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The Good News/The Bad News

wondering

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I feel that the whole "pride" issue is a strawman argument.
It is a distraction from the simpler issue of whether or not someone has taken the information at hand and reacted with love or with hate.
If that choice is not our own, then neither is the choice to reject it.
God doesn't force us to love or to hate Him and His message of redemption.
It is our choice...thanks be to God.
Amen to that.
:)
 

wondering

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I chose to open the gift, just as I chose to submit to God.
Life is filled with choices.
Drunk, sober.
Lie, truth.
Theft, earn.
Love, hate.
Godliness, destruction.
God doesn't make those choices for us.
We make them, with the information at hand.

Were my faith generated by an outside Source, it wouldn't be my faith, but His.
Great point.
:thumbsup
 

wondering

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As Hopeful has stated...
and rightly so....
If faith were generated by an outside source...it would be the faith of that source
and not our own.

Of course calvinists believe that everything comes from God and everything is predestined
for every man - and everything will include faith.

Jesus said we must GO TO HIM to be saved.
GO is an action.
Some refuse to believe that it's necessary to take action....
Faith is a noun, as JLB has stated...but this noun causes us to take action.
If we take no action upon receiving faith...we say that the faith is dead because
it causes nothing to happen.

This is a problem for calvinists because if we could be so dead PRIOR to election that
we cannot even have the ability to THINK something spiritual upon hearing it....
then how could we possibly be dead AFTER election??

This takes us back to free will, and in calvinist theology free will is impossible.


Matthew 4:19-20
19And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
20Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.



Matthew 16:24
24Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.


This verse even shows free will in action.
Jesus says IF ANYONE WISHES to come after me....

IF ANYONE.......IF denotes a choice is to be made
WISHES ........doing what a person wishes to do (and not because God makes that person want what He wants).

That does not sound like determinism to me.
If it is, as I've said many times, God forgot to tell His Son the Salvation/Election Plan.
 

JLB

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We can agree there is, at least in James' thinking, some category of faith called "dead faith" and it is not of any use for salvation. Can we assume there is a type of faith that may be called "live faith"?

The obedience of faith is an activated faith because it has been completed by the persons obedience to do what the word from God, spoke to them to do.

”By faith” literally means God spoke to a person to do a certain thing and they obeyed.


By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. Hebrews 11:8



This is an example of Abraham obeying the Gospel.


  • By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out



By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Hebrews 11:7


God spoke to Noah to build an Ark. Noah obeyed.


Today God commands all nations to do the same thing, that they also may receive the righteousness which is according to faith, and be one family in the household of faith.


But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
Romans 16:26


Do you know what “commandment” Paul is referring to, for the obedience of faith?



JLB
 

Hospes

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Hospes,

Faith is not a work because it is "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Heb 11:1 ESV).

Faith believes God's character, which includes all His attributes. We know God is loving, faithful and just. To accept who God is, is not a work. It involves trusting God in his totality. I refer you to the article, "Faith is NOT a Work."

Oz
Usually, when we speak of a work, it is in the context where there is an implied agent doing the work. The article you pointed me to reads i part:
To begin with, it helps to remember the definition of faith we learned earlier: Faith is being convinced or persuaded that something is true. As such, we cannot choose to believe. Faith is not a work and is not meritorious because faith happens to us. We are convinced, we are persuaded, as God reveals Himself to us through His various forms of revelation.​
The author clearly implies the work is not the work of the person, but gives God credit in that faith is caused by Him revealing "Himself to us through His various forms of revelation." It may not be a work done by a person, but it is a work done by God. (Just to be clear, I am not claiming the author has my beliefs on salvation, but on this one point I think I am agreement with him.)

If when you write that "faith is not a work" you mean "faith is not a work done by a person", then I'd fully agree with you. If you mean it is not a work done by any agent, then I'd disagree. Being a big fan of the Law of Causality, if faith exists, something caused it. The question is what/who caused the faith.
 

Fastfredy0

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I said:
There is a problem with this statement as it relies upon a false premise: that the cause of faith is the individual.

Not true.

