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JaySaved
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Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

GaryE,

Quote:
As to which word grace or faith the words that not of yourself refers to, I wouldn't separate the two but think both grace on faith are not of oneself but instead given by the Lord. I believe that God gives a measure of grace and faith to all and all men are drawn by the Holy Spirit because God wishes no man to perish. The real problem is that men don't always respond to the wooing of the Holy Spirit or the measure of grace and faith that he has sent them. At that point of being drawn they either choose the Lord or not.



Does God give the same or equal measure of grace and faith to all men?

 2006/12/21 15:29Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
robertw:
Quote:
God by His grace initiates contact through the revelation of Himself and His Gospel. This is the gift. We did nothing to earn it. It is not of works. None can boast.

JaySaved: I am confused in why you call Grace the Gift. Didn't you and Philologos establish that the Gift was Salvation?



I probably should have said this is the [i]'offer'[/i] rather than the gift itself.

Quote:
Also a point of confusion:
You are calling Grace 'the Gift', this goes back to the feminine/neuter argument presented earlier. Philologos told us that both the Grace mentioned in Eph. 2:8 and the Faith are feminine. The Gift referred to (according to Philologos and yourself) is Salvation.



I am thinking beyond Ephesians 2:8 as I look at salvation. The gift is salvation, but it is received by grace through faith. I think you are wanting to know if I consider salvation, grace, and faith as all part of the gift. Faith is our response to the revelation of God's grace. I do not view faith as a gift in the sense that unless God gives me faith and exercises it for me it is not a gift. I view faith as God revealing and me responding [i]rightly[/i].

Quote:
This is telling me that salvation is not based on anything we have done or can do, but the only way to receive salvation is for us to do something.



The fact that man must exercise faith in order to receive does no damage to the passage. I used to answer this question by saying that [i]if I give a starving man a bite to eat is it a gift if he must chew and swallow it?[/i] If I take the extreme view sola fide (fee-day) I would say I (ed. the giver of the food) must also chew and swallow. If I take a moderate view I still allow for the gift to be a gift even though I have to receive it. It is not 'of' works. I do not view faith as works in the general biblical sense. It is not the same as working for salvation. This is 'The Work'- that we believe on Him who was sent. That is the part I am responsible for. If one were to say that excersizing faith is works I do not contend further- I will only say that God has given man a part to play in redemption and his obligation is to exercise [i]faith[/i].


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/12/21 16:04Profile
GaryE
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Joined: 2005/4/26
Posts: 376
Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania

 Re:



Jaysaved, you asked:

Does God give the same or equal measure of grace and faith to all men?
.........................

I'm not sure. The only thing I can say on this is that in my own life the Lord worked me over since I was a child and it wasn't until I was twenty four years old and had been in a lot of very dirty sin that I responded to God as far a choice. I had gotten from a place of cursing God and actually sticking my fist into the air cursing at him in a field to a place where most of the time I would deny he even existed. I went from hating God to the point of not even believing he was there.

Between the ages of fifteen and twenty four these things had taken place. Early on in this time stretch there were times I would be alone and drunk that I would so want to get free. I remember talking to the Lord while drunk in this state yet the very next day would be doing what I had done the night before.

Just before or at the beginning of this nine years of rebellion I heard a message on TV that was directed to me by the Holy Spirit. I remember sitting watching this preacher preach and knowing he was telling the truth. I could hardly breath because of conviction yet did not become born again. All things did not pass away and become new. They were still the same. I was not a new creature in Christ but was still the old man.

At twenty four the Lord set me up by bringing humble Christians into my life that loved on me. This softened me up a bit. One day while hearing some preachers preaching different messages the conviction came on me much like it had years earlier. I had a hard time breathing normally and was at a place where I knew that the ministers were telling the truth; the story of Jesus is true.

The offer that day and later in my walk was and is to choose. I remember thinking some of the stuff at that time that we are discussing now. No work will save you and had a very difficult time going forward to the pulpit area in this large arena. God sent someone over to me with the verses of Romans 10:9+10 and I was told I needed to do this, or in other words confess Jesus with my mouth. I was told that by responding to this altar call that I would be doing something similar by identifying with Jesus, much like baptism in water identifies with Jesus.

I've said all of this to say that in the two times when the Lord was drawing me by the Holy Spirit, and also other times, I had a choice to make. This time mentioned at twenty four the right choice was made. Who is to say or not if I would have ever had the same kind of opportunity to respond to this choice later. The way I was going I probably wouldn't have lived to be thirty years old.

