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View Full Version : Faith is absolutely a gift from God - not something we can have apart from God



Nick
Nov 2nd 2013, 04:47 AM
In my study this evening it has become crystal clear that BOTH faith and grace are a gift from God. You can't have one without the other.

By Grace Through Faith

2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.



How much clearer could it possibly be that we have nothing to do with faith? Accordingly, “this” points to the whole process of “salvation by grace through faith” as being the gift of God and not something that we can accomplish ourselves. This use of the neuter pronoun to take in the whole of a complex idea is quite common in Greek; its use here makes it clear that faith, no less than grace, is a gift of God. Salvation, therefore, in every respect, is not your own doing.
 Although men are required to believe for salvation, even that faith is part of the gift of God, which saves and cannot be exercised by one’s own power. God’s grace is preeminent in every aspect of salvation (cf. Rom. 3:20; Gal. 2:16).

Boo
Nov 2nd 2013, 11:23 AM
There is a lot more to it than that. I know that some folks will arrive at the conclusion that you have, but your conclusion presents other problems that must be addressed.

To start with, if faith is a gift from God, then a lot of our efforts are wasted.

Then, in order to receive faith from God as a gift, some say that a person must be regenerated. That would indicate that people should pray for regeneration so that God will impart faith on them.

A third issue, of course, is that; if your faith is issued by God, then there is no need to exert any effort on your part to be sanctified before God. After all, He is handling all that now. He gives the faith, the regeneration, the belief, etc., etc.

The problem will all those alternative beliefs that must accompany the belief that faith is a gift from God is not supported in the Bible.

Numerous verses call for people to believe, that is, to exercise personal faith (e.g., John 1:12–13; 3:16, 36; 5:24; 6:47; Acts 16:31; see also Eph. 2:8; Rom. 3:21–22, 25–26, 28; and 4:3–6).

The Bible presents faith for salvation as a human response much like that of a beggar holding out his hand for food. Passages that are interpreted that faith is a gift do not allow any exhortation is scripture to believe to be necessary. The notion that faith must be given by God before a person is regenerated poses several theological problems. Instead, the Scriptures present the view that people can exercise faith to receive God‘s offer of salvation.

I would encourage you to read this paper (http://www.dts.edu/download/publications/bibliotheca/BibSac-Lopez-IsFaithAGiftfromGodoraHumanExercise.pdf) before you draw your conclusions.

Francis Drake
Nov 2nd 2013, 12:07 PM
If I was one of those disciples walking with Jesus, I would get really p......d of with him.

It bugs me that he constantly gives the same old mantra again and again,
"O ye of little faith."
"O ye of little faith"
"O ye of little faith"

"O ye of little faith"
Aaaaarrrggghh! Will you stop that. It's not NOT my fault?

Can't Jesus just shut up about that.
"Shut up"
"Shut up"
"Shut up"
"Pleeeease will you just shut up and stop going on about faith!"

Lack of faith is nothing to do with me, NOTHING, got it?
Jesus! After walking around Galilee with us fishermen for the last three years, you really should know that by now. We just don't do faith!
Faith is God's problem not ours. We can't drum faith up out of nowhere, if you or God haven't bothered to give it to us.

Jesus, you really should get with it and read what Nick has written here, he's got it all taped!




Seriously, why would Jesus rebuke them for their lack of faith, when it was entirely down to God?

Eyelog
Nov 2nd 2013, 01:09 PM
If I was one of those disciples walking with Jesus, I would get really p......d of with him.

It bugs me that he constantly gives the same old mantra again and again,
"O ye of little faith."
"O ye of little faith"
"O ye of little faith"

"O ye of little faith"
Aaaaarrrggghh! Will you stop that. It's not NOT my fault?

Can't Jesus just shut up about that.
"Shut up"
"Shut up"
"Shut up"
"Pleeeease will you just shut up and stop going on about faith!"

Lack of faith is nothing to do with me, NOTHING, got it?
Jesus! After walking around Galilee with us fishermen for the last three years, you really should know that by now. We just don't do faith!
Faith is God's problem not ours. We can't drum faith up out of nowhere, if you or God haven't bothered to give it to us.

Jesus, you really should get with it and read what Nick has written here, he's got it all taped!




Seriously, why would Jesus rebuke them for their lack of faith, when it was entirely down to God?

Sir FrancisDrake, ... really? All those animations, done with irreverent relish, just to make one itsy, bitsy, point?

Anyway, you ask a good question.

TBM 11
Nov 2nd 2013, 01:13 PM
I believe some of our postings to these threads could use a lot more humility in them. These are deep subjects and require deep discussion. Pride, I believe, is something God frowns on. There are a few examples of it in the bible, particularly Exodus 19.

I am wondering how faith and belief work together in this topic. I am inclined at this point of my bible knowledge (which is not abundant) to believe the OP is correct that faith is a gift given by God. Maybe the belief is our part? I am reminded of this verse in Mark;

Mark 9:24
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Is it possible to have belief and unbelief at the same time?

divaD
Nov 2nd 2013, 01:55 PM
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


Notice this part first...for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Does it not require faith in order to believe anything not seen? It seems to me the OP would have us believe that God first gives this faith to the person so that the person can then please Him, since, without faith it's impossible to please Him. Personally, I think the reason folks come to wrong conclusions at times is because they ignore chronology by not seeing we act first, and based on what we do, God act's accordingly.

