The Operation of Faith

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by James_Newman, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. James_Newman

    James_Newman
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    There is a lot of discussion going on about who gets saved and how. The general consensus is that we are saved by faith, but there is a lot of disagreement on how that is brought about, or what that even means.

    Ephesians 2
    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

    This is a true statement. How do I know this? I know this because the whole bible is true.

    20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

    Luke 17:6
    And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

    These are true, also. Jesus said it. Jesus is God. God is not a man, that He should lie.

    Question: Why is it that we do not see anyone moving any mountains, from the creation till now? Why is it that no one is commanding sycamine trees to drown themselves?
     
  2. Askjo

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    Because of religious apostasy. See Luke 18:8

    What happened to Jesus' disciples when Jesus died and buried? Jesus told them that He will rise from the dead 3 days later. What happened to them when Jesus was buried? Sad? Did they not watch when the rock rolls away from the tomb and Jesus walked out of the tomb? Where were they? They were not there to watch until Jesus walked out of the tomb. I learned that they were "rationalistic" disciples because they demanded the evidence. Jesus went to see them in a house then what happened? Jesus bawled them out because of their unbelief. They saw Him in that house then the evidence occured. It is called, "human reasoning." That is why Jesus found no one who has faith.

    What main problem do we have is modern fundamentalism because we allow human reasoning to create unbelief and hardness of heart toward Bible promises. Most Bible colleges/seminaries they teach human reasoning, not the Bible. They denied Psalms 12:6-7 referral to the preservation of the Holy Scriptures. For example, you have the Bible with some notes and look at Genesis 1 and read the note saying about the Gap theory. Look at Mark 16 and read the footnote saying about textual problems. Do we need these notes and footnotes due to that they indoctrinated our mind? Will Jesus find anyone who has faith?

    On the contrary, Moses had faith to admit he is a Jew. Noah had faith to build the ark because he never saw the rain.

    Faith is the evidence, not of what we see, but of things impossible to discover with human senses.
     
  3. James_Newman

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    I guess I should make sure I worded the question right. I mean, literally, why are mountains not being moved, or sycamine trees being planting themselves in the sea?

    Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

    What about the centurion in Matthew 8.

    Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

    Could this man have said to a mountain 'get ye hence' and that mountain would have moved?
     
  4. Askjo

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    What about you? Any idea about that?
     
  5. gb93433

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    It doesn't matter how it is brought about. What matters is that we are His disciples. Jesuis said to those He called, "Come follow Me."
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    There is a scriptural limitation on prayer - it must always be in the will of God.
     
  7. James_Newman

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    Well, he didn't say anything about prayer. He said if you had faith as the grain of a mustard seed, you could tell the mountain to move and it would. This is a little different than petitioning the Lord to move a mountain. But you are correct I think, in the sense that faith has something to do with the Lord's will. The reason we can't tell a mountain to move is because we have no reason to believe that God wants us to move a mountain.

    Faith is not a mystical power that is imbued to True Believers (TM). The bible says it in this way:

    Hebrews 11:1
    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    This shows us that true 'faith' is based on evidence. We must have evidence that what we believe is true in order to truly have faith in it. Otherwise, it is blind faith, otherwise known as Wishful Thinking.

    John 3
    16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Do we have evidence that God wants to give us the gift of eternal life? Did He not send His son to die for the sins of the world? If you recieve that in faith (i.e. believe that God will save you because He wants to and He payed the necessary price) then He will do it, according to your faith. Just as he gave sight to the blind, who had faith to recieve their sight. They believed that He would, and He did.

    John 6:40
    And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    If you believe this, He WILL do it, according to your faith.
     
  8. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Good strong points here James - and it agrees with my contention elsewhere that faith is logical, rational, and reasonable.
     
  9. pinoybaptist

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    Because, the above, if we follow Scripture's rule for Bible study (a line here, a line there, a precept here, a precept there, comparing spiritual with spiritual) properly should be understood as:

    For by grace (of God) are ye saved through faith (of Jesus Christ), and that not of yourselves (not of our efforts, not because of us), it is the gift of God.

    The humanists on this board can howl and yell 'heresy', 'heretic', or 'blasphemy' all they want until they drop dead, but the fact is that our faith in Christ did not save us.

    There was no 'faith requirement' for salvation, He saved His people while they were yet sinners . The faith they have later after hearing the gospel of their finished salvation is justified faith.

    <QUOTE><QB>

    <snip>
    20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
    </QB></QUOTE>

    The Savior was simply saying that no man, but Him, has that faith. He was not telling us to look for that kind of faith in us, none of us have that kind of faith. Now, the Norman Vincent Peales of this board can try and spiritualize this verse, but I challenge them to tell a very sick man to have faith and he will be healed.
    And I challenge the Calvinists on this board to say that this tells the natural man to simply have faith and he will be saved, and then preach their Doctrine of Total Depravity to their congregation.
    None of us has the same kind of faith that can move mountains as Christ has, that is why He is the One who has the faith that pleases God.
    I speak in regards to eternal salvation.
     
