Saving Faith vs. Human trust, or the forseen faith theory

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Iconoclast, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    Was reading this earlier tonight as posted on the other thread: by W.R. Downing
    human trust and self–determination
    ,
    whereas saving faith is repeatedly described in the Scriptures as deriving from God. 166


    WHY NOT FORESEEN FAITH?

    There are at least seven reasons why Divine election to salvation cannot be based on foreseen faith or human prerogative:

    Such a view is decidedly unbiblical, and derives from a rationalistic approach to the Scriptures that calls into question the nature and prerogative of God.

    • To ground Divine election in foreseen faith is tantamount to saying that salvation is by works [human ability, self–determination] and not by grace (Rom. 11:5–6), as such faith would necessarily be meritorious.

    • It reverses regeneration and faith, making “faith” [works, mere human trust] the cause, and regeneration the Divine response.442 Such a view presupposes that man

    is not depraved or sinful by nature (Rom. 1:18–32; 3:9–18; 8:7–8; 9:16), that he possesses plenary ability to understand the Gospel (1 Cor. 2:14) and can savingly come to Christ apart from the regenerating grace of God (John 3:3, 5, 8; 6:37; 44; 65; Acts 11:18; 13:48; 16:14; 18:27; Eph. 2:4–5; Heb. 12:2).

    It denies the imputation of Adam’s sin and its consequences—moral and intellectual depravity. It denies that true, saving faith is the gift of God and makes faith synonymous with mere human trust or self–determination (Eph. 2:1–10).

    It denies that sinners are satanically–blinded so they cannot believe the Gospel (2 Cor. 4:4–7).

    This view takes Divine election, and thus all of salvation, out of the context of the eternal redemptive purpose and fragments the scriptural teaching of the infallibility of the redemption of sinners. Divine election would lose the very reason for its great encouragement and assurance.

    To base Divine election to salvation on foreseen faith would in reality render such an election absolutely unnecessary. God would have had no need to “choose” anyone, but merely to accept those whom he foresaw were willing!
     
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  2. SovereignGrace

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    Yes. Romans 12:3, Hebrews 12:2, John 1:13, just for starters, shows that is God who initiates the saving of a sinner. And He who starts it, will also finish it.


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  3. Iconoclast

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  4. 360watt

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    Hang on a mo..

    Okay so I don't know much fancy terms. Seems a lot of you fellas in this site know a lot of historical scholars and commentators etc who have researched these things.. I know few.

    What I do know is :

    Romans 10 speaks of eternal salvation being something that is called for.. received..

    Of course the Holy Spirit convicts someone first. But that is conviction.. it's not automatically saving someone regardless of what their response is.

    The person would respond to that conviction by calling for eternal salvation.

    That is no work.

    It's someone convicted.. crying out to be saved.

    I am not sure with the technical words used in this thread whether you mean that someone is saved without ever calling for salvation, but there are too many scriptures that speak of people entrusting their salvation with Jesus after being convicted.. and that being their eternal salvation.

    Irresistable grace? Don't know if that is what you guys believe.. but there are numerous references to people resisting eternal salvation in scripture.

    I may have completely misunderstood here.. but I believe pre-destination is not about getting eternal salvation.. but the place of heaven being set for anyone who believes in Jesus.

    Pre-set destination.. not pre-set of who would believe and who would not.

    God knows who believes and who doesn't.. doesn't mean he MADE them believe and not believe.

    Romans 10

    John 3:16
     
  5. agedman

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    Some verses that are used to demonstrate "foreseen faith" are:
    Galatians 3:
    7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
    However, "the Scriptures" are used in personification and consistent with that personification is the ability to see, in this instance, to see into the plan of God. The statement is NOT that God "foresaw" but that the words given to Abraham foresaw or unveiled a portion of God's plan. Note: "God would justify the Gentiles by faith" is a clear statement of the method God uses. It is by His faith as the Gospel is preached that justifies the Gentiles, not some innate human ability.

    Psalm 139:
    In particular, those who would suggest "foreseen faith" is found in the KJV where is states:
    14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
    15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
    16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
    17
    How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!​

    Yet, again that is mischaracterizing the text.
    I like the NASB rendering (of course):
    15 My frame was not hidden from You,
    When I was made in secret,
    And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
    16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
    And in Your book were all written
    The days that were ordained for me,
    When as yet there was not one of them.​
    Note the difference: The KJV would suggest that the book writing was about the unformed substance being formed and how it was to be put together. The NASB suggestion is that the days (the manner of living and the living) were what were ordered when yet not a single day had been lived.

    Again, it is not the "foreseeing" of faith, but that the specific daily life and living were purposed and planned by God. For the believer, there is nothing either pre-salvation or post-salvation that is not specifically approved by God. Nothing happens by chance or without prior planning by God that touches a believer.

    Then there is that wonderful promise of God found in Romans 9:
    30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,​

    Those who would cling to "foreseen faith" would suggest that the words "pursue it by faith" is shows that God recognizes the faith in a potential believer and credits it as saving faith. But that is NOT what the Scriptures teach.