Notice the following.

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.


Mainly this part...for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. That then means he had faith first, which then pleased God. And because of that, God rewarded him with being translated that he should not see death. So is one to believe that God initially gave this faith to him so that he could then please God, so that God could then reward for him for pleasing Him? Or could it be because we have free will, and if we expect to please God, we better have some faith to go along with it?

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.


This is clearly faith on Abraham's part, the fact it says...and he went out, not knowing whither he went. If God initially gave that faith to him, then when he went out, why did he not already know whither he was going?

Curtis
Nov 2nd 2013, 02:16 PM
I believe some of our postings to these threads could use a lot more humility in them. These are deep subjects and require deep discussion. Pride, I believe, is something God frowns on. There are a few examples of it in the bible, particularly Exodus 19.

I am wondering how faith and belief work together in this topic. I am inclined at this point of my bible knowledge (which is not abundant) to believe the OP is correct that faith is a gift given by God. Maybe the belief is our part? I am reminded of this verse in Mark;

Mark 9:24
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Is it possible to have belief and unbelief at the same time?

I do believe that we can have belief and unbelief at the same time. We can believe in the new birth, and know we are saved, and yet not believe that God will provide all our needs. We can believe we are saved and never experience God's Kingdom today unless we believe we can. Like Jesus said....

Mat 6:30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Mat 6:31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

Little faith does not mean faith that is small or weak. Faith does not grow in quality, but in quantity. Our faith, and there is only one faith can do many things at the same time, it can multitask. It just needs to be sent out so it can produce. Faith without works is dead. It needs something to work on. If we don't give faith something to work on, it produces nothing.

Faith is a gift, and we are to have the faith of God. " the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
It was Jesus's faith, and it was given unto us. Thank you Jesus.

Curtis
Nov 2nd 2013, 02:22 PM
In my study this evening it has become crystal clear that BOTH faith and grace are a gift from God. You can't have one without the other.

By Grace Through Faith

2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.



How much clearer could it possibly be that we have nothing to do with faith? Accordingly, “this” points to the whole process of “salvation by grace through faith” as being the gift of God and not something that we can accomplish ourselves. This use of the neuter pronoun to take in the whole of a complex idea is quite common in Greek; its use here makes it clear that faith, no less than grace, is a gift of God. Salvation, therefore, in every respect, is not your own doing.
 Although men are required to believe for salvation, even that faith is part of the gift of God, which saves and cannot be exercised by one’s own power. God’s grace is preeminent in every aspect of salvation (cf. Rom. 3:20; Gal. 2:16).

I think you got it right on!!

watchinginawe
Nov 2nd 2013, 02:22 PM
In my study this evening it has become crystal clear that BOTH faith and grace are a gift from God. You can't have one without the other.

By Grace Through Faith

2 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

How much clearer could it possibly be that we have nothing to do with faith? Accordingly, “this” points to the whole process of “salvation by grace through faith” as being the gift of God and not something that we can accomplish ourselves. This use of the neuter pronoun to take in the whole of a complex idea is quite common in Greek; its use here makes it clear that faith, no less than grace, is a gift of God. Salvation, therefore, in every respect, is not your own doing.
 Although men are required to believe for salvation, even that faith is part of the gift of God, which saves and cannot be exercised by one’s own power. God’s grace is preeminent in every aspect of salvation (cf. Rom. 3:20; Gal. 2:16).

Nick, saving faith is a gift from God. But let's look at this some. You propose that what God is giving are the actions within an individual's being which brings forth salvation as a result, thus if faith is a component then God places the necessary faith in the person as a gift unto salvation.

I propose that the ability of faith already resides in us and that faith in ourselves or some other god or in religion will not suffice for salvation. God, in His grace, has provided a means of salvation through Jesus Christ, the gift. Without this gift as the object of our faith there is no salvation, thus saving faith is a gift of God by His grace in sending Jesus Christ.

Said another way, saving faith is a general ability of faith placed in a specific object; the object of our faith is Jesus Christ. If we place our general ability of faith in the systems of this world, we perish and have not received the gift of God.

John 4:9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

The gift of God, Jesus Christ, has already been given. God's provision is complete and empowered to accomplish, in the manner He has decreed, that which it was intended to do.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

So in a wider sense, the gift is the Gospel, complete in its power to save all those who hear and "believeth", those who place and continue in their trust and faith in the gift of God. Without God's gift, there would not be saving faith.

TBM 11
Nov 2nd 2013, 02:23 PM
I do believe that we can have belief and unbelief at the same time. We can believe in the new birth, and know we are saved, and yet not believe that God will provide all our needs. We can believe we are saved and never experience God's Kingdom today unless we believe we can. Like Jesus said....

Mat 6:30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Mat 6:31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

Little faith does not mean faith that is small or weak. Faith does not grow in quality, but in quantity. Our faith, and there is only one faith can do many things at the same time, it can multitask. It just needs to be sent out so it can produce. Faith without works is dead. It needs something to work on. If we don't give faith something to work on, it produces nothing.

