[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)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Does Anybody Agree with this Quotation? VIII

by Rose~ let me try this again...

Faith is not believing that God can, it is knowing that He will.

- From a missionary that our church supports. (I don't know who originally wrote it)

I thought about how this relates to saving faith, although that is probably not what it was originally written about.

29 Comments:

  • Yes.

    The biblical definition of faith is "certainty."

    By Anonymous Bud, at Wednesday, October 11, 2006 10:59:00 AM  

  • Or rather that Jesus does.

    The content of saving faith is believing that Jesus provides eternal life to those who believe.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, October 11, 2006 12:02:00 PM  

  • Not really trying to be argumentative, but wouldn't Satan and the demons possess this kind of faith as well?

    I am sure they know that God will win in the end, unless you think them to be so blinded.

    Lets take Matthew's idea presented. The demons surely know that Jesus provides eternal life to those that belief. If that is the content of saving faith, wouldn't they be saved? If faith is knowing or believing that Jesus provides eternal life to those that believe, and they believe this, would they be saved?

    I guess this is just an opportunity to raise questions I have always had. People always define 'faith' or 'believing' in such strange ways that make it so that the demons and Satan would have faith. They always say, 'faith is believing that God is real'. Well duh! Satan knows that. Or, 'faith is believing that Jesus is God'. Yes, Satan was assured of that when Jesus died.

    This is why I hesitate to limit faith or believing to the realms of the mental. I do not think there is much difference in the mental assention that I have, and demons have. We both know Jesus is God. We both know God is supreme. We both know in the end God will be victorious.

    The difference though I think lies in our affections. I am to love God above all. Satan doesnt' do this. I am to trust God above all. Satan leans upon Himself.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, October 11, 2006 8:14:00 PM  

  • In the sense of believing the same facts, yes, I suppose they probably do (probably- because the Bible only says that they believe in God) have that kind of faith.

    However, the difference is that the offer of eternal life is not addressed to them, so their faith has no saving efficacy.

    I think it is unscriptural to insist on an element of affection in saving faith, though regeneration that follows saving faith should result in changed affections.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, October 12, 2006 12:33:00 AM  

  • Hi Sofyst,
    Believing something for yourself, something that applies to your life, is different than believing something distant to your own situation. That is how I sum up my problem with the incessant reference to demon faith.

    If a bird believes that my wonderful bed can give him rest, does this somehow refresh him. He can't get in my house ... let alone my bedroom ... let alone my bed.

    No, me believing that my own awesome bed is the place for me to sleep, will cause me to rest on it. That will be relevant to me. That faith in my bed will bring me to a place of rest because my bed is for me.

    Christ died and rose for men, not demons.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, October 12, 2006 8:37:00 AM  

  • So Matthew, you would say that the demons and we possess the same kind of faith, that is we believe the same facts, but their faith and our faith produces different results based upon no offer given to them?

    And not to delve too deeply into our disagreement that saving faith is either a simple mental assent or a heart felt affection for the Savior, but I do have a question I just thought of. Wouldn't your understanding have to posit two different ideas of 'faith' as taught in the Scripture?

    Wouldn't we have to say that sometimes when 'faith' is spoken of, in the idea of the first faith, the saving faith, that this faith is an acknowledgement of truth, and then regeneration would follow, and at other times when one speaks of 'faith', they are speaking of the affectionate love and trust and complete reliance and submission to the LORD.

    I mean, Paul says to examine your faith to see if it is genuine (1 Cor. 13). Why would I have to examine my mental knowledge to see if I really did think that Christ is risen (or whatever modifier you put into your idea of 'saving faith')? I mean, if I know that the sun is yellow, why would someone ask me, yes, but do you really know it is yellow? Think hard, do you really think the sun is yellow? I think Paul here is speaking about an examination of faith in a post regeneration sense. He is not asking the Corinthians to examine to see if they really do think that Christ is LORD, but is rather asking them to examine their lifestyles and their affections to see if they really do have faith, in the sense of trust and confidence and love, for the LORD.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, October 15, 2006 12:25:00 AM  

  • Rose, if a bird believes that your bed will give it rest, then no it will not be given rest. But likewise, if you simply believe that the bed will give you rest, you will not be given rest either until you actually lay down upon it. Your faith in the bed is quite pointless until you actually lay down upon it. You can 'believe' all day long that you will be given rest, and that you will be satisfied if you lay down, but you will remain tired if you do nothing.

