What is Faith?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, May 28, 2007.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    What is the meaning of faith? What does it mean to have faith? How is faith seen as being at antipodes with works?........or is it completely at antipodes with works in reality?
     
  2. Darron Steele

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    Here is what I think biblical faith is:

    Acts 16:31b says “‘Believe on the Lord Jesus|, and you will be saved’” (ASV|NASB). We must genuinely believe Jesus to be LORD, meaning submission of our wills to His will = obedience. When we TRULY believe that Jesus is Lord and opposed sin, we recognize a need to shun our sins and we obey. This is repentance. Hence, when a person believes the Gospel, s/he acknowledges it to be true, and she repents and is obedient.

    What Scripturally-Approved Faith Is NOT : 1) mere intellectual assent, 2) works motivated by faith and which show faith, 3) agreement with church congregation tenets without a direct focus on Christ.

    Galatians 5:6 says “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only | the kind of faith that works through love” (ESV|ICB). James 2:18b examples “I will show you my faith by my works” (NASB).

    Hence, faith is not works. However, genuine faith produces works, and works show faith.
     
  3. J. Jump

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    Depends on context.
     
  4. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: This is interesting. You seem to be equating faith with and or involving repentance. You mention being ‘opposed to sin.’ Would not ‘being opposed to sin’ denote an act of the will? Would you say then that faith involves an act of the will?

    If faith involves an act of the will, and works involve an act of the will, how do faith and works differ?



    HP: Here you say that faith is not ‘works motivated by faith.’ Above you say that when we have faith and believe we recognize a need to shun our sins and we obey. You then add , “it is repentance.” I suppose this seems a bit odd due to the fact that so many believe that sin is unavoidable, and that no man can shun sin. Am I reading you correctly in that you believe we can indeed shun sin and be obedient? Who or what is ‘shunning sin?’ Is it simply a result of faith, or is it a result of an act of our will? Is it a mere product of Divine coercion, or is it necessary for man to activate his will voluntarily in agreement to faith? Is faith the mere product of divine coercion, or does faith involve the free will of man in the formation of an intent to act in accordance to the known will of God?



    HP: If ‘faith works through love,’ is love an act of the will, or is love a mere gift, the results of yet another coercive influence of God? I am trying to ascertain whether of not faith, repentance, and love, involve acts of the will, or if in fact man is passive in the exercising of them. Does man act as the ‘mere recipient’ of these gifts from God much like the earth is a recipient of the falling rain, or does mans will have to voluntarily, and with freedom, form an intent, without which faith, love, or repentance could not be exercised or realized.
     
  5. Darron Steele

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    If you have something you are trying to convey, please just say it.

    All I know is the Bible. I try to keep it simple. I am most interested in how its teachings relate to how Christians should live for the Lord.

    I really have better things to do than play with semantics and speculative philosophical theology, neither of which have anything to do with living for the Lord. You created a thread calling for input. I gave you my input.
     
    #5 Darron Steele, May 28, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2007
  6. Darron Steele

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    [ Accidental duplicate. Sorry. ]
     
    #6 Darron Steele, May 28, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2007
  7. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Don’t despair over my questioning of your stated opinions. :) Use my questions to challenge your ideas, to aide in the solidification of truth to your heart. Is it not true that what might appear to us at times to be our worst critic, may indeed be our best friend? Questions at times may seem to be wounds, but does not Scripture state that “Faithful are the wounds of a friend?”

    I believe my questions are warranted. Why not allow yourself to attempt an answer to my questions that were developed in my mind as I read your post. Here is what I asked you. “Does man act as the ‘mere recipient’ of these gifts from God much like the earth is a recipient of the falling rain, or does mans will have to voluntarily, and with freedom, form an intent, without which faith, love, or repentance could not be exercised or realized?”

    Is this not a legitimate question in light of your post? I certainly do not intend to be unfair or unkind. Debate demands that we allow our statements to be carefully and openly examined by each other in order that the truth may be established. Are we truly seekers of truth, even at the expense of having our beliefs questioned by others?
     
  8. BobRyan

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    In James - viable faith has to have works. Faith without works is not viable -- does not "work". Saving faith is faith "that works" according to James 2. It is the same faith and works that is what Christ speaks of in Matt 7 "Not everyone who SAYS Lord Lord - but he who DOES the will of My Father"

    But in Romans 3 the context for faith is justification past - where the lost sinner comes to Christ "by faith alone". Yet even then the "faith" that the sinner has results in repentance and coming to God for salvation as did the theif on the cross while the unrepentant theif did not choose faith at all.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. Hope of Glory

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    That's what most of the Bible is talking about: How once a person is spiritually saved and in the family, how they should be behaving.
     
