[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Does Anybody Agree with this Quotation? V

by Rose~

I think so far the series that Matthew and Antonio have been doing ... "Does anybody agree with this quotation?" ... has consisted mostly of quotes that the two of them have found not favorable ... in other words ... their answer to their own questions would be a resounding "NO!"

I saw this quote today, (in a very unlikely place), and I so agreed with it that I wanted to post it here.

"The Bible clearly teaches that God’s love for His people is of such magnitude that even those who walk away from the faith have not the slightest chance of slipping from His hand."
-Charles Stanley

If you have been born again, my friend, you have no more chance of eternal death ... than God does of being unfaithful. It won't happen. This should bring us joy, not trouble!

The quote is from a larger article.

37 Comments:

  • I agree.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, August 18, 2006 9:08:00 AM  

  • I agree.
    Not my way of stating it though.
    The idea of "walking away from the faith" is inconsistent with the true definition of faith.
    The "slipping from His hand" phrase is an inherent meme in Southern Baptist conversation based on John 10:29 taught in all Sunday Schools in support of their eternal security teaching.
    (SBC myself)

    By Blogger Malchymist, at Friday, August 18, 2006 11:11:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    excellent quote.

    It really shows that grace is absolutely contingent on God and not a wit on man. If grace couldn't be abused, what good is it? Could it rightly be termed grace? I don't think so. We have a word for such a thing: "merit".

    Hey Malchymist.

    question:

    1) What is the "true definition of faith"?

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, August 18, 2006 1:17:00 PM  

  • This "anybody" agrees with it 100%

    Hi Rose! Have a great weekend!

    By Blogger Kris, at Friday, August 18, 2006 1:44:00 PM  

  • ahh Antonio,
    a test!

    from the Chafer Theological Seminary site glossary

    "Faith – Faith means confidence, trust, to hold something as true."

    May I say this is a "generic" meaning for faith, and we know this is not sufficient to be be "saving" faith without the qualifier "in Jesus Christ.

    and again from CTS,
    Faith in Jesus Christ –. . .By believing or having faith in this Truth regarding Jesus Christ, mankind is redeemed and saved from damnation. In the future, he will also be resurrected and have eternal life. . .

    You may walk away from a religion, or the following of a set of beliefs. You may not "walk away" from the "faith in Christ" which was the work wrought by God to bring about your salvation. This is not a thing which comes and goes or which you walk toward or away from.
    You may walk to greater or lesser degrees within that faith, or because of that faith, but this is not related to your salvation.

    per Antonio's post "Brief Free Grace Doctrine Summary" (excerpted) (faithfully, I hope)
    2) At the moment of faith the believer is regenerated: . . .
    7) . . . Faith is not commitment, surrender; does not include works of obedience, nor is faith an act of the will!


    In this context, one cannot "walk away from (saving) faith" any more than they can "walk away from being human."

    (I used these links because Antonio has slapped my hands before for lazily asking questions which he has already answered. In all of these references I have my own doctrine which, since it is the same as that which I understand to be related above, I see no need to expand upon.)

    But to answer the question:
    "Saving faith, then, is the conviction (being convinced) that Jesus guarantees you eternal life by faith alone in Him!"
    (as stated in section 7. noted above.)

    I know Antonio likes these posts to be a place for discussion not merely dogmatic recitation (or obsequious fawning).
    Is my statement reflective of your intent, and secondly also that of FG?

    I would then have a question for you.
    Is the faith we have the faith "OF" Christ?
    My own study has convinced of that being the case. What say you?

    By Blogger Malchymist, at Friday, August 18, 2006 3:46:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Saturday, August 19, 2006 7:29:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    "To say that our salvation can be taken from us for any reason, whether it be sin or disbelief, is to ignore the plain meaning of this text."

    There just has to be a scriptural accuracy problem, at least presently in my mind, with concluding that your salvation cannot be taken from you for 'disbelief'. I cannot think of any way that belief can change to unbelief (unless of course you unquestioningly watch the History Channel) but only where it was simply not yet belief, such as in one example for instance like the parable of the sower, the Word was snatched away before it really took hold.