    Perhaps that is the key to the demon faith. They believe that Jesus is LORD and Savior, and that He gives eternal life to those that believe in His name, but they refuse to act upon this. They do nothing. They do not repent or change their lives. They simply have head knowledge without anything to follow. They are no different than humans who know that Jesus will give eternal life to those that trust in Him, they believe it with all their heart and know it is true, but their stubborness and rebellious hearts do not allow them to act upon this knowledge. They refuse to trust in God, and to repent of their ways, and simply 'know' the way, without walking down it.

    Quaint analogy, it is quite beauitful. Bird's know the bed will give them rest, you know the bed will give you rest, but rest is not given until a further action is taken...namely lying upon it. ;)

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Sunday, October 15, 2006 12:29:00 AM  

  • Perhaps that is the key to the demon faith. They believe that Jesus is LORD and Savior, and that He gives eternal life to those that believe in His name, but they refuse to act upon this. They do nothing.

    Are you serious? You are not really wondering why demons can't be saved? ;~)

    Sofyst, I deliberately used that analogy because lying upon the bed is, in essence, doing nothing! It is resting from work.

    Thanks for coming!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Sunday, October 15, 2006 9:01:00 AM  

  • Do you mean 2 Cor 13:5?

    The issue their is lifestyle not the genuineness of faith.

    They were to examine whether their lifestyles were consistent with their faith.

    Being 'in the faith' is quite different from 'having faith'.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, October 15, 2006 9:35:00 AM  

  • Believing that a bed will give you rest is just that: believing.

    Actually laying down on the bed is not believing.

    Laying down on the bed is: works

    By Blogger Antonio, at Sunday, October 15, 2006 7:35:00 PM  

  • I knew you would say that, Antonio. You just had to go and ruin my analogy! Thanks a lot.

    Welcome back. ;~)

    My analogy had one purpose - to show that demons have nothing to do with the gift of eternal life - it is not for them to believe in, receive or rest in.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, October 16, 2006 5:23:00 AM  

  • The overarching fact that Jesus didn't atone for the sin of demons seems to be the elephant in the living room in the obsession with demons.

    Also, about mental assent, since this term has conotations of "disinterest" in some ways it is the opposite of a ddo term for FG. Bare faith in Christ alone is more accurate.

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Monday, October 16, 2006 7:14:00 AM  

  • Isn't it funny how faith always gets redefined in terms of "acting" by the Reformed guys?

    Beware of lordship guys with big "buts" as in "not trying to be argumentative but..."

    By Anonymous Bud, at Monday, October 16, 2006 6:06:00 PM  

  • I really wasn't trying to be argumentative. I have always wondered how the Freegracers, or those that diminish 'faith' to mere mental consent, excuse me 'bare faith', explain away the demon's possession of like faith. If faith is nothing more than acknowledgement, involving no further action, or no affection, or nothing but simply believing, the question will always stand, why are the demon's not saved?

    What manner of injustice would this be with God? He requires of humanity a simple thing and grants them incalcuable riches, but withholds from the demonic blessings when they possess the same requirement...

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Monday, October 16, 2006 11:36:00 PM  

  • HK, how do you know that Jesus did not atone for the sins of the demons? Did He not die for the world? Are they not included in the world? What? They are not? You mean to tell me that 'world' is not all inclusive? Hmm... ;)

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Monday, October 16, 2006 11:37:00 PM  

  • But Matthew, confusion must arise if we say that there is a difference between 'in faith' and 'having faith' and therefore say that one can 'have faith' and yet not be 'in faith'.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Monday, October 16, 2006 11:42:00 PM  

  • Rose, once one is laying upon a bed, they are not doing anything, but one need first act to get upon the bed. Once one is upon the bed, they are already there, resting. If one is not on the bed, they are not resting and must therefore either act to get upon the bed and begin to rest, or stay off the bed and not enjoy the rest brought upon it.

