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Featured Is Faith a Meritorious Work?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by Reformed, Jul 20, 2019.

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  1. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    In another thread the charge has been made that some believe faith is a meritorious work. The type of faith in question is saving faith as used in Ephesians 2:8. If faith is a work on the part of man than it cannot justify (save). As a Calvinist I believe that faith itself is a gift and is a result of regeneration. But take the Calvinist view out of the mix. Is there anyone who considers faith to be meritorious?

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  2. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Is the faith that saves a person different from the faith that sustains them through a lifetime of Sanctification?

    In my experience, the credit for preparing the soil of MY heart and for planting the seed of MY “saving faith” belongs to God and His Holy Spirit. Any “merit” in MY salvation is God’s merit, I can testify with a high degree of certainty that it was not any merit innate to me. I was evil and I deserved both death and damnation.

    However it is also MY experience that there is some truth in the saying ‘whatever you feed, that is what will grow.’ So there is some small merit in each time I strove to water the seed of faith that God had planted with His Word and the fellowship of other believers, while struggling to starve the old man that clawed at the hem of my pants and called me back to what I once was. To the extent that I struggled to cooperate with the Spirit, there is meritorious sanctifying faith.

    God still both planted the seed and caused the growth. I just tried to water God’s seed and avoid watering the weeds.
     
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  3. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    Amen, and I know where you're coming from. ;)
     
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  4. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    We cut close to the bone whenever we attach the word merit to any type of faith. It is not that I disagree with you, it is just I think precision is needed when discussing this topic.

    In the micro we can say that our obedience to Christ in the process of sanctification (holy living) is meritorious. We are commended before God if we do well. However, in the macro all the glory belongs to Him; all glory is God's glory. As joint-heirs with Christ we share in the benefits of Christ's glory but the glory is not ours.





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  5. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    Precision, care, etc.
    The Lord knows, I still run around like a sledge hammer at times.:(
    Again, I agree.
    " But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
    31 that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
    ( 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 ):)
     
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  6. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Hopefully, this puts an end to the discussion, for if anyone thinks that saving faith is meritorious on the part of man, they are not proclaiming the Gospel.
     
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  7. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Just commenting. As a non-Calvinist, I believe the changed mind is the gift which results in faith through which salvation is given.
     
  8. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
    6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
    7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
    8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
    9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
    10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
    11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
    12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
    (KJV)

    Very interesting passage. Their faith was certainly rewarded. Did the sick man demonstrate saving faith or simply faith that Jesus could heal him?
     
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  9. loDebar

    loDebar Well-Known Member

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    v 10 shows the sick had faith in the power of Christ to heal, not saving faith, Christ explained faith in healing was proof He was true that He had power to forgive sins
     
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  10. loDebar

    loDebar Well-Known Member

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    Faith is not work, It is not action of our mind nor our body.
    We believe with our heart, on things we cannot determine beforehand

    Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
    Heb 11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
    Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
     
  11. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    The question is answered in Jesus' response. He said, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Knowing the heart of all men (John 2:24), our Lord knew the paralytic's greatest desire was the forgiveness of sins, not just physical healing.
     
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  12. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    That would be false.
     
  13. loDebar

    loDebar Well-Known Member

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    I tried to show this earlier, Scripture shows faith to be not of the mind but of the heart or soul or spiritual part that God deals in,

    Not an intellectual decision that may occur after we believe, Faith is in the things hoped for, the unseen or things that have not occurred. We don't have faith in a past event but a promise of things to come

    We believe with our heart Romans 10:9
     
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  14. loDebar

    loDebar Well-Known Member

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    both, the physical healing was a sign that He was able to forgive
     
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  15. Dave G

    Dave G Well-Known Member

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    I think the problem stemmed from a focused view of what Romans 4 states...that Abraham's faith was counted as righteousness.
    Therefore, "faith has a meritorious effect", or something like that.

    I don't believe that, but it seems that there are others who may. :Unsure

    To me, I agree that God credits Abraham's faith in Him and His Son's promises as righteousness...but there's more to how and why true faith is involved.

    To clarify,

    Abraham didn't just suddenly "put his faith in" God's promises, because Scripture, in the details, simply does not stop at that point.
    It goes on to develop what faith is, where it comes from, and who has it and who does not...what it is the evidence of, what its characteristics are, and why some have it and others do not.

    I believe that is where the other thread went off course.
     
    #15 Dave G, Jul 20, 2019
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  16. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    That disticntion to mean "not of the mind" reduces this to utter non-sense. Luke 10:27. Romans 10:17. Hebrews 8:10.
     
  17. loDebar

    loDebar Well-Known Member

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    not really, we understand math, reasoning etc, with our minds, We logically consider things that we know.
    Faith is with our hearts or the spiritual part of us that dies not have facts but react on promises or things that might happen. As Hebrews 11 says, evidence of things not seen.
    We react to the physical stimuli by the physical, 5 senses
    We react to the mental stimuli with our brains , math, reasoning, typing
    We react to the spiritual with our souls, art, poetry, love, God and spiritual things.

    If you only react logically to the Word and the offering of Salvation, you are not saved.

    but AFTER one accepts with our heart, we then can add an understand the logical sequence of scripture.

    Paul case was opposite, a rabbi and scholar, he knew scripture but did not apply it correctly until his heart was changed
     
  18. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    If promises are not of facts, then such promises are wishful thinking.

    The "heart" refers to one's intermost being. And that is of the mind. (Not the pump)

    ". . . the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, . . ." Belief is of the mind.
     
  19. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    This statement is fine, so long as we understand that Abraham's righteousness, just as our righteousness, is an alien righteousness. It comes from without ourselves. If we believe the origin of saving faith is from within ourselves, then we stray into the error commonly referred to as the New Perspective on Paul. Justification by faith does not teach we are justified by a faith that man possesses on his own. Saving faith is a gift from God; something that the sinner does not possess while in his sinful state. 17th-century Particular Baptists affirmed this truth:

    11.1 1._____ Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ's active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in his death for their whole and sole righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God.
    ( Romans 3:24; Romans 8:30; Romans 4:5-8; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30, 31; Romans 5:17-19; Philippians 3:8, 9; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Romans 5:17 )
     
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  20. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Faith is a meritorious work of God.

    Phillipians 1:6.
     
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