The cause of faith is God. Faith is what we receive from God when He speaks to us. See Hebrews 11.
Well, I misunderstood you (my bad). Then we agree: that the reason we believe (have faith) is God alone. He alone is the cause.
This is the reformed position. (Aside: Why do I think as I read further that there will be a contradiction)

Technically I would postulate that, although the sole cause of Faith is God, we don't receive FAITH; rather, an 100% efficacious reason to believe. God is the cause of faith, the effect being we believe)

However, what causes faith to be activated, and be complete and able to produce the intended divine result is believing and therefore obeying; the obedience of faith.
See, this is a contradiction. One cannot have faith (God gave a person faith) and not have faith at the same time (this faith you have is not activated.) As this is a contradiction, I won't comment further.
Aside: I think you define FAITH and BELIEF differently. As I pointed out, the Bible dictionary indicates they are one and the same. Perhaps you definition of FAITH and BELIEF needs to be stated.

When faith comes to us from God, because we hear Him speak to us, it is dormant and incomplete and must be activated or made alive by our obedience, our corresponding action of obedience.
Again, this is a contradiction. You can't have a dormant faith (inactive). Faith that does not believe is not Faith by definition. Faith = accept the statement of (someone) as true by definition. You can't NOT accept the statement of (someone) as true and accept the statement of (someone) as true.

Hmmm.... I may be answering a previous post. I see something about Abraham again I think. Oh well.

I think we have a communication problem ... I will keep reading.
 

JLB

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Well, I misunderstood you (my bad). Then we agree: that the reason we believe (have faith) is God alone.

No sir.

God is the cause of us receiving faith.

To believe, and therefore obey what God commands us to do (which is how we receive faith from God) is squarely up to us to choose whether we obey or not.


JLB
 

Fastfredy0

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If I have the same "causer" as the damned have, why don't they believe like I do?
They had the choice to believe as I did...didn't they?
The "cause" is available to all men, but it is up to us to believe, repent of sin, get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for remission of past sins, and endure till the end.
This (The "cause" is available to all men) is empirically shown to be untrue. Faith cometh by hearing and since God has not enabled everyone without exception hear the gospel, those that have not heard are doomed. (Unless you know of another gospel I am unaware of that saves.)
The rest of your conclusion are invalid due to this false premise.
 

JLB

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See, this is a contradiction. One cannot have faith (God gave a person faith) and not have faith at the same time (this faith you have is not activated.) As this is a contradiction, I won't comment further.
Aside: I think you define FAITH and BELIEF differently. As I pointed out, the Bible dictionary indicates they are one and the same. Perhaps you definition of FAITH and BELIEF needs to be stated.

The reason you seem to think there is a contradiction is you think that faith and believing (obeying) is the same thing.


Faith comes to us from God when He speaks to us.

Obeying what He speaks to us, is up to us.



JLB
 

Fastfredy0

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Faith “alone” is a misconception. Faith must have the corresponding action of obedience in order for faith to be complete, otherwise faith remains incomplete as a body without a spirit is incomplete, and is lifeless.
Well, you have to define "Faith Alone" for my to comment.

The definition I use:
Faith alone, not our works or faith combined with works, is the instrument by which the sinner is justified from the guilt of all sin and counted righteous by God (Galatians 2:16). No amount of sincere intention, love, good deeds, or acts of devotion can atone for our sins and make us righteous before God. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:4–5).

Faith is like a hand, not a hand by which we bring our merit and worthiness to God, but an empty hand by which we receive and take hold of Jesus Christ as our only atonement and our righteousness. What is your confidence before the throne of God? Is it some combination of your faith, love, and good works, or do you stand before God by faith in Christ alone? Do you have a true, living faith that trusts, rests, and relies upon Christ, and by union with him produces a life of good works? We are justified by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone, for justifying faith unites us to Christ in a living, loving, lasting relationship.
Joel Beeke Reformed Systematic Theology
 

JLB

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Faith = accept the statement of (someone) as true by definition.

This is not the biblical definition of faith.


Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1


Faith is a noun. It is substance; a thing





JLB
 

JLB

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Well, you have to define "Faith Alone" for my to comment.

