Saving Faith: God’s Gift to Sinners or Sinners’ Gift to God?

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Protestant, Feb 16, 2015.

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  1. Protestant

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    DHK wrote:
    Ergo, faith is the sinners’ gift to God, ultimately proving all men have the wherewithal to believe on Christ, their faith independent of God’s omnipotent Spirit working in them…..proving Calvinists/Monergists have it all wrong.

    This unscriptural view is more common than I had originally thought.

    Upon researching the Internet I discovered several sites which ‘proved’ this errant interpretation by utilizing the rules of Greek grammar as their ‘authority.’

    In short, they all agreed that ‘salvation’ was the gift of God referenced in Ephesians 2:8-9.

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that [salvation] not of yourselves: it [salvation] is the gift of God:

    Due to an irreconcilable Greek gender issue ‘faith’ was discounted as being the gift of God referenced.

    In fact, in all cases the authors stated unequivocally that faith was not a gift of God to man.

    Arminians, non-Cals and Synergists all concur that man first believes through the power of his free will and then, and only then, God regenerates and saves him.

    Man must first believe before God’s saving graces can be actuated.

    It is in chapter 2, verse 5 of Ephesians that Paul first introduces the phrase, ‘by grace are ye saved.’

    Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)

    Paul equates regeneration (being ‘born again’) with salvation, and that salvation by grace.

    Thus, Paul equates regeneration with grace.

    If regeneration is of grace, which it is, then it is contingent on nothing preceding.

    For if it was contingent on anything preceding then regeneration would be a reward. If a reward, then it would be grounded in justice……giving man what he rightly deserves, i.e., his faith deserves regeneration.

    But grace is not a reward man can earn or deserve.

    Faith, as well as regeneration, must be included in the many gracious gifts God gives to man unto salvation.

    Ephesians Chapter 1 teaches just that: all the gifts necessary unto salvation are the free gracious gifts of God the Father, faith included.

    1. God the Father has blessed us (Christians) with all heavenly spiritual blessings (unto salvation) in Christ. (Verse 3).

    2. If ‘all’ actually means ‘all’ than it cannot mean ‘most’, faith excepted, as Arminians teach. Faith must be included as a heavenly spiritual blessing because saving faith must be spiritual, otherwise it is carnal.

    Carnal faith does not save. Neither is it a blessing.

    If the origin of all heavenly spiritual blessings is of God the Father, which they are, then their origin cannot, in any sense, be of man……including saving faith.

    3. To further solidify the truth that our faith is of divine origin Paul explains that our faith is the result of the same mighty power of God working in us that resurrected Christ from the dead. (Verses 18-20).

    In summation, Ephesians 1 – 2 teaches salvation is all of grace.

    All spiritual blessings are of grace.

    Election is of grace.

    Predestination unto adoption is of grace.

    Redemption and forgiveness of sins is of grace.

    The revelation of His will to save us is of grace.

    We are the recipients of a heavenly inheritance because of grace.

    Faith is the result of God’s omnipotent resurrection power effectually working in us.

    Therefore, our faith is of grace.

    Ergo, Faith is God’s gift to sinners.
     
  2. convicted1

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    Ding, ding, ding, ding!!!


    Incoming are the obligatory 'nuh uhs'....
     
  3. PreachTony

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    My interpretation of Ephesians 2:8-9 has always been that "grace" was the gift of God. Then again, I don't exactly fall in line with the rank-and-file Arminians, Free willers, and Synergists.
     
  4. Reformed

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    Matthew Henry writes:

    Charles Hodge writes:


    Hodge is honest enough to include the view that salvation is the gift of God, not faith. But he also presents the predominant view held by the Reformers and Puritans that faith is also the gift of God.

    Henry and Hodge are not Internet theologians. They are scholars who make a convincing case of their view from scripture.
     
  5. convicted1

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    Remember Brother Tony, where there's no faith, there's no grace. Where there's no grace, there's no salvation.

    God has chosen to justify the heathen/nations by___________? Gal. 3:8

    If we exercise _________, if we posess _________ within ourselves, then we've justified ourselves. If we've justified ourselves via our ________, then grace and salvation comes from ourselves.

    Faith, grace and salvation are dependent upon each other, and they come from the same Source....
     
  6. JamesL

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    Sorry, but Matthew Henry was no scholar. He was a joke.

    I can't count the number of times i looked in his "commentary" to find a serious answer to a question, only to come away feeling like I just got dumber for having read it
     
  7. salzer mtn

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    The verse that took hold of my soul and made me realize that salvation was of the Lord from start to finish was 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. As a Arminian I too thought that man had to exercise a natural faith in order to be saved, but this scripture showed me everything begins with God and ends with God for the elect.
     
  8. savedbymercy

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    Faith is the Gift of God, the Fruit of the Spirit Gal 5:22 ! And the Spirit is the Gift of God Acts 2:38

    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Acts 10:45

    And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Faith pleases God Heb 11:6 but those in the flesh, which is the natural man, cannot please God Rom 8:8 !
     
