Where Does Believing Faith Come From

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Benefactor, Oct 16, 2009.

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  1. Benefactor

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    We have heard a lot about how one has faith. Calvinist state it is infused after regeneration and Arminians and other Non Calvinist simply accept what the Bible teaches.

    Lets look at the facts:

    1) Romans 10:17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

    2) The result of faith is salvation:

    This is the message of faith that we proclaim: 9 if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 Now the Scripture says, No one who believes on Him will be put to shame, 12 for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

    3) Jesus said in Luke 7:50 And He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."

    This verse supports Paul's teaching that faith is frist and salvation is second

    4) Titus 3:5 defines Saved (salvation) as follows: He saved us not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit

    As everyone can see before a person can believe they must hear the truth, repent, believe and then they are regenerated.
     
  2. Johnv

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    I don't think these things you listed are mutually exclusive.
     
  3. Carico

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    Hearing the word is first. One cannot believe until he has first heard. But again, most atheists have heard the word as well as Jews, pagans and Muslims and they still don't believe.

    So God tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:14, Ephesians 2;8-9, Galatians 5:22, John 14:16-17, 1 Corinthians 2:15, 1 Corinthians 12;9, and many other verses that faith can only come from the Holy Spirit who is the counselor, the Spirit of truth.

    One cannot know the truth unless he has the Spirit of truth inside him. That's because Satan is the spirit of falsehood and rules the world. Only the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, can give us the "mind of Christ' because as 1 Corinthians 2:11-12 explain that one cannot understand the mind of God without the Spirit of God. [/B] That's why one has to be born again of the Holy Spirit in order to be saved.
     
    #3 Carico, Oct 16, 2009
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  4. Benefactor

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    Now that is what I call a true blue bona fide Calvinistic position. The problem is that that "Born Again" is regeneration and regeneration is what Paul said Saved meant and Jesus told the woman that her faith saved her so actually Born Again is Saved and Saved is Born Again and Faith results in Born Again.
     
  5. Benefactor

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    True if you take the position that faith is first and saved is second and saved is regeneration and regeneration is new birth or born again.

    So in that regeneration / new birth or born again is saved and saved is regeneration / new birth or born again and we know that faith is first because Jesus told the woman that her faith saved here and her getting saved was after she had faith therefore faith is first and born again is second.
     
  6. Havensdad

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    Scripture is very clear God gives us faith.

    He gives us repentance (changing of our minds)


    2Ti 2:25 in meekness instructing those who oppose, if perhaps God will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth

    In order for them to "acknowledge the truth" (have faith), God must give them repentance (a change of mind). Like this:

    "Hey, I didn't have faith in Christ: but I changed my mind, now I do!"

    Scripture says that Change of mind was brought about by God.


    Likewise: Faith, which is the other side of the coin to repentance, is given to us...


    Rom 12:3 I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you.


    So the only question is, HOW does he do this? I don't think God FORCES us; nevertheless, His decision on who will be saved is definite.

    So this is what I SEE in scripture: that all are deaf, dumb, and blind regarding the things of God, and their own depravity. Like a starving man sitting five feet from a banquet, chewing on his last sunflower seed (sin): clinging to it, because he is in bondage to it.

    Then, for those who God chooses, He opens their eyes, giving them "eyes to see and ears to hear." The man isn't forced to partake of the banquet, but there is no question that he will. The very second his eyes are opened, he will dive upon the table in front of him, and eat with all his strength.

    But notice, he is not forced. He makes a choice, but his choice is absolutely determined by his condition.
     
  7. Benjamin

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    Volitional will (influence and response) and determination (cause and effect) are logically mutually exclusive.
     
  8. Havensdad

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    No, not in a strict sense. God can influence us, through our circumstances, emotions, etc., to get what He wants without forcing us. God, by the very fact that He is God, must control our circumstances, which affects our emotions, feelings, beliefs, etc.

    Let me post a little segment of what I wrote on the Seminary board, with slight modification.

