Is Faith a Gift or a Reliance?
From one essay I recently read came the following: “Ephesians 2:8 – for by grace you are saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; – Grace means salvation comes through Faith which is an unmeritorious gift that is not inherently part of natural man; a spiritually dead man to the True God, True Gospel and The True Jesus Christ.” Is Faith a Gift from God? – Scripture interprets Scripture (2to3scriptures.com)
The author’s assertion was that faith is the gift. Many others have said
that faith in Jesus was a gift. All that have come to believe the Gospel (Good
News) was by hearing or reading it. There are very few exceptions as it was with Paul. Then there is the subject of faith without works being a dead faith. (James 2:20) That’s a different subject.
The part I disagree with is “…which is an unmeritorious gift that is not inherently part of…”. Salvation does indeed come through faith and natural man is “spiritually dead to the True God, True Gospel and The True Jesus Christ.” The “…and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” is in reference to and descriptive of “for by grace you are saved”, however, “it is through faith”. The Ephesians were a group of believers that were rich beyond measure in Jesus Christ, but living as beggars not knowing their true wealth. They had to be reminded that the spiritual walk by faith was rooted in their spiritual wealth given by grace and not of themselves.
Faith by definition in the New Testament is from the Greek term:
G4102 – πίστις – persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself Derivation: from G3982; KJV Usage: assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.
>G3982 – πείθωto – convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively, to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty) Derivation: a primary verb; KJV Usage: agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) conflent, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.
Faith begins when one agrees with the Gospel (Good News). One cannot agree with something until they either hear or read that which they agree with. When one hears and agrees with the Gospel; it is like a seed is planted. (Acts 18:8, Matt. 13:1-23) When the people of Berea heard, they searched the scriptures daily and many believed. When a seed (hearing) falls on good ground (ears), it is nourished and tended (Scripture and Scriptural teaching), and it continues to grow, hence the expression – growing in faith. (2 Thess. 1:3) One must cultivate and tend their faith or it will wither and die. When one is convinced by the Word of God, credence (confidence) is increased and reliance upon Christ becomes a moral conviction. The confidence of Jesus (Faith of Jesus) was to hang on the cross for the forgiveness of sin and be the Firstfruit of our salvation. (Rev. 12:17. 14:12. 22:14)
God gave his only begotten son, so that whoever believes in him may not
perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) Salvation is by God’s grace. That
is the gift! Faith is the belief and trust in that gift! There is a lot of philosophy out there that loves to mingle. (Col. 2:8, 2 Cor. 11:14-15) How can
faith in something be a gift when that something to believe in is the gift?
Isn’t that like having your cake and eating too? That’s not philosophy or
theology. It’s common sense – wisdom 101.
Paul and company was comforted by the Thessalonians’ faith concerning their affliction and distress, yet they were praying night and day for the
opportunity to see them and maybe perfect what was lacking in theirs. (1 Thess. 3:7-10) Faith is not only something we have towards God, it is also something we can have towards one another.
Can gifts be given by grace according to one’s proportion of faith? (Romans
12:3-18) Before jumping he gun on “dealt (G3207)” let’s see the definition.
G3207 – μερίζωto – part, i.e. (literally) to apportion, bestow, share, or (figuratively) to disunite, differ Derivation: from G3313; – KJV Usage: deal, be difference between, distribute, divide, give participle
>G3313 – μέροςa – division or share (literally or figuratively, in a wide application) Derivation: from an obsolete but more primary form of μείρομαι (to get as a section or allotment); KJV Usage: behalf, course, coast, craft, particular (+ -ly), part (+ -ly), piece, portion, respect, side, some sort(-what).
According to the definition of the term Paul used, faith is nourished and the degree of nourishment is according to the gifts God gives. (verse 6) If one overwaters a seedling; it drowns. God is not only all loving with mercies, he is all knowing and all wise. [God knows how to tend HIS garden, and will soon will send HIS SON with a two edged hoe to do some weeding!]
The only thing that I can find in Scripture that The Lord actually gave faith to from the foundation of the earth is a mustard seed. (Genesis 1:11-13, Matt. 17:20, Mark 11:23, Gal. 3:16)
Have a restful Sabbath.
Did you receive my reply on your most recent comment on godpredestines.com regarding “Is faith a gift? I don’t screen comments. It is frustrating when I post things off the top of my thoughts and I didn’t keep notes of the progressive thought and scriptures. So, please let me know if you received it; so I don’t have to do the same reply from memory all over again which I can do; but, it gets annoying when they just fall into the black hole.
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I know what you mean. Have only had internet for one year and wordpress since April 2021. Still learning. Nothing on my notifications, but did manage to go back to the article and review the discussion. There were several back and forth comments and replies on your page, but they don’t show up on mine. Only comments and replies to things I post. Guess that is the way it works. I do see the gift issue differently and probally the works issue as well. Discussion is healthy and I still get notifications when you post articles. Hope you don’t find my view overly offensive. I did reference your aricle on the gift issue. I do still stand on my understanding of the “faith as a gift alone” topic. LOLGB+
No, I’m not offended at all. I’m always re -reading my posts attempting to make sure I adhere to scripture. Free Will versus Unconditional election has plagued the atmosphere for ages In my opinion, the serpent was offering the delusion of free Will in the Garden of Eden and the delusion was delivered and became inherent in natural man’s thinking. I try very hard to be systematically scriptural. I will reply, once again, in hopes of passing on my scriptural understanding in a systematic fashion. Hopefully, this one registers. I think you are describing the characteristics of faith and the need for works.
I’m describing faith as a fruit generated once God sovereignly delivers the spirit to whom He unconditionally chooses to have mercy.
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Think I may have mentioned it before about being in the same boat but with different paddles. Various topics go together to form understanding of the whole mystery. Likes pieces of a big puzzle, it not only is the color of the piece that needs to match; it’s also the cut of the piece. It sounds we may even be on the same page in the need for works being characteristic of faith. That is a fruit which people can see and recognize in others faith. I totally agree with your last sentence. (John 6:44)
I think we disagree on how one obtains faith. Your view Is- it is something we can learn and generate on our own being a natural man or my view that God has to give the spirit unconditionally to whom he chooses to show mercy without any effort from the people He represented on the cross who are those given by God the Father to Jesus who are part of God’s promise to save His people.
Faith in the Gospel of Christ and works are the fruit of God Sovereignly giving the spirit to whom he chooses to have mercy and not by the will of man
Faith being believing in a thing is something that one chooses to do. Once one chooses to believe the Gospel, then the Spirit does help in its growth. One can lose their faith if the spirit is rejected. The English definition of faith is: (1) Belief without evidence. (2) Confidence in or dependence on a person, statement, or thing as trustworthy. (3) Belief in God or the testomony of God as revealed in scripture. (4) A doctrine or system of doctrines, propositions, etc., held to be true: the Christian faith. (5) Anything given adherence or credence: a man’s political faith. (6) Allegiance or loyal adherence to something; faihfulness: to pledge faith in a venture… Funk and Wagnall’s English Standard Dictionary, International edition – 1975
Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe into Him whom that One sent.
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I think, I need to clarify one point without generation from above John 3:3-8 at the Sovereign Will of God, The natural man, any descendant of Adam that he represented, will not believe the truth no matter how much evidence or reasoning you provide. He thinks spiritual things are foolishness including the effectual and efficacious cross of Christ; meaning God chooses to mercy some natural men and harden others not based on the will of man; but only by His mercy. These persons shown mercy alone are given the spirit and are the only ones that believe the truth of the Gospel of God that Salvation is all His doing conditioned on the work of Christ alone without any contribution or effort from those he died for.