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Christinyou
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Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3707
Ca.

 Re:

Also Gal 2:20 says it is no longer I who live, but Christ liveth in me and the life I now live I live by the Faith of the Son of God.

If we are saved by faith and I only need faith of the size of a mustard seed to move mountains, since I cannot move mountains, my faith must be non-existant and I need a complete faith, new in Christ to believe unto salvation that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Peter tried to give this answer, but Christ was not fooled and knew that that faith to believe that, Jesus Christ is the Son of God, came from His Father.

In Christ, born again by the Faith of the Son of God and the incorruptable Seed of the Father birthed in me:

Phillip


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Phillip

 2009/8/30 17:49Profile
imnowhere
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Joined: 2009/8/1
Posts: 69


 Re:

Leo Grace...

Quote:
You are right in saying that without the believing part (faith), God is unable to save us.




Now, as scripture tells us faith is a gift (Phil 1:29), how is it that God can't save us without OUR faith, yet saving faith is a gift from God?

For all the posts that point out that I'm confused, I'm sure getting a lot of mixed signals in the answers here.

It seems anyone that taught that it's Jesus plus nothing that saves us would have a hard sell here. Or maybe I'm not hearing right.

If we can't please God in the flesh or natural state, how can God need 'our' faith to save us?

I don't believe He does. It's a gift, just like repentance. We walk in them once we've been saved. Faith and repentance it seems from the word, are evidence of our salvation, not the power of it; for that is Christ himself and his righteousness, not mine.

And as Paul says in Romans 11:5,6 if I'm saved by grace, it's not by anything that I've done. I show fruit of my salvation, not fruit unto salvation.

 2009/8/30 23:35Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Quote:
If we can't please God in the flesh or natural state, how can God need 'our' faith to save us?



Dear imnowhere,

I'm sorry if I'm the source of your confusion. Let me try to explain again here. First of all, I never said God needed our faith.

1. God is complete in himself. He does not need us at all, he does not need anything from us, and he does not need to save us. The separation of man from God is man's fault, because of man's sin. We could all disappear in a flash and God would still be God.

2. It is out of his love for man that God provided a way for man to be redeemed from his sin (God's grace), so we could again draw near to him for our sake, not his.

3. God does not need our faith to save us. It is we who need our own faith to obtain the gift of salvation provided by God. God has already offered the gift. It is up to each one of us to take that gift or not.

You must choose to be saved by believing in God (Jn 3:16) and God will send the Holy Spirit to guide you unto salvation. God does not need you to believe, but he does want you to believe.

To summarize: God's gift of salvation is ready and available to those who would believe in Jesus Christ.

1Co 15:2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

Ro 10:10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.


I hope this helps.

 2009/8/31 0:10Profile
imnowhere
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Joined: 2009/8/1
Posts: 69


 Re:

Thinking of Phil 1:29 and 2 Tim 2:25-26, would you say faith and repentance are gifts from God or something we do on our own?

I agree that without faith and repentance we won't be saved, but where do they originate, a gift from God or our own free will?

 2009/8/31 12:19Profile
agnostic
Member



Joined: 2009/8/29
Posts: 9


 Re:

Imnowhere,

I was reading this and I thought it seemed to relate to what you are asking...

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Regeneration Precedes Faith
By R. C. Sproul

One of the most dramatic moments in my life for the shaping of my theology took place in a seminary classroom. One of my professors went to the blackboard and wrote these words in bold letters: "Regeneration Precedes Faith."

These words were a shock to my system. I had entered seminary believing that the key work of man to effect rebirth was faith. I thought that we first had to believe in Christ in order to be born again. I use the words in order here for a reason. I was thinking in terms of steps that must be taken in a certain sequence. I had put faith at the beginning. The order looked something like this:

"Faith - rebirth -justification."

I hadn’t thought that matter through very carefully. Nor had I listened carefully to Jesus’ words to Nicodemus. I assumed that even though I was a sinner, a person born of the flesh and living in the flesh, I still had a little island of righteousness, a tiny deposit of spiritual power left within my soul to enable me to respond to the Gospel on my own. Perhaps I had been confused by the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Rome, and many other branches of Christendom, had taught that regeneration is gracious; it cannot happen apart from the help of God.

