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Featured Is faith a work?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by kyredneck, Feb 8, 2023.

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  1. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. The Bible is looked at and you complain.
     
  2. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    We disagree on your bolded statement, but kyred did not create this thread for that topic. The topic here is whether faith is a work, which it is not. Faith works, but it is not a work coming from our human willpower.
     
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  3. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    You are correct in saying that faith is not a work, it is trusting in the finished work of Christ Jesus.

    What is Faith
    Faith is believing that Christ is what He is said to be,
    and that He will do what He has promised to do,
    and then to expect this of Him.
     
  4. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Hello @KenH,
    I have enjoyed the extracts you have quoted from Robert Hawker's 'Poor Man's Extracts,' but the extract from his commentary is one-sided and disappointing. He can hardly bring himself to mention that we are to believe, yet there it is, right in the middle of verse 16: '......Even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified.....' This is in line with Romans 5:1, and with Acts of the Apostles 16:31.
    This is not at all to say that our justification is wholly our own work in believing. God forbid! We are saved by the grace of God the Father who chose us for salvation before time began; by God the Son who lived the life of complete obedience to the Father on our behalf and paid in full the penalty for His people's sins; and by God the Holy Spirit who has given us new birth and worked faith iin our hearts. But as a preacher, my job is to preach the Lord Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and bid people trust in Him for salvation, not to bid people to look ito their hearts to see if they might be one of the elect.

    The extract from Gill was much better. You do realise, I suppose, that he contradicts Hawker and treats 'faith of Christ' as an objective genitive, while rightly pointing out that Christ is 'object, author and finisher of that faith (Hebrews 12:12)?
     
  5. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Where we differ is that you attribute faith as an innate human attribute that humans must employ.
     
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  6. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    @Martin Marprelate Perhaps I can assuage some of your concerns about Robert Hawker. An excerpt from his Poor Man's Commentary on Romans 10:14-21 -

    "The Lord hath graciously appointed means and instruments for the promoting his glory, in his people's happiness; for the conveying to them many of his gifts and blessings. Now, faith by hearing is one of them. A child of God comes to the word of God. He hears in it of Jesus. His heart is warmed, and his affections excited thereby. And he finds his mind going forth in desires after Christ, and in a confidence, and love, and faith In Christ. Hence faith, in all those instances, may be said to come by hearing. And thus the Lord stamps a blessing on Gospel ordinances, and the hearing of his blessed word."
     
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  7. George Antonios

    George Antonios Well-Known Member

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    The issue hinges on whether one defines "work" philosophically, or scripturally:
    • Philosophically, any human free will act, be it a mere volition or mental assent, can be classified as a work.
    • Scripturally, a work is usually a work of the law and/or any righteous deed.

    When the scriptures say that salvation is not by works, it is in reference to the fact that no good work (s) can merit justification.
    When the scriptures say not of him that willeth it is in reference, in context (see how Romans 9:15-16 harks back to Exodus 32:31-33 / 33:19), to the fact that man does not get to dictate the terms of justification according to his own will, nor does he get to dictate who gets saved, as Moses had attempted to do with God.

    To expand the scriptural references to include the free volition of the human will is to pass over into philosophy.

    That is as concise as I can put it, brother.
     
    #47 George Antonios, Feb 9, 2023
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2023
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  8. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    Isn’t “faith” a verb in John 6? English translated “believe”, an inward acknowledgement of certain facts, but the Biblical Greek “faith” denotes outward actions.

    So when when Jesus tells them in John 6, “this is the work of God, that you believe….”, He is repeating a theme from John 3 where He states “all who practice the truth come to the light that their deeds are manifest as wrought (work of) of God”.

    The focus of John 6 is not inward acknowledgement of certain facts, but outward deeds wrought in God by the power of God… that is why Jesus said “this is the WORK OF GOD….”

    peace to you
     
  9. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    Then, we add into the equation, "In sin, our demerits are included", of our Total Depravity, and all the sin-cursed reasoning in the flesh goes away.

    "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin". Romans 3:20.


    SIMMONS- JUSTIFICATION

    "Faith, as we have noted previously, has no merit in and of itself.

    "It is not a full hand bestowing, but an empty hand receiving.

    "Exercising faith is inward obedience.

    (Alan note: that must always be Acted upon, by the Spirit of God, or it is dead faith, at "work", i.e., the OP.)

    "It is because of this fact that the Scripture alludes to
    "the obedience of faith"
    (Rom. 16:26),
    obedience to the gospel
    (Rom. 10:16: 11 Thess. 1:8; 1 Pet. 4:17),
    "obeying the truth" (1 Pet. 1: 22),
    and obeying "from the heart that form of doctrine (Rom. 6:7).

    "But this is not meritorious obedience. It is as fully without merit as is the act of a beggar in eating food that has been given him.


    Justification is by faith for the following reasons:

    1. That it might be by grace. Rom. 4:16.

    "16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;" Romans 4:16.


    2. That boasting might be excluded. Rom. 3:27.

    3. Because by faith we are identified with Christ in the same manner that we were identified with Adam by the natural birth. Acts 13:39--should read, "in Him" instead of "by Him"; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 2:5,6; 15:22; Col. 3:3; 1 John 4:17.