    Notice the words "they did not pursue it" are in italics. They were added to aid in the contextual understanding.

    However, (imo) and this happens very rarely, the inserted words lead to a misunderstanding.

    The original disjointedly reads, "Why? Because faithfulness by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone." So, the cause of stumbling was over the difference between works and the Christ (the stone of stumbling).

    There is not "pursuit" and certainly nothing of merit in works that attracts God's salvation.

    Can other verses be added to the list?

    Of course, but these three are offered to show the frailty of the "foreseen faith" thinking.
     
  6. agedman

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    Really?

    I don't know that I see "received" in that part of Scriptures.

    What I do see is the word "believe."

    The difference is that believing (in the heart) as used in Romans is not some intellectual (mental) pursuit, but a core (heart) change within a person causing them to have a different perspective on life and living.

    Such a core change can only be brought by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God creating a new creature in which the belief is express. Hence the words by the writer, "confession is made unto (or about) salvation."

    Therefore, Romans 10 isn't teaching "foreseen faith" but that faith in which God purposely places into a person in which that person cannot help but cry out, "Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!" For every believer knows that throughout their life and living there will be the continual assault by the enemy in attempts at creating doubt and rejection of God's will.
     
  7. Iconoclast

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    Hello 360w
    In ezk 36....and jer.31.....God explains the unseen work of the Holy Spirit,giving a new heart that has the ability to welcome truth rather than suppress it.
     
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  8. tyndale1946

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    Irresistible grace? Don't know if that is what you guys believe.. but there are numerous references to people resisting eternal salvation in scripture... Name one!... Brother Glen
     
  9. JonC

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    I think that the term "Irresistible grace" is sometimes misinterpreted to indicate that men do not resist God. The point is not that men don't resist, but that the grace of God is worked within man to revive him, to heal him. Man's will is not taken away but made alive (we are not saved unwillingly). In other words, the doctrine is not about the resistance of man but the grace of God.
     
    #9 JonC, May 9, 2016
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
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  10. agedman

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    Jon, may I suggest that the old will cannot be "revived." For it is consistently and constantly against that which is of God. Perhaps Paul would show this when making the statement "...but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin..."

    Rather, being that believers are new creatures, that includes a new will, one that desires the that of God, and is shamed at failure and sinfulness.
     
  11. JonC

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    I used "revived" as that was how it was laid out in the "points" of Calvinism, but now that you mention it I do like renewed better...re-created will. Good point.
     
  12. 360watt

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    Alright so if I am to understand what you guys are mainly saying is that God will convict a sinner and then give them the faith to believe.

    Isn't this conversion before belief?

    Faith, hope and love are spiritual gifts.. but are they associated with being given eternal life?

    I stand by that if someone is convicted by the Holy Spirit and then responds by calling for eternal salvation.. that is no work. And the salvation didn't come from them.

    They believe Jesus is the Son of God and can deliver them from sin and hell.

    Saving faith.. God convicts a sinner before they believe, but that isn't conversion.

    Rom_10:9 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.

    1Jn_5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

    Joh_6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

    Convicted of course before they believed.. but not converted before they believed.
     
  13. kyredneck

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    3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. Ps 110

    6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Mt 5
     
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  14. agedman

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    Long ago, when I was much younger, that is what I was taught.

    However, the Scriptures do not present that as the sequence.

    Rather, in every instance that one gets to peer into one saved, the response is always a result from an already changed heart core. Here are two examples.

    The Eunuch, "As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch *said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” Acts 8:36

    Philippine Jailer, "29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Acts 16

    Belief of Romans cannot ignore this verse, " How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?"

    See, the cry of belief is not the catalyst to the change it is the RESULT of the change.

    The Eunuch was changed already, the Jailer was changed already.

    The believer is changed already before they proclaim belief.
     
  15. JonC

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    I do not really understand the idea of giving someone faith to believe. It seems like that's saying giving someone belief to believe. That may be right, but it just seems an odd way of putting things.
     
  16. Iconoclast

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    Part of misunderstanding the teaching is you need to learn the terms being used to understand the links....Google can help.

    You have completely misunderstood predestination as it speaks of the persons being conformed to the image of the Son......not having a reservation for a destination.
    Does it disturb you that God in His wisdom elects a multitude of persons unto salvation?
    Not one person ultimately resists.....irresistible grace. ...hence the name irresistible. Grace can be resisted and in fact it is always resisted by reprobates.
    Irresistible grace is never ultimately resisted.
    You mentioned that you are not familiar with many commentators who are available .
    If that is indeed the case maybe take sometime to read some online as they will answer your questions before you jump into the topics on the wrong side to start with.
    There is a reason they offer what they do.
     
  17. agedman

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    Perhaps what is problematic is that the examples we hear and use concerning the word "faith" are expressions of some trust placed upon something or someone else. Such an expression is part of the Scriptures, but must be understood as the results not as the catalyst.

    One pours vinegar on soda and the results are foam.

    The results of salvation given to the human heart are faith in God. The salvation gift results in the gift of faith.

    There are two uses for the term we translate as faith - faith and faithfulness.