No man has the power to raise himself from spiritual death. Divine assistance is necessary. This grace, according to Rome, comes in the form of what is called prevenient grace. "Prevenient" means that which comes from something else. Rome adds to this prevenient grace the requirement that we must "cooperate with it and assent to it" before it can take hold in our hearts.

This concept of cooperation is at best a half-truth. Yes, the faith we exercise is our faith. God does not do the believing for us. When I respond to Christ, it is my response, my faith, my trust that is being exercised. The issue, however, goes deeper. The question still remains: "Do I cooperate with God's grace before I am born again, or does the cooperation occur after?" Another way of asking this question is to ask if regeneration is monergistic or synergistic. Is it operative or cooperative? Is it effectual or dependent? Some of these words are theological terms that require further explanation.

A monergistic work is a work produced singly, by one person. The prefix mono means one. The word erg refers to a unit of work. Words like energy are built upon this root. A synergistic work is one that involves cooperation between two or more persons or things. The prefix syn -

means "together with." I labor this distinction for a reason. The debate between Rome and Luther hung on this single point. At issue was this: Is regeneration a monergistic work of God or a synergistic work that requires cooperation between man and God? When my professor wrote "Regeneration precedes faith" on the blackboard, he was clearly siding with the monergistic answer. After a person is regenerated, that person cooperates by exercising faith and trust. But the first step is the work of God and of God alone.

The reason we do not cooperate with regenerating grace before it acts upon us and in us is because we can- not. We cannot because we are spiritually dead. We can no more assist the Holy Spirit in the quickening of our souls to spiritual life than Lazarus could help Jesus raise him for the dead.

When I began to wrestle with the Professor's argument, I was surprised to learn that his strange-sounding teaching was not novel. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield - even the great medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas taught this doctrine. Thomas Aquinas is the Doctor Angelicus of the Roman Catholic Church. For centuries his theological teaching was accepted as official dogma by most Catholics. So he was the last person I expected to hold such a view of regeneration. Yet Aquinas insisted that regenerating grace is operative grace, not cooperative grace. Aquinas spoke of prevenient grace, but he spoke of a grace that comes before faith, which is regeneration.

These giants of Christian history derived their view from Holy Scripture. The key phrase in Paul's Letter to the Ephesians is this: "...even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have you been saved)" (Eph. 2:5). Here Paul locates the time when regeneration occurs. It takes place 'when we were dead.' With one thunderbolt of apostolic revelation all attempts to give the initiative in regeneration to man are smashed. Again, dead men do not cooperate with grace. Unless regeneration takes place first, there is no possibility of faith.

This says nothing different from what Jesus said to Nicodemus. Unless a man is born again first, he cannot possibly see or enter the kingdom of God. If we believe that faith precedes regeneration, then we set our thinking and therefore ourselves in direct opposition not only to giants of Christian history but also to the teaching of Paul and of our Lord Himself.


(from the book, The Mystery of the Holy Spirit, Tyndale House, 1990

For more on this topic see:

The New Genesis by R.C. Sproul
Monergism vs. Synergism by John Hendryx
A Defense of Monergistic Regeneration by Gannon Murphy
Regeneration by Asahel Nettleton

---------------------------------
My Comment:
Another passages in the Bible clearly teaches that regeneration preceeds faith see:
1 John 5:1 - "everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God", John 1:13, Rom 9:16

John 6:63,65 "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life... Therefore have I told you that no man can come to me, unless it be given to him by my Father."


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 2009/8/31 15:22Profile
Leo_Grace
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Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Dear imnowhere,

Let me begin by responding to your last question, with particular emphasis on the two verses you mentioned. I included some of their accompanying verses below, in order to clarify their meanings.

ABOUT REPENTANCE:

Quote:
2Ti 2:24 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. g 2Ti 2:25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, h 2Ti 2:26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, i who has taken them captive to do his will.