Faith is a gift, and we are to have the faith of God. " the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
It was Jesus's faith, and it was given unto us. Thank you Jesus.

I agree. Romans 12:3 For I say to every man that is among you, through the grace given unto me, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

If God has given it to us "God has dealt to every man a measure of faith" is it not a gift?

Curtis
Nov 2nd 2013, 02:31 PM
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


Notice this part first...for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Does it not require faith in order to believe anything not seen? It seems to me the OP would have us believe that God first gives this faith to the person so that the person can then please Him, since, without faith it's impossible to please Him. Personally, I think the reason folks come to wrong conclusions at times is because they ignore chronology by not seeing we act first, and based on what we do, God act's accordingly.

Notice the following.

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.


Mainly this part...for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. That then means he had faith first, which then pleased God. And because of that, God rewarded him with being translated that he should not see death. So is one to believe that God initially gave this faith to him so that he could then please God, so that God could then reward for him for pleasing Him? Or could it be because we have free will, and if we expect to please God, we better have some faith to go along with it?

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.


This is clearly faith on Abraham's part, the fact it says...and he went out, not knowing whither he went. If God initially gave that faith to him, then when he went out, why did he not already know whither he was going?

But we must remember that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. With out hearing the Word first there can be no faith. Abraham heard what God told him which gave him faith to believe, and then act.
Enoch walked with God and knew his voice. He even prophesied about the coming of Jesus.

Jud 1:14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones,

Curtis
Nov 2nd 2013, 02:42 PM
I agree. Romans 12:3 For I say to every man that is among you, through the grace given unto me, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

If God has given it to us "God has dealt to every man a measure of faith" is it not a gift?

I agree 100%, and the "measure" is not a specfic amount, it is a tool used for measuring things. We measure things by faith like the height, depth and width, and length of the Love of God so we can be filled with all the fullness of God. The Lord used this same measuring device to create the worlds.....

Isa 40:12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

Faith is a tool used for measuring, weighing, and comprehending things. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God..... :)

TBM 11
Nov 2nd 2013, 03:15 PM
So would this statement be correct? Faith is a gift, grace is a gift, salvation is a gift. Our part is to use our faith, to believe that God is, and that He sent His Son to die for us as a sacrifice for our sins so that we may have salvation through Him, and His resurrection.

Curtis
Nov 2nd 2013, 03:29 PM
So would this statement be correct? Faith is a gift, grace is a gift, salvation is a gift. Our part is to use our faith, to believe that God is, and that He sent His Son to die for us as a sacrifice for our sins so that we may have salvation through Him, and His resurrection.

2Pe 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Yes, every thing we have is a gift given unto us by God (I really like presents :) ), and we find out what these things (gifts) are through the knowledge of Him. It is because of his grace we have these things, we can not earn them in any way. We have access to this grace by faith. If we want more toys from God the Bible tells us how to acquire them...

2Pe 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

Our gifts are "multiplied to us through the knowledge of God" The more we know the more we get. :)

episkopos
Nov 2nd 2013, 05:20 PM
Faith is from God....but faithfulness depends on us.

divaD
Nov 2nd 2013, 05:30 PM
But we must remember that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. With out hearing the Word first there can be no faith. Abraham heard what God told him which gave him faith to believe, and then act.
Enoch walked with God and knew his voice. He even prophesied about the coming of Jesus.

Jud 1:14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones,


The Scripture I provided says that without faith it's impossible to please God. So then, if faith comes by the hearing of the word of God, to me it means I have faith in what I have been hearing and then choose to act in faith and then to believe, thus I then begin to please God. If you disagree, why would this not be chronologically correct?

No doubt, when one is hearing the word of God, God is involved in that. But it takes faith on our part to believe what we're hearing, otherwise everyone would believe what they're hearing. Not everyone believes what they hear, though, they instead reject it. Does that then mean it's because God neglected to give them the faith to believe, or could it really be they they chose not to have the faith to believe?

Curtis
Nov 2nd 2013, 05:38 PM
The Scripture I provided says that without faith it's impossible to please God. So then, if faith comes by the hearing of God, to me it means I have faith in what I have been hearing and then choose to act in faith and then to believe, thus I then begin to please God. If you disagree, why would this not be chronologically correct?

No doubt, when one is hearing the word of God, God is involved in that. But it takes faith on our part to believe what we're hearing, otherwise everyone would believe what they're hearing. Not everyone believes what they hear, though, they instead reject it. Does that then mean it's because God neglected to give them the faith to believe, or could it really be they they chose not to have the faith to believe?

The Word being heard always brings faith to the hearer. It is what they decide to do with that faith that counts. They either act upon it or not. Light has come into this world but man chose darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. It like someone giving you a gift, you have to accept that gift first before it becomes yours.

Nick
Nov 2nd 2013, 05:39 PM
There is a lot more to it than that. I know that some folks will arrive at the conclusion that you have, but your conclusion presents other problems that must be addressed.

To start with, if faith is a gift from God, then a lot of our efforts are wasted.

Then, in order to receive faith from God as a gift, some say that a person must be regenerated. That would indicate that people should pray for regeneration so that God will impart faith on them.