     
  9. Benjamin

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    In the strict sense of being logical my statement stands. First, I’m afraid your ideology of sovereign control and declaring what God “must” do to be sovereign is not only self contradictory to God’s ability and the fact that He is God, but no doubt leads to theological fatalism concerning the nature of God. Obviously, another in-depth subject, but the point is I don't agree with your claim/view of what God's sovereignty must consist of.

    Back to the subject, second, your continuing argument merely substantiates my claim that the determinist view "must" rest on “cause and effect” and therefore is logically mutually exclusive to “influence and response”.

    Regarding Divine attributes, your thesis is on the road to making it sound as if God relies on tricks and lies rather than truth concerning creaturely volition. It seems to be yet another variation of God’s drawing people while they are kicking, screaming and clawing at the ground, forced salvation (determination), except here He forces a choice by trickery. Nothing there remotely shows volition.

    Creatures have volition or they do not, both can not logically be true.
     
  10. Carico

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    Sorry, but I didn't quote Calvin. I quoted God.;) So as Paul tells us in 1 Corinthian 3:1, don't follow people like Paul or Apollos or Luther, or Calvin or the pope, you have one teacher and that is Christ as he tells us in MT 23:10. So just quote and believe God's word and you'll know what God says. :godisgood:
     
    #10 Carico, Oct 16, 2009
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  11. OldRegular

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    We have heard a lot about how one has faith. There are only two alternatives.

    Those known as Arminians believe:

    1. That the unsaved man is the source of saving faith.

    2. Able through his own free will to accept or reject the gracious offer of Salvation by God.

    3. Therefore, believes that he is Sovereign in his own Salvation.

    Those who believe that GOD is Sovereign in their Salvation believe that saving faith is the gift of GOD according to Scripture.

    LETS LOOK AT THE FACTS:

    1] The gift of saving faith.
    Ephesians 2:8-10
    8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9. Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.


    2] All those who will be saved were chosen to Salvation in Jesus Christ by God the Father before the foundation of the world [Ephesians 1:3-7]:
    3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
    4. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    5. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
    7. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;



    2] Titus 3:5-7 defines Salvation as follows:
    5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
    6. Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
    7. That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.


    As everyone can see salvation is:
    1] By the mercy of GOD wherein HE chose us in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world.
    2] Then resurrected us from spiritual death through the power of the Holy Spirit [regeneration].
    3] Gave us the gift of faith whereby we WILL respond to the Gospel Call, now the Effectual Call.
    4] Justified us by HIS grace.
    5] And adopted us into the family of GOD making us heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
     
  12. Benefactor

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    Actually this is the first time I recall that 2 Timothy 2:25 used to defend the Calvinist position. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Let us look at the context:

    Paul tells Timothy in verse 22 to do what? Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace along with those who called on the Lord out of a pure heart.

    This clearly suggest that Timothy as a young minister is capable of committing these sins.

    Verse 23 deals with arguments over what we are not told. We know all to well the kinds of arguments believers get into for a host of reasons both from Scripture and other. Still the setting is within the context of the already born again person.

    Verse 24 Paul tells Timothy that as a servant he must not quarrel, not be resentful which means that Paul understood that as a young believer, real believer Timothy could very well fall into sin and quarrel and be resentful.

    Verse 25 Paul instructs Timothy to gently instruct any who oppose him. Christian everywhere can testify of other believers who oppose them - they are just as saved as any believer is who is still in the flesh. This cannot be denied. Christians do and can get out of fellowship. This verse gives no indication that the repentance of these opposing are lost, but just the opposite the instruction and context teach the opposite.

    Verse 26 speaks of these opposing as coming to their senses where Satan has taken them captive. Christian is Satan’s prime target to get them to sin and discredit their testimony and ruin their effectiveness as a godly example. No Believer is beyond this real problem.

    So what do we have? We have a verse that is clearly and plainly dealing with people that are already saved not become saved. So as it reads and on its face these passages are not teaching Calvinistic order of salvation, quite the contrary they refute it.

