Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What kind of faith results in new birth (regeneration)?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Discussion What kind of faith results in new birth (regeneration)?

    How much faith or what kind of faith does it take to save?

    The purpose of this thread is not to debate eternal security, nor to debate the conditions of the gospel message. But of course, we will naturally drift into the latter. The purpose of this thread is to carefully think through the following:

    What is faith?
    What kind of faith saves?
    What if faith ceases?

    We will of necessity need to consider Greek grammatical principles. On the first post after this OP, I will give a brief background for those not as familiar with Greek grammar. But I do not want anyone to feel that they need to be proficient in Greek IOT participate in this discussion! I'm sure that many of you will also be able to find cross reference passages to support your position on faith. Hopefully, we will all have something to think about as we consider what each of us is posting.

    Finally, it is difficult to design a poll that satisfies everyone... hence the "other" option.

    Faith and salvation: the kind of faith described in John's gospel and letters and Paul's writings, is it continuous in nature or point-in-time kind of faith? To say that it is point-in-time is not to say that it lasts necessarily only for a moment. The question is "What is the kind of faith seen in John 3:16?", for example. Was it linear, continuous kind-of faith that continues throughout a lifetime or else it was not real salvivic faith?

    To say that it may not be continuous in nature does not presuppose that faith will cease. But it does assume that the promises to Christians take effect the moment (point-in-time) that a person believes the gospel message and trusts in Christ. It does assume that the moment that we trusted in Christ that we were born again... born spiritually... regenerated (whichever term you prefer). Those who hold to a faith that is continuous will (should) insist that real saving faith is continuous, and hence that unless we endure to the end that we never really believed, or perhaps that we stopped believing and hence are no longer saved, though the latter may be difficult to defend. Those are the two extremes.

    I feel that the best way to differentiate our various perspectives is to consider what kind of faith "regenerates." Now for you Reformed users, don't worry about the ordo salutis ("logical order of salvation"). The question for you becomes what kind of faith results from regeneration.

    So then: "What kind of faith regenerates?"
    1. Continuous: Saving faith must be active, hence the faith that saved was continuous
    2. Middle-ground: Faith may dwindle at times, even cease, but it always returns
    3. Point-in-time: Saving faith is point-in-time kind of faith.
    4. Other or "I'm not sure"


    Thx,

    BD
    6
    Continuous: Saving faith must be active, hence the faith that saved was continuous
    0.00%
    0
    Middle-ground: Faith may dwindle at times, even cease, but it always returns
    0.00%
    0
    Point-in-time: Saving faith is point-in-time kind of faith
    83.33%
    5
    Other or "I'm not sure"
    16.67%
    1
    3 John 4 - "No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children walk in the truth.

    BadDog!

  • #2
    Originally posted by BadDog View Post
    How much faith or what kind of faith does it take to save?

    The purpose of this thread is not to debate eternal security, nor to debate the conditions of the gospel message. But of course, we will naturally drift into the latter. The purpose of this thread is to carefully think through the following:

    What is faith?
    What kind of faith saves?
    What if faith ceases?

    We will of necessity need to consider Greek grammatical principles. On the first post after this OP, I will give a brief background for those not as familiar with Greek grammar. But I do not want anyone to feel that they need to be proficient in Greek IOT participate in this discussion! I'm sure that many of you will also be able to find cross reference passages to support your position on faith. Hopefully, we will all have something to think about as we consider what each of us is posting.

    Finally, it is difficult to design a poll that satisfies everyone... hence the "other" option.

    Faith and salvation: the kind of faith described in John's gospel and letters and Paul's writings, is it continuous in nature or point-in-time kind of faith? To say that it is point-in-time is not to say that it lasts necessarily only for a moment. The question is "What is the kind of faith seen in John 3:16?", for example. Was it linear, continuous kind-of faith that continues throughout a lifetime or else it was not real salvivic faith?

    To say that it may not be continuous in nature does not presuppose that faith will cease. But it does assume that the promises to Christians take effect the moment (point-in-time) that a person believes the gospel message and trusts in Christ. It does assume that the moment that we trusted in Christ that we were born again... born spiritually... regenerated (whichever term you prefer). Those who hold to a faith that is continuous will (should) insist that real saving faith is continuous, and hence that unless we endure to the end that we never really believed, or perhaps that we stopped believing and hence are no longer saved, though the latter may be difficult to defend. Those are the two extremes.

    I feel that the best way to differentiate our various perspectives is to consider what kind of faith "regenerates." Now for you Reformed users, don't worry about the ordo salutis ("logical order of salvation"). The question for you becomes what kind of faith results from regeneration.

    So then: "What kind of faith regenerates?"
    1. Continuous: Saving faith must be active, hence the faith that saved was continuous
    2. Middle-ground: Faith may dwindle at times, even cease, but it always returns
    3. Point-in-time: Saving faith is point-in-time kind of faith.
    4. Other or "I'm not sure"


    Thx,

    BD
    Hi BD...


    OH Boy, you must enjoy swimming with the sharks...

