Saving faith?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by seekingthetruth, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. seekingthetruth

    seekingthetruth
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    Whose faith saves us?

    I believe that it s my faith in God that saved me.

    Cals say that it is not possible for me to have faith in God unless God gives it to me. Which means all faith comes from God and zero from us. If that is true then why would God have faith in me when I cannot possibly have any in him?

    So, what actually saves us? Our faith in God or God's faith in us?

    John
     
  2. Winman

    Winman
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    Faith is a natural ability that all men have. Faith can be damaged, thus some folks are mistrustful and skeptical, while others can be trusting to a fault and be taken advantage of.

    Even animals have faith, Jesus himself showed this.

    Jhn 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
    5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers

    Even a sheep knows his shepherd's voice and trusts him. They will follow him wheresoever he leads them. But they will flee from a stranger because they do not trust him and are afraid of him.

    We have a cat named Garfield that we got from a shelter a couple of years ago. He is orange and white and looks just like the cartoon cat. Garfield had been abused when we got him and was terrified of people. When we got him home he would run from us and hide under furniture, or run away from us outside. We would place food for Garfield and go away. When he was sure no one was around he would come and eat. But if we made the slightest noise he would run away in terror. He would actually run into the wall he was in such a panic.

    Over the months I called and called Garfield, and eventually he began to approach me. But I had to be careful not to make sudden moves or noises. Eventually I got Garfield to come up to me and eat from his bowl.

    It has been several years now, but now Garfield fully trusts me and the rest of the family. We can approach him and he will not run away, we can pick him up and he will not fight us. He has learned to trust us. This is faith. But he is still afraid of most strangers.

    Faith is not some mysterious magical thing. It is based on knowledge and experience. We trust those we know well and who are good to us, we naturally mistrust strangers or those who are known not to be so good.

    The more you read of Jesus and learn of him, the more you come to trust and believe his promises. You see how he healed the sick and never turned any away. You see how he forgave the vilest sinners. You hear his words and you naturally know they are truth. So, the more you get to know Jesus through the scriptures, and by putting his teachings into practice, the more you come to trust him.

    All people can trust, though it is more difficult for some than others. The devil has beat lots of folks up and they have real difficulty trusting anyone.
     
    #2 Winman, Apr 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2012
  3. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    This is an excellent post -- edifying, and very moving.
     
  4. David Lamb

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    But don't all Christians believe that everything they have, whether it's food, faith, family, or anything else (and not necessarily starting with f! :laugh:) is a gift from God?
     
  5. Aaron

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    I think the Scriptures are clear.

    By grace through faith are you saved, and that not of yourselves.

    For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do.

    The natural man receiveth not the things of God.
    And there's much more.
     
  6. Aaron

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    Yes, but not all things are spiritual gifts.
     
  7. David Lamb

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    Agreed. But "All things" includes things spiritual and things physical.
     
  8. 12strings

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    I would want to simply clarify what you mean by "God have faith in me."

    There is nowhere in scriptures that speaks of God "having faith in us" or "trusting in us." It always speaks the other direction: Our faith in God.

    Now, we can argue about where that our faith in God originates, but I don't think it is biblical or helpful to speak of God having faith in us. I'm glad God doesn't have faith in me, cuz I would let him down. God knew that and so sent Jesus, who never lets him down, so that My faith can be in Jesus.
     
  9. Winman

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    You are mistaken, the scriptures often speak of God trusting men.

    Mat 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

    Jesus here speaks of a faithful servant, someone who is trustworthy. Because this servant was faithful, he was made a ruler. This should be our goal.

    1 Tim 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

    Here Paul speaks of the gospel being committed to his trust. So, the scriptures indeed speak of God trusting men.

    But it is not our faithfulness that saves us, it is Jesus's faithfulness that saves us. Trustworthy as a man might be, at times all men fail and are not perfectly faithful, but Jesus is always perfectly trustworthy to perform that which he has promised.