A third issue, of course, is that; if your faith is issued by God, then there is no need to exert any effort on your part to be sanctified before God. After all, He is handling all that now. He gives the faith, the regeneration, the belief, etc., etc.

The problem will all those alternative beliefs that must accompany the belief that faith is a gift from God is not supported in the Bible.

Numerous verses call for people to believe, that is, to exercise personal faith (e.g., John 1:12–13; 3:16, 36; 5:24; 6:47; Acts 16:31; see also Eph. 2:8; Rom. 3:21–22, 25–26, 28; and 4:3–6).

The Bible presents faith for salvation as a human response much like that of a beggar holding out his hand for food. Passages that are interpreted that faith is a gift do not allow any exhortation is scripture to believe to be necessary. The notion that faith must be given by God before a person is regenerated poses several theological problems. Instead, the Scriptures present the view that people can exercise faith to receive God‘s offer of salvation.

I would encourage you to read this paper (http://www.dts.edu/download/publications/bibliotheca/BibSac-Lopez-IsFaithAGiftfromGodoraHumanExercise.pdf) before you draw your conclusions.

I can't speak generally so I'll speak personally. This text stands out to me because it speaks to my experience. I realize personal accounts don't carry much weight but here it is. I made no effort to acquire the faith I have, at least initially. I was given a strong urge to repent and submit to God. Circumstances I'm sure played a part, but more importantly, the desire to seek God and get to know His will for me was sudden - not something I planned, or even wanted. For me, it happened suddenly and there was a great upheaval. The day before, there was no faith. The following day I had the basic rudiments of faith. The only thing I did was surrender to God. In that moment of surrender He snatched me up.

divaD
Nov 2nd 2013, 05:44 PM
The Word being heard always brings faith to the hearer. It is what they decide to do with that faith that counts. They either act upon it or not. Light has come into this world but man chose darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. It like someone giving you a gift, you have to accept that gift first before it becomes yours.

If God first gives out this faith, and Scriptures say without faith it's impossible to please God, and if you are correct here, and the ones that reject it, is it because God doesn't want them to please Him then? The Scripture I provided says without faith it's impossible to please God. Here you say everyone is given faith when they hear, which should then equate to that it pleases God then, yet how can it when some reject what they're hearing?

Nick
Nov 2nd 2013, 06:22 PM
I am wondering how faith and belief work together in this topic. I am inclined at this point of my bible knowledge (which is not abundant) to believe the OP is correct that faith is a gift given by God. Maybe the belief is our part? I am reminded of this verse in Mark;

Mark 9:24
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Is it possible to have belief and unbelief at the same time?

I think it's entirely possible to have opposing belief systems at the same time. In the example given in Mark, the man is admitting the imperfection of his faith, mixed with doubt and uncertainty. He was also desperate and wanted to believe. In a state of desperation it is not all that uncommon to reach out to God and ask for help to strengthen our faith if we're wavering. No one has perfect faith.

Curtis
Nov 2nd 2013, 06:27 PM
If God first gives out this faith, and Scriptures say without faith it's impossible to please God, and if you are correct here, and the ones that reject it, is it because God doesn't want them to please Him then? The Scripture I provided says without faith it's impossible to please God. Here you say everyone is given faith when they hear, which should then equate to that it pleases God then, yet how can it when some reject what they're hearing?

I did not say faith is given when someone hears the Word of God, I said faith is present where the Word is preached. It does not become yours until you decide to act upon it. Once you decide that you want it and then act upon it, then it becomes yours.

Curtis
Nov 2nd 2013, 06:32 PM
I think it's entirely possible to have opposing belief systems at the same time. In the example given in Mark, the man is admitting the imperfection of his faith, mixed with doubt and uncertainty. He was also desperate and wanted to believe. In a state of desperation it is not all that uncommon to reach out to God and ask for help to strengthen our faith if we're wavering. No one has perfect faith.

This guy believed in Jesus, but he did not know how to believe for the deliverance of his son. People with great faith are those who have faith in every area of their lives, not just in a few.

episkopos
Nov 2nd 2013, 06:32 PM
I did not say faith is given when someone hears the Word of God, I said faith is present where the Word is preached. It does not become yours until you decide to act upon it. Once you decide that you want it and then act upon it, then it becomes yours.

Well said! ......not just hearers but doers also.

Nick
Nov 2nd 2013, 07:26 PM
This guy believed in Jesus, but he did not know how to believe for the deliverance of his son. People with great faith are those who have faith in every area of their lives, not just in a few.

No argument there. People with great faith also go through seasons of doubt. People with great faith also believe that prayer, submission and obedience will heal their sick son or daughter, mother or father, etc. It doesn't always work out that way despite how much faith one might have that it will. Some believe that Jer 29:11 applies to us all. I don't. It applied to God's intentions to bring about blessings to Israel's future in a time of great uncertainty.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

TBM 11
Nov 2nd 2013, 07:31 PM
I hate to confuse things further and I don't want to get this thread off track with this but I want to understand how everything mixes together here with this verse.

John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

shepherdsword
Nov 2nd 2013, 07:42 PM
We see in 1 Cor 12 faith is listed as one of the Spirit's gifts:

1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;


I guess the question is if the faith that is listed here is something that is a supernatural endowment for the working of some wonder or miracle or if it the classic saving faith? In any case it is clearly listed as a gift.