    I don't see anywhere in scripture that clarifies how this peculiar notion of 'belief turning to unbelief' and truly what the outcome would be. I mean scripturally and unambiguously. There is no problem seeing in scripture that sin will not invalidate your eternal assuance, but what's tis quirky notion about belief turning to unbelief. I too have heard the stories of seeming believers turning to unbelief but have to suspect that it was the beginnings of befief that did not fially take hold.

    I don't like Stanley's illustartion of faith using the women/fire/net. There is no faith being exercised there. The woman looks at the net and the firemen and then looks at the fire and makes a simple pragmatic evaluation of the situation and decides whether the chances of perishing are greater whether she burns or whether she doesn't weather the fall on the net. She knows the net and the firemen may save her or she's too heavy, not a good enough aim or something and they will not save her, so she has to trust in 'come what may' and jump. Or burn. Simple practical decision. She could have faith that God's Will be done, and find tremendous comfort, but that's not a part of the illustration.

    So I'm not ready to embrace that belief can turn to unbelief, and then by doing so, not nullify things pertainng to belief and set in motion those consequences pertaining to unbelief.

    So I'd like to be the first to disagree with the quote of Mr. Stanley and say that, I see where he's coming from, but don't think he's done an adequate job of proving that the Bible clearly teaches that. I need to see more clearer scriptural evidence than Mr. Stanley has given.

    Of course, he doesn't say in his quote that one cannot lose their salvation through unbelief, but does say it further on in the same article. The actual quote in your post does not state that, it just poses someone in the position of walking away from the faith and not having the slightest chance of slipping from His hand. So, I didn't disagree with the quote until I read on further into the article.

    I think Mr. Stanley's (Dr.?) coupling of unbelief and salvation has got some scriptural accuracy problems.

    Thanks for causing me to think Rose.

    Heartily, Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at Monday, August 21, 2006 2:11:00 PM  

  • Rose,
    There's something else that he has wrong in his article.

    He goes on at length about how salvation is a 'gift' based on Eph. 2:8-9. But salvation is not a gift. 'Salvation through faith' is a gift. No 'faith', no 'salvation'. This whole article of his really turns me off from his teaching on scripture.

    Bear with me, Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at Monday, August 21, 2006 3:24:00 PM  

  • Oooh - I wan't getting all the email notifications of these comments until today and I sorta forgot about it. I am glad there are so many agreeable people.

    Malchymist - the faith "OF" Christ - do you mean did the faith originate with Christ - as in, the faith is a gift - is that what you are getting at?

    Todd,
    How interesting for you to not agree - that doesn't happen very often. Thanks! That makes it more challenging when it comes from someone who normally thinks along the same lines as oneself.
    I don't know if there is a Scriptural example of a believer developing Alzheimers, but I have real live examples of believers with this disease who say they are not believeing anymore. I, like you, cannot really imagine this happening for myself, but I don't trust my own mind, emotions, or spirit so much that I will deny it is a possibilty for me to "lose my faith" or at least to have a consciousness of what seems to be a loss of faith. But alas - here is the point of the quote to me - I TRUST CHRIST!! I have His life and no matter what, He has a hold on me since I became His child by grace through faith - there is no falling out of His hand.

    As for Scriptural references to such a thing, I always think of this verse:

    if we are faithless,
    he will remain faithful,
    for he cannot disown himself. (2 Tim. 2:13)

    As for a named example, I will think about that and look into it some more. Thank YOU for challenging and making me continue to think ...

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, August 21, 2006 6:49:00 PM  

  • Rose,
    Isn't it reassuring that, just as God watches over the small developing children and takes spiritual responsibility for them until the time at which they are able to, then so too it would seem to follow that as an aged person returns to the condition of a small child, which some do, in a manner of speaking that is, that just as He's told us, he would continue to keep them sealed by His Spirit as His adopted son or daughter? That's a great pledge from a loving Father which He has sent His Son to tell us of. Eternal assurance to those who believe, even under the most unusual of circumstances, has been His message, even the circumstances that we worry ourselves over.

    With you in praise, Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at Monday, August 21, 2006 8:38:00 PM  

  • Todd said...

    There's something else that he has wrong in his article.

    He goes on at length about how salvation is a 'gift' based on Eph. 2:8-9. But salvation is not a gift. 'Salvation through faith' is a gift. No 'faith', no 'salvation'. This whole article of his really turns me off from his teaching on scripture.