    In nearly all the places where the word "faith" is used in Scripture, it is to be taken in the manner of one being faithful or having and expressing faithfulness.

    For example, one of the often quoted passages is Ephesians 2:9-11,
    "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."​

    The salvation is purposeful, and the "to do list" was prepared before salvation "so that we would walk in them." The faith(fulness) is the expression of that gift of God - salvation.

    Taking "faith" to be "faithfulness" makes the passage much clearer (and other parts of Scripture as well) because more often the confusion (imo) rests when "saving faith" (or some such term) is used as an object when the term should be the words such as belief and trust.

    Faith is not some object of itself, rather it points to the object of focus that causes the object itself (remember the objects soda and vinegar create foam).
    2 Timothy 1:12, "For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day."​

    When faith is used as the word belief, perhaps it is more often easier to grasp the concept of one having a core change made in their life that results in the expression of belief and trust than it is to grasp at some term such as "saving faith," as if "faith" is the object or the instigation of change rather than the results of the change.

    Often one hears, "Well, you just have to have faith" or "Perhaps if I just had more faith."

    Imo, we get this thinking from passages such as found in Mark 11 in which something is promised to be performed because of some supposed enlarged faith.
    "And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you." ​

    But the stumbling is the result of not understanding that faith is to be used in terms of that expressed in faithfulness. Faith is expressed, not an object to be implanted (again remember vinegar and soda result in foam).

    Going back to Ephesians then, the salvation is the gift of God, along with the faith - for we are His workmanship, created for the purpose of doing what God prepared for us to accomplish before He saved us. Therefore, the faith is also the gift of God, for we cannot express faith or faithfulness toward God without first having been given that salvation by God (vinegar and soda produce foam).

    God does the saving, as a result we believe and express belief, we learn to trust, we have faith and express faith(fulness), and as a result the "to do list" of God gets done.

    One other matter: The enlargement of faith.

    Because faith is the manifestation and part of the gift given, and that measure of the faith is determined by God, then how is faith enlarged in the believer?

    Perhaps an example would be the best description.

    Consider for a moment faith as the mirror from a small compact, or the inspection mirror from the dentist. Now, add the ornaments of the Holy Spirit:
    "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control,"​
    and then take great diligent care to add to the faith,
    "moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love,"​
    then it seems as though the faith is enlarged, when in reality it is that same measure given, but enhanced by adornments.
     
  18. tyndale1946

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    Sovereign Grace hinted at a scripture in post #2 that I would like to delve more into Hebrews 12:2... Taking this into consideration that Hebrews 12: 1-2 is based on the great faith chapter Hebrews 11. It is not their faith that is represented but the faith of God... Each and every depiction of their faith act pointed to Christ!... The closing of Hebrews 11 states that those mentioned received not the promise... Hebrews 12 states looking back at those who received not the promise we look now to Jesus Christ who is the author and finisher of it... It is not in anyway our faith that obtains that eternal salvation but Jesus Christ that obtained it for us... Jesus Christ is all in all!... As Jesus said in John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they that testify of me... Brother Glen

    Hebrews 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,

    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.
     
    #18 tyndale1946, May 11, 2016
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
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  19. 360watt

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    Well... a place in heaven IS pre-set for a person who has been given eternal life. So that is pre-destination in one way of it in scripture.

    There is also pre-destination in that Jesus had pre-set His system of churches for believers to be a part of. The plan pre-set .. but the choice of a believer to join.

    I do have a problem with God elects multitudes unto salvation if it means men not having a free will to reject or receive eternal salvation.

    I do have a problem with that also if it means God also decides in advance who will be in hell.

    I have already looked at Calvinism and Monogism. I can't see where they stand up to scripture completely.

    The idea of God's grace being the mode of salvation.. and nothing else is of course in scripture.. but it's given to those who believe.

    I don't know how I could say I was converted if it is not because I believed. I would never say it is because I am doing good works now.
     
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  20. Iconoclast

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    "360watt

    Everyone goes to a place watt.....eternal life, eternal death....both have a realm and place where they are eternal. But we are speaking of how scripture speaks of predestination as here;

    29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

    It is speaking of persons....WHOM......NOT WHAT....BUT WHOM
    no friend that is not the plan as no one seeks God ,no, not one.er not man
    Jesus never taught that he elected churches as if they were a train...and it is up to you to put yourself on.This again is conta biblical thought. We as living stones are built up a spiritual house...God is the builder not man.
    yes...it is good to see you know what your problem isCautious...there are several on BB who will help you if you want to be helped. free will is a false philosphical idea created by fallen man in rebellion against God and His word.

    men are born as God haters


    Instead of confronting you directly here, let me ask you a question....God is all wise and all knowing. Can we trust that the God of all the earth will do right???gen 18:25 if He saves 229 people or 229 trillion that is His choice to make as God. Do you trust Him with this Watt?
    Not yet.....but we are trying to help you with thatThumbsupThumbsupThumbsup
     
    #20 Iconoclast, May 11, 2016
    Last edited: May 11, 2016

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