Nick
Nov 2nd 2013, 07:43 PM
I hate to confuse things further and I don't want to get this thread off track with this but I want to understand how everything mixes together here with this verse.

John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

I don't think John 6:44 or the parallel verse, John 6:65, is not off track with the OP.

Here are the notes: You can decide for yourself its relevance to faith coming from God.

The combination of v. 37a and v. 44 indicate that the divine drawing activity that Jesus referred to cannot be reduced to what theologians call “prevenient grace,” i.e., that somehow the power to come to Christ is allegedly dispensed to all of mankind, thus enabling everyone to accept or reject the gospel according to their own will alone. Scripture indicates that no “free will” exists in man’s nature, for man is enslaved to sin (total depravity) and unable to believe apart from God’s empowerment (Rom. 3:1–19; Eph. 2:1–3; 2 Cor. 4:4; 2 Tim. 1:9). While “whosoever will” may come to the Father, only those whom the Father gives the ability to will toward him will actually come to him. The drawing here is selective and efficacious (producing the desired effect) upon those whom God has sovereignly chosen for salvation, i.e., those whom God has chosen will believe because God has sovereignly determined that result from eternity past (Eph. 1:9–11).

Curtis
Nov 2nd 2013, 07:47 PM
I hate to confuse things further and I don't want to get this thread off track with this but I want to understand how everything mixes together here with this verse.

John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

I think the Lord has gone completely out of his way to give unto man every chance in the world to come unto him.....

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

The heavens declare his Glory, even in our own conscience we know God exists. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us here on earth...

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Speaking of the Holy Spirit.

There really is no excuse not to believe.

TBM 11
Nov 2nd 2013, 08:04 PM
I think the Lord has gone completely out of his way to give unto man every chance in the world to come unto him.....

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

The heavens declare his Glory, even in our own conscience we know God exists. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us here on earth...

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Speaking of the Holy Spirit.

There really is no excuse not to believe.

Amen to that and I agree there is an abundance of evidence that God exists. I believe also that the grace of God has appeared to all men. I am just trying to piece everything together with the OP.Knowing that God exists and coming to Him are separate issues. I guess I am hoping that through all the discussion we will be able to see how everything here works together.

Brother Paul
Nov 2nd 2013, 09:19 PM
There are a number of good theological arguments against the view that faith is the gift of God. However, in Ephesians 2:8 the strongest argument comes from the Greek grammar. The text reads:

τῇ γὰρ χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι διὰ πίστεως καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐξ ὑμῶν
For by grace you are saved through faith and that not of yourselves

θεοῦ τὸ δῶρον
of God (is) the gift

τοῦτο (that) is neuter and cannot be referring to πίστεως (faith) which is feminine or χάριτί (grace) which is also feminine.

Baptist Greek scholar A.T. Robertson whose Grammar of the Greek New Testament is considered a definitive work, makes this statement about the gender of τοῦτο:

“…οῦτοs agrees with its substantive in gender and number, whether predicate of attributive…. In Eph. 2:8… there is no reference to πίστεως in τοῦτο, but rather to the idea of salvation in the clause before.” (Robertson, A.T., A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, Broadman Press, Nashville, Tennessee, 1934, p. 704.)

Robertson elaborates in his Word Pictures:

For by grace (τῃ γαρ χαριτι [tēi gar chariti]). Explanatory reason. “By the grace” already mentioned in verse 5 and so with the article. Through faith (δια πιστεως [dia pisteōs]). This phrase
he adds in repeating what he said in verse 5 to make it plainer. “Grace” is God’s part, “faith” ours. And that (και τουτο [kai touto]). Neuter, not feminine ταυτη [tautē], and so refers not to πιστις [pistis] (feminine) or to χαρις [charis] (feminine also), but to the act of being saved by grace conditioned on faith on our part. Paul shows that salvation does not have its source (ἐξ ὑμων [ex humōn], out of you) in men, but from God. Besides, it is God’s gift (δωρον [dōron]) and not the result of our work. (Robertson, A. 1997. Word Pictures in the New Testament. Vol.V c1932, Vol.VI c1933 by Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Logos Research Systems: Oak Harbor)

Dr. Kenneth Wuest, Professor of New Testament Greek at Moody Bible Institute, states:

The words, “through faith” speak of the instrument or means whereby the sinner avails himself of this salvation which God offers him in pure grace. ..The word “that” is touto (τουτο), “this,” a demonstrative pronoun in the neuter gender. The Greek word “faith” is feminine in gender and therefore touto (τουτο) could not refer to “faith.” It refers to the general idea of salvation in the immediate context. The translation reads, “and this not out from you as a source, of God (it is) the gift.” That is, salvation is a gift of God. It does not find its source in man. Furthermore, this salvation is not “out of a source of works.” This explains salvation by grace. It is not produced by man nor earned by him. It is a gift from God with no strings tied to it. Paul presents the same truth in Romans 4:4, 5 when speaking of the righteousness which God imputed to Abraham, where he says: “Now, to the one who works, his wages are not looked upon as a favor but as that which is justly or legally due. But to the one who does not work but believes on the One who justifies the impious, his faith is computed for righteousness. One reason why salvation is a free gift of God and not earned by works, is given us in the words; “lest any man should boast.” Grace glorifies God. Works would glorify man.” (Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament, K.S. Wuest, Erdmens, 1997)