  10. James_Newman

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    I'm not sure what your trying to prove pinoy, it sounds like universalism. How could people back then have faith that they would be healed? Well, they had a man walking around claiming to be the son of God, and He was healing people. I don't know if we can just have faith these days that God wants us to be healed, but I think it is evident that the people who were healed were healed because they had faith, not because Jesus believed He could heal them. Of course He could heal them, He's God.
     
  11. MTA

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    In the previous verse, the disciples had just finished asking the Lord to increase their faith. Christ's response was that even a small amount of faith is capable of miraculous things. He says this by equating the results faith the size of a mustard seed moving mountains and causing trees to uproot themselves and replant themselves in the sea, (where nothing can grow).

    We should not assume that Christ was literally indicating mountains should be moved, or that trees would be plucked up by the roots because neither would serve any purpose. Although both scenarios are certainly possible with God, I cannot imagine what could be accomplished by such a display of faith or that any good thing would come out of it to the honor and glory of God.

    It does not require great faith to realize miraculous results and that was the lesson Christ was teaching.
     
  12. MTA

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    Taking a line from here and there along with precepts from here and there, you can make the Bible say anything you desire. Paul's instruction to Timothy was to "rightfully divide the truth!"

    I have never before heard any doctrinal Baptist say that Christ's faith saved us. Hebrews 11 talks about a living faith IN Christ.

    Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

    2Ti 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.


    Now, I am not a humanist, nor am I going to call you a heretic or a blasphemer. Neither am I going to "drop dead." Actually, you are exactly right! Our faith did not save us. We were saved by grace. However grace is given when we trust in the only begotten Son of God. That is what "through faith" means anyway you cut it and you cannot get around the operation of faith in salvation. That faith is the "substance of things hoped for" spoken of in Heb. 11:1 and the belief referred to in Mark 16:16.
     
  13. James_Newman

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    Thank you MTA, that is very well put. When we assume the will of the Lord, we are not exercising faith, but rather presumption. The bible has somewhat to say about presumptuous people.

    10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

    I think many Christians today fall under the heading of presumptuous. They presume that because they are saved, they will not fall into horrible sin. Rather than praying that God not lead them into temptation, they assume that God will not do so. A lot of godly men who have been looking to their works as proof of their eternal salvation have had their faith destroyed when they find themselves committing sins that they would have only attributed to an unsaved man. Satan wants you to take off your helmet of salvation, and he does this through the falacy of 'perseverance of the saints' or Lordship Salvation, or however you want to call it. It really boils down to a works assurance which is contrary to trusting God to do what He said He would do.

    This also causes a lot of Christians to not strive to be as Holy as God has called them to be. They think there is a line that you must cross to lose or 'never had' your salvation. But they presume that they will not cross this line. They are saved, how could they? You would be hard pressed to find a worldly Christian who was looking at his works for assurance who didn't think he was doing a good job. Some of them may say they are not so sure, but they must not be too worried, or they would step up the pace a bit, no? But they never have a problem doubting someone elses salvation if that someone is committing adultery, or is a wife beating drunk. They forget that Jesus said that if they look upon a woman to lust, they have committed adultery in their heart. Or if they hate their brother, they have murdered him in their heart.

    Jeremiah 17:9
    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    If you were to look at your works right now to decide if you are saved or not, are you sure that you are saved? What is your faith in? Is it in your ability to keep up your walk, or is it in God's promise to impute Christ's righteousness to you.

    Romans 4
    21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
    22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
    23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
    24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
    25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

    You may think you stand today, but the bible says to take heed, lest ye fall. You may believe now that you are doing great and that you have no reason to doubt your salvation. Will you believe that a year from now when you have fallen into horrible sin, and your looking back and asking yourself 'how did I fall so far from whence I came?'

    Trust in the sacrifice, He paid it all.
     
  14. pinoybaptist

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    I do not think you are one of the humanists on this board, MTA. Neither is James Newman. I have posted Scripture proving that we are saved and justified by Christ's faith, both from the KJV and one of the MV's that at least translates literally, but, of course, these Scriptures will not at all be given notice by the rest.

    For your benefit, here is one doctrinal Baptist who wrote these verses long before the Baptist Board came into existence and which many in the Baptist Board have read and did not comprehend. His name was Paul, once known as Saul:

    In the Covenant of Grace between the Three who are One, man was never a participant. Man's role was passive. That of the recipient of the benefits of the Covenant.

    The Godhead each had His own task. The Father put faith in His Son, that His Son is able to carry out His will and bidding. The Son put faith and trust in the Father, that the Father is able to carry out His promise to the Son, even to the uttermost.

    Faith had a role to play in our salvation, but it was Christ's faith and obedience, not ours. The honor and glory belongs to Christ alone, that is why the hypocrites and humanists on this board cry out 'heresy' when Scriptural facts are presented to them, because it hurts the pride of man to know that he had nothing at all to do with his salvation.