  10. Darron Steele

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    Very well. Here is my answer:
    What difference does it make? If a person knows to submit to the will of the Lord, and does so, it does not matter why -- s/he should simply do what God calls us to do!​
    Titus 3:8b-9a “I desire that thou affirm confidently, to the end that they who have believed God may be careful to maintain good |deeds|. These things are good and profitable unto men: but shun foolish questionings, and genealogies, and strifes, and fightings about law; for they are unprofitable” (ASV|NLT 1996, RSV 1952|ASV).

    You asked what faith was. I told you what I believe the Bible teaches. Had I known you were only leading to semantics games and speculative philosophical theology of the Calvinism/Arminianism disagreement, I would not have posted on this thread at all.
     
    #10 Darron Steele, May 29, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2007
  11. Dustin

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    Saving faith is a gift from God just like Paul tells us in Ephesians.

    As it is, I think there is a definate difference between saving faith in Christ and the faith that demons are said to have. Saving faith does "work", but there is faith that works but does not save, like that of the Muslims.

    It all hinges on Christ, just like everything else does. A Muslim can believe those doctrines with all his heart, mind, and soul, and his works can bear the fruit of his belief, but since his faith is not in Jesus, then it is not saving faith.

    A person can call Jesus Lord and do all kinds of great works, but when the judgement comes, they find themselves to be reprobates that Christ never knew. This is kind of like the question of assurance. What do you look to to have assurance of being saved. Well, you look to your faith. Because anyone in the world can do a "good deed" but the human idea of doing good is much different from God's. It all hinges on Christ. Every last bit of it.

    Contrary to popular belief these days, it does matter what you believe, and why you believe it. I am of the opinion, and this is debatable I guess, that it is much easier for a person that lives in a far off, out of the way place, to figure these things out than for someone who has to sift through all the bad doctrine being thrown around in the majority of mainline churches today.

    I guess my point is, true saving faith is something we get from God who knows the hearts of all men, not based on anything we do, that is what justifies us in God's eyes. The faith/works deal spoken of in the book of James (since I know this is coming) has more to do with justifying your justification before men, because obviously, God knows who is saved and who is not.

    Hope this makes a little sense.

    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Dustin
     
  12. billwald

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    "A person can call Jesus Lord and do all kinds of great works, but when the judgement comes, they find themselves to be reprobates that Christ never knew."

    Agree 100%! In other words, there is no objective test for election and we all might eventually discover that God has only elected Mormons.
     
  13. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: So is man passive in receiving it? Is saving faith granted to only a select few?

    HP: Knowing the heart of all men is a given if in fact they are all wicked. It would be like trying to identify one marble from another in a jar of millions of marbles all made identical. What purpose would that serve if all are the same?

    So your argument boils down to the arbitrary will of God deciding that some will perish and some will be saved, and all decided before hand without consideration of anything we could or will do? The picture you seem to be painting is as fatalistic as any I have witnessed. God creates all men as sinners without hope and then arbitrarily chooses to save some and damn the others. I am having a hard time picturing the god of such a scenario as a fair, just, and loving God.
     
  14. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: What can possibly be your hope, holding to such a notion?
     
  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: This is not about semantic games or speculative philosophy, or any Calvinistic/Arminian disagreement, this is about finding truth. If in fact it uncovers false notions in either system, let the chips fall where they may.
     
  16. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    What does it mean when it states that everyman has received a "measure of faith?" If we are saved by faith, and all have a measure of faith, why are all not saved?

    Do you suppose that Scripture just fails to tell us that a measure really doesn't do it, and that some have received a greater measure than others, and only those with a measure big enough (whatever that might be) will be saved?
     
  17. Dustin

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    #17 Dustin, May 30, 2007
    Last edited: May 30, 2007
  18. Dustin

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    Give me the verses, I know what you're talking about, just don't know exactly where it is.

    Thanks,
    Dustin
     
  19. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Ro 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
     
  20. Dustin

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    3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. (NKJV)

    Paul is speaking to believers here. Look at verse 5, "are one body in Christ", this is speaking of believers, not the world as a whole.

    Context is key.


    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Dustin
     

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