    Romans 12:3 "measure of faith" would agree with what is given after saving faith. The scripture clearly teaches that regeneration follows believing faith. It is impossible for this use of faith to refer to believing faith as a special infused faith that enables man to believe. This measure of faith is clearly set in a context of one that is already saved and to force it to refute the clear teaching in Romans 10, Luke 7:50 and Titus 3:5 just is not going to happen. If we treat Scripture this way then we force contradiction. The passages I have cited are clear and are not left o any doubt as to what they say or mean or the order in which they are to be understood.

    Now to keep it in context verse three is set in that context which is further explained in verse 6. You will not find very many commentators that assign the same meaning as you have to this passage, unless they are Calvinist. I am not so sure that even among Calvinist there is consistency in such a use of this passage. Apparently Paul expands on the list of gifts that we normally read from I Cor. This would mean that all who are having been saved already receive a gift of faith for daily living. Some believe God takes the natural abilities of the willing and committed hearts and through understanding they come to a realization that in their understanding they are to use their natural talents for God. The only gifts that over ride this would be tongues, miracles, prophecy etc. abilities that must be supernatural, where as the others are abilities that are learned and developed and by which a person in their service to God realize that this giftedness is God's gift in that sense and is to be used to God's glory.
     
  13. Benefactor

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    Amen to that
     
  14. Benefactor

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    Old Regular, greetins:

    Lets take are very good look at Eph 2:8

    Here are the facts


    Eph. 2:8 and 9
    8. te gar cariti este seswsmenoi dia pistews kai touto ouk ex umwn qeou to dwron
    9. ouk ex ergwn ina me tis kauchshtai

    The te

    for gar
    grace cariti - Noun, dative case, feminine in gender, singular in numberby
    you (plural) are este

    having been saved seswsmenoi - a verbal/adjective - a participle in the perfect tense, passive voice, nominative case, masculine gender, second person, plural in number -

    through dia

    faith pistews Noun, genitive case, feminine gender, singular in number -

    and kai

    this touto -near demonstrtive pronoun, nominative case, neuter in gender, singular in number -

    not ouk
    out of ex
    you umwn
    God qeouthe
    the to
    gift dwron
    not ouk

    out of ex
    works ergwn
    in order that ina
    not me
    anyone tis
    should bost kauchshtai

    For those who do not know the Greek. You will read in various post about the antecedent of the “near demonstrative pronoun translated “this”; as you can locate it in the text above.

    Notice three things: one is the gender is in brown and the case in red and number is green

    Grace is (1) Dative in case and (2) feminine is gender and (3) singular in number
    Having been saved is (1) Nominative in case and (2) masculine in gender and (3) plural in number
    Faith is (1) Genitive in case and (2) feminine in gender and (3) singular in number

    This is (1) Nominative in case and (2) neuter in gender and (3) singular in number

    Basically a neuter gender can either agree with feminine or masculine words but generally when a pronoun is related to a specific word it takes on the same gender. In this case the writer did not identify “this” by gender and put it in the neuter. Hold on to that thought.

    Now let’s compare and contrast using the case, gender and number:

    First the case: Grace, faith and this are all in different cases, Grace is dative, faith is genitive and this is nominative, and having been saved is nominative. What agreement do we have in concerning the case of the words; this and having been saved agree in case only.

    Second, we compared gender. Both grace and faith are feminine, and “this” is neuter and “having been saved” is masculine. In comparing gender with gender this is not a normal situation. We are left with trying to understand what the antecedent is of “this”. If it had been feminine that would clearly solve only half of the problem theologians have with this verse because the cases do not match, except with the participle.

    Third, we compared number. Grace, faith, and "this" are singular and “having been saved is plural” so this agrees in number with grace and faith but not with “having been saved”. “Having been saved agrees with the word that comes before it which is “are” but is translated “you are” this state of being verb as we would call it takes on the identity of the participle being verbal and adjectival in function and we know this because of the way it is spelled. That is the nature of the beast.