  9. Iconoclast

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    JamesL

    :laugh::laugh: of course,,,,,all pastors read him for the humor:thumbsup::laugh:
    This is the dumbest post of 2015....but there is a long way to go.
     
  10. RLBosley

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    Good OP. :thumbsup:

    Long winded certainly. But a "joke" and makes you dumber? I have a hard time believing that.
     
  11. The American Dream

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    Yep, makes sense to me. We are fallen sinful creatures, each capable of the most vile sins without Jesus Christ, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We, being the creatures that caused Christ to say, "My God, My God.....", creatures that really cannot comprehend the stench of sin, that caused the only time in history to create a gap between the Father and the Son on the cross, has it in his or her ability to self will saving faith. Makes sense to me.
     
  12. steaver

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    See I can't comprehend what it is some of you guys were once believing. I have believed salvation was ALL of God from beginning to end ever since I read it in the Scriptures.

    Exercising a "natural" faith is only a step towards receiving God's saving faith/regeneration. One calls upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and God is faithful to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.
    "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"
     
  13. Protestant

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    Your point is well taken. However, it seems to contradict the teaching that the sinner must first believe on Christ before regeneration can take place.

    The keys to understanding Luke 11:13 are two-fold:

    1. In God’s view all men are evil. Jesus confirms this inconvenient truth which Scripture teaches throughout the Bible. (Cf. Gen. 6:5; Gen. 8:21; Romans 3:10-18; etc.)

    God cannot look upon unrepentant evil sinners. (Habakkuk 1:13)

    However, God will not despise a broken-hearted contrite sinner. (Psalm 51:17)

    2. Therefore, the sinner who asks for the Holy Spirit is one who acknowledges his evil, crying out for mercy, while also acknowledging his inability to remedy an extremely sorrowful and depressing condition.

    But why ask for the Holy Spirit?

    Because it is only through the creation of a new, clean heart that man can believe unto salvation.

    The contrite sinner prays:

    Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

    The Lord replies to such a prayer:

    A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

    TO BE CONTINUED…….
     
  14. Protestant

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    Part 2

    Romans 10:9-10 declares:

    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


    All men are evil as was previously proved.

    Evil men have evil hearts. (Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21-23; etc.)

    Now if, according to Luke 6:45, a good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good and there is none good but God (because all men are evil), then all men out of the evil treasure of their hearts bringeth forth only that which is evil.

    Therefore, the man who believes upon Jesus – who has faith in Jesus – MUST have been given the gift of a new heart because believing on Jesus is good, not evil.

    Furthermore, since of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh, a righteous confession can only be made by a man given a good heart, having been regenerated by the Spirit.

    Conclusion: Regeneration by the grace of God precedes a sinner’s righteous faith and confession of Christ.

    Without quickening by the Spirit it is impossible evil man can believe unto righteousness or confess Christ unto salvation.

    The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, are from the LORD.

    A believing heart and a believing faith are the gracious gifts of God.
     
  15. OldRegular

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    The OP is correct! Faith is the Gift of God! Salvation is all of Grace!
     
  16. convicted1

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    [​IMG]
     
    #16 convicted1, Feb 19, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2015
  17. Protestant

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    Part 3

    God’s Word condemns all men as evil. (Gen. 6:5; Luke 11:13)

    All men’s hearts are evil and can only bring forth evil thinking, evil speech and evil deeds. (Luke 6:45)

    Their so-called righteous acts are as filthy rags. (Isa. 64:6)

    Yet our Arminian, non-Cal, Synergist friends insist that they still managed to retain enough righteous goodness in their hearts to fulfill God’s requirements as outlined in Romans 10: 9-10.

    They believe, teach and preach that, contrary to God’s Word, they were able, by their own power of will, to believe from their heart unto righteousness and confess Christ from their heart unto salvation.

    They were able to bring that which is good, out of that which Scripture declares evil.

    Scripture asks Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?

    Our Arminian brethren allegedly can.

    They claim they can bring a righteous faith out of an unclean, evil heart.

    Unlike our Synergist friends, we Calvinist/Monergist Christians have the experiential knowledge that it was by the grace of God’s omnipotent power which raised Christ from the dead that we also were raised from spiritual death to spiritual life in Christ.

    We would never claim one iota of glory by asserting we assisted or cooperated with the Holy Spirit.

    We know we were dead to God, hateful toward God, and utterly powerless to please God in any way, shape or form.

    In other words, Scripture describes our lost, sinful, depraved condition perfectly.

    Why is it our Synergist brethren have not the same experiential knowledge?
     
  18. OldRegular

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    Them boys at the other two tables tied to their seats?? You gotta do better C1!

    *********************************************************************
     
  19. convicted1

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    You can't please everyone. Those sitting were DHK, steaver, PreachTony, Van, RM....:tongue3:
     
  20. steaver

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    Has anyone ever pondered why a perfect all knowing God, who said He wants His children to be of one mind, would not have Paul write his letters exactly as brother Protestant has laid it out? Controversy settled!! Right? Could we be guilty of going beyond what has been written?
     
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