    I must say this startled me. I was always taught and always said "Salvation is a gift."

    Maybe all those "Roman road" and "4 Spiritual Laws" repetitions had given me a false impression.

    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


    But applying a strict interpretation would mean it is "eternal life" that is the gift, not "salvation."

    In all this would we have to say which part of salvation is the gift? Faith, regeneration, justification, eternal life? Are the individual part "gifts" while the whole is not?

    And really, "salvation by faith" is a gift but "salvation" is not?

    Is the following not a true syllogism:
    Salvation by faith is a gift.
    There is only one salvation.
    Therefore Salvation is a gift.

    simply,
    Malchymist

    By Blogger Malchymist, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 9:47:00 AM  

  • Rose said.
    Malchymist - the faith "OF" Christ - do you mean did the faith originate with Christ - as in, the faith is a gift - is that what you are getting at?


    Rose,

    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.

    While I originally came across this concept in Romans 3:22, I think this verse is more demanding of a look.

    What I mean by "faith OF Christ" is that instead of the often translated use of "faith IN Christ" for verses such as Romans 3:22, the Greek is clearly genitive, that is, possessive. It is "Christ's faith."

    Believing that caused a very large change in my whole understanding of what faith is, and our part of it or in it.

    By Blogger Malchymist, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 10:15:00 AM  

  • This is a good quote. I agree with it.

    By Blogger Gordon Cloud, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 10:44:00 AM  

  • Yes, Todd, absolutely!

    Malchymist,
    Believing that caused a very large change in my whole understanding of what faith is, and our part of it or in it.
    Please, please, share it with me!

    Hi Gordon,
    Thanks for your comment. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 12:58:00 PM  

  • Todd,

    Can you provide a scriptural argument that supports the notion that once someone has believed in Christ for eteranal life that he will continue resting his hope in "the faith"?

    I find in the bible regenerate people's faith "shipwrecked" (1 Tim 1:18-20).

    I find Christians going "astray from the truth" (2 Tim 2:17-19), "astray from the faith" (1 Tim 6:20-21), and "wander[ing] from the truth" (James 5:19).

    I find God's "righteous one" who has the possibility of "shrink[ing] back"" (Heb 10:38-39)

    There are those in Galatians who lose their faith in Christ for grace and rely upon the flesh and law, who severed themself from Christ (Gal 5:2), fallen from grace (Gal 5:4), and were liable to judgment (Gal 5:10).

    The Spirit "explicitely says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim 4:13). You cannot fall away from something that you were not once in.

    I see Christian's denying the faith and therefore are "worse than an unbeliever" (1 Tim 5:8).

    I see Christian widows who "turned aside to follow Satan" (1 Tim 5:14-15).

    I see Demas (2 Tim 4:10), Phygelus and Hermogenes (2 Tim 1:15), and a number of unnamed people (2 Tim 4:16) abandoning Paul for wordly ambitions.

    Finally we have Christians who are "in opposition" who are in a "snare of the devil" and are held "captive by him to do his will" (2 Tim 2:24-26).

    I think that your position has a "scriptural accuracy problem" and is less realistic than the Bible.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 3:41:00 PM  

  • Malchymist,

    Grace is a gift, freely available to all, believers and unbelievers alike. Salvation is not, unless it is 'through Jesus Christ our Lord' as the verse says. In my mind, faith must accompany salvation under all circumstances to enable it to be recieved as a gift.

    I'm convinced tat your following syllogism:

    "Is the following not a true syllogism:
    Salvation by faith is a gift.
    There is only one salvation.
    Therefore Salvation is a gift."

    ...is wrong. It can only read..."Therefore salvation by faith is a gift" and remain scripturally accurate, possibly even scientifically accurate.

    Saying salvation, by itself, is a gift, is incomplete and potentially misleading. At best it is dangerously dumbed down to say that. That is my opinion, I'm not intending to overstate it. Please consider my reasoning.

    The gift is 'salvation through faith', in the passages I have read on salvation in the context of a gift.
    Thanks, Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 7:24:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    You cannot be sure that any of the people in those examples you've cited who've reverted from belief to unbelief retained their salvation upon unbelief.