    Forth, the strongest argument I have read that I agree with is that the antecedent of “this” is not “faith” but the complete statement, “for by grace you are saved through faith” is the antecedent.

    Remember the near demonstrative pronoun should agree with its antecedent but it does not because it does not exist in order for it to agree. What is the nearest likely antecedent in the sentence?

    This is nominative neuter singular and faith is dative feminine singular. These two do not agree in case and gender but do in number. Remember that “this” agrees with “having been saved in case only” This is a problem that is not common.Paul wrote a lot of scripture and here he comes up with this odd ball statement that does not work as normal. Normal is not kind to these words. Because of all the differences the best and most likely solution is that “this” points to the complete statement, “for by grace you are saved by faith”.

    These are exegetical facts, one can either accept them or reject their truth.
     
  15. Benefactor

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    OldRegular and greetings once again.

    Looking at real facts Titus 3:5



    Let’s take a look at Titus 3:5b from the Greek

    ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὸ αὐτοῦ ἔλεος ἔσωσεν ἡμᾶς διὰ λουτροῦ παλινγενεσίας καὶ ἀνακαινώσεως πνεύματος ἁγίου,


    but according to the of Him mercy He saved us (conjunctive clause)


    ἀλλὰ - Alla – but – superordinationg conjunction – Not just a contrast but designates that mercy is superior to works, works cannot save us. If God were not merciful then salvation is a mute issue. Mercy denotes power of the God being merciful, showing favor, kindness, compassion etc. toward or on the objects of His mercy, those who believe.

    κατὰ - kata – according – preposition accusative – (not according to works but His mercy He saved, those who believe) Paul is describing the divine side of the moment of salvation.

    Tὸ - to – the – this definite article is accusative neuter and is related to mercy because it is accusative neuter, “the mercy” of him.

    αὐτοῦ - autou - of Him – personal pronoun genitive case masculine third person singular. “mercy is of Him”

    ἔλεος - eleos – mercy – accusative masculine singular

    ἡμᾶς - haemas– us – personal pronoun nominative first person singular

    ἔσωσεν -esoosen – saved - indicative aorist active verb third person singular. We are saved at a point in time past. This aorist tense is to be considered as follows: Having a starting point, ( the moment of passing from death to life, conversion, born from above etc.), with the results that continues, illustrated in Greek grammars as follows: *----------------- The asterisk representing the moment it took place and the line indicating the continuing effects of the event. The state of saved is an instantaneous moment but the effects are ongoing.

    The perfect tense of the same word is found in Luke 7:50. In Titus 3:5 Paul illustrates the Divine side of salvation. The Holy Spirit, upon faith in Christ, in a moment of time saved us. This saved us is described as “washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” The terms washing of rereneration and renewing are descriptive of a moment in time. The linier effect of positional salvation is ongoing but this verse is not addressing the ongoing results or effects of regeneration, for that is an act in a point in time and its results continue. A crude illustration would be, God called a rock into existence and the rock continues in that state or a tree is created and will continually be a tree until it dies, decays, and returns to the basic elements of the earth. The physical body is born and it continues until it dies. The emphasis of Titus 3:5 is not the maturing or ongoing process it is the event of birth, saved according to “washing of new birth and renewing by the Holy Spirit”.

    Here in Luke 7:50 we have the following:

    Jesus stated in Luke 7:50 that faith saved, Paul describes saved as washing or regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.

    The perfect tense “has saved” seswken – seswken (indicative perfect active third person singular). When the indicative mood is used in the perfect tense, the mood of reality, it signifies that the action as complete in the present. It is to be viewed as a completed action in present time, not the distance past or near past but the immediate past, it just happened at this point in time and the past of it is that close. We call it “simple past” in English. Example of a simple past is illustrated by the following: The accident just happened. It did not happen yesterday or a week ago it just happened. The woman was just saved there in that moment of time in history because she believed. She believed and was saved. The same “saved” is described in Titus. The description of salvation in Titus 3:5 is what happened to the woman who believed to receive this regeneration.