    "Union with Adam and with Christ is the ground of imputation. But the parallelism is incomplete.

    "While the sin of Adam is imputed to us because it is ours, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us simply because of our union with him, not at all because of our personal righteousness.

    " In the one case, character is taken into account; in the other, it is not.

    " In sin, our demerits are included; in justification our merits are excluded" (H. B. Smith, Presbyterian Review, July, 1881)."
     
  10. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    *John 6:28-30,40*
    Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?

    For
    this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”


    *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.

    The entire work is that of God, not of the human will.
     
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  11. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Philippians 2; 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

    You are not working to get it, its your own salvation or working to keep it but get the blessing from God out of it... Its a daily faith walk, not dependent on getting a ticket to Heaven, you're already heaven bound and the loving and grace child of a King... Now act like it... Brother Glen:)
     
  12. JD731

    JD731 Well-Known Member

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    Faith is defined by the scriptures as "trust."

    In the beginning of this age after Jesus had paid the sin debt for all mankind and had risen from the dead, it was time for the covenant people of God to embrace God's promise of salvation that he had given throughout their ethnic and national history. This is the reason that only the 12 apostles and 70 prophets preached the gospel for the first 7 years, Acts 2 through Acts 7, only to members of this family. It was not that they were asked to believe the promises of the coming of Messiah, but to believe that Jesus Christ, whom they crucified and who had risen from the dead, was indeed that Messiah. Of course they believed the promises of a coming Messiah. Now repentance was an integral part of that faith. They must now acknowledge their sin and have some regret and sorrow for it if they will embrace him by faith.

    We read about this beginning in the first 12 verses of Ephesians as we consider the church historically from that epistle. The gentiles did not believe in Jesus Christ because of OT promises, but because of God's grace of including them as equal to his own people, the Jews, even though he had made no personal promises of salvation to any gentiles. So, in the beginning of the church, it was the principle of promise to Israel and the principle of grace to gentiles as salvation related to God. Gentiles was simply made partakers with the Jews as accepted "in the beloved" by God the Father, when they believed the gospel of Christ.

    Our verse as gentiles is Ephesians 1:13. It will refute any notion that faith is a work.

    Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
    Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

    The "ye" are gentiles.

    Eph 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, ....

    There is a progression in verse 13 that should be noted, and if it is, it will settle any question concerning faith and work in salvation from the penalty of sin, which is the second death in the lake of fire.
     
  13. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Trust is an effect of faith, just as it's synonym, belief, is an effect of faith.
    Faith is the gift God gave you so that you can trust and believe.
     
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  14. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    In Matthew 25 when the Lord comes in his final glory and the angels with him... He separates the sheep from the goats but the sheep didn't know him but he knew them and showed their faith by their works... They had the love of God in them because God put it there... Faith is a fruit of the Spirit... One cannot show agape love unless the love of God resides in them... They do for Christ because they do for others... Even though they don't know it... The sheep didn't know the Shepherd but the Shepherd knew the sheep... The others did not I.O.W, they did not belong to him... Now lets go to scripture... Brother Glen:)

    Matthew 25: 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

    32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

    33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

    34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

    42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

    43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

    44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

    45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
     
  15. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    That's a good definition. With that definition it cannot be a work.

    That sounds redundant, like saying faith is the gift God gives you so you can faith.
     
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  16. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Not redundant at all.
    It shows that the Sovereign God is the giver of the Fruit of the Spirit and He causes us to believe and trust Him.
    Why is this?
    Answer: So that we cannot boast.

    Carry on, DaveX.
     
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  17. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    The definition of faith is important because even if you're a strong Calvinist the fact is the individual has to believe, it cannot be done for you. The elect are given the ability to believe. You might say it's wrought in your heart, or that there is a "grace of faith".
    Yeah, that's fine.
     
  18. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    Just like the bible does, so I am on good ground with that view.

    Faith begins with having knowledge of God, both His Person and His works. The Bible tells us that faith comes from hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). The Bible also tells that even those who do not read the Bible, receive knowledge of God. Romans 1:19-20

    So we see that Knowledge + Belief + Trust = Faith
    In Scripture, faith involves placing trust in what you have reason to believe is true.
    Faith is not a blind, irrational leap in the dark. So faith and reason cooperate on a biblical view of faith.
     
    #58 Silverhair, Feb 9, 2023
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2023
  19. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I believe faith is not a work (it is the opposite). I base this on Paul's repeated contrast of works and faith.

    I think the question is generally more along the line of how we cone about that faith, and my answer is through God revealing Himself to us.
     
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  20. RighteousnessTemperance&

    RighteousnessTemperance& Well-Known Member

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    The "ludicrous" reference is to any notion that faith at the point of salvation could be a creditable work to man. If one holds the position of free-will faith, that faith would not be something to take credit for, as though through it the sinner somehow aids God. Such a notion is entirely foreign to the entire premise.

    This free-will faith is the antithesis of work; it is a surrender, a cessation from resistance. It doesn’t aid God, but rather accepts God’s saving work. It is laughable in the extreme that a sinner could somehow help God save him. When Peter exhorted them at Pentecost saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation (Acts 2:40b),” it is hard to imagine he meant they could do the actual saving.
     
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