J. Vernon McGee states,

Paul is not talking about faith when he says, “And that not of yourselves.” He is talking about salvation. Salvation is a gift that eliminates boasting. It is all of God and not of us. It is God’s gift. (Through the Bible, Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Vol. 5, pg. 237)

Gregory Sapaugh states:

Ephesians 2:8 is a magnificent statement concerning the eternal salvation which is graciously provided by God through the medium of faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is not a divine gift from God. Faith is a personal conviction which a person exercises when he or she encounters Jesus the Christ. The clear exhortation from Paul and the other NT writers is for people to believe. There is no biblical data to warrant the belief that faith itself is given by God. Robertson correctly concludes, ‘“Grace’ is God’s part, ‘faith’ ours.” (Robertson, Word Pictures, 4:525.). God provides the free gift of salvation on the basis of His grace. People must receive the free gift of salvation by means of faith. Such is the clear and distinct message of Eph 2:8. (Is Faith a Gift? A Study of Ephesians 2:8, Gregpry Sapaugh, Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Vol. 7:12, 1994)

From the standpoint of the Greek grammar, faith cannot be the gift referred to in Ephesians 2:8. The gift of God is clearly our salvation by grace (first mentioned in verse 5)…

Interesting….and I think definitive…no secular or critical Greek scholar can see “faith” as the gift in the grammar of the Greek. What should we conclude from this?

All the above is a collection of notes I have written down...so take them at will...however the argument agrees with century after century of Christendom.

Brother Paul

shepherdsword
Nov 2nd 2013, 09:24 PM
There are a number of good theological arguments against the view that faith is the gift of God. However, in Ephesians 2:8 the strongest argument comes from the Greek grammar. The text reads:

τῇ γὰρ χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι διὰ πίστεως καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐξ ὑμῶν
For by grace you are saved through faith and that not of yourselves

θεοῦ τὸ δῶρον
of God (is) the gift

τοῦτο (that) is neuter and cannot be referring to πίστεως (faith) which is feminine or χάριτί (grace) which is also feminine.

Baptist Greek scholar A.T. Robertson whose Grammar of the Greek New Testament is considered a definitive work, makes this statement about the gender of τοῦτο:

“…οῦτοs agrees with its substantive in gender and number, whether predicate of attributive…. In Eph. 2:8… there is no reference to πίστεως in τοῦτο, but rather to the idea of salvation in the clause before.” (Robertson, A.T., A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, Broadman Press, Nashville, Tennessee, 1934, p. 704.)

Robertson elaborates in his Word Pictures:

For by grace (τῃ γαρ χαριτι [tēi gar chariti]). Explanatory reason. “By the grace” already mentioned in verse 5 and so with the article. Through faith (δια πιστεως [dia pisteōs]). This phrase
he adds in repeating what he said in verse 5 to make it plainer. “Grace” is God’s part, “faith” ours. And that (και τουτο [kai touto]). Neuter, not feminine ταυτη [tautē], and so refers not to πιστις [pistis] (feminine) or to χαρις [charis] (feminine also), but to the act of being saved by grace conditioned on faith on our part. Paul shows that salvation does not have its source (ἐξ ὑμων [ex humōn], out of you) in men, but from God. Besides, it is God’s gift (δωρον [dōron]) and not the result of our work. (Robertson, A. 1997. Word Pictures in the New Testament. Vol.V c1932, Vol.VI c1933 by Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Logos Research Systems: Oak Harbor)

Dr. Kenneth Wuest, Professor of New Testament Greek at Moody Bible Institute, states:

The words, “through faith” speak of the instrument or means whereby the sinner avails himself of this salvation which God offers him in pure grace. ..The word “that” is touto (τουτο), “this,” a demonstrative pronoun in the neuter gender. The Greek word “faith” is feminine in gender and therefore touto (τουτο) could not refer to “faith.” It refers to the general idea of salvation in the immediate context. The translation reads, “and this not out from you as a source, of God (it is) the gift.” That is, salvation is a gift of God. It does not find its source in man. Furthermore, this salvation is not “out of a source of works.” This explains salvation by grace. It is not produced by man nor earned by him. It is a gift from God with no strings tied to it. Paul presents the same truth in Romans 4:4, 5 when speaking of the righteousness which God imputed to Abraham, where he says: “Now, to the one who works, his wages are not looked upon as a favor but as that which is justly or legally due. But to the one who does not work but believes on the One who justifies the impious, his faith is computed for righteousness. One reason why salvation is a free gift of God and not earned by works, is given us in the words; “lest any man should boast.” Grace glorifies God. Works would glorify man.” (Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament, K.S. Wuest, Erdmens, 1997)

J. Vernon McGee states,

Paul is not talking about faith when he says, “And that not of yourselves.” He is talking about salvation. Salvation is a gift that eliminates boasting. It is all of God and not of us. It is God’s gift. (Through the Bible, Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Vol. 5, pg. 237)

