Is Faith a "WORK" even if its effectually produced?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, May 11, 2011.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    We all agree that someone must have faith in Christ for salvation.

    Calvinists argue that faith comes as a result of an effectual work in the heart of the man irresistibly producing saving faith in Christ.

    Non-Cals argue that faith comes as a result of hearing God's words, but not effectually or "irresistibly" so.

    So, we both affirm faith results from God's work, but one is an effectual work and the other is not.

    Now, here is the question: Whether faith is produced effectually or not, is it considered a "work?"


    If not, why not? Isn't it something man still must do, even if its as a result of an effectual working?

    If so, then do we all believe that men are saved by grace through a work? Or could it be that Paul was showing the difference in the works of the law and faith in the one who fulfilled the law for us?
     
  2. JesusFan

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    Faith must NOT be a work in the process of salavation, as the Lord credited faith as means by which one obtained the application of His grace, even in the OT shown through life of Abraham...

    Think that its as simple as the offer/pardon/gift God grants to the saved is received by faith, as it only gets applied and credited by us receiving it personally...
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    I might buy the argument that faith is a work if Paul had said clearly that it is not.
    Ephesians 2:8-10

    By grace are you saved, through faith......
    ...NOT of works.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    :thumbs: Agreed.

    So, are Calvinists who accuse non-Calvinists of making faith a work of man wrong simply because non-Cals don't believe God's work to produce faith in man is irresistible?
     
  5. Fred's Wife

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    Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

    Wasn't "faithful" Abraham declared "righteous" because he "believed" God?

    Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

    The Bible says that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17)

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

    Biblical faith is not a blind leap into the dark. It is confidence in a believable Record that God has given in the Scriptures. How can this be a "work"?
     
  6. mandym

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    You need to define what a work is
     
  7. savedbymercy

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    Faith becomes a work whenever we believe its the cause of God declaring one righteous before His sight..In that case Faith has seperceded the blood of Christ, which is what Justifies before God. Rom 5:

    9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
     
  8. savedbymercy

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    fredw

    Whats the it ? is it Abraham's Faith or the object of Abraham's Faith which would be Christ and His righteousness !
     
  9. Fred's Wife

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    The "it" in that verse is Abraham's faith/belief in God's Word. If the object had been Christ and His righteousness, the verse would have said 'He' (Christ) was accounted to him (Abraham) for righteousness.

    Scripture bears this out. Throughout the Word of God, Christ is always referred to as 'He' in the personal pronoun.
     
  10. JesusFan

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    object of his faith, in the promises that God had told him...
    paul would say say that he was "saved" by faith, james that he had saving faith, as shown by his obeying God to go to a "strange land of promise"

    Faith itself is NOT saving agent, just way one "taps into" accessing the saving object, Cross of Christ..
     
  11. Allan

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    You must have missed the scripture which states we are justified by faith, just as we are sanctified by faith, just as we are indwelt by faith, and just as we are saved by grace through faith.
    It is 'by faith' we are justified (Rom 3:28)
    It is 'by faith' we are sanctified (Acts 26:18,)
    It is 'by faith' we are made righteous (Rom 3:22, Rom 4:5)
    It is 'by faith' the propitiation (substituationary death) is applied to man (Rom 3:25)
    It is 'by faith' we receive (obtain) the indwelling Holy Spirit (Gal 3:14)

    While it is true it is His blood that justifies it is not applied except by faith, just as it is true we are saved by grace by it that salvation is not applied except by faith. It can not be by grace unless it is by faith.
     
    #11 Allan, May 11, 2011
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  12. Iconoclast

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    The Function of Saving Faith. Faith is instrumental, not causative, in our
    salvation. In other words, we are not saved “because of faith,” but rather
    “through” or “by” faith (Eph. 2:8–10). This is a critical matter. This is, indeed,
    174
    the watershed between salvation by grace and salvation by works [innate
    human ability]. To be saved because of faith would necessarily mean that
    such faith would be mere human trust, which would stand opposed to the very
    principle and reality of Divine grace

    From A Baptist Confession with Commentary,by WR.Downing

    in the commentary a scriptural distinction is made ,saving faith, false faith, temporary faith,doctrinal faith, intellectual assent....The reason for the confusion is not marking out the distinctions.
     
  13. savedbymercy

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    jf:

    Yes, Christ is the believers righteousness , not their Faith. Christ righteousness is revealed to the believer as being his or her righteousness Rom 1:

    16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

    17For therein[The Gospel] is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

    Faith is the ordained instrument by which the righteousness of God is embraced and realized, but Christ is that righteousness..

    1 Cor 1:

    30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

    Hence Christ was revealed to Abraham as His righteousness through the Gospel Gal 3:

    8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

    Same Gospel as Rom 1:16-17
     
  14. Allan

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    My answer to the OP lies in a verse that is close to the one being discussed of Abraham's faith, and in fact is part of the context of it.
    Faith can never be considered a work as the very meaning of the word denies such accusations. Note that when one does a work he has 'earned' something. Getting equal value for the job performed.

    Faith however, is not earning anything but believing what God has said.
     
  15. Fred's Wife

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    :thumbs: Amen!

    Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Where does one find "works" in that verse?
     
  16. Allan

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    When you start with an incorrect premise you end with an incorrect conclusion. However, Downing does bring home a particular point.. It MUST be his view or else he is wrong.. and that my friends is what we say is - Theology dictating what scripture means rather than scripture dictating theology.
     
  17. JesusFan

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    we must have "saving faith" which is another way to say that it IS the object of our faith that produces salvation...

    Satan has "faith" that God exists, but that cannot save him....

    What saves us is the atonement wrought by Cross of Christ, and our faith "appropiates" , accesses the Grace of God...

