2008.
  1. Yes, that is clearly taught in Eph. 2

    29 vote(s)
    87.9%
  2. No, that is not taught anywhere in scripture

    4 vote(s)
    12.1%
  3. I don't know

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    On another thread, the following exchange took place: Lou Martuneac said,

    canadyjd replied:

    My question then is this: Does Eph. 2:8 teach us that faith is a gift of God’s grace or is that concept an “extra-biblical presupposition of 5 point Calvinism”?

    Peace to you:praying:
     
    #1 canadyjd, Jan 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2008
  2. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    Eph 2:8 seems rather clear to me.
     
  3. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    It seemed obvious to me, too. Sometimes people just refuse to believe scripture if it conflicts with what they want to believe.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  4. donnA

    donnA
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    Of course our faith comes from God.
    I agree with canadyjd, some people refuse to believe scripture if it contradicts their beliefs.
     
  5. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    I see a couple of people voted "no" (so far). I am interested in your opinion of the Eph 2 passage. How can it mean anything other than what it says?

    peace to you:praying:
     
  6. Rubato 1

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    I voted yes. This does not mean that acting on our faith is not a matter of free will. Any gift we get, we either choose to accept or reject.
     
  7. Cara

    Cara
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    (Cara: As a Catholic, you are not allowed to post in Baptist Only Forums. Thank you.)
     
    #7 Cara, Jan 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2008
  8. KeithS

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    I must admit that I always thought "it" refers to being saved, not faith. Your poll encouraged me to look a bit further on the matter. Below is a very interesting article that supports the position that being saved is in view rather than faith. By the way, I did not vote in the poll since I did not like option two. I don't think it is taught in Eph. 2:8. I suppose that I should have voted I don't know. Oh, well.

    http://www.faithalone.org/news/y1989/89july1.html
     
  9. swaimj

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    KeithS, thank you for linking the article. I agree with it, that the gift spoken of is salvation. Having faith is a universal feature of mankind. Everyone has faith in something. The problem is that men place their faith in the wrong object not that men lack faith.
     
    #9 swaimj, Jan 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2008
  10. webdog

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    I haven't voted anything, as there is no "other" vote (can't vote that I don't know, because I do know), but no would be the closest if I had to. Salvation is clearly the gift being spoken of in Ephesians 2, the fact we are saved by grace through faith and not by works...not faith. It is referring back the whole of the phrase, not to faith.

    Faith is a gift in the same sense our conscience and God's Law written on every man's hearts is.
     
    #10 webdog, Jan 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2008
  11. Dr. L.T. Ketchum

    Dr. L.T. Ketchum
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    No one but Calvinists make the subject of God's "gift" in Ephesians 2:8 to be faith. The subject of God's gift ('it") is "saved." The "gift" of God is salvation. Faith is the CONDITION for receiving God's gift and the CONDITION of election.

    I would suggest you get a copy of Dr. Gerhard Raske's Grammatical Blueprint Bible on the Epistle to the Ephesians.
    http://www.kwic.com/~graske/
     
  12. EdSutton

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    I fully agree with most of what is posted here, along with agreeing with swaimj and KeithS. The neuter pronoun (that) cannot be referring back to a feminine noun (both 'grace' and 'faith' are feminine), under any usual circumstance, for a pronoun has to agree with the antecedent. Hence it is 'salvation' that is the gift of God, as Dr. L. T. Ketchum points out. I will add that 'election' or any "CONDITION of election" is not addressed per se in Eph. 2:8.

    Ed
     
    #12 EdSutton, Jan 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2008
  13. skypair

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    The problem is not with "faith" -- it is with "belief." Salvation works like this >> belief --- repentance --- faith, regeneration, etc.

    Hunt makes the same mistake (most free will types do). One CANNOT say that pre-salvation belief is the same thing as post-salvation, "evidenced" and "substantiated" faith, Heb 11:1. "Evidenced" and "substantiated?" YES.

    1) belief is a "step" to faith. How can there be faith in something you don't believe?

    2) How do you have faith in a belief that isn't proven ("evidenced" and "substantiated") to you? You've heard of "blind faith?" Biblical faith is NEVER blind. "Steps of faith" are predicated on already existing faith. But initial faith is predicated on belief + commitment (repentance).

    skypair
     
  14. jcjordan

    jcjordan
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    So, those of you who don't think that faith is a gift, would you also say that we shouldn't thank God for our faith? Would you honestly refuse to thank God for your faith, since you don't think it came from Him?
     
