The Essence of Faith

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    A problem that surfaces over and over is, what is faith? Some try and pit faith against works as if though they are at antipodes with each other. How do you define faith?
     
  2. D28guy

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    Heavenly Pilgrim,

    I assume you are bringing this up as a result of the discussions that I, and others, have had with you, and others, on the "protestant fallacy" and the "stands or falls" threads.

    The fact of the matter is that...regarding justification...faith and works are indeed antipodes (polar opposites) of one another.





    To answer your question, in this context I would say that "Faith" is confidence in the ability or someone else, at the complete exclusion of anything in and of you.

    Here is a good example: If I am tired and want to sit down in a particular chair to rest, I can evaluate a particular chair and decide it is indeed sound. But there is no faith in that. Thats belief. I "believe" the chair will hold me.

    But when I sit down in it....thats faith.

    And when I sit down in the chair, I am...at that point...giving up all self sufficiency and trust in "ME". I have decided to no longer trust my legs to hold me up, I am now trusting something completly seperate of me. The chair.

    God bless,

    Mike
     
    #2 D28guy, Oct 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2007
  3. TCGreek

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    Paul puts faith against work (Rom 4:1-4). Faith is trusting, receiving, longing, forsaking and so on.
     
  4. billwald

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    "Faith" is from about the same root as "belief." Seems to me that a belief is a conclusion about a personal experience. We believe what we have faith in. What we believe is different than what we know. Knowledge comes from some sort of data analysis.

    "The Faith" refers to one's theological system, dogma. The ecumenical creeds summerize the Christian Faith.
     
  5. skypair

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    HP,

    Faith -- Heb 11:1 -- evidence, substance. To me that's knowing the Holy Spirit's indwelling. That, to the Christian, is evidence and substance. It's like "sight." It's seeing the kingdom.

    Belief -- hope. Rom 8:24, 1Cor 13:7, 13, 2Cor 5:5. Belief involves things that we haven't seen yet --- the rapture, New Jerusalem, etc. From belief comes repentance and receiving Christ -- conversion (turning to God).

    Justification is by FAITH -- sanctification is by WORKS. The "process" of salvation is this: justification - sanctification - glorification.

    skypair
     
  6. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: First, Paul does not put ‘faith against works.’ He simply states that works are not nor can be the grounds of salvation.

    Does trusting, receiving, and forsaking involve an act of the will? What correlation you see between ‘longing’ and faith is beyond me, and certainly beyond Scripture.
     
  7. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: How can that be? One must exercise faith antecedent to the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer.




    HP:Scripture starts the process with repentance. Apart from that I agree with the process as you laid it out, but where do you establish that sanctification is by works?
     
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I had faith in Christ long before I knew anything about a theological system and long before I had ever read even one creed. Are you sure about your statement?
     
  9. billwald

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    >One must exercise faith antecedent to the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer.

    Why? Is that one of the things that God can't pull off?
     
  10. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: It is not my duty to speculate on what God can and cannot “pull off.” Scripture simply indicates that it is mans duty to repent and believe, not Gods. God provides the abilities, means and opportunity, and man must provide the will.
     
  11. TCGreek

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  12. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Absolutely he would have, but that does not equate pitting works against faith, as if though faith was not an act of the will and as such a work to be done by man. You simply are not exhibiting any differentiation between the grounds of salvation and the conditions of salvation. When speaking of works as the grounds of salvation, Paul was utterly opposed. When speaking of works as a condition of salvation, neither he nor James nor any other Biblical author has been or is opposed to works in the sense of a condition of salvation. Grounds and conditions are simply two senses works can be thought of in relationship to salvation.
    Quote:

    HP: Does trusting, receiving, and forsaking involve an act of the will? What correlation you see between ‘longing’ and faith is beyond me, and certainly beyond Scripture.




    HP: How does this answer the question I asked??
     
  13. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    Faith is trust.
     
  14. TCGreek

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    1. Champion faith as work as much as you desire, but keep this in mind, if your understanding of faith as a work falls in the category of Eph 2:9, then it is not a right faith.

    2. The grounds of our Salvation is the Substitutionary Christ and the Cross. Make no mistake about that (Rom 3:24-26; 2 Cor 5:21).

    3. The instrumentality of receiving that salvation is our faith (Eph 2:8).

    4. Paul and James are taking two different approaches to faith:

    a. Paul from the standpoint of our status before God in salvation.

    b. James about the quality of our faith (James 2:14).

    c. James is speaking to people who are already Christians, justified in their standing before God as a Judge.

    5. If Faith is hoping, then it is the same as longing.
     
  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Let me ask you. Is trust an act of the will?
     
  16. LeBuick

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    Years ago my Dad made a statement in a sermon I will never forget.

    He said, "Faith is that kind of stuff, that makes a man stand at the banks of the red sea with Pharaoh and his army bearing down and he holds out a rod and waits for the water to divide".

    Faith is the kind of stuff that makes a man build a boat, load it with two of each animal and wait for the rain to fall.

    Faith, is what makes us put all our eternal hope in the Son of a virgin Mother and tell him “My life is in your hands”.
     
  17. TCGreek

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    I like your Dad's theology of faith. He nailed it :thumbs:
     
  18. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: SO do I.:thumbs: Faith in all these instances clearly involve a choice of the will and formed intentions to order their life and actions in accordance to what they cannot see as of yet with their eyes, but believe in their hearts is indeed truth and will come to pass. It I in that sense of forming a intention and choosing means by which to carry out those intentions, even if just holding up a rod over the sea, or choosing to take up a saw and nails and begin building, or ordering ones life in accordance to what we know and understand of God’s commands upon us. One could claim to have faith all day long but unless that faith motivates the will to the formation if intents, and properly denoted as a ‘work’ in that sense, faith is dead being alone and will save no one.

    Every moral idea is coupled with the formation of intent within the will. It matters not whether it is faith, trust, love, hate, or selfishness of any or every kind, they all involve acts of the will. Without the will acting and choosing to order their intents and the means by which to carry out those intents, it is impossible to predicate faith or morality to any idea in the mind.

    Faith that saves is a faith that works. Faith cannot be predicated of the individual until the individual acts upon the influences of faith God presents to the will. If faith is to be predicated of the individual, the individual must ‘do’ something with the influence of faith God places upon its heart and mind. The individual must actively forms intents in accordance to the influences of faith upon the will by choosing to form intents consistent with that influence. That is a ‘work’ in its most primitive and basic form. That is the heart and seat of morality, i.e., ones formed intents and chosen means of the will that produce subsequent actions.
     
  19. Alex Quackenbush

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    Can it be something else? This seems to be asking the obvious. If I exercise trust obviously I have exercise my volition.
     
    #19 Alex Quackenbush, Oct 9, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2007
  20. TCGreek

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    That, my friend, is what James is arguing from 2:14-26.
     

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