Is faith a work?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by ILUVLIGHT, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. ILUVLIGHT

    ILUVLIGHT
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    It seems then some admit that the elect have to make that choice to have faith or not. Justification is by faith and Calvinist have told me that faith is a work. If we aren't saved until we are justified by faith then we are saved by works according to the Calvinist belief that faith is a work.
    I don't believe faith is a work because of this verse;
    Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    So how can one not work but believe and have faith and it still be a work?. Seems to me you either work at faith or it is something that comes from hearing the gospel. If it comes by hearing then it is the work of the one who vocalized the gospel and not the work of the one who receives faith from hearing it.
    May God Bless;
    Mike
     
  2. Yelsew2

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    Excellent depiction of truth ILUVLIGHT.

    FAITH requires no expenditure of energy. Not one erg of effort is expended in faith!

    That is why Ephesians 2:8,9 says that Salvation is "Not of Works..." Salvation is through FAITH, which is not a work!

    If faith were a work, and Salvation is NOT OF WORKS, how is it that JESUS could say, "whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (salvation).

    Atonement pays the penalty for sin.
    Salvation is not of works.
    Now the Calvinists try to wipe out faith?

    Well in Calvin's world that leaves regeneration. And scriptures do not support regeration. So Calvinist you are wrong.
     
  3. BBNewton

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    Mike,

    I understand your thoughts on this issue. I don't believe saving faith is a work of man, but wrather, it is a work of God:

    28Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
    29Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." (John 6:28,29)

    The question is, "why do some people believe and other people do not?" Many teach that some believe because they chose to believe by nature of their own free will. I believe that all people after the fall of Adam follow the inclination of their own hearts by merit of their own free wills. (Gen. 8:21) So our loving God decided to redeem a people for himself by his own power, drawing us to himself. (John 6:44)

    The underlying priciple of why people believe is found in election, as Christ taught:

    25Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, 26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[4] ; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30I and the Father are one." (John 10:25,30)

    We learn here that:

    1. People believe because they are sheep. (vs 26)
    2. People listen and follow because they are sheep. (vs. 27)
    3. All that are sheep will be saved. (vs. 28)

    How does a person become a sheep?

    4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (Ephesians 1:4-6)


    Arminianism is an attempt to justify God in the eyes of depraved sinners. We need to be justified before God. Glory be to him alone because in and of his own purpose and grace he has done just that. I hope this helps. God bless.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    Guys,

    Even if Calvinists could convince us that faith was a work, it is certainly not a "work of the Law" to which Paul refers.

    We, as Christians, have so conditioned ourselves to be "anti-works" salvation, and rightly so, but Calvinists have used this abhorance for "works salvation" against "faith salvation" as if they are one in the same.

    It is clear from the text that faith is of man because the text says "man's faith" and "the your faith" and "the faith of the man" it doesn't say, "God's faith in man." Though we all agree that the capasity for faith had to come from God because all good things come from him. Faith comes from hearing the Word and the Word of faith is from God. So, God get all the credit even for our faith, but it is still our responsiblity.

    Good posts.
     
  5. Skandelon

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    Newton,

    Don't you believe that we are to pursue righteousness by faith?
     
  6. BBNewton

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    Skan,

    Of course I believe we are to pursue righteousness by faith. I go further and am willing to say that my faith itself comes from God alone. So anything righteous coming from me is from God.

    Do you believe in imputation or infusion of righteousness?
     
  7. Skandelon

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    I also believe that anything righteous coming from me is from God. I believe God has given all the capasity for faith otherwise why would God rebuke people for their lack of faith. Shouldn't he rebuke himself for not giving them faith?

    That depends on what you mean.
     
  8. BBNewton

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    I believe all people have a capacity for faith, but the problem is that they hate God too much to want to believe in him in a way of an active faith of service. I don't believe people are puppets, but wrather, that they are willing slaves to sin. That is why God must first ordain people to eternal life inorder for them to believe in him (Acts 13:48).
     