    It hurts the human pride to know that his 'sacrifices and obedience' in getting the Word out actually contribute nothing to the eternal salvation of God's elect because that salvation was secured by Christ and in Christ for all His elect, whether they get to them or not. God is never dependent on humans and human agencies for work that He has obligated Himself to perform.
     
  15. pinoybaptist

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    Yet we can only 'rightly divide' the truth and feed it to God's people that way, by building precept upon precept.
    Satan's ministers will copy the same principle of teaching in order to preach their gospel, but, that doesn't mean God's way is no longer right, and what was written may be ignored.
    Also, by the same token, one can stay within the context of one chapter or line or verse and build an erroneous or totally false doctrine.

    Here is Isaiah 28:10, 13 -

    Like Paul said:

    Prayer. A Clean Conscience before God and man, and diligent study, comparing spiritual with spiritual, rightly dividing the truth, by building precept upon precept, here a little, there a little, who needs 'theologians' with Dr. This or Dr. That who simply parrot what their teachers taught them, who parrot what their teachers taught them, along party lines ?

    To James Newman's comment, may I add that not only do they judge someone hellbound because of their works, they presume that because one has never heard of the name of Jesus Christ, or one has never walked down the aisle to 'accept' Christ, one is plain and simple a child of hell.

    How presumptuous can one get ?
     
  16. James_Newman

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    I see your point, and I could agree that if you have faith, it is God working that faith in you. Even I could agree that it is the faith of Christ in you. But that doesn't mean there is no reason to preach the gospel. This doesn't negate the warnings to Christians of missing the reward of the kingdom for being an unprofitable servant.

    Matthew 25:30
    And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    You can't say that God did not command us to go out into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Your calvinist leanings will get you in a lot of trouble at the judgment seat of Christ. There is a responsibility of a Christian once they have been saved, regardless of how that salvation was effected. We cannot use two truths from the bible to cancel each other out. Was Jesus a man or was He God? He was both. The one does not affect the other. Do we have to believe with our free will, or does God cause us to believe by his grace. Both. There is God's side of it, where He caused it to be, and there is our side, where we believed and received.

    I know that I cannot 'presume' that God is going to bring everyone else to salvation without the assistance of those that He has called workers in the harvest. That is a lie from satan brother. The lie that God doesn't want you to do anything after you are saved, is just as potent as the lie that you have to work to prove you are saved. They both serve the same purpose, to keep people doubting their eternal salvation, and to keep Christians from doing the work that God has called them to. It is true that God does not need us. But thats just because He can raise someone else up to take our crown if we despise it.

    If you are not working as He has commanded, then you may not be one of God's elect. That doesn't absolutely mean your not saved.
     
  17. DeaconLew

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    Amen! The gospel is soo important and yet so many people do not understand it. I would like to rightly divide "our faith" and "the faith of Jesus."

    Our Faith:
    Jesus said in John "that whosever believeth...", "this is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent...", "if you had faith as a grain of mustard seed..."
    Our faith shows God that we trust his testimony concerning us, being shown through our response. For example: "Noah, being warned of God of things... moved with fear...", "By faith Abel offered", "By faith Abraham, when he was called ... obeyed; and he went...".
    This is our faith, our response to the testimony of God.

    The Faith of Jesus
    Galatians 3:22
    But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
    Revelation 14:12
    Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

    OF, prep. ov. [Gr.]
    1. From or out of; proceeding from, as the cause, source, means, author or agent bestowing.

    Hence, the faith of Jesus is simply faith that draws power from Jesus. For example, in salvation in eternity we have been given the law. If we performed it all it still could not take away sin. Hence we are still lost. I need a savior. I realize that my best is worthless. I have nowhere else to turn. Jesus said "if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." I don't want to die. Jesus says "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live... Believest thou this?" Yea Lord.

    I believe here is demonstrated both aspects of faith, ours and his. Our faith in Jesus is how salvation is apropriated. The faith of Jesus is how we get victory in our daily life over sin. Notice the passage in John 11:
    23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
    24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
    25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
    26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
    27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

    Everyone that is alive (saved in eternity) and beleives in Jesus shall never die. How do we believe in Jesus after we are born again? By excersizing his faith. He said "I will never leave thee..." when you fight the "giants" of sin and sling the stone toward it's head, it is not you or in you to over come the "giant," but he that is in you. "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world." We don't have it in ourselves to over come sin and temptation. We don't even have the faith to turn off the tv when we know that there will be some lewdness on it. BUT, if we excersize the faith of Jesus, all things are possible. We can turn down the invitation to the pour house, that will lead a man to the poor house. We can turn away from lust when it rears it's ugly head. We can't over come sin. Jesus in us can. It's by his faith. We need to walk in it.

    For it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do...
    For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

    Our confidence in his confidence.

    -DeaconLew
     

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