    Saving faith is not holding on, it is not being faithful. It is letting go and trusting Jesus alone to save you.

    I have compared it to a person being in a fire in a tall building with firemen below with a net calling for you to jump, promising to catch you. Saving faith is letting go and jumping, completely committing yourself and depending on the firemen to catch you. This is how we trust Jesus, we come to him in our heart and commit our soul to him, completely depending on him to save us.

    Some here have said God can have no faith, they are wrong.

    Luk 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

    Jesus trusted his Father, he commended or entrusted his soul into his Father's hands and depended on the Father to raise him from the dead as he had promised. This is faith, it is letting go and completely depending on another. All men can do this.
     
  10. MB

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    In my humbled experince. Man cannot mustar up faith with out the proper reason. It's the reason we have faith. God gives us faith by our being convinced of Him. Who convinces us? God does through the preaching of God's word. While we listen to this preaching, God is working to convince us and convict us. We cannot have faith is something we are not convinced of. So our faith is given us by the one who convinces us of God's truth.
    MB
     
  11. 12strings

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    You are right, of course, I had not though of the things God "entrusts" to us. We would have to say, of course that God knows whether or not we will be faithful, whether we will betray his trust or not...So it is not exactly the same kind of trust or faith that we have.

    It sounded like the OP was speaking of God's faith in us being related to salvation...perhaps he can clarify.
     
  12. Winman

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    Well, many folks have it backwards, they believe they must be faithful and obedient to be saved. Good luck with that, any man who tries this will certainly fail.

    No, God says to "Look to me and be saved". You have heard that expression before, it mean to trust someone. Let's say you are behind on your car payments and your car is going to be empounded Friday. You tell a friend and he says, "Don't worry, look to me, I'll take care of it." Then you find your friend has contacted your finance company and paid your overdue payments with his credit card.

    That is saving faith. It is completely ceasing to attempt to save ourselves and completely committing and trusting Jesus alone to save us. As I said before, it is like jumping out of a 6th floor building and completely depending on the firemen below to catch and save you.

    Jesus gave us a similar promise, he said "Come unto me and I will give you rest". We simply have to trust him and come to him in our hearts, he will do the rest. He has given his word, and he cannot lie. We are saved because he is faithful, not because we are faithful.
     
  13. 12strings

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    I don't think the OP has a works-salvation in mind.

    After re-reading it and another post he wrote elsewhere, He seems to be saying that Calvinists believe that we are saved by God's faith in us.

    If he means by this, we are saved by God trusting us, then I'm not really sure where he got that or what he is talking about.

    If he means that it is faith that originated from God, that is now "IN" us, giving us the faith we need to trust God, then that would be a pretty accurate view of Calvinist belief.
     
  14. Winman

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    How can you put faith in another person? I would like someone to explain exactly how that works, it is nonsensical to me.

    Garfield the cat now trusts us, but we didn't put trust in him. In fact, Garfield, though he is just a cat had to take a chance and trust us. One day he had to decide to come up to me where he was close enough to be in danger from me. But I was as kind to him as I could be, knowing how fearful he was. I encouraged his faith, but I did not put faith in him. As time went by he came to trust me more and more. He was not afraid to approach me at all, and did not run if I approached him (slowly). After awhile he allowed me to pick him up. At the first he would have fought and scratched me all over, I know, I tried.

    Your faith grows just like Garfield's faith grew. As you trust God, he proves himself to you, just as we proved to Garfield we would not harm him. But he had to come to us and trust us before we could prove ourselves to him. We did not literally open his mouth and pour in faith, or give him a shot of faith with a needle. No, the faith was his, and as he trusted us he came to know he could trust us more. This is how faith grows.

    When the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith, Jesus turned it around and said if they had faith as a mustard seed they could tell the sycamore tree to be uprooted and cast in the sea and it would obey them. He EXPECTED faith from them. They had to TRUST HIM.
     