  9. Skandelon

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    Acts 13:48 is another example of the Jew/Gentile issue that I described on the other post. Look at the context of that passage. The fact that Gentiles were believing was proof that they had been appointed to enter covenant with God, something that was very unpopular in those days. So the author was merely saying, all those who were appointed to eternal life proved it by their faith. Yes, even the Gentiles were appointed! How do you know? They believed.
     
  10. Skandelon

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  11. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi BBNewton;
    I disagree. It is a work of God that our faith comes from, hearing His word. It is our faith not Gods. His word are the words that causes us to believe thus causing faith. The faith is ours because we accept it as truth.

    I don't deny that God draws us to Him through hearing His word. But God draws all men to Him in the same way. Am I one of the elect?. To be honest I don't know. I don't remember things that happened before creation. To say we have no choice in our Salvation is believing in fate. That everything is mandated to be so. Which in my opinion destroyies the purpose of being. With out choice we have totalitarianism. Nothing is genuine all is forced.

    I believe we have the freewill to choose. Which is why, if we make the wrong choices, we suffer the consequences. If we have no choice then we can claim not guilty and escape punishment. With out the ability to choose right or wrong we are not responsible. We have no other way to be, anything other than what we are. If we in fact can't help our selves and we are punished for that, then God is an Unjust God.

    The only people God redeem for a people to himself are the Jews. Unless you are a Jew by Blood relation to Isaac then you are not part of this people the Bible talks about.

    We can be adopted into this very family but unlike those who are His naturally who are with out any doubt His elect. We can only be so adopted by having faith in Christ Jesus.

    Our choice has been laid before us by God in;

    Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

    Some would say this isn't speaking of eternal life but about blessing and cursing. They would deny it clearly says "Life and Death" blessings are what God does for His own. Whatever befalls those who are not his is only by nature not necessarily intended for them.

    The real reason some believe and some don't is because of the choice man makes.

    Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
    Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    The first is the path which leads to life. It suggest the path is something we have to find.

    The second is why many never find that path. Although some never look.
    May God bless You;
    Mike
     
  12. Gina B

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  13. Yelsew2

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    According to Scripture, Faith is Righteousness!

    Just as God did not put faith in Abraham, but found it there; God does not put faith in us, but better find it there. The faith that God found in Abraham, God called "Righteousness". So, According to scripture, Faith in God is Righteousness!
     
  14. Me2

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    Faith is a by product of the Spirit.

    If man is born with a cursed spirit. all by products of this cursed spirit (namely faith) is also cursed.
    It misses the mark of righteousness if applied towards meeting Gods requirements.

    cursed spirits produces cursed faith that is lacking towards accomplishing anything in the way of righteousness.

    only by aquiring the spirit of Christ can man produce or should we say that Christ spirit in man can only produce by products that are non cursed or righteous.

    faith is a work. if mans carnal cursed spirit has faith towards accomplishing anything related to righteousness. he will fail for his spirit will miss the mark of righteousness everytime.

    if everything acceptable of God the father is of the spirit of Christ, in a state of righteousness. The work of Christs faith within man is a righteous work.
     
  15. Yelsew2

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    Me2,

    Due to your UNIVERSALISM, you are missing the truth!

    Why did God count Abraham's faith as Righteousness? Because there are none righteous, NO NOT ONE! HOWEVER, Abraham's faith in God was viewed by God in the same light that God views righteousness. Therefore OUR FAITH in God, though we too are unrighteous, is counted as righteousness in God's eyes!

    Our faith MUST produce in us the obedience, etc., that Abraham's FAITH produced in him. Which is what James and Peter are saying with, "Faith without works is dead faith". Faith that doesn't cause us to conform toward righteousness is dead faith.
     
  16. BBNewton

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    Luvlight,

    I appreciate your graciousness and concern with my position reguarding God, man, and the gospel.

    I agree with the idea that some people are saved because they believe. But you are neglecting the means to the end. Why does a person believe? I say it is only because the grace of God, you say it has to do something with the will of man. The will follows the inclination of the heart, and the heart is only inclined to evil (Gen. 8:21)

    If what you believed were true, and God left this matter in our hands, heaven would be devoid of people.

    Your position applies to Adam before he sinned.
     
