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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Faith is not the Gift

Adam has uncovered some very clear evidence that faith cannot be the gift being referenced in Ephesians 2.

"I can understand that faith is not a works, therefore man being saved because of faith is not man being saved because of a work he did. But even if faith is not a work, it is nonetheless something man still does.

It may be something passive that he does (as some would argue that faith is passive, not active. And if not active then not an action - sometimes synonymous with work). Yet even if passive, it is still attributed to man as something he did. And if it can be attributed to man as something he did, then it is something that man can boast within."

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9 Comments:

Anonymous rrbj said...

Because of His kindness you have been saved through trusting Christ.And even trusting is not of yourselves, it to is a gift from God . Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it. God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago He planned that we should spend these lives in helping others! Blessings. Ron.

3/17/2007 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi KC ;~)

Yes,
It would seem that Adam is on the brink of a breakthrough!

3/17/2007 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger sofyst said...

I think I would concede that faith is not the gift spoken of within Ephesians 2. I don't really think I have ever believed such. Salvation is the gift spoken of. Paul says, it is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, it is not of works (so that no one can boast). These descriptions are applied to salvation, not faith.

Salvation is not of ourselves (we cannot earn it nor evoke/invoke it nor complete it), salvation is a gift from God (the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life), and salvation is not of works (one cannot work for their salvation).

But all of this concludes, necessarily, that faith cannot be what brings salvation about. It can be a means of salvation, or what salvation is given through, but it cannot be the cause of salvation. One does not bring about their salvation or cause themselves to be saved by believing.

Paul makes this undeniably clear. Salvation cannot be boasted in by man. Man cannot boast that he saved himself. Therefore, nothing man does, no works nor faith, can be the cause of salvation.

If ANYONE claims that they can do something to deserve or cause or bring about their salvation, they are saying that they can boast within their salvation (as they did it, or they caused it), and if they claim such, they are going contrary to Paul's words here.

3/19/2007 11:02:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brother Ron, Rose: Please forgive my delayed response. I seem to have this problem these days where all too often the thought is the deed!

Brother Ron, I would say because of His love we are saved by His kindness through our faith in Christ. I would totally agree with this statement, “Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it. God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus;"” Amen!

Rose, Adam is one of the best scriptural attorneys in the book! ;-)

Adam, I’m not sure what implications this concession might have on your theology, if any, but I look forward to your further considerations. I am in total agreement with your thoughts here (even the thought of us being in total agreement on anything is making me break out in a cold sweat!). ;-).

3/20/2007 05:26:00 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

This discussion is bringing this issue more into focus for me, especially your comments, Adam. Thanks.

3/20/2007 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

A man is hit in the face by a much larger and stronger man's fist in full force.

He falls back and down on the ground.

How can the man who has been hit boast?

He did what anyone who was hit in the face by a much stronger and larger man would have done: fall back and on the ground.

Correspondences:

being hit in the face by a much larger and stronger man

equals

being open to the powerful and convicting, Holy Spirit persuading gospel message

--

falling back and to the ground

equals

the passive response of faith that comes as a result of being persuaded/convinced of the gospel message

The question is:

How can someone legitamately boast about a passive act that would be the universal reaction of anyone found in the same circumstance? And the answer is clear: he cannot do so.

The question is not if someone can boast.

Boasting can come from anywhere, at anytime, in any circumstance, no matter what.

Cases in point:

Cannot the insane man boast that by his power the world revolves around the sun?

Cannot the liberal boast that the great state of the American economy is due to the fiscal policies and taxation of the Democratic Party?

Sure they can boast! So the question does not have to do with boasting, per se.

The question precisely has to do with "legitimate" boasting. The above two examples are not cases of legitimate boasting.

God, in the infinite and wise counsel of His own will and desire, has determined that all who believe that they are eternally secure :) by trusting Christ through His gospel promise will receive His grace, justification, and eternal life.

There cannot be any legitimate boasting on the part of one who is completely helpless relying solely upon the grace of another.

God has prescribed the way in which one is to completely rely upon Him for eternal :) life.

By taking Him at His word.

Antonio

3/21/2007 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Antonio, thanks for addressing this. I would agree it is a matter of legitimacy but your thoughts here have me wondering. Do you hold to a form of irresistible grace and if so how do you view it?

3/21/2007 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

I do not hold to irresistible grace in the sense that God imposes salvation, faith, and whathaveyou on the sinner.

I do believe that in all areas of life that when we are willing and open to consider communication that we, in essence, give that communication permission to act upon us in such a way as to persuade us. When we are persuaded, we believe as a passive result.

I hope this answers your question. For more information on my position, please refer to this blog post:

Faith is Passive Result of being Persuaded

Antonio

3/21/2007 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Antonio, I think I may have read more into your analogy than was intended so thanks for the clarification! ;-)

3/21/2007 07:17:00 PM  

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