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Is believing/faith a work ?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by Brightfame52, Dec 21, 2021.

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  1. Brightfame52

    Brightfame52 Well-Known Member

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    The answer is absolutely yes. If we agree with the overall definition of work according to the greek word for work ergon:

    See strongs # 2041:


    1. business, employment, that which any one is occupied
      1. that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking
    2. any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind


    3. an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasised in opp. to that which is less than work

      A work is anything done, accomplished by #1 hand, #2 art, #3 industry, #4 or MIND

      The mind is :

      (in a human or other conscious being) the element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc.

      Psychology. the totality of conscious and unconscious mental processes and activities.

      So believing something via the mental activity and process of reasoning is work. The process of decision making is a activity, work of the mind.

      Now for instance, the sin of hatred Gal 5:19-20


      Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,


      20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

      How is that sin committed ? It starts in the mind or heart ! Yet in Vs 19 its stated as an work of the flesh

      So activity in and with the mind/heart is a work, this cannot be denied..

      Now believing is either a work of the flesh [unregenerate] or of the Spirit [ regenerated]

      But now Salvation is not by works, Neither by works of the flesh or works of the Spirit.
     
  2. Two Wings

    Two Wings Well-Known Member

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    no ... it's a gift we all have available to us.

    the MOST one could advocate in "work" is receiving the gift.

    God has given every man the faith to believe. Clearly, He gave the sacrifice to redeem us, too.

    All we can do is receive ... or reject. Reject is the default, receive is an affirmative position.
     
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  3. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    Romans 4:5 comes to mind. "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

    Here faith is contrasted specifically with working. I do not have a problem with the idea that "faith is granted" or the idea that the "and that not of yourselves" in Ephesians 2:8-9 refers to faith also, but it is not a work. And it is not a work even for those who believe they came to faith totally on their own free will. They may not have the same take on where faith comes from as I do but they have not turned it into a work either.
     
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  4. Two Wings

    Two Wings Well-Known Member

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    decision
    Action/work

    a dozen birds are sitting on a highwire. 1/2 of them decide to fly away.

    how many birds are sitting on the high wire?
     
  5. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and regarding the 12 still sitting on the high wire, I would say that the 6 still sitting there - who claim that they decided to fly away - if nothing is stopping them from flying away and yet they still haven't, well I question the genuineness of their "decision".:)
     
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  6. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Is this given at conception?
    How is this innate faith activated so that we receive rather than reject? Who gets to boast in this choice of acceptance rather than rejection?
     
  7. Two Wings

    Two Wings Well-Known Member

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    If I boast, let me boast in The Lord ... 2 Cor 10:17

    IDK the point at which this gift is actual for each person ... the "age of accountability?" Does it matter as long as it's no later than a person's age of accountability?

    Romans 12:3 tells me (even though I wasn't there when Paul wrote the letter ... :p little needle at those who think we're "reading someone else's mail.") that God has given every man the measure of faith to believe.
     
  8. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    It does matter.
    Second, look at the particular nature of faith in Romans 12. Faith, in that passage, is not universal to all humanity. It is particular to believers.

    Romans 12:1-3
    And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

    The point at which faith is given is after the point where God makes us alive with Christ.

    Ephesians 2:4-10
    But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

    This has more implication as it expresses that at the cross, all those who ever would believe were effectively placed into Christ beforehand. Belief actually came later.
    This shows that God has been Sovereign in his plans all the time.
     
  9. Two Wings

    Two Wings Well-Known Member

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    what translation is this?

    NASB95
    as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

    KJV
    according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.



    anyhow ... seems like you're promoting pre-destination. That we have no choice one way or the other. If that's the case then why spend a minute on evangelism? Shouldn't we just start discipleship training from the spiritual babes? Perhaps we should be more like Noah ... prepare the training and let God bring us the spiritual babes like He did Noah with all the critters?

    2 Pet 3:9 .... God doesn't want any to perish. If we have no choice in this, then no one perishes ... but we know that's not true because there are dozens of scriptures where the Bible tells us the wicked/dead in their sins perish/burn/etc.

    so therefore ... we have been given free will to choose.
     
  10. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Romans 12:1-3
    I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

    Context is very important. You can see in this passage that Paul is addressing believers and telling us that God assigns a measure of faith to believers. He is not doing this for people who don't believe.

    Context in 2 Peter 3 is crucial so you don't misunderstand Peter's point (which you unfortunately misunderstand).

    2 Peter 3:1-13
    This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

    The context makes it perfectly clear that not one whom Jesus chooses to save will perish. Read these verses in context.

    As to your complaint that God's Sovereign choice makes the preaching of reconciliation pointless, that is a complaint you can bring to God. What we know is that our task is to be ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5) and that all whom God has given to Jesus will be saved.