Gregory Sapaugh states:

Ephesians 2:8 is a magnificent statement concerning the eternal salvation which is graciously provided by God through the medium of faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is not a divine gift from God. Faith is a personal conviction which a person exercises when he or she encounters Jesus the Christ. The clear exhortation from Paul and the other NT writers is for people to believe. There is no biblical data to warrant the belief that faith itself is given by God. Robertson correctly concludes, ‘“Grace’ is God’s part, ‘faith’ ours.” (Robertson, Word Pictures, 4:525.). God provides the free gift of salvation on the basis of His grace. People must receive the free gift of salvation by means of faith. Such is the clear and distinct message of Eph 2:8. (Is Faith a Gift? A Study of Ephesians 2:8, Gregpry Sapaugh, Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Vol. 7:12, 1994)

From the standpoint of the Greek grammar, faith cannot be the gift referred to in Ephesians 2:8. The gift of God is clearly our salvation by grace (first mentioned in verse 5)…

Interesting….and I think definitive…no secular or critical Greek scholar can see “faith” as the gift in the grammar of the Greek. What should we conclude from this?

In His love

Vincent agrees with Robertson here but the fact that it refers to grace doesn't eliminate all possibility that faith is not an actual gift of God as well. We can make a strong case for it being so from 1Cor 12:9 where it listed as a gift of the Spirit.

Boo
Nov 3rd 2013, 11:16 AM
Perhaps we don't all use the word "faith" in the same way.

I suppose we have at least two different meanings being discussed here as if they were only one.

Eyelog
Nov 3rd 2013, 11:32 AM
Perhaps we don't all use the word "faith" in the same way.

I suppose we have at least two different meanings being discussed here as if they were only one.

Hi, Boo. I think you are right, and I acknowledge your distinction you express below.

Here's my take on the matter:

What God gives us by grace, when it comes to faith, is one or more promises. The promise consists of a payoff and a condition to getting the payoff. For example, John 3:16 is a promise, that if I believe in him (condition), I will not perish but receive eternal life (payoff).

The existence of the promise has the potential to inspire a person's desire for the Payoff, and an expectation that if they make the investment in the Condition for receiving the promised payoff, then they will receive the payoff.

God increases the amount of one's desire for the payoff to the promises of eternal life, by bringing conviction by His Spirit into our conscience, that we are sinners who deserve eternal punishment. Thus, when the promise of eternal life is received, it is greatly desired. This is grace on His part to impart the promise and to bring conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment to come, via the Spirit. Jn 16:8.

The expectation part, where we must decide whether the promise is for real, whether God is real, whether God will come through, whether God is able, and whether God is willing, whether God is in earnest that all we need to is believe, etc., is more difficult. But God may very well do things which increase our expectation level. To the extent He does that, such is grace as well.

Our desire plus our expectation is the degree to which we hope in what God promises, e.g., eternal life. The extent to which we act on that level of hope is the extent to which we have living faith in that promise of God. Whether we will act on our hope simply depends on how strongly we hope in the promise. But if we don't act on the hope, we do not have what James calls a living faith.

How does one act on their hope for eternal life in order to be born again?

Well, what are all those sinner's prayers for? What is the Romans 10 requirement for belief in the heart and confession with the mouth for.

Therefore, at root, Saving Faith is a gift from God, but we have to respond to the promise with desire for what He promises, and we must expect He will deliver what He promises, and we have to act on our hope in the promise, investing whatever receipt of the payoff requires.

So far as faithfulness, or living the life of faith, to greater or lesser degrees believers walk by faith in one or more other promises of God. The dynamics of conditions and payoffs in that case are the same.

So, faith is ALWAYS synergistic. Period.

---=Edited Point=---

A gift of faith ala 1 Corinthians is simply the receipt of complete desire and/or expectation that God will bring the payoff.

episkopos
Nov 3rd 2013, 03:47 PM
Flesh and blood does not reveal Christ to us...so then faith must come from God. But our response is up to us. We are called to be faithful. That is on us. Once the faith that is from above has taken us through an experience....how much do we continue to now accept this as the most important thing in our lives? That is when our own faith and faithfulness is challenged.

Boo
Nov 4th 2013, 10:28 AM
For both Episkopos and Eyelog, I have a question:

Would it be accurate to say that we, as individual humans, still have an obligation to respond to His Word before we receive anything from God? Must we seek Him before He gives us any faith?

Eyelog
Nov 4th 2013, 11:42 AM
For both Episkopos and Eyelog, I have a question:

Would it be accurate to say that we, as individual humans, still have an obligation to respond to His Word before we receive anything from God? Must we seek Him before He gives us any faith?

God is the initiator, but we must respond by seeking Him. It is God's unavailability to us, in the face of some level of knowledge He is there, is calling us, drawing us, etc., which makes us seek him.

In any event, God is the initiator, and we must respond, back and forth. As the relationship becomes more substantial, it is a lot more communal.

The Spirit of God draws us. Sometimes Jesus comes to people in dreams. Sometimes reading the Word leads to it. But in every case, God is the initiator.