    Thanks, Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 7:39:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    "Can you provide a scriptural argument that supports the notion that once someone has believed in Christ for eteranal life that he will continue resting his hope in "the faith"?"

    I'm working on it and not getting very far yet. However, generally speaking, I can explain those people (that is those people who turn from the faith), partially, as having fallen away after 'having the word snatched away from them', through worldly/fleshly/satanic influence before it was able to take hold in their soul and lead them to faith that results in salvation.

    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 7:59:00 PM  

  • So you are saying that they lost their salvation?

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 8:50:00 PM  

  • Todd,

    salvation is a gift period.

    We don't say that your birthday present by taking it is a gift. We say that the birthday present is a gift.

    Believing is receiving. It is merely a passive instrument which appropriates the gift.

    Too, Satan cannot snatch the seed out of the hearts of those who have believed. He snatches them out SO THEY WILL NOT BELIEVE AND BE SAVED.

    Luke 8:12
    2 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
    NKJV

    When they believe, at that very moment, they are saved.

    When they are saved, they are justified, put into the body of Christ, given eternal life, sealed by the Spirit, held in Jesus' hand, and guaranteed resurrection by the promise of Christ Himself.

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 8:56:00 PM  

  • I said previously
    "Believing that caused a very large change in my whole understanding of what faith is, and our part of it or in it."
    Rose asked
    Please, please, share it with me!


    The key verse of Romans is 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
    There are two essential concepts here, the righteousness of God, and faith.

    Romans 3:
    20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
    21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
    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:
    23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

    There is no righteousness other than that of God. Our salvation, our current position in (imputed) righteousness is by Christ's faith.

    Concerning FAITH :
    Matthew 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

    Is He really here encouraging them? I have always been at a loss for any practical meaning out of this massive hyperbole.

    Concerning RIGHTEOUSNESS
    Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    Is He encouraging or condemning?
    The premise of Lordship Salvation is that the Sermon on the Mount is the Gospel, the teaching to the church of "how its supposed to be."

    How many sermons, Bible studies, etc have you seen titled: "Faith Builders."
    Build what? Faith in Christ? or faith in moving mountains? faith in getting prayers answered? Living by faith?
    Will they help us build up to as much as a mustard seed (renowned for its being so tiny)? Half a mustard seed?
    Anywhere close to moving mountains?
    I believe the truth is about setting an example so extreme as to show you the futility of even attempting it. The same type of example as the standard set in the Law, or in the requirements for the sacrificial system. There is none righteous. There is no one who can even make the first step toward completion of these attributes of God.
    The goal is not in encouraging one to accomplish these. Rather, the goal is to utterly dis-courage any futile attempt at such by one's own effort.
    to close,
    There is a huge mind shift engaged when changing your view of Rom. 3:22 from "righteousness which is by (my) faith in Christ" (how I used to read it) to the literal translation "righteousness of God by Christ's faith."

    By Blogger Malchymist, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 9:20:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    "Can you provide a scriptural argument that supports the notion that once someone has believed in Christ for eteranal life that he will continue resting his hope in "the faith"?

    I'm not interested in someone who has not continued to rest his hope in the "faith". I'm interested in someone who has gone from belief to unbelief. Not people who have lost or damaged their faculties to think effectively, and who no longer believe, because God will take care of them. I'm talking about people who have changed from belief to unbelief. People who after considering the facts and believing, have now considered those facts to be false and no longer believe them. For whatever reason. Have they cut themselves of from the Body of Christ? Scripture both suggests that it is possible and that it is not. Is there really a scriptural accuracy problem with that thinking, as you allege? Or can we really know? In which case you would be the one with the scriptural accuaracy problem instead of what you allege towards me.

    So, can someone turn from, not your vague little idea of 'the faith', but rather from belief to unbelief, and still be assured a place in the Body of Christ(and thus eternal life)?

    You've shown very well how people can turn from pursuit of the truth(the faith), had problems coming to the faith they needed, reaching the faith they needed, understanding the faith they needed, had a difficult time walking in the faith as they were told, had a difficult time knowing who or what to believe, but where is the example or simply the principle in scripture of someone actually obtaining salvation through Christ, then rejecting it fully in unbelief, and then either retaining or cutting himself off from the Body of Christ and thus salvation and eternal assurance? This is the example that I need and fail to be able to think of. And so do you, yet you seem to think people can go from belief to unbelief and still be saved. And I am not sure that is a principle that I want to claim rests in the Bible.