    And yes I am questioning why demons are not saved based upon the presentation of 'faith' given upon this blog. Matthew said that the content of saving faith is believing that Jesus provides eternal life to those who believe. Surely the demons believe this, know this as true. I doubt seriously that they would say that Jesus does not give eternal life to those that believe. They know He does, and they likewise know He damns those that dont' believe, including themselves. But then again we are in a circle, if believing is as simple as Matthew presented it, then the demons do in fact believe.

    Matthew even went as far to offer justification in agreeing that the demons and believers do believe the same facts. They have the same faith, or believe the same way (in the same thing). The difference though is that demons were not offered eternal life for their belief, humans were.

    This all seems dandy at first, and pallatable even. But it still leaves the demons with the exact same faith as humans.

    It is as though a man hires peopel to do a job. They all do the same job, in the exact same way, and yet one group receives money, while the other group receives food.

    I just have a hard time understanding how the faith of the demons and the faith of the Christians can be the exact same, with the only difference being the reward (or lack thereof) that God gives to those that have this faith. My understanding is that the reason the demon's haven't eternal life is not because God just didn't wanna give them such reward for having the same faith as humans, but rather because they haven't within them the same ability to believe in the LORD as the humans do. They 'believe', but belief as a simple mental consent is quite pointless and worthless in the eternal scope of it all...that is my opinion at least. Apparently, according to some, simple mental consent is the greatest thing in the world.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Monday, October 16, 2006 11:50:00 PM  

  • Antonio, if I believe that a bed will give me rest, and yet refuse to lay down upon it, I will remain tired. Simply believing it will give me rest is not going to do me any bit of good...

    What must I believe in order to be saved? If we compare it to simply believing that a bed will give me rest, what must I simply believe for eternal life to be given me?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Monday, October 16, 2006 11:52:00 PM  

  • I find it very interesting, Sofyst, that we are having this conversation here. I think it is closely related to another conversation I have been having with Matthew and a little with Antonio on my blog, yesterday's post.

    Bottom line, the gospel is not good news to those who are confirmed in their wickedness, as demons are.

    I believe that one must believe/have faith that the gospel is FOR THEM in order to appropriate the gift.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, October 17, 2006 7:57:00 AM  

  • Adam,

    I guess you're joking but yes Jesus did not die for the sins of the demons, as this passage makes clear:

    11Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

    12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.
    15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift

    So we see that the world doesn't include demons because if it did than sin would have entered the world through he sin of Lucifer. And we can see that the human race is what is being redeemed.

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Tuesday, October 17, 2006 9:54:00 AM  

  • The analogy of the bed is not a compatible comparison with the gospel offer.

    Yes, faith, belief, occurs when one trusts the bed to give one rest (IOW, believing the proposition: "lying on the bed will give one rest"). But the promise of rest does not come until one actually does a work: jumps on the bed.

    This analogy breaks down in several areas.

    1) As articulated, the rest takes a synergy between faith and works.
    2) It is conceivable that one may have faith and never do the work, and thus never have the rest
    3) It is furthermore conceivable that one may not have faith at all and jump on the bed, doing the work to get the rest

    The gospel is in a different category.

    Bare faith alone into Christ will immedietly give one rest. There is no call to do a work, no additional step.

    The promise is this:

    Jesus Christ guarantees eternal life and resurrection to the believer in Him for it.

    If I believe into Christ for that gift, I have rest the very moment of faith, apart from any additional step or work.

    The rest comes when one believes the promise, Christ says, not when one does a work of siting on a chair, walking a tight-rope, or lying on a bed.

    Believing the promise of Christ is in utter contradistinction with the activity of any work whatsoever. Faith is passive, being convinced that something is true, PASSIVE! It is taking Jesus Christ at His word.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, October 17, 2006 6:08:00 PM  

  • Antonio,

    No problem. My analogy is flawed. Analogies are really hard to get right.