As far as if the drawing of the Spirit is the same for everyone I would say that I think it probably is, but there is no way that I can think to prove that by scripture. Anyway you look at it, we are responsible for the light that God has sent us. There won't be any excuse at judgement if we have chosen wrong and died in our sins.


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Gary Eckenroth

 2006/12/21 20:24Profile
Christinyou
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Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3703
Ca.

 Re:

Act 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how He had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

Who has the door to faith? If Grace is a gift then so is faith. We know that Grace is of God. Then the Faith into this Grace must be from the same Person.

If a person does not believe, then Grace is still available if the person would believe, the same for Faith of God, the not believing person does not make the Grace or Faith of God of no effect. They both are still and only given by God if we believe.

Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? (Absolutely Not.)

That is why Paul always says the faith of Jesus Christ is how we are to live our life. For it is in Him in who we live and move and have our being.

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

We do not frustrate the Grace of God if we don't believe. These two are without effect if they are separated form being by believing attaining salvation by His Grace and His Faith.

Galatians 2:20-21 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and 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. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

This salvation of God through Jesus Christ is only frustrated by unbelief or trying to gain salvation by the law.

Before this Grace and Faith were given to those that believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, all a person could do was live by the faith of the devil who was his life and the spiritual owner of his life. Now that we believe we are quickened by Grace through Faith by God Himself that we might live a new life in Christ Jesus our Lord and Life with the nature of God Himself by the Christ that is born again in us that we might be pleasing to God and acceptable to Him through His Son into the Father's House where a place is being prepared just for those that believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, which takes the Grace and Faith of God by Jesus Christ to give salvation.

Ephesians 2:1-9 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

In Christ by God's Grace and Faith of God unto righteousness and justification, with the wisdom and sanctification of The Christ that is in us.

1 Corinthians 1:28-31 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

In Christ: Phillip


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Phillip

 2006/12/21 21:52Profile
beenblake
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Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Some thoughts

Some thoughts, for whatever they may be worth:

It seems at the root of your question is whether faith is a gift of God or not. Obviously, grace is given by God, and salvation is given by God. However, is faith?

My answer would be that faith is both a choice of ours and a gift of God. Obviously, faith is a choice we make. We choose to believe in something. As children, we believe most anything including Santa Claus and monsters. As we grow, we become a bit more skeptical after discovering these things prove untrustworthy.

Faith, though it is a choice, is also a gift. The gift part of it comes in God's faithfulness. God is trustworthy and it is proven in our lives by deliverance. God engineers circumstances in our lives that give us a true measure of faith. He puts us through trials and tests that strengthen our faith because He is faithful.

For instance, in the course of salvation, we call out to Jesus to save us from our sins. If Christ never answered our call, then our faith would not be true. It would be empty and false. After an unanswered cry, if we continued to have faith, it would be based upon ourselves. We would have to rely heavily on our own choice to have faith. This often results in the development of our own world of rational and understanding. We become blind by our own faith. We become grounded in our choice. On the other hand, when we call out to Christ and He answers our call, then our faith is not empty. It is based upon truth and reality. When a sinner cries out to Jesus for salvation, and Christ comes down and saves them from sin, then have true faith. Their faith is based upon truth, a true response. This is a gift of God.

Anytime God delivers us or answers our prayers, our faith is made true. Faith, then, is not simply believing, but it is more about a relationship. For faith to be true faith, it must be based upon something that is true. Otherwise, our faith is empty and imaginary.

That is why "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (heb 11:1) In our modern day, we don't perceive faith as being something based upon evidence or having evidence. But this verse clearly indicates that faith is the "evidence" of things not seen. How can faith be evidence? The evidence of Christian faith is deliverance. We believe in Jesus and He saves. Faith becomes evidence for something when it becomes true. When a person who was an alcoholic is saved and they stop drinking, it is because Christ changed them and saved them. This is evidence of Christ. The person made a choice to call upon Christ, and his faith was made true when Christ answered. This is true faith, and true faith is a gift from God.

Faith based upon anything other than the truth, which is Jesus Christ, is no faith at all. It is empty. It is a god that gives no answer because it depends upon the person who has "faith" to be the answer. It depends upon their own choice. However, Christian faith depends upon Christ. It doesn't matter that I chose to believe in Christ, what matters is that Christ saved me. "I chose you."

That is why I become fearful of anyone who bases their faith on the bible or who relies solely on the bible for proof of their faith. Their faith is not really true, it is based upon their own choice to believe the bible as the Word of God. It is not God given. It is not relying on Christ. They don't call upon Christ, or give themselves to Christ. They have not experienced a true change (born again), they merely believe they have been born again because the bible says so. Their faith is based upon the bible as the Word of God rather than Christ as the Word of God. Such a faith is near empty. They don't understand that it's not about obeying or knowing the bible, rather it is about the Word of God (Jesus Christ) living inside of you in perfect union. However, many are blind to this and will argue otherwise. They like their blindness. And I am sure I will receive much debate and criticism about this.