    John 10:25-29
    Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me,is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

    You need to take up your complaint against God. God tells us what He does and we can either believe what He says or we can take verses out of context to create something God never promises. That is entirely on you.
     
  11. Two Wings

    Two Wings Well-Known Member

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    What is the deal with posters being so confident in their understanding that they feel justified in being pejorative in their response? Is that providing a defense "yet with gentleness and respect" or is that the ego stepping forward "you are wrong" and "you must see the context."

    The context of Romans 12 includes one very important teaching; one ought not think more of himself than he should.

    Austin, I've read these several times. I note, first, you completely dodged my question of what translation. I don't look for reasons to object to anyone's translation, but clearly the one you offered has a completely different meaning ... in context ... and standing alone. IDK why you opted to ignore the question, but you did.

    Romans 12: Paul IS addressing the brethren ... the believers ... but in this allotment of faith, I do not read/understand this is exclusive to post conversion/new creature ... which is evidently what you're reading given the challenge of "when does this get conferred" earlier.

    2 Pet 3 has no other context to suggest those God wishes all would come to repentance are only those He has chosen before (they were even born)

    I asked the question not of God ... but of your understanding. If your understanding is correct, there's no need to evangelize. In fact, it would question God's authority to presume to evangelize if your pre-destination doctrine is correct.

    There's a difference in KNOWING the choice in advance and making the choice. If we don't have free will, then where is the love? If there's no free will, then we are simply puppets. If there's no free will, then God is guilty of my choices.

    Consider reading 1 Peter 3 again. quietly.
     
  12. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    This is in my opinion a hard argument for a Calvinist and cannot simply be dismissed. This is especially true when the argument goes into a direction where we assert that God is meticulously in charge of determining the motion of every molecule in the universe - or as I have heard it said "he is not God'.

    But my view of free will is a lot lower than some on here. I think our human free will is so fickle, changeable, and dependent on outside or inside forces from biology to past experiences that it is useless to claim it's anything more than "doing what you want to at the moment".

    Or even of believing. The other day I was watching a football game and they had one of those plays where it was hard to tell, even with instant replay, whether the receiver had both feet in when he caught the ball. What was funny was that as we waited for the results of the review ALL the fans on one side had an opposite view than ALL the fans on the other side - even though they all saw the same play. If we really had a reliable, autonomous free will that could not happen.
     
  13. Two Wings

    Two Wings Well-Known Member

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    I hope it's clear I'm not charging God with my choices.

    The Bible says God is love ... where is the love if there's no free will. If she can't go because I'm imposing my will upon her, does she really love me?

    I agree ... our will is easily changed ... without control over emotions in particular ... and without sound doctrine for our mind. So this is a self-illustrating concept; free will. Without it, sound doctrine therein, the mind is consuming false doctrine ... and therefore becomes an excuse for the bad behaviors, thoughts, words spoken.

    I think in your example, rose colored glasses is more of the effect than free will; not unlike eyewitness testimony of a crime/accident can be substantially different ... and there's no allegiance to either party.

    I have to research these terms y'all keep using ... "Is Calvinst theologically sound ... or heresy" ... because I try to make it a point to use The Bible and not a Bible Commentary as the reference standard. That's not "yay me look how smart I am" ... because I'm NOT smart.

    I simply recognize that men have their bias. I ... suppose ... I have mine as well, but I hope that by reviewing my ideals of a passage and inviting the Spirit to speak to my spirit, I remain "in sync" with what The Master has given.
     
  14. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    First, I provided two translations of Romans 12 for you so you can see that Paul is addressing those who believe. Both translations are well known and used in churches today. It seems you are diverting from the point of the passage as a distraction from it to avoid where you are wrong. But, since you are desperate to blame a translation rather than accept truth, I quoted from the New Living Translation and the English Standard Version.
    Second, 2 Peter 3 is all about the coming Day of the Lord when God will burn this world with fire and destroy it. Verse 9 is very clearly speaking to the fact that this judgment will not occur until all the elect are saved. Not one will perish. This is also confirmed by John 10 where all that the Father has given to Jesus will in no way perish.

    Read the whole of scripture rather than a sentence. Let all of scripture be that which builds your theology, not just a few sentences out of context.

    Finally, we do not see free will in the New Covenant.
    Hebrews 8:10-12

    But this is the new covenant I will make
    with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord:
    I will put my laws in their minds,
    and I will write them on their hearts.
    I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
    And they will not need to teach their neighbors,
    nor will they need to teach their relatives,
    saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’
    For everyone, from the least to the greatest,
    will know me already.
    And I will forgive their wickedness,
    and I will never again remember their sins.”