    διὰ λουτροῦ παλινγενεσίας καὶ ἀνακαινώσεως πνεύματος ἁγίου,


    διὰ - dia – through – genitive preposition (from to) from lost to saved.

    λουτροῦ - loutpou – noun, genitive, neuter, singular washing, specifically “of washing. The spelling on its own is either genitive or ablative. Genitive is “of…” and ablative use would be “from …” and the reason it is “of….”is because of the preposition “dia” through, a genitive preposition. When dia is used with this spelling if is genitive. This of itself gives the stronger argument that washing is not “water” but “spiritual” as is indicated “by Holy Spirit”. It is considered the resultant meaning as it is given here, “through or because of”, “saved through …….”. Dana Mantey page 101. We all know about washing cars: My car was washed by hand or by machines at a car wash. We were saved “through washing or regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit”. The genitive case defines something. If we ask the question: What is regeneration? It is the Holy Spirit washing of regeneration and renewing the a person. What is saved/regeneration? The work of the Holy Spirit describes as washing and renewing. The actual act is new birth, salvation/regeneration defined as washing of regeneratoin and renewing. The moment of salvation the Holy Spirit changes the lost spirit/soul to a saved spirit/soul and that is simply described as “washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit”

    παλινγενεσίας – palingenesias – regeneration – new birth –

    At this point it is critical to point that regeneration and renewing are related to the same and single event or point of salvation. Regeneration and renewing are both nouns that are genitive case, feminine gender and singular in number separated by a cording conjunction. They go together. The agree with each other. The words “washing” “of Spirit” “Holy” are all genitive, neuter, singular. What does this mean? It means that they belong together.

    So we ask the question: How is one saved? By the Holy Spirit’s washing – of regeneration and renewing: What is being regenerated and renewed? The spirit/soul is saved, converted, it is reborn or renewed. The state of the spirit/soul is separated from God and described as dead and this soul/spirit is reborn or renewed. Remember the genitive defines. It describes what took place by using words to convey the truth of the instant of salvation.

    Concluding then we have a simple truth that salvation is described as the Holy Spirit rebirthing the soul / spirit from is lost state to a saved state and this is described or defined as new birth and renewing of that soul/spirit.

    According to Luke 7:50 as stated above this salvation is not possible unless a person believes. So a person must first have faith or believe and this results in regeneration as presented above.
     
  16. Benefactor

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    Do you and Calvin agree then on this matter?
     
  17. Benefactor

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    Titus 3:5 simple break down of what the Greek teaches

    He saved us

    ----not by works

    ------which we did

    ----------by the (law of) righteousness

    But

    He saved us

    ---------according to (the) mercy of Him

    Through

    ---------washing by the Holy Spirit

    ---------------------------of regeneration and of renewing.
     
  18. OldRegular

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    I don't speakada the Greek or the Hebrew but the above post from Titus 3:5 proves my that I am correct. Many Thanks!

    Titus 3:5
    Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
     
  19. Benefactor

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    Nice to know that you agree with me in the following:

    Jesus told the woman that her faith saved her so faith comes before saved that is clear and I don't think anyone would argue with God, Jesus is God.

    Paul tells us that "Saved" is as stated in the post the Holy Spirit washing of regeneration and renewing. So this washing of regeneration and renewing is the completeness of Saved and Saved it the washing of regeneration and renewing. Therefore the order is faith first and washing of regeneration and renewing second. This is what these verses teach, to change the order it so disagree with Jesus and Paul.
     
  20. Carico

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    I have no idea nor do I care what Calvin thinks and neither should you since Calvin isn't God any more than anyone else is. So I'm no more a Calvinist then I'm a Jonesian if I agree with my neighbor, Mr. Jones on certain issues. We are not to follow PEOPLE, but God alone as Jesus tells us in MT. 23:10 and 1 Corinthians 1:12-13 & 3:4-9 explain.
     
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