Something else:

Faith has measure. This should be obvious by statements such as "if you have faith the size of a mustard seed..." In addition, our faith can increase.

Luke 17:5 (KJ)
And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

Why would they demand such a thing if faith only comes from us? Faith, while it is our initial choice, is increased by God. Our faith is tempered through our trials, tribulations, and prayers.

Prayer is utterly important because of this. Every time we pray, make a request before God, and it is answered, our faith increases. We can see God at work. Every time we struggle and God saves us, our faith increases. These things are gifts from God. Our faith is based upon God's faithfulness, and because of this, faith is a gift.

The true test of faith is prayer. If our prayers are not answered, it is because some sin is lurking. We have not surrendered all to Christ. We have not taken up our cross. As such, we are not one with Christ and thus, we do not know God's will. However, if we are one with Christ, we will pray according to God's will. And as such, our prayers will be answered. That is why Jesus said we could ask anything in His name and He would do it.

In conclusion, if anyone came to me and said faith was only a gift from God, I would say they are wrong. If they said faith is only a choice (or response), I would say they are wrong. It is both. Faith must be fulfilled or else it is no faith at all. You can put your faith into anything. However, faith only exists in truth when it is met with faithfulness.

In love,
Blake


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Blake Kidney

 2006/12/21 22:33Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: Some thoughts

Quote:
Before this Grace and Faith were given to those that believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, all a person could do was live by the faith of the devil who was his life and the spiritual owner of his life.



The devil's believe and tremble. Yet Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness and he was called the friend of God. I have often wondered what the difference was between Abraham and Lot. They shared many of the same experiences. It seems to me that Lot could have been a friend of God also, but what we find is his constant pitching his tent towards Sodom (as it were). He did not want the 'mountain'. He did not want the close relationship with God that Abraham had. He always seemed to need just a little bit of Egypt in his midst. It was not until he left Zoar that he headed for the mountain. But by then it was too late for his family.

And I think this is also part of our discussion. Does a person 'want' God? Notice I did not say do they 'need' God. Sure God is needed, but is He wanted? The devil's believe and tremble, but do they 'want' God? God is upholding all things by the word of His power- so even they need God for there mere existence. But they have chosen [i]enmity[/i] with him as opposed to [i]friendship[/i]. Friendship is related to obedience. Lot lived a life of compromise and lost out with God the great fellowship that Abraham knew. And this is a key to genuine faith, salvation, and ultimately friendship- [i]obedience[/i].


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/12/22 8:48Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

If 'faith' is only a gift of God, how can we be held responsible for not having it? or of not having 'sufficient' faith?

[color=0000ff]Matt. 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Matt. 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Matt. 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Matt. 16:8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? [/color]


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Ron Bailey

 2006/12/22 13:25Profile
Christinyou
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Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3703
Ca.

 Re:

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Eph 2:1 And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

How can dead faith receive Grace through Faith unless the Faith is quickened by God.

Again in context, Quickened Faith; Ephesians 2:1-9 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The last thing man wants to give us is his responsibility for his own salvation because he has something to give, dead faith. Since God has taken away everything the man can do for salvation, except believe, then this faith that we so prize ourselves on is the last thing we want to hold on to. Dead faith unless it is quickened to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is useless.

Praise God for the Faith of Jesus Christ that we now live by and praise God that the Holy Spirit convicted us and we have been quickened to believe unto salvation.

In Christ: Phillip


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Phillip

 2006/12/22 14:30Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
The last thing man wants to give us is his responsibility for his own salvation because he has something to give. Since God has taken away everything the man can do for salvation, except believe, then this faith that so prize ourselves on is the last thing we want to hold on to. Dead faith unless it is quickened to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is useless.



I think the 'quickening' of Ephesians refers to regeneration. To carry this 'quickening' too far is to make regeneration the first step in the process of redemption. God's prevenient grace initiates contact with man, but I think it is carrying things to far to say man must be regenerated before he/she can respond to God. The response allows for regeneration and not the other way around.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/12/22 14:38Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Praise God for the Faith of Jesus Christ that we now live by and praise God that the Holy Spirit convicted us and we have been quickened to believe unto salvation.



Does quickened to believe mean 'made' to believe? Or does quickened to believe simply mean God brought conviction and revelation and we responded to that conviction and revelation?


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/12/22 14:40Profile





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