  17. BBNewton

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    Skan,

    This is from the Clark commentary on Acts 13:48:

    "But, leaving all these precarious matters, what does the word tetagmenov mean? The verb tattw or tassw signifies to place, set, order, appoint, dispose; hence it has been considered here as implying the disposition or readiness of mind of several persons in the congregation..."


    Adam Clark must be a Jehova's Witness.


    "First, how is tasso translated in different versions of the Bible? Following is Acts 13:48 from a variety of versions. The translation of tetagmenoi is capitalized:

    And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as WERE ORDAINED to eternal life believed (King James Version; 1611/ 1769).

    And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as WERE ORDAINED to eternal life, believed (The Webster Bible; 1833).

    And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as WERE ORDAINED to eternal life believed (Revised Webster Bible; 1995).

    And {those of} the nations, hearing it, rejoiced, and glorified the word of the Lord, and believed, as many as WERE ORDAINED to eternal life (The Darby Bible; 1890).

    And the Gentiles hearing it were glad and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as WERE ORDAINED to life everlasting believed (Douay-Rheims; American edition; 1899).

    And as the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of God: and as many as WERE ORDAINED to eternal life believed (American Standard Version; 1901).

    And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of God; and as many as WERE ORDAINED to eternal life believed (Revised Standard Version; 1952).

    And hearing, the nations rejoiced and glorified the Word of the Lord. And as many as WERE ORDAINED to eternal life believed (Modern King James Version; 1976-1998).

    And the nations hearing were glad, and were glorifying the word of the Lord, and did believe -- as many as WERE APPOINTED to life age-during (Young's Literal Translation; 1898).

    When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who WERE APPOINTED for eternal life believed (New International Version; 1984).

    When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honoured the word of the Lord; and all who WERE APPOINTED for eternal life believed (New International Version; British edition; 1984).

    When the Gentiles heard this, they were very glad and thanked the Lord for his message; and all who WERE APPOINTED to eternal life became believers (New Living Translation; 1996).

    As the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of God. As many as WERE APPOINTED to eternal life believed (World English Bible; 1999).

    Now the Gentiles hearing this were rejoicing and glorifying the Word of the Lord. And as many as HAD BEEN APPOINTED to life eternal believed (Kenneth Wuest. The New Testament: An Expanded Translation; 1961).

    And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as HAD BEEN APPOINTED to eternal life believed (New American Standard Bible; 1977).

    When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as HAD BEEN APPOINTED to eternal life believed (New American Standard Bible; 1995).

    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 (New King James Version; 1982).

    And hearing, the nations rejoiced and glorified the Word of the Lord. And as many as HAD BEEN APPOINTED to eternal life believed (Literal Translation of the Bible; 1976-1998).

    When the Gentiles heard this, they began to rejoice and praise the word of the Lord, and all who HAD BEEN APPOINTED for eternal life believed (New English Translation; 1998).

    The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and glorified the word of the Lord. All who WERE DESTINED for eternal life came to believe (New American Bible; 1970-1991).

    It made the gentiles very happy to hear this and they gave thanks to the Lord for his message; all who WERE DESTINED for eternal life became believers (New Jerusalem Bible; 1985).

    When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and praised the word of the Lord; and as many as HAD BEEN DESTINED for eternal life became believers (Revised Standard Version; 1989).

    The Gentiles listened with delight and extolled the Lord's Message; and all who WERE PRE-DESTINED to the Life of the Ages believed (Weymouth's Translation; n.a.).

    And the Gentiles, hearing this, were glad and gave glory to the word of God: and those MARKED OUT BY GOD for eternal life had faith (Bible in Basic English; 1949/ 1964).1

    The 25 Bible versions cited above were produced over a period of almost 400 years, from the KJV of 1611 to versions still in progress (like the World English Bible). They also include formal equivalence, dynamic equivalence, expanded, and paraphrase type of versions, and were produced by Protestants, Catholics, conservatives, and liberals. So every possible type of English translation is represented.

    In these 25 versions, the word tasso is translated "ordained" eight times, "appointed" eleven times, "destined" three times, "pre-destined" once, and "marked out" once. So the meaning of "appointed" is the most popular, with "ordained" a close second. These words, and even the less popular terms like "destined" or "marked out" would be consistent with an interpretation of this verse that includes the idea of predestination. But note, NONE of these versions use "disposed."

