Sunday, December 13, 2009

Where Does Faith Come From?

Just something quick and dirty here. It's no secret that I completely, flat-out, without reservation or qualification reject "Regeneration (being born-again) prior to Salvation" which is a modern Calvinistic idea that is required to explain some of their other claims about the Gospel.
Eph 2:1-10
1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
So one of the things that might be considered part of "Regeneration prior to Salvation" is that "saving faith" is a gift from God. Some see this as part of regeneration.. some who reject regeneration prior to salvation still hold that faith is a gift from God however... the ideas mix well but one is not dependant on the other.

So where does faith come from? Does the Bible tell us?
Romans 10:14-17
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

“ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
See faith comes from hearing the Word of God preached. All the many complex arguments fall deaf, dumb and still to the floor when compared with the plain reading of God's inspired Word.


Luke said...

What if one desires to hear the gospel, but cannot find a preacher? I find myself in this position. I want to have good Bible preaching, but I am stuck in the middle of nowhere.. there is a brethren assembly, but they don't preach there.

Kevl said...

Hi Luke,

There are preachers throughout the Bible you can surely read it and hear them first-hand. :)

I will be praying for you!!!

The Brethren assembly doesn't preach??? That's pretty strange. The Brethren are all about having orderly men preach as they are led to do so. They may or may not have an official Pastor there, but I can't imagine them not preaching.

Have you been to a few of their services?


Luke said...

Well, I probably shouldn't have jumped the gun - they do preach, but the congregation I go to are so elderly, that they don't get into much detail, although they are very encouraging. It is encouraging to hear an elderly man talk about the trials of his life and the fact that he still struggles with overcoming sin and thoughts and doubts etc.

So there is a lot of encouragement and reflection, but not much rebuke (which I sometimes need) - I think my wife and I are the only people younger than 30 and everyone else is pushing 80.

But, it's either the brethren assembly, or the Mega McChurch down the road.

bobfromchicago said...

Wesleyan Arminians believe that God prepares the heart of a gospel recipient through His "prevenient grace." This is a much more biblically defensible doctring than the notion of regeneration preceding faith. In addition, another one of the false teachings of Calvinism (maybe hypercalvinism), is that faith is a gift. The claim is that faith is the gift referred to in Eph 2:8. The Greek grammar is fairly clear, though. Salvation is the gift, not faith. As you say, Faith is the result of hearing the word: a non-meritorious, non-work that can result in salvation.

Great post. God Bless!

Lou Martuneac said...

Bob From Chicago:

You will appreciate these articles by George Zeller.

The Danger of Teaching Regeneration Precedes Faith

The Danger pf Teaching that Faith is the Gift of God

Lou (from Chicago)

Kevl said...

Hey Lou & Bob,

There's lots of discussion about this. My abilities with Greek aren't precise enough to determine what the actual "gift" actually is, however I am able to eliminate faith by itself as the gift because of gender issues in the sentence.

Through my discussions, and study including the works of Zeller, it seems that the gift is the whole thing of "Salvaty by Grace through Faith" as a unit.