    Two things, this isn't set up as a poll, just in case you didn't realize it until now. And secondly, you forgot to include those responses that say that saving Faith is given by God upon a believer.

    I think I'm going to take a bye on this thread for a while and see what happens...
    "Enter by the Narrow Gate...
    Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way...
    ... there are few who find it."


    -----------------------------------------------

    * All Scripture when quoted is taken from:

    The New American Standard Bible®,
    Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
    1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
    Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

    Italics, bold, color and/or underline are added for emphasis

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Redeemed by Grace View Post
      Hi BD...


      OH Boy, you must enjoy swimming with the sharks...

      Two things, this isn't set up as a poll, just in case you didn't realize it until now. And secondly, you forgot to include those responses that say that saving Faith is given by God upon a believer.

      I think I'm going to take a bye on this thread for a while and see what happens...
      RbG,

      Actually, you responded in the middle of the process. I didn't forget to include the Reformed view of saving faith. I addressed that in the OP. Whether one believes faith is a gift or not, what kind of faith is it? I phrased it as "faith which regenerates" because then people would be clear on what I am asking. I suppose you would prefer something like, "What kind of faith justifies?"

      When you set up a poll, you have to submit the OP first, then they give you the opportunity to write the poll. I actually just cut-n-pasted the 4 possibilities very quickly - perhaps two minutes after submitting - but you were just too quick on the draw.

      BD
      3 John 4 - "No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children walk in the truth.

      BadDog!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by BadDog View Post
        RbG,

        Actually, you responded in the middle of the process. I didn't forget to include the Reformed view of saving faith. I addressed that in the OP. Whether one believes faith is a gift or not, what kind of faith is it? When you set up a poll, you have to submit the OP first, then they give you the opportunity to write the poll. I actually just cut-n-pasted the 4 possibilities very quickly - perhaps two minutes - but you were just too quick on the draw.

        BD
        Sorry.. wasn't trying to be slow or quick, it was just there when I was.... Must be the providence of God that I caught this before you moved quicker.

        I hope your tennis moves are faster than your posting moves...
        "Enter by the Narrow Gate...
        Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way...
        ... there are few who find it."


        -----------------------------------------------

        * All Scripture when quoted is taken from:

        The New American Standard Bible®,
        Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
        1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
        Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

        Italics, bold, color and/or underline are added for emphasis

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Redeemed by Grace View Post
          Sorry.. wasn't trying to be slow or quick, it was just there when I was.... Must be the providence of God that I caught this before you moved quicker.

          I hope your tennis moves are faster than your posting moves...
          Uh, well last weekend I was playing great in mixed doubles... perhaps the best I've ever played. But my doubles partner got sick--turned out to be food poisoning--and we had to default, though leading.

          Take care,

          BD
          3 John 4 - "No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children walk in the truth.

          BadDog!

          Comment


          • #6
            Greek grammatical principles

            Concerning Koine Greek verbs, there are two things to consider:
            1. The time of the action ("past," "present" or "future")
            2. The kind of the action ("aspect")


            Before we can look into tenses, we need to look at what is referred to as the "mood." Mood has to do with whether or not the action of the verb is actually taking place, or the degree of potential action. The indicative mood is the actuality mood. It refers to action really taking place (or having really taken place in the past or that will take place in the future). There are other moods of potential action: subjunctive, optative and imperative. Now only in the indicative mood is the "time of action" a factor. I know, hard to think of present tense and not think about when it takes place. But if it were, for example, present tense subjunctive mood action, all that matters is the kind of action. We cannot assume that the time of the action must be in the present.

            That said, there are various kinds of action. "point-in-time" kind of action is referred to as "punctiliar." Another basic kind of action is referred to as "linear" action. That means that it has some endurance. For example, I may have given someone a 5 dollar bill. I would probably use punctiliar kind of action to express that. But if I am going to be playing tennis tonight (hopefully ) I would probably best use linear kind of action, since I won't just be hitting the ball once (again, hopefully!).

            The present tense and the future tenses have linear aspect. Now, there are other kinds of action, but they do not in general play a role in this discussion. (Well, I will probably refer to the perfect tense, which is a past tense in Koine Greek. The kind of action there is punctiliar in the past with a linear state that continues into the present.) Edited-added: There are different types of past tense (imperfect, perfect, pluperfect, aorist), but only one type of either future or present tense.

            OK, here's how this Greek grammar is used sometimes to argue for faith being enduring: It is argued that since the present tense usually used by John in his gospel when he refers to "believing" has an aspect (kind of action) which is continuous that the faith presupposed by John was faith that continues throughout the life. I'll leave that for those interested to debate. I will only say at this point that it is "linear" not "continuous" kind of action. There is a significant difference.

            Sorry about the technical stuff. You can just ignore it if you prefer and argue your case based on scripture which you think supports your point. I'll make my point for punctiliar faith saving in a while.


            OK, the game is afoot!

            BD
            3 John 4 - "No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children walk in the truth.

            BadDog!

            Comment


            • #7
              How do we describe the faith of Jesus Christ?