    I will post this comment here that I made on my blog in response to all the hulabaloo over there:

    The Scriptures say that eternal life is a "gift". All of my analogies fall kinda short, but that is a Scriptural analogy and I think it is probably the best. If someone hands you a breifcase and tells you that all of your problems will be solved because there is one million dollars in it, this is a gift.

    If you have faith that there is a million dollars in it and that it will solve all your problems, but you don't receive it (for whatever reason, pride etc...) then it is not yours.


    Is receiving a gift a work?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, October 17, 2006 6:52:00 PM  

  • Rather than the bed, a chair and all that other stuff, I think Luther's illustration of faith is the best. He said it is like holding an empty sack. All we do is wait for God to fill it. Faith is completely passive and receptive.

    This, BTW, was the classic Calvinistic definition of faith. All this baloney about "acting on faith" or however you want to phrase it, comes from the preparationists within the ranks of Englisn and American Puritanism. Even there they were in the minority viewpoint, but were more poitically savvy than the folks who understood the gospel correctly.

    By Anonymous Bud, at Tuesday, October 17, 2006 7:33:00 PM  

  • Rose~, again, what is receiving?

    It is faith, which is simply a passive trust. Faith is not active.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, October 18, 2006 12:35:00 AM  

  • Rose, I think I actually agree with you. Very nice.

    HK, I was somewhat joking. But another question does arise because of your response to my joke. You said:

    So we see that the world doesn't include demons because if it did than sin would have entered the world through he sin of Lucifer. And we can see that the human race is what is being redeemed.

    Did Lucifer not sin?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, October 18, 2006 10:10:00 AM  

  • "Faith is not believing that God can, it is knowing that He will."

    And according to Antonio, faith is believing that Christ guarantees us eternal life and resurrection.

    Can I ask then, if faith is knowing that He will, what are we "knowing"? What is it that He will do?

    Antonio, I think you would say that it's knowing/believing He will give me eternal life.

    If that's true, then what is "eternal life"?

    Is it the life we look forward to after death? Does it only begin after we die, or do we receive eternal life at the moment of faith? And if it begins at the moment of faith, but yet I still die physically, what does that tell me about the nature of "eternal life"?

    Coming into the discussion late, I know. But from what I've read, it seems like the discussion is going in circles.

    So what is "eternal life"? If I can ask.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous ten Cent, at Wednesday, October 18, 2006 10:11:00 AM  

  • Lucifer rules the world system; he is not part of it.

    His existence is an heavenly one.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, October 18, 2006 10:44:00 AM  

  • Ten cent, one need only have faith, or know, that they have eternal life. You must believe that God gives eternal life to those that believe, you must consider yourself one of them. I quote:

    Rose, if you believe that Christ provided eternal life for those who believe and you acknowledge that you are among them, then you have saving faith. - the esteemed gentleman, Matthew

    So, you must acknowledge that you are one of the believers, and believe that Christ provides eternal life to believers, and therefore by being a believer (because of your belief), you are assured you have eternal life.

    Whether or not this 'eternal life' looks or acts or produces anything differently than the life that was there before is quite superfluous to the equation. That is none of our business, it is for God to work out or not. If He deems it so good to only give eternal life to those that believe, and then leave them alone to their own vices afterward (as apparently He has done to countless many 'believers'), we CANNOT assume that the eternal life is not there. And we needn't take the common sense approach to question why the beginner of the work that He started does not complete the work.

    Accept only that God grants eternal life to those that believe, reckon yourself one of them, and fear nothing for you cannot be taken from the hand of God.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Thursday, October 19, 2006 11:59:00 PM  

  • Nathaniel,

    Thanks for responding to my comment.

    You said: "Accept only that God grants eternal life to those that believe, reckon yourself one of them, and fear nothing for you cannot be taken from the hand of God."

    And I say a hearty, "Amen!"

    And then I ask again, what is your definition of eternal life? Or better yet, what does the Word of God say eternal life is? For what am I, or for what are you believing in Christ?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous TEn Cent, at Friday, October 20, 2006 6:34:00 AM  

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