Also:
Ac 5:31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.

Repentance is of God, and is one of the marks of a true believer. It comes through the Holy Spirit, who enables the believer to realize the greatness and holiness of God as compared to his own sinfulness (and much more), thus leading the believer into repentance.

ABOUT FAITH:
Quote:
Phil 1:27-30 "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. For it has been granted to you o on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have."


In this passage, Paul is speaking to Philippian believers and the subject of the 29th verse is not believing (because they are already believers in Christ) but suffering for Christ, a calling they share with Paul, and which is re-emphasized in the last part of the sentence. One cannot deduce from this that the act of believing in God is not of man's free will.

There is an abundance of verses in the Bible that clearly indicate that faith (believing) in God is initially a freewill act of man. However, once the door to a man's heart is opened through his faith, God, through the Holy Spirit, can move in him to strengthen that faith. I have listed some of these verses below.

Rev 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone HEARS my voice and OPENS the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

Gal 2:16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have PUT OUR FAITH in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

Jn 6:28-29 Then they asked him, “WHAT MUST WE DO to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: TO BELIEVE in the one he has sent.”

Jn 12:44 Then Jesus cried out, “WHEN A MAN BELIEVES IN ME, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.

Ac 16:30-31 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, WHAT MUST I DO to be saved?” They replied, “BELIEVE IN THE LORD JESUS, and you will be saved —you and your household.”

1Jn 3:23 And this is his command: TO BELIEVE IN THE NAME OF HIS SON, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

Jn 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER BELIEVES in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. WHOEVER BELIEVES in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son."

RESPONSE TO OTHER POSTS IN THIS THREAD:
There are a few other posts in this thread that seem to promote the idea that man cannot believe in God of his own free will. I think this is an erroneous concept, and very dangerous and possibly disabling to those who have yet to believe in God. For, although God wants us to believe, and will work things so that we are led to believe, we must understand that the decision to believe and accept his gift of grace remains ours. They referred to some Bible verses, and in responding I quote those same verses from the New International Version (NIV).

Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Comment: The thing that is "not from yourselves" is the grace of salvation, not the faith through which it was accepted. The "through faith" qualifying phrase makes it clear that the grace of salvation requires your faith for that gift to be yours. Note that the meaning of the word grace is "the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God", which ties in with the word gift in the latter part of the verse.


Ro 3:22 "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe."

Gal 2:16 "know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified."

Gal 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

Comments: This comment pertains to the last three verses quoted, because the misunderstanding seems to arise from the same problem. In all of them, the phrase "faith IN Jesus" or "faith IN the Son of God" in NIV, is written as "faith OF Jesus" in the KJV, thus creating confusion as to the source of such faith.

It is not my desire to argue for or against different Bible translations, but it seems unavoidable here in order to clarify the meaning of God's word. So I apologize beforehand to those who love the KJV for any grief this may cause.

The King James Version (KJV) of the Bible has been around for a long time, thus many are accustomed to it and attached to its charming and archaic vocabulary and phrasing. However, an objective review of its history will reveal that the KJV was not translated directly from the ancient texts written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin, which are considered the most accurate copies of God's inspired word. The KJV was written in 17th century English, translated mainly from the Bishop's Bible, which was produced by the Church of England in the 16th century. The Bishop's Bible borrowed heavily from the "Great Bible" of 1539, which then was the only authorized version for Anglican worship. The "Great Bible" was not taken directly from the more ancient texts, but mainly from the Latin Vulgate. Thus we see that there are two areas of concern with the KJV:

1) The language itself is about 300 years old and very different from modern day English. Word meanings, the use of prepositions, and sentence construction can be very different, leading to possible misinterpretation by today's readers.

2) Possible inaccuracies in content due to the intervening translations between the KJV and the ancient manuscripts (Latin Vulgate, Great Bible, Bishop's Bible).

On the other hand, the NIV was written in modern English, making misinterpretation less likely for today's readers. The NIV was completed around 1980. It was produced by an international group of known Biblical scholars and translators from six countries and more than 20 different denominations. It was sourced directly from the ancient texts in order to be as accurate as possible.

