Natural or supernatural saving faith???

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by The Biblicist, Feb 4, 2015.

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  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Much of modern evangelism functions on the assumption that all human beings have inherent ability to come to Christ by faith. They claim all humans have faith and they use it every day. They exercise faith when they sit down on a chair believing it will hold their weight. They exercise faith in friends and family to do what they promise. They exercise faith in government to protect their rights. They exercise faith in many of the things they do every day. Therefore, they assume they are also equally capable of coming to Christ by faith. They argue, why else preach the gospel unless it is assumed that man has ability to respond to it? These are persuasive arguments.
    However, natural faith is only possible where there is willingness to exercise faith in such things. It is equally true that people choose not to exercise faith in many things every day. Many do not choose to place their trust in government, politicians or in certain other people and things simply because they are not willing to do so.
    Willingness is always determined by how a person thinks or how a person feels toward a certain person or thing. If we don’t like someone or something, or have reason to be suspicious of someone or something, we will never be inclined to place our trust in that something or someone until our mind and/or feelings are positively disposed toward that someone or something. Therefore, this inability to trust is due to the inward disposition of thought and feelings toward someone or something.
    The position of natural faith assumes that nothing affects the natural inclination of fallen men toward God, and therefore fallen man has no dispositional problems with God which would prevent willing trust in the gospel or God. However, if the fallen nature is naturally disposed against God, then that would prevent willingness to trust or submit to either God or the gospel.
    There is sufficient Biblical evidence to demonstrate that fallen man is naturally disposed against God (Jn. 3:19-20; Rom. 8:7; 1 Cor. 2:14) The emotional (Jn. 3:19-20) and intellectual (Rom. 8:7; 1 Cor. 2:14) dispositions of fallen man are in opposition to God, so that he will not come to Christ by faith (Jn. 6:40). Indeed, the Scriptures demand that this internal opposition to God is irreversible by man but can only be changed by a supernatural work of God (Jn. 6:29).
    This must be the case with all fallen men or why else would Christ say, “No man can come to me” (Jn. 6:44)? Christ did not say “some” men cannot come to me, but “no man” can. That is at minimal, an assertion of universal unwillingness to come to Christ. It is this unwillingness that is the root of man’s inability to come to Christ. He said no man “can.” The Greek term translated “can” is dunamis or the common Greek term translated “power” or ability. Jesus is saying in the clearest possible language that “no man IS ABLE to come to me.” If that were not true, then why would the exception clause immediately follow - “except the Father draw him”? This exception clause demands that only a supernatural work of God can change that natural inability to come to Christ by faith. Therefore, this proves that natural faith is not sufficient for men to come to Christ or else there would be no exception clause at all.
    Furthermore, in response to, why preach the gospel if men were not inherently able to come to Christ by faith, it may be equally argued that the gospel may be the chosen means (2 Thes. 2:13) through which God may choose to empower (1 Thes. 1:4-5) in order to change that inward disposition against God to a willingness to come to Christ by faith and that is why we are to preach the gospel.
    - Mark W. Fenison, This is the Work of God, Introduction
     
  2. HankD

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    If you have been born again your faith is/was supernatural.

    So why trouble yourself about it?
    In fact why should we trouble ourselves about anything else?

    Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

    Yea, I know we just can't help it.


    HankD
     
    #2 HankD, Feb 5, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  3. The Biblicist

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    That was my point! God supernaturally empowers the gospel as His creative word that effectually calls us out of darkness into light (2 Cor. 4:6) or more accurately according to this text it is the creative act within "the heart" that transforms the heart from a state of darkness to a state of light.


    For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


    This is precisely how the elect know they are God's elect (1 Thes. 1:4) by how the gospel came to them "in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance."

    When the gospel is empowered by God as His creative word it produces "in the heart" the "knowledge of the glory of God IN THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST" - 2 Cor. 4:6 Note this latter phrase. He enables you to SEE (believe) who Jesus is according to the gospel. When you look into someone's face you see them, but this is "in the heart" meaning God reveals the knowledge of who Jesus is IN YOUR HEART by this creative act of calling you out of INTERNAL darkness into INTERNAL LIGHT - He creates a believing heart in Christ.



    God has chosen to save his elect through the preaching of the Gospel. The preacher is sent to the elect to preach the gospel and his job or responsibility is to bring the gospel to the EXTERIOR ear of the elect. God takes up that EXTERIOR gospel and empowers it as His creative word within the INTERIOR heart of the elect to REVEAL Christ so that the heart sees Christ as declared in the gospel as though looking "IN THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST."

    So to answer your question "why trouble yourself about it?" - God will hold you and I accountable for not preaching His word or do you remember Paul's words:

    Rom. 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
    15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent?


    2Ti 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    1 Cor. 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

    2 Cor. 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
    15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
    16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
     
    #3 The Biblicist, Feb 5, 2015
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  4. HankD

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    Biblicist I answered my own final question, I guess you missed my twisted sense of humor.

    answer: Yea, I know we just can't help it.

    HankD
     
  5. The Biblicist

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    :thumbs::thumbs:
     
  6. OldRegular

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    Saving faith is not a natural attribute of mankind.

    Martyn Lloyd-Jones, [God, The Holy Spirit, page 140 makes the following argument [Paraphrased for brevity.]

    “It is unfortunate that all too often saving faith is compared to the choices that people make in life. The argument is as follows :

    Faith is a natural faculty that every person has. You are always exercising faith in your life, you couldn’t live a day without doing so. You exercise faith when you go out to start your car. You exercise faith when you board an airplane. Just as you trust that the car will start and the airplane will arrive safely, why don’t you trust Jesus Christ as Savior?

    “In fact starting a car or boarding an airplane have nothing to do with faith, rather they have to do with an understanding [to a greater or lesser degree] that the probability of the desired event will happen. Therefore, such a comparison is meaningless. “

    ************************************************************************
     
  7. webdog

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    So God requires a supernatural faith that He withholds from some and punishes them for not having it. Makes sense to me.
     
  8. Iconoclast

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    God requires sinless perfection. We do not have it, but praise be to God Jesus has it and gives it to a multitude of people that father Has given to Him.

    God punishes men for their sin and rebellion against Him. they are fully responsible.
     
    #8 Iconoclast, Feb 11, 2015
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  9. Iconoclast

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    the new creation is just as supernatural as the original creation:thumbsup::wavey::thumbsup:
     
  10. Rippon

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    The good ole' Doctor was adept at making the point.

    DHK, however is steeped in irreverent remarks such comparing saving faith to his dog having 'faith' in his master --or having 'faith' that a chair will support his weight.
     
  11. Iconoclast

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    Yes...he denigrates the truth and speaks of human trust as if it was the same thing as saving faith.
     
  12. Reformed

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    Joel Beeke and Mark Jones do a good job of describing how the Puritans viewed natural and supernatural theology and how it impacted soteriology in their book, "A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life":

     
  13. OldRegular

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    That is the best I have heard to day.:laugh::laugh: Tops Icon's story about strange fire!

    :laugh:Actually depending on DHK's size he may need a little faith when he sits!:laugh:

    ***********************************************************************************************************
     
  14. OldRegular

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    He writes to be understood and I like that!
     
  15. DHK

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    When threads turn into attack threads for people that have personal agendas or vendettas then they must be closed.
     
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