    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 9:30:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    You ramble.

    We see in the Bible how unbelief leads to destruction. Where is the principle in the Bible which teaches us the belief which is replaced by unbelief leads to anything else but destruction?

    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 9:39:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    "Believing is receiving. It is merely a passive instrument which appropriates the gift."

    A passive instrument cannot do or appropriate anything. In appropriating it would have to be active. To me that is a questionable play on words. The Bible teaches just as well that believing is accepting which is active.

    The bible does not teach that salvation is a gift without mentioning that it is through faith. Plain and simple. It is not taught or was it intended to be regarded as just a gift. It is a gift through faith, or so it says.

    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 9:50:00 PM  

  • 2 Tim 2:11-13
    11 It is a trustworthy statement:

    For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him;
    12 If we endure, we shall also reign with Him;
    If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
    13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.
    NAS

    Jesus has promised the one who once drinks of the water that he shall give that the man will never thirst again. Jesus says that we will never hunger again. Will not come into condemnation. No one will be able to pluck us out of his hands. We will not perish. We will be resurrected. We will never die unto eternity.

    When we are faithless, God is faithful to His promises whereby He guaranteed eternal life and resurrection to the one who once appropriated his free gift by faith.

    Faith is the instrument by which we recieve eternal life like our hands could be the passive instrument that receives a needed sustenance.

    Receiving is a passive act.

    Listen.

    Eternal life is a definitive result! It takes but a moment of simple faith to appropriate once and for all eternal life.

    the one who believed "has eternal life" and "will not come into condemnation" because he has already "passed from death unto life".

    Definitive!
    John 4:13-14
    Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. "

    But a drink results in a definite appropriation of eternal life. The one who merely takes a drink of the water will never thirst again.

    Why?

    That one drink becomes a perpetual fountain.

    I don't know what you are having a problem with.

    Eternal life is an absolutely free gift. It is the gift of God.

    Jesus promises eternal life and resurrection to the one who merely receives it by faith alone in Him.

    This result is guaranteed, regardless of what the future holds.

    Rom 8:33-39
    33 Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,

    "For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long;
    We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

    37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    NAS

    Faith in Christ brings a guaranteed eternal and definitive result. There are no strings attached which you seem to be adding.

    If there is some contingency, like the faith must endure to the end, then you have then conditioned eternal life on a perseverance of faith.

    A single exercise of immediate and punctilliar faith is the hand that receives the guaranteed gift of eternal life and eternal security.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 10:30:00 PM  

  • And what is this? Are you making faith a payment for the gift? It would fail to be a gift anymore.

    Faith is merely an instrument like our hands which receives (passive) a gift.

    Eternal life is the gift, faith is the sole instrument of reception.

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 10:32:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    One more thing regarding 'salvation' as a gift.

    The gospel refers to many things as a gift in a general way none of which are a gift(except grace) apart of the appropriation through faith.

    If you are going to use your word 'appropriation' in the correct way then it means 'a taking', which is active.

    Now listen to Mr. Stanley as he contradicts himself (and you):

    "What we do with the gift is another matter entirely. The fact that I don't take advantage of a gift says nothing about who it belongs to. It still belongs to me. You can take a gift and bury it in the back yard, but it is still yours. Once you accept a gift, you are stuck with it, like it or not!"

    He says "once you accept a gift...". He's saying you have to accept the gift. And if you don't accept the gift then you are not stuck with it.

    Try and explain to an unbeliever that salvation is a free gift that he doesn't have to, but had better, take. Well it makes no sense.

    IMO, you Antonio, and others, have to take away the 'through faith' from the 'salvation as gift' passages, or else render faith passive, in order to prove your doctrine of eternal assurance. You're not happy with a doctrine of assurance for the believer but must include the unbeliever and/or people who don't know what to believe, and those who appear to you to have believed what is necessary in Christ but who really did not. You're entitled to do that, but call it what it is, which is an personal interpretation that not all others will find scripture enough to embrace. And live with that without using childish little snits like the one you used at the end of your first remark to my comment.