  15. MB

    MB
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    The Faith we are saved by has to be a gift because the faith of man just isn't good enough to save anyone. The faith that saves us is the faith of Jesus Christ. Just as it is the righteousness of Christ that the Father see's in us that justifies us.

    Gal 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.

    Whether or not Eph 2:8 is speaking of the gift of Salvation or the gift of faith it still amounts to the same thing. We are saved by the faith of Christ. Only His faith has ever been perfect. His faith is flawless which means assurance to me. My faith had too many doubts like that of Thomas. Which also shows that there is nothing deserving in man that he should be saved. I contributed nothing to my own Salvation. It was all of God.
    MB
     
  16. Dr. L.T. Ketchum

    Dr. L.T. Ketchum
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    Actually Brother Ed, election is the subject of Ephesians chapter two bulit upon the precedent (condition) of salvation by grace through faith.


    “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:11-22).


     
  17. swaimj

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    JCJordan, your post seems to be an attempt to change the subject. The topic is the statement in Ephesians. Clear exegesis of the text has been presented showing that the word "that" does not have faith as its antecedent. If you can't disprove this fact, this passage refutes your position. That is the problem you face. Please address the topic.

    MB, what translation of Galations 2:16 are you using? While some newer commentaries are translating this phrase "faith of Christ" rather than the traditional "faith in Chirst", the first translation is hardly universally held. Besides, if Jesus' faith is what saves us and not the exercise of our own faith in Jesus, why does Jesus address people whom he heals in the gospels and say "Your faith has saved you"? and why does Paul repeatedly say, the author of Hebrews say, the OT say, and heck, even Martin Luther said "The just shall live by faith"? I'd advise you to read Thomas Schriener's commentary on Romans on this topic. Scheiner is reformed and he gives a lengthy explanation why the phrase should be translated "faith in Christ" both in Galations and Romans.
     
  18. Dr. L.T. Ketchum

    Dr. L.T. Ketchum
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    Your are taking a monothetic definition of faith. Galatians 2:16 is referring to the faithfulness of Christ in fulfilling the Law. Therefore, the subject of the text is that salvation is not based upon human performance (man-kind righteousness through Law keeping), but upon the performance of Christ (God-kind righteousness by perfectly keeping the Law). This God-kind righteousness is imputed to the believing sinner who has repented of his own moralism and who has trusted in Christ for the imputation of God-kind righteousness “by grace through faith.” The imputation of God-kind righteousness (the righteousness of Christ) is one of the many aspects of the “gift” of salvation.
     
  19. bbas 64

    bbas 64
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    Good Day, LT Ketchum

    You have got to be kidding me right.... There are plenty of (non-calvinist) who view it the same way:

    If we have no guarantee that it is always God’s will to heal, how then can we pray in faith for healing? In the same way that we pray in faith for other things which Scripture does not specifically promise us. We may pray that the Lord would give us a job at a certain company, but we cannot know for sure if it’s His will that we work there unless He personally assures us of it through His Spirit. Faith is a supernatural gift (Ephesians 2:8); it begins with God. Thus when it is God’s will for a healing (which I believe it often would be), if we are open and receptive to Him, a supernatural assurance from Him will come upon us. The Body of Christ needs to learn to be more receptive and responsive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit working in our faith, so that through a sovereign act of God’s healing will multiply in the land, and the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified. — Elliot Miller (© CRI, 1979)

    http://www.equip.org/site/c.muI1LaMNJrE/b.2625903/k.B4D0/DH018.htm

    You can not be saved with out faith, your seperation fails.

    In Him,

    Bill
     
  20. Dr. L.T. Ketchum

    Dr. L.T. Ketchum
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    Brother Bill,
    Faith is not a gift. Faith, like repentance, is a CHOICE/DECISION TO BELIEVE, to which God supernaturally leads the sinner through the working of His Holy Spirit. Romans 2:4 tells us that it is the goodness of God that LEADS us to repentance. Once there, we must make a DECISION to obey. God's healing (Scripturally in the Gospels) was conditioned on a believer's faith. Faith is the EXPRESSION of beliefs.
     

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