    Now you can say as we cals that even the faith itself is a gift from God, or as Arms say is intrinsic produced in/of ourselves...

    BOTH use faith to gain access to what actually saves, Cross of Christ!
     
    #17 JesusFan, May 11, 2011
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  18. Iconoclast

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    Allan,
    I am sure Pastor Downing would be willing to respond to any inquiry you might have.
    yes.....and perhaps it is you who have the wrong starting point.
    The answer is found in the wording

    Here I found this for you:
    1. The root of 4102/pistis ("faith") is 3982/peithô ("to persuade, be persuaded") which supplies the core-meaning of faith ("divine persuasion"). It is God's warranty that guarantees the fulfillment of the revelation He births within the receptive believer (cf. 1 Jn 5:4 with Heb 11:1).

    Faith (4102/pistis) is always received from God, and never generated by us. Ro 12:3: "For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith (4102/pistis)" (NASU).

    Eph 2:8,9: " For by grace you have been saved through faith (4102/pistis); and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as

    1 a result of works, so that no one may boast" (NASU).

    Gal 5:22,23: "22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,

    patience, kindness, goodness, faith (4102/pistis), 23gentleness,

    self-control; against such things there is no law."

    2 Thes 1:11: "To this end (glorification) – indeed each time we pray about (peri) you for the purpose (hina) of our God counting you worthy of the call – even that He may fulfill (His) every good-pleasure that comes from (His) goodness and work of faith, in (His) ability."

    Reflection: Faith is only (exclusively) given to the redeemed. It is not a virtue that can be worked up by human effort.

    2. Faith (4102/pistis) enables the believer to know God's preferred-will (cf. J. Calvin; see 2307/thelçma). Accordingly, faith (4102/pistis) and "God's preferred-will (2307/thelçma)" are directly connected in Scripture.

    2 Ro 12:2,3: " And do not be conformed to this world, but betransformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will (2307/thelçma) of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 3For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith (4102/pistis)" (NASU).

    2 Cor 8:5,7: " And this, not as we had expected, but they first

    gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will (2307/thelçma) of

    God" (NASU).

    7" But just as you abound in everything, in faith (4102/pistis)

    and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love

    we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also"

    (NASU).

    Heb 10:36,38: "36For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will (2307/thelçma) of God, you may receive what was promised" (NASU).

    38 " BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH(4102/pistis); AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM" (NASU).

    1 Jn 5:4: "For whatever is born of God conquers the world;

    and this is the conquest that has conquered the world – our faith

    (4102/pistis)."

    3. In sum, faith (4102/pistis) is a persuasion from God that we receive as He grants impulse ("divine spark"; cf. the Heb hiphil form of believe, *mn, in a later discussion). Faith is always the work of God and involves hearing His voice – whereby the believer lays hold of His preferred-will (cf. J. Calvin).

    1 Hab 2:1: " I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart;

    e And I will keep watch to see what He will speak in (Heb b ) me" (NASU).

    Hab 2:4: "Behold, as for the proud one,

    His soul is not right within him;

    But the righteous will live in his faith" (= 4102/pistis, "faith from the

    Lord").

    More on what faith is . . . and isn't
    In Scripture, faith and belief are not exactly the same. Faith always comes from God and involves His revelation therefore faith is beyond belief!

    Faith is God's work; faith is never the work of people. We cannot produce faith ourselves, nor can we "drum it up at will." Rather, faith comes as Christ speaks His rhçma-word within (see Ro 10:17, Gk text). In all of Scripture, only the term faith is ever used in the following way: Ro 14:23: Whatever is not of faith (4102/pistis) is sin." Heb 11:6: "And without faith (4102/pistis) it is impossible to

    please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (NASU).

    Reflection: Nothing quite like this two-fold witness appears elsewhere in the Bible. These sweeping statements sober the heart and inspire the soul!

    The Lord offers to inbirth faith in each scene of life – so that each matters equally in eternity . . . no matter how insignificant they seem (Lk 16:10 with Lk 17:6 and 2 Pet 1:2).

    Key quotes
    here is where i found it...
    http://strongsnumbers.com/greek/4102.htm

    here is Pastor Downings contact info;
    http://www.sgbcsv.org/
     
    #18 Iconoclast, May 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2011
  19. DHK

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    This is a false premise and cannot be proven. The above verse is taken out of its context. If you read the context it is speaking of spiritual gifts that are given to believers. I ask you: Does God give spiritual gifts to the unregenerate? Of course not. Then why yank a verse out of the context of Scripture to try and prove that he does. There is not one verse in Scripture to prove that God gives faith to the unregenerate. He doesn't. He does not give faith to the unregenerate. Start with a false premise and you will end with a false premise.
     
  20. Allan

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    To this I agree.. there is nothing inherently saving in and of faith itself.. what makes faith saving is the object OF that faith.

    Yes, because it is the object of faith that saves, not faith itself.

    Again, no non-Cal or Arminian disagrees

    While I agree.. it is also the main point of contention.
    Faith is common to ALL man, and thus what need is there to give to man what he does not need.. especially if it, of itself, can not save?
    To the Cal, why does God need to 'give' man some special (one time only) kind of faith, when the person (to the Cals mind) is regenerated and everything about him has been renew EXCEPT his faith - this has to given to him because ??? That is the one thing God can't regenerate. He can regenerate man so that his only desire is so change that he must to and accept God, his mind has been renewed, his spirit, just not his - faith?

    To this I agree again. Faith is the vehicle through with salvation comes or is imparted. God can not and will not eternally save a single person a part from that person placing their in what God has revealed about Christ Jesus and His work.
     

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