    However, I did find one version that used "disposed" - The New World Translation, the "Bible" of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    The verse reads in this version:
    When those of the nations heard this, they began to rejoice and to glorify the word of Jehovah, and all those who were rightly disposed for everlasting life became believers.2

    Now I am not trying to use a "guilt by association" argument here. But it must be asked, if "were disposed" is in fact "the best rendering" then why is it the only Bible version I could find which used such a rendering is a version produced by Jehovah's Witnesses, whose version is known for deliberately mistranslating passages to fit their pre-conceived theology?"

    http://www.dtl.org/calvinism/study/acts-13-48/pt-1.htm
     
  18. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Gina L;
    I read what you reffered us to. The intresting thing was that the writer of this failed to show what a dead spirit is like. A dead spirit is conscience and is not like someone who is physcialy dead. They have all there senses if not then when a man dies the second death and is sent to hell he wouldn't know anything about the punishment that he receives for his sins. In other words hell for that person would not be anything to him, because he wouldn't know anything about it. He wouldn't be aware thus hell has no fury.

    This IMO is where Augustine mistakenly thought that because, a man being spiritually dead must be like the physcial dead. Knowing nothing. Clearly a misunderstanding.
    The spiritually dead are able to respond to the gift of life. Thank God for the awareness of the spiritually dead.
    The writer also didn't show where the Bible gives the same explanation for his views of spiritual death.
    He made this statement;
    Where does the Bible say that someone who is spiritually dead cannot respond in faith?Or isn't aware. Where does it say that God's gift is unconditional? I don't believe it does. I believe His gift is very conditional. Most of what this man wrote is not scriptural.He rely's on a man's reasoning which is most always lacking something.

    He had it right until he came to the moment where he said that the spiritually dead man could not reach out in faith. He just couldn't mustar up the faith. I'm real glad this isn't so.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike
     
  19. Me2

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    Yelsew,

    try to use a new testament example of faith.
    Something you and I can relate to.

    Righteousness In the OT was never experienced.

    It was always promised though.

    what does hebrews say to focus on..

    Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
    Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

    as carnal babes and children in christ.They receive the law as it is their schoolmaster to bring one to faith in christ. although children do not possess resurrected spirits. they have no revelation of the spirit within them. they still await the understanding to accompany their wisdom held by faith.

    Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
    Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    Hebrews states to move away from this crowd of witnesses. move forward. lay aside EVERY weight.

    move forward to receive righteosness


    FINISHER OF OUR FAITH. does this mean anything. Faith brings us somewheres. It brings us to the end of a journey seeking something.. What?

    THE UNDERSTANDING. THE REVELATION that allows us to KNOW Our Savior
     
  20. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi BBNewton;
    This verse says;
    Gen 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savor; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

    Not all of man's thoughts are evil, only his "imagination". You know that part of the mind that we like to call creative. At the time alot of men IMHO were related to the nephlem or sometimes reffered to as the son's of God. Fallen angles, demons, or what ever you prefer to call them. God had just destroyed them off the face of the earth with a flood. This verse has absolutly nothing to do with Adam or his fall.

    IMHO this took place more than a 1000 years after the death of Adam. No where is Adams punishment described as in the Calvinist position as becoming dead spiritualy. Even if it did, a spiritualy dead man is conscious and able to make a decision for Christ.

    A scene of a spiritualy dead man who is conscious.

    Luk 16:23 And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

    Some would say well this is just a parable that Christ taught and can't be true. IMHO our Savior being the most intelligent person in the universe knew men would say this and I know that my Savior can't lie so it must be true. This richman is spiritually dead but yet is conscious of His surroundings is able to speak and able to reason.
    Not so, because the spiritualy dead can make decisions. They can have saving faith from hearing the word.
    This below is the curse that Adam had to bear.

    Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

    Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

    Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

    There is nothing that restricts his understanding,his hearing,or seeing. That all comes from man not God.
    If man Can't hear and understand the gospel. Why did Christ speak in parables?
    May God Bless You;
    Mike
     

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