    I reject your assertion of salvation for an unbeliever. You've made your case for eternal assurance for the believer, even if he sleeps, forgets, has doubts, etc., but not for the one who reverts to another god or even his own mind. The nice comprehensive list of examples you cited don't all illustrate going from belief to unbelief and the ones that seem to do not tell us the fate of those who may have.

    Thanks for trying. Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at Wednesday, August 23, 2006 8:40:00 AM  

  • Malchymist,
    Sometimes I am a bit dense. Are you saying that you believe these Scriptures teach that faith is a gift?

    I really think some of your thoughts are very interesting. I had never thought about what you say about Matthew 17:20. I have also been at a loss about that passage.

    I liked this statement:
    Rather, the goal is to utterly dis-courage any futile attempt at such by one's own effort.

    I just don't get what you are trying to say about the "faith of Christ". I am interested, though.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, August 23, 2006 9:43:00 AM  

  • Todd,
    I must say, I am a bit lost after reading your conversation with Antonio. I am not sure what your position is. Are you just doubting the possibility that one can believe, be born again and then later, for whatever circumstances, doubt that He is the Christ and cease to believe Christianity? Is that it? You just don't think that is a possibilty ... or is it that you believe the faith must persist in order to keep the born-again life? Am I getting it?

    As to your thoughts about Ephesians 2:8-9, I have heard from some before that the whole kit and kaboodle of that verse if a gift. The faith is a gift, the grace is a gift and the salvation is a gift. The parts are a gift and the whole of it is a gift. I don't see it that way.
    Here is an illustration I drew to show how, after study, I have come to see that verse.

    I see it that the salvation by faith is a gift. To me all I think that means is that salvation is a gift that is receieved by faith, contrasted to working for salvation. I think that the salvation is settled the moment you have faith, you receive eternal life and nothing can change that ... ever! It is a "moment of faith" - yes, an event ... that is followed by justification, sanctification and glorification. He who is justified ...
    (a judicial proclamation that takes place AT THE MOMENT OF FAITH)

    ... is sanctified (set apart) for glorification.

    Nothing can stop this process. Not even a change of "belief," however unlikely that seeems to you and me to occur.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, August 23, 2006 10:00:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    We all doubt, I'm told, from time to time, that is not disbelief/unbelief. I stated that in my last comment. You're comment above may have come before you saw that.

    I'm saying anyone in the state of unbelief will be treated as such before God, for the reasons I mapped out in my comments.

    I simply don't think we can be sure of what happens when someone is in the state of unbelief, not doubt or anthing else but unbelief. And if people are going to throw ideas around like that then they better be ready to prove them or others may regard them as lacking full scriptural support.

    There is nothing heretical about people that I've found fault with having those beliefs "unto the Lord" but this is a public forum where we talk about it. I'm here to learn and part of that process is questioning others interpretations.

    Well, I'm in a big hurry now so I'm gone for the day. And thanks again for the forum because this has helped me figure things out. See you.

    By Blogger Todd, at Wednesday, August 23, 2006 10:53:00 AM  

  • Rose,
    I think it hardly fair to call yourself "dense." Especially in light of the dialogue illustrated on this post.
    I am, rather, confronted with my own deficiency in dealing with the "blog" format. I find it difficult to coordinate things I was very comfortable teaching in other structured situations.

    That said: YES. I am saying that faith is a gift.
    All that I have read by you so far, and most of what Antonio and the Free Grace Theology site(s) teach are in agreement with what I know to be true about that. (I didn't say, "What I believe to be true" due to the preceding exchanges.)

    I think I can better explain what I mean about "Faith OF Christ."
    Looking again at 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: (KJV)
    Here literally, the of makes this possessive.(the genitive case) We would commonly say Christ's faith for this case. (English uses the 's for this: e.g. Rose's faith.)
    This is very different from saying faith IN Jesus Christ which would mean OUR faith in HIM.
    Yes, several translations do say "faith in Jesus Christ." And many Greek scholars simply say "faith of Jesus" is just another way of saying "faith in Jesus." But many scholars do interpret this in the manner I do, and I am not out on the edges of either theology or exegesis in pursuing this.
    I hope this is clearer for you now, and I can tell from your questions that you will gain from your study and meditations on this verse and the others.

    p.s. I am NOT ignoring, neglecting nor rejecting the verses which say "faith IN Christ."
    I think that you in FG well know the complexities of understanding and relating to others all that is contained in "faith."