But a person will have no defense if they say, God did not tap me on the shoulder, get my attention and prove Himself to me. For, the response to the Spirit is to seek Him.

episkopos
Nov 4th 2013, 12:23 PM
God is the initiator, but we must respond by seeking Him. It is God's unavailability to us, in the face of some level of knowledge He is there, is calling us, drawing us, etc., which makes us seek him.

In any event, God is the initiator, and we must respond, back and forth. As the relationship becomes more substantial, it is a lot more communal.

The Spirit of God draws us. Sometimes Jesus comes to people in dreams. Sometimes reading the Word leads to it. But in every case, God is the initiator.

But a person will have no defense if they say, God did not tap me on the shoulder, get my attention and prove Himself to me. For, the response to the Spirit is to seek Him.

Amen! Although I think you meant...His availability to us...

Eyelog
Nov 4th 2013, 01:00 PM
Amen! Although I think you meant...His availability to us...

Actually, speaking of the unbeliever, I was referring to God's omni-absence to the Fallen Anthropos who, nevertheless, is being drawn by the Spirit. : )

Berean11
Nov 4th 2013, 03:14 PM
I have a question then. I have my own thoughts about all. Nevertheless, how would you explain this?

Luk 1:39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah,
Luk 1:40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
Luk 1:41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,
Luk 1:42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
Luk 1:43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Luk 1:44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Luk 1:45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
Luk 1:46 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
Luk 1:47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
Luk 1:48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;


Luk 1:41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,
Luk 1:42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
Luk 1:43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Luk 1:44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Luk 1:45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
Luk 1:46 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
Luk 1:47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
Luk 1:48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
Luk 1:49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
Luk 1:50 And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.

Granted, aside from Elizabeth and Mary the baby that Elizabeth carried (John the Baptizer) leaped for joy. He was not born yet. So from the womb he knew and was filled? with the Holy Spirit. Well, it would seem something happened before he was born. And it was of God. Jesus was not born yet either.

The point being that John, still in the womb, had not asked (couldn't) and or made a decision to believe or receive anything from God.

Thoughts?

Peace, Berean11

episkopos
Nov 4th 2013, 06:43 PM
I have a question then. I have my own thoughts about all. Nevertheless, how would you explain this?

Luk 1:39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah,
Luk 1:40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
Luk 1:41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,
Luk 1:42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
Luk 1:43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Luk 1:44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Luk 1:45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
Luk 1:46 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
Luk 1:47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
Luk 1:48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;


Luk 1:41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,
Luk 1:42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
Luk 1:43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Luk 1:44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Luk 1:45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
Luk 1:46 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
Luk 1:47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
Luk 1:48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
Luk 1:49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
Luk 1:50 And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.

Granted, aside from Elizabeth and Mary the baby that Elizabeth carried (John the Baptizer) leaped for joy. He was not born yet. So from the womb he knew and was filled? with the Holy Spirit. Well, it would seem something happened before he was born. And it was of God. Jesus was not born yet either.

The point being that John, still in the womb, had not asked (couldn't) and or made a decision to believe or receive anything from God.

Thoughts?

Peace, Berean11

We see the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the OT. The Spirit is on people. Even king Saul prophesied when the Spirit was upon him. What we see though is the absence of the character of Christ. That comes from within after regeneration. So what is new is the new heart....not the anointing power.

But we still need that anointing to function in a kingdom capacity after (or in concert with) our new birth.

Boo
Nov 5th 2013, 10:13 AM
God is the initiator, but we must respond by seeking Him. It is God's unavailability to us, in the face of some level of knowledge He is there, is calling us, drawing us, etc., which makes us seek him.

In any event, God is the initiator, and we must respond, back and forth. As the relationship becomes more substantial, it is a lot more communal.

The Spirit of God draws us. Sometimes Jesus comes to people in dreams. Sometimes reading the Word leads to it. But in every case, God is the initiator.

But a person will have no defense if they say, God did not tap me on the shoulder, get my attention and prove Himself to me. For, the response to the Spirit is to seek Him.

Thank you, brother.

I have been wondering about those who don't live anywhere near a Christian church and in a place where there are no Bibles or evangelists. I would suppose that the teaching from Paul that says they are without excuse who be stated from a position that God still draws them to consider His creation and seek him.


18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; 19 because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: 21 because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened.
Romans 1:18-21 (ASV)

If that is the case, then one must believe that it is possible to received God's Grace without ever seeing a Bible or an Evangelist? If we think about Jesus being the only way to get to the father and receive His mercy, I wonder what goes on in the hearts of those who seek a God whose name they do not know.

Just thinking.......

Eyelog
Nov 5th 2013, 10:30 AM
Thank you, brother.

I have been wondering about those who don't live anywhere near a Christian church and in a place where there are no Bibles or evangelists. I would suppose that the teaching from Paul that says they are without excuse who be stated from a position that God still draws them to consider His creation and seek him.



If that is the case, then one must believe that it is possible to received God's Grace without ever seeing a Bible or an Evangelist? If we think about Jesus being the only way to get to the father and receive His mercy, I wonder what goes on in the hearts of those who seek a God whose name they do not know.

Just thinking.......

Hi, Boo.

What you say is an important issue. It reminds me of the many stories I've heard of Jesus coming in dreams to Muslims and people of other faiths. It seems He always has His ways.