    #14 Winman, Apr 3, 2012
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  15. seekingthetruth

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    Yes, I am referring to a saving faith.

    Here is why. If man cannot have any faith at all whatsoever, then doesnt conditional election depend on God's faith in the chosen?

    If God chose you and didnt choose me, then doesn't He have faith in you that He doesn;t in me?

    John
     
  16. seekingthetruth

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    I really like your analogy and explaination of saving faith.:thumbs:

    John
     
  17. Winman

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    Again, I will appeal to my Garfield the cat story. At first Garfield was mistrustful of us, as he was of all people. By being patient and kind to him he now has faith in us, he trusts us and comes to us.

    Now, does anybody think I gave Garfield faith? Would anybody believe Garfield has my faith inside him? NO. That would be utterly ridiculous. Garfield had his own faith, but it was very weak and small. We encouraged his faith by being especially kind to him, and his faith grew in time. Now he has great faith in us and is not afraid.

    This is how it is with God as well. He encourages the tiny mustard seed of faith we all have. Now, this is God-given, we cannot boast that this seed of faith is of ourselves, it is a natural ability given all men.

    But we come to Jesus with our own faith. As he proves himself to us our faith grows.

    It is like Peter. His faith wavered at first, when he tried to walk on water he started out well, but then began to fear and sink. But even though we are often faithless toward Jesus, he remains faithful to us. Jesus "immediately" took Peter by the hand and pulled him up out of the water.

    Mat 14:26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
    27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
    28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
    29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
    30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
    31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

    If our faith is a gift from God, then it is nonsensical for Jesus to ask Peter why he doubted. Couldn't Peter have justly accused Jesus of only giving him "little" faith?

    No, Peter's lack of faith was his own fault. He had seen miracles by Jesus many times. He had been empowered to cast out devils and heal the sick by Jesus and he had actually done these things. He had no reason to doubt.

    If faith is a gift, then all men can justly accuse God of not giving them faith.

    But again, go back to Garfield. He now has faith, but he doesn't have MY faith, he has his own.
     
    #17 Winman, Apr 3, 2012
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  18. 12strings

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    No, because you are making it sound as if God chose me because of some quality he found in me that he could trust...that would be CONDITIONAL ELECTION, which is the Arminian view: That God elects those in whom he sees faith.

    The Calvinist view would be called UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION, That God saw nothing good in me and chose me anyway.

    I'm still not exactly sure what you are saying when say God "has faith in us" but I wanted to clarify the difference of the 2 positions.
     
  19. Winman

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    No, no, no, this is backwards. God sees those who have faith in Jesus, not in themselves. Trust me, I have very little faith in myself, but I have complete trust in Jesus.

    Faith is looking away from self and looking at another. It is like the Jews when they were bitten by fiery serpents in the wilderness. When they looked to the brass serpant on a pole they were saved. All they had to do was believe the promise and look.

    God does not save us because he thinks he can trust us (he can't), he saves us because we trust his Son Jesus.

    Trust does not equate to goodness. You could be a serial killer and yet trust your mother.

    We are not saved because God has faith in us, we are saved because we have faith in Jesus.

    Some folks look the wrong way. Faith is not looking inward at ourselves, it is looking away from self to Jesus.
     
  20. 12strings

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    Sorry if I worded that badly, I tried to clarify but obviously failed, the Arminian position (one of them) is that God Elects those who he knows will trust IN HIM. It is not God trusting them, or finding something trustworthy in them so he saves them. Both of these could theoretically be called CONDITIONAL ELECTION:
    -One, in which God "has faith in one person" and so elects them. (nobody believes this)
    -two, in which God sees a person's faith IN HIM, and so elects them. (Arm.)
    ***However, you are correct that I needlessly muddied the waters on that one.

    I was trying to point out that NEITHER the Arminian nor the Calvinist believes that God saves us because of HIS faith in us.
     

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