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Thread: Faith: a choice or a gift?

  1. #16

    Re: Faith: a choice or a gift?

    Quote Originally Posted by BroRog View Post
    This is an interesting proposal. I would need to think about it more, but I certainly see the association you are making between Gal. 2:16 and Ephesians 2:8. Thanks for posting that.
    I think if you understand that Eph. 2:8 and Titus 3:5 have to be saying the exact same thing. That is that this is how one is saved. One says through faith and the other says by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit. One equals the other. Paul says this same thing many ways. Here is another. We are told that by the shed blood of Christ our sins are forgiven but is that enough. Look at 1 Cor 15:17,18 And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. His resurrection/regeneration is necessary. See Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. That is brought back into a relationship by his death, washed in his blood and saved by his resurrected life. Of course you have the renewing of the Holy Spirit. Remember he told his disciples that if he did not go away the Holy Spirit would not come. Why? Because he did not have it to give. That is what was promised to him as the one seed of Abraham through faith see Gal. 3. Also one of the most misunderstood verses in the bible. Romans 3:24,25 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
    It is through the faith of Jesus in his blood that God made him a mercy seat.

    Now being the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. I believe we need to ask are we called to be made perfect or are we made perfect when we are called?

  2. #17
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    Re: Faith: a choice or a gift?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy View Post
    I had a discussion today with a Catholic about whether the notion of free will is applicable to faith. We discussed Saul's conversion.

    Did Saul really make a 'choice'; to convert and have faith? Could anyone really not have converted given this experience? Did Saul choose God or did God choose Saul? Clearly, I think the answer is both, but specifically with regards to faith - whose choice was it?
    Hello Gypsy,

    Yes, I do believe Saul had a choice to make. Read Acts 26:19 in context. Paul's choice was to accept and fulfill the mission for which God appointed him. At this point in Acts Paul is recounting how he has been faithful to the purpose for which he was called. Jesus called him, but Paul likewise was not disobedient to the call - so both Devine and human wills (choices) were involved.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy View Post
    Can we choose the things in which we have faith? Can we choose to change our minds about the things in which we have or do not have faith. What is the difference between belief and faith? If I believe that the computer keyboard and monitor that I am using to write this are actually here in front of me, is that the same as having faith that they exist? ...
    Yes, we can and do choose those things in which we place our faith (trust). If we come to a deep gorge, and there is a rickety old bridge crossing that gorge, we can either trust that the bridge is safe to cross and use it, or we can choose to believe that it is unsafe and look for another means to cross.

    There really is no practical difference between ‘faith’ and ‘belief’. When you sit down at your computer, you believe that what you type will be recorded in a post, memo, or document - so you rely (have faith) that the computer will do what you expect of it.
    Last edited by Bandit; Jan 2nd 2011 at 04:09 PM.

  3. #18
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    Re: Faith: a choice or a gift?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy View Post
    I had a discussion today ... about whether the notion of free will is applicable to faith.
    ...
    A cursory internet search seems to indicate that scripture would seem to indicate both; in Deuteronomy 7:6 ... God chooses Israel.

    But in Deuteronomy 30:19 ... Israel is urged to choose God.

    In Joshua 24:15 ... our choice.

    In Isaiah 44:1,2 ... God's choice.

    Even Jesus' words [in John 15] on this seem unclear to me, as he asks us to choose to abide in him, but then says that we did not choose him, but rather he choose us.

    The sermon from which I found many of these versus likens the process to 'falling in love'. Namely, it is something that happens to us, but we are given the choice as to whether or not to pursue it. This somehow seems insufficient to me. What do you think?
    Do you believe that our free will extends to the notion of having faith in Jesus Christ or that applies only to the choice of whether or not to follow him?
    Hello Gypsy,

    This is a pretty important issue. How one answers depends upon how one understands God's choice. What does God choose and how does He choose it? I would suggest that God chose Israel in a corporate sense: that being that He chose them as a nation, but individually, each person within that chosen nation had the responsibility to choose to serve God (or reject Him).

    In your quote from John 15, I suggest that there is more than a single topic involved. The first part has to do with the individual's responsibility to remain connected to Christ. The portion around verse 16 has to do with Jesus' choice of the 12 from out of all of His disciples. He chose who the inner circle would be from those who followed Him. This verse should not be taken as stating that He chooses who will believe in Him.

    Faith itself is really not a gift to isolated individuals- it is a moral responsibility of all persons. God will grow faith within a person, but only if that person seeks it and allows it to grow.

  4. #19

    Re: Faith: a choice or a gift?

    I don't think there is a dichotomy between our choice and God's choice. I don't think it's a question of "either/or," as many seem to be putting it here. Rather, it's more accurate to think of it as an order issue, i.e., which happens first, and which choice leads to which? The Bible clearly teaches that nobody chooses God on their own (No one seeks for God). Once God chooses us, then we choose to receive Christ.

  5. #20
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    Re: Faith: a choice or a gift?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathetes View Post
    I don't think there is a dichotomy between our choice and God's choice. I don't think it's a question of "either/or," as many seem to be putting it here. Rather, it's more accurate to think of it as an order issue, i.e., which happens first, and which choice leads to which? The Bible clearly teaches that nobody chooses God on their own (No one seeks for God). Once God chooses us, then we choose to receive Christ.
    I must respectfully disagree. "For many are called but few are chosen." [Matt. 22:14]

  6. #21

    Re: Faith: a choice or a gift?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit View Post
    I must respectfully disagree. "For many are called but few are chosen." [Matt. 22:14]
    That doesn't actually contradict what I said. The gospel call goes out to all people, but not all are chosen. Only those whom God has chosen will believe in Christ (John 6:44). Everyone else will continue doing what the Bible says people naturally do: not understand and not seek after God.

  7. #22
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    Re: Faith: a choice or a gift?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathetes View Post
    That doesn't actually contradict what I said. The gospel call goes out to all people, but not all are chosen. Only those whom God has chosen will believe in Christ (John 6:44). Everyone else will continue doing what the Bible says people naturally do: not understand and not seek after God.
    Hello Mathetes,

    I'm not going to follow up on our discussion here since it appears that our most recent discussion (in the Can calvinism and Arminianism be Reconciled thread in the Bible Chat folder) covers this same topic. But I do ask you to question what is meant when scripture says that "none seek after God."

  8. #23

    Re: Faith: a choice or a gift?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit View Post
    Hello Mathetes,

    I'm not going to follow up on our discussion here since it appears that our most recent discussion (in the Can calvinism and Arminianism be Reconciled thread in the Bible Chat folder) covers this same topic. But I do ask you to question what is meant when scripture says that "none seek after God."
    Hope you check back. We do tend to crossover but hard not to.

    Act 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the [son] of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

    Does this mean David had a great desire of God or does it mean you chose Saul to be king over you now I am will choose after mine own heart David and he will do my will?

  9. #24
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    Re: Faith: a choice or a gift?

    Quote Originally Posted by percho View Post
    Hope you check back. We do tend to crossover but hard not to.

    Act 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the [son] of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

    Does this mean David had a great desire of God or does it mean you chose Saul to be king over you now I am will choose after mine own heart David and he will do my will?
    Hello percho,

    I have limited time, so I will try to not "crossover" too often. As far as your question goes, why does it have to be an "either/or"? As 1st Samuel 8-16 indicates, God chose both kings, yet it was not His desire for Israel to have a king like the other nations. And, yes, David did have a heart that sought after God, and he performed much better than Saul, though he did have his faults, as all men do.

    I haven't followed this thread recently, so I do not understand the purpose of your question.

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