    By Blogger Malchymist, at Wednesday, August 23, 2006 7:37:00 PM  

  • Antonio
    twice I've read "punctilliar" in a comment by you.

    Can you please define this?
    The only word close I can find is punctillious, which does not seem what you mean.

    By Blogger Malchymist, at Wednesday, August 23, 2006 7:46:00 PM  

  • The fundamental significance of the aorist is to denote action simply as occurring, without reference to its progress.... It presents the action or event as a ‘point,’ and hence is called ‘punctilliar’” (H. E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Macmillan, 1969 [1927]), p. 193.

    It is aspect. Linear aspect could be illustrated as:

    <-------------->

    Punctilliar aspect is illustrated as:



    It is the simple, immediate, and point of faith that brings eternal life.

    It is the one time receiving of eternal life like the point in time that a man receives needful sustenance as a free gift into his hands.

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, August 23, 2006 8:34:00 PM  

  • Antonio
    thank you very much.
    Helpful Greek lesson.
    Although I don't think I will be assimilating that word into my regular usage!

    By Blogger Malchymist, at Wednesday, August 23, 2006 8:58:00 PM  

  • Hi Malchymist,
    That is a really a hot button issue for me. I think of faith as a very simple thing - believing that what someone says is true. I did a whole series on
    What is Faith - is Faith a Gift?
    Back here in my archives it can be seen. The third post is at the top of that archive - if you wanted to see where it started, you would have to scroll down to part one and then I think part 4 and maybe there was even a part 5 are in the following month.

    I had it up to here with arguing about it - it was so tedious! I wonder if you view the gifting of faith in the same way that all the Calvinists who took me to task viewed it. Either way, I like you .. I don't fnd you tedious at all - you seem to be quite a gentleman. Thanks for that.

    If you want to comment on my posts about faith/gift, feel free. I have gotten over that particular fatigue. You could even coment here if you want to make it a fresh conversation. God bless.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, August 25, 2006 7:45:00 AM  

  • Rose,
    Now I am really confused!
    At first my question was "What is thehot button issue?"
    Then I read the links and posts. NOW. I know what was being said,i.e. the positions,
    BUT I am not clear what YOU believe on this.
    I had assumed earlier from your questions that you DID believe faith is a gift.
    I think now that you do not consider faith to be a gift. (?)
    In all honesty I simply want to know your stance and maybe a simple statement of supporting it. In light of the links to your site and some recent (non)discussions on related posts more recently
    I don't really want to protract that here... again.
    . . .
    I would like to compliment you after reading several of your posts of your seeking and working out questions with your husband and
    pastor, especially the part where you worked every night at length with your husband to resolve a difficult issue.
    Many people seem shocked when they ask me doctrinal questions and I first ask, "What does your pastor say about this?"

    To close,
    I will read your response and I will also be going back to review the entire structure of my beliefs in this important point of doctrine.

    By Blogger Malchymist, at Friday, August 25, 2006 7:29:00 PM  

  • Malchymist - hello!
    Thanks for looking at my blog.
    I am sorry if I was unclear in my communication. I was trying to be sure of what you were saying, whether or not you meant to say "faith is a gift." Then, when I said hot button issue, I meant that the idea that "faith is a gift" was that issue.

    I don't think faith is a gift in the sense that some do. In one sense, it is a gift ... as the breath of life is a gift ... the ability to walk is a gift ... the ability to think is a gift. However, when I have heard the idea purported it is always coupled with the idea that God chooses who will believe - that the gospel message isn't really an open invitation. IOW, it is hand in hand with the idea of "Total Inability" - that people are unable to believe the gospel and God must give the gift of faith to His chosen. I don't get this sense from my reading of the Bible. I see that people are unwilling to believe, not unable.

    Does that make any sense and does that make it any clearer where I am coming from?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Saturday, August 26, 2006 7:00:00 AM  

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