              For the cause of Christ
              Roger

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by notuptome View Post
                How do we describe the faith of Jesus Christ?

                For the cause of Christ
                Roger
                Roger,

                By this do you mean the faith that Jesus had when he was here, living on earth? Is that relevant to this question? What do you think?

                BD
                3 John 4 - "No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children walk in the truth.

                BadDog!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BadDog View Post
                  Roger,

                  By this do you mean the faith that Jesus had when he was here, living on earth? Is that relevant to this question? What do you think?

                  BD
                  Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Jesus was tempted, tested, tried in every point like as we yet without sin. By His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many.

                  I think it is the crucial element of what "saving" faith must be. God is faithful even and especially when we are not.

                  For the cause of Christ
                  Roger

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Critiera for faith? Real faith?

                    Are there criteria for faith to really be faith? Should we qualify or in some manner set up some criteria which must be met for "real" faith?

                    IMO it is significant that we don't see qualifiers used in John's gospel with the word PISTOS ("faith") or PISTEUW ("to believe"). John does not condition salvation on whether or not someone "really" believes" or "truly" believes. Where does the Bible refer to "genuine faith," "real faith," or "faith which is not real," for that matter?

                    IMO there's only one kind of faith. We either believe something or we do not believe it. How many times have I heard people referring to "spurious" faith or "genuine" faith? I don't see that in scripture. Now, let me be clear here though, that I do believe that someone may say they believe in Christ, and yet not actually have faith. I am not saying that to refer to "real" faith is not legitimate... but why doesn't the bible do so? That is significant IMO.

                    Let's compare. Does John refer to real things elsewhere in his gospel? Yes:
                    John 1:9 The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
                    John 1:47 Then Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said about him, "See an Israelite indeed; in whom is ho guile."
                    John 4:23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father seeks such people to worship Him.
                    John 6:32 Jesus said to them, "I assure you: Moses didn't give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven.
                    John 8:16 And if I do judge, My judgment is true, because I am not alone, but I and the Father who sent Me
                    John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, you are really My disciples.
                    John 15:1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper..."
                    John 17:3 "This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent -- Jesus Christ."

                    So why doesn't John talk about true faith? Though at times our faith is immature, weak or wavering, it is always enough for us to receive the free gift of eternal life. Faith alone is sufficient. If this were not true, then how can we ever have genuine assurance?

                    But assurance is possible. Jesus said that whoever believes "has" (present tense) eternal life and "has crossed over" (perfect tense) from death into life (John 5:24).

                    Eternal life does not depend upon how one believes or the kind of faith they have, but upon Whom one believes in--trusts upon.

                    Comments?

                    BD
                    3 John 4 - "No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children walk in the truth.

                    BadDog!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by notuptome View Post
                      Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Jesus was tempted, tested, tried in every point like as we yet without sin. By His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many.

                      I think it is the crucial element of what "saving" faith must be. God is faithful even and especially when we are not.

                      For the cause of Christ
                      Roger
                      Roger,

                      OK. Thx. Now, is there a relationship between faith and faithfulness?
                      3 John 4 - "No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children walk in the truth.

                      BadDog!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BadDog View Post
                        Roger,

                        OK. Thx. Now, is there a relationship between faith and faithfulness?
                        Yes. Active faith allows me to act knowing that God being faithful will order my actions to glorify Him. Passive faith remains unshaken and secure even when all around me seems hopeless seeing Gods promises as secure.

                        For the cause of Christ
                        Roger

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BadDog View Post
                          RbG,
                          I phrased it as "faith which regenerates"
                          BD
                          BD, just iorning out things in the begining. I know it's a para-phrase, but I am scratching my head over this one. Isn't He the One who regenerates us and not our faith? Please put me at ease here.
                          Love

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by inn View Post
                            BD, just iorning out things in the begining. I know it's a para-phrase, but I am scratching my head over this one. Isn't He the One who regenerates us and not our faith? Please put me at ease here.
                            Love
                            I was actually thinking along these same lines. It's become very common to believe we place our faith in Christ and in response God extends to us His grace. It is by grace ye are saved, through faith that comes as part and parcel of eternal life, all in salvation as a whole package, the gracious gift of God. It is impossible to separate faith from grace for salvation.

                            Blessings,
                            RW

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by inn View Post
                              BD, just ironing out things in the begining. I know it's a para-phrase, but I am scratching my head over this one. Isn't He the One who regenerates us and not our faith? Please put me at ease here.
                              Love
                              Of course, Inn. But faith is the catalyst. Some don't think so. Some feel that God regenerates us and as a result we believe. That's what RbG and I were trying to iron out. I titled the thread as, "What kind of faith results in new birth (regeneration)?" IOW, what kind of faith saves? "For BY grace are we saved THROUGH faith, and this is not our own doing..." Inn, all I'm trying to do here is discuss the faith that saves. Presently we are considering the duration of the faith. Later I thought we might look into the object of our faith and then the content of our faith. But right now... the duration of our faith.

                              Thx

                              BD
                              3 John 4 - "No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children walk in the truth.

                              BadDog!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X