Thus, for the last three verses on faith quoted above, I believe the NIV version to be the more accurate translation.

 2009/8/31 16:29Profile
imnowhere
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Joined: 2009/8/1
Posts: 69


 Re:

So even though Phil 1:29 says the faith has been given to us, it doesn't mean that.

I'd also double check your sources re Eph 2:8-9, where free-will adherents whose expertise is language, disagree with you and admit that the 'not of yourselves' is pertaining to the 'faith' and not the 'grace' which would be a double staement and lack sense.

Thirdly, having spent 7 years reading on bible translations, I'd have to question some of your conclusions.

But I hear your point. You believe God's hands are tied, that he wants to save us but can't, and that it's up to us. We're the captains of our souls.

I wonder what Jesus really meant when he said he came to save sinners?

But I admit you did a good job replying and have spent considerable time studying and aren't just answering whimsically. We'll have to just disagree to agree. Thanks for the replies. And thanks to Agnostic for the Sproul page.

 2009/8/31 18:42Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Dear imnowhere,

Quote:
But I hear your point. You believe God's hands are tied, that he wants to save us but can't, and that it's up to us. We're the captains of our souls.


This is totally out of line with all that I have said, and I don't appreciate your attempt to put words in my mouth. I did try my best to answer your questions sincerely, but I realize now that your "questions" and seeming confusion are all pretense. You are playing a dangerous game and have no interest in understanding my responses at all. I'm done with this charade.

 2009/8/31 22:46Profile
imnowhere
Member



Joined: 2009/8/1
Posts: 69


 Re:

which part of that quote is out of line with what you said?

 2009/8/31 23:49Profile
Christinyou
Member



Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3707
Ca.

 Re:

If you are very careful with the Greek you will see there are no prepositions in Gal 2:16 or 2:20 pertaining to faith, it is simply faith Christ.

Writing backwards from Hebrew, it would be Christ faith.

There is no in or of, but most language experts will allow "of" not in. That is why the new translations of the bible are trying to take away the in Christ position of the believer when it comes to salvation and the faith it takes to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God as Peter did and Jesus Christ told Peter that was not of himself but His Father in Heaven had revealed it to Peter, this is the Faith it takes to believe unto salvation, not ours, as I have said before, I don't even have the faith of a mustard seed which is the smallest of seed that produces a great bush the birds land in. So if I have faith to believe the sun will rise, I believe it because I have seen it and been told it will always rise in the east every morning, this is earthly faith programmed into our soul/mind and we believe in the natural. We cannot see the supernatural and cannot believe in the One we have not seen, unless faith is given to our soul/mind by the Spirit. This is that faith it takes to believe into salvation, given by God by the Holy Spirit through Christ Faith.

Acts 3:15-16 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

Who's faith gave this man perfect soundness?

Acts 6:8 And Stephen , full of faith and power , did great wonders and miracles among the people .

This is not Stephen's faith, as this power cannot come from Stephen. These great wonders were not of Stephen, and certainly no miracle is of man, so who filled Stephen with Faith, power, wonders, miracles?

Acts 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 opened the door, (portal and entrance) of Faith?

Acts 15:8-9 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Who's faith purified their hearts?

Acts 26:15-18 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

He says He is Jesus and sanctifies us by faith that is in Him.

That is (in); 1519. eis
Search for G1519 in KJVSL
eiV eis ice
a primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.);
Him.

Faith Christ our Christ Faith.

Romans 3:3-4 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

The faith of God is always effective and justifies us in our sayings even unto salvation and Judgement, "no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus".

Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe : for there is no difference :

Here it is again and even more, "upon all them that believe, again even without the preposition "of" it still imparts Christs Faith to us to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and be saved.

On and On and On, but what good unless God gives the faith to believe it and reveal it to us that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, as to Peter.

In Christ by the Faith of the Son of God, revealed by the Father, for no man knows the Son except the Father and no man knows the Father unless the Son reveals Him to us.

Phillip


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 2009/9/2 1:51Profile





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