    Enough with this Godless free-will teaching that attempts to take away glory from God and give it to man.
    God
    does the work of establishing the New Covenant in our hearts. We do not do anything. God receives all the praise and all the glory. God determines whom He will save and whom He will leave in their sins. No one will ever turn and seek God (Romans 3) without God first choosing them so that they can hear Him speak their name. If you cannot accept this fundamental truth shown everywhere in the Bible then you will continually be fighting against God and working to take and wrestle His glory from Him and give it to yourself. Until you can admit that you (and I) are absolutely nothing and are utterly vile and wicked, you will never know the fullness of your salvation. God chose you and saved you, establishing the New Covenant in you despite you and without your assistance. He loved you so much that He redeemed you when you were still dead in your sins. (Ephesians 2:1-10).

    Left to our "free-will" we would spend eternity in hell. Let that sink in to your brain. If you want free-will then you want your own damnation because that is what you would freely choose 100% of the time!

    Oh that the eyes of our hearts would be enlightened to the calamity of our fallen condition and the amazing grace of God.
     
  15. Two Wings

    Two Wings Well-Known Member

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    since you wont allow for matt 18. I tried to PM ya.

    you need to repent of your self righteousness
     
  16. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    It is interesting that you label truth, given to you from scripture, as arrogance toward you.
    Let's agree.
    You will acknowledge that you are vile and wicked apart from Christ Jesus and I will acknowledge the very same thing.
    I have spoken in love toward you, therefore I am not sinning in pointing out your doctrine as being wrong. It is not arrogance that leads me to show you your error. It is love for you that I point out your error so that you will give God all the glory and not try to keep some of it for yourself.
    Read the whole of scripture. You will see your error.
     
  17. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    Use both. Regarding free will, there is a way that it is used on here by some, as a reserving to oneself of some virtue, or some sovereignty or control over the salvation process. I think that's a mistake. But some of the Calvinists on here make a mistake in viewing free will as non-existent . They will start screaming heresy if anyone suggests that they decided to come to Christ or that there was some involvement of the individual in their salvation. In truth, the only real difference is that due to your theological background, or the fact that most of us don't have a theological background, when we are saved - we perceive what happened differently. When I hear somebody sing the old Gaither song "He Touched Me" I honestly think they are saying the same thing that John Owen is saying when he describes the process of salvation. If you keep reading scripture with an open mind and read a lot of Spurgeon and Puritan sermons you will gradually come to a moderate Calvinistic understanding of soteriology. Hopefully you will not then run around trying to make your Baptist pastor and friends think that they lack your special insights.
     
  18. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    XR650, when the term "free-will" is used, I take it to mean what it says. I then see that a human is either a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness.

    Romans 6:16-18
    Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

    Therefore, our will is never free. It is always bound. But what binds it? Is it sin or righteousness?

    Whatever the decisions we are making they are always confined within the parameters of the one that binds us.

    Since we were dead in sins (totally enslaved), we had zero capacity to will ourselves to believe. In fact, we were hopelessly bound in our sin. God had to choose to break into the dungeon of sin, go to our specific cell, break down the doors and drag us out of the dungeon to fresh air before we could ever acknowledge or believe that we were no longer dead in sin.

    For some inexplicable reason, some people seem to think we were sitting in a lazyboy, enjoying a whiskey and coke, while watching our favorite tv shows when God broke into our cell and asked politely if we would accept his offer to release us from our bondage. What a fantasy that is.
    The reality is that our bondage was so secure, we had no hope. Sin and death were going to consume us so we lived in bondage with no hope. Then God broke in from nowhere and dragged us to His Kingdom.

    God gets all the glory.

    Now, let's just let go of this fantasy of "free-will", shall we?!
     
  19. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    You know, I think there are people who fit into the Lazy Boy illustration above perfectly. And they should be warned. But some Calvinists go too far with the "broke in from nowhere and dragged us to His kingdom". Calvinistic preaching runs in a wide range that involves convincing people of their sinful state, urging them to see their danger, comparing Gods standard or law to their own lives. They often spoke of God actually knocking at the door of someone's heart even. The used reason, even pleading with sinners to come to Christ. Sometimes they tried to scare folks into coming to Christ. I don't think it is wrong to say that they were appealing to the will of a person. Then the Holy Spirit has to work. Let me state this as clearly as I can. I am of the belief that the work of the Holy Spirit is more than the giving of insight or persuasion. I believe something is actually done to a person or they can't get saved. However; I also know that there are people on here who also believe that who do not consider themselves Calvinists. The either be the guy in the Lazy Boy or a Calvinist is a false choice.
     
  20. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Epistemology. Without faith no one knows anything.
     
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