The definition I use:
Faith alone, not our works or faith combined with works, is the instrument by which the sinner is justified from the guilt of all sin and counted righteous by God (Galatians 2:16). No amount of sincere intention, love, good deeds, or acts of devotion can atone for our sins and make us righteous before God. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:4–5).

Faith is like a hand, not a hand by which we bring our merit and worthiness to God, but an empty hand by which we receive and take hold of Jesus Christ as our only atonement and our righteousness. What is your confidence before the throne of God? Is it some combination of your faith, love, and good works, or do you stand before God by faith in Christ alone? Do you have a true, living faith that trusts, rests, and relies upon Christ, and by union with him produces a life of good works? We are justified by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone, for justifying faith unites us to Christ in a living, loving, lasting relationship.
Joel Beeke Reformed Systematic Theology

Faith alone is dead (dormant) and is incomplete and produces nothing.


Seed alone, without earth and water, is dormant and produces nothing.


JLB
 

Fastfredy0

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FF: No, this is an improper understanding of James. James is talking of a man being justified in the eye of other men and not God.
Sorry but God is the one who justifies, not other men.


Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? James 2:21
We, we have to agree to disagree. I believe you are improperly conflating justification in front of men in James and you believe James is about being justified in God's eyes (which is works salvation ... it is a confusing book in this regard) I.E. one of both of us is confused.
 

Fastfredy0

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The reason you seem to think there is a contradiction is you think that faith and believing (obeying) is the same thing.


Faith comes to us from God when He speaks to us.

Obeying what He speaks to us, is up to us.
Well, I supplied a ordinary dictionary and a bible dictionary to support my definition. Please do the same.

Definition of Dictionary: a book or electronic resource that lists the words of a language (typically in alphabetical order) and gives their meaning, or gives the equivalent words in a different language, often also providing information about pronunciation, origin, and usage.

If we can't agree on the meaning of words, this is a futile exercise. If you cannot agree that an English Dictionary (or Bible Dictionary) is the best authority of the meaning of English words then this exercise if futile.

Thank you for being cordial in this discussion.
But, if we talk a different language and can't agree on using a dictionary to solve the issue, then this is a waste of time.
 

jasonc

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As Hopeful has stated...
and rightly so....
If faith were generated by an outside source...it would be the faith of that source
and not our own.

Of course calvinists believe that everything comes from God and everything is predestined
for every man - and everything will include faith.

Jesus said we must GO TO HIM to be saved.
GO is an action.
Some refuse to believe that it's necessary to take action....
Faith is a noun, as JLB has stated...but this noun causes us to take action.
If we take no action upon receiving faith...we say that the faith is dead because
it causes nothing to happen.

This is a problem for calvinists because if we could be so dead PRIOR to election that
we cannot even have the ability to THINK something spiritual upon hearing it....
then how could we possibly be dead AFTER election??

This takes us back to free will, and in calvinist theology free will is impossible.


Matthew 4:19-20
19And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
20Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.



Matthew 16:24
24Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.


This verse even shows free will in action.
Jesus says IF ANYONE WISHES to come after me....

IF ANYONE.......IF denotes a choice is to be made
WISHES ........doing what a person wishes to do (and not because God makes that person want what He wants).

That does not sound like determinism to me.
If it is, as I've said many times, God forgot to tell His Son the Salvation/Election Plan.
wasn't in the command and control part of the 5 paragraph op order .lol
 

Fastfredy0

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Re: "Justification" in James (in regards to previous posts)
What can James mean when he says, “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24). Here we must realize that James is using the word justified in a different sense from the way Paul uses it. In the beginning of this chapter we noted that the word justify has a range of meanings and that one significant sense was “declare to be righteous,” but we should also notice that the Greek word
dikaioō can also mean “demonstrate or show to be righteous.” For instance, Jesus said to the Pharisees, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts” (Luke 16:15). The point here was not that the Pharisees went around making legal declarations that they were “not guilty” before God, but rather that they were righteous by their outward deeds. Similarly, the lawyer who put Jesus to a test by asking what he should do to inherit eternal life answered Jesus’ first question well. But when Jesus told him, “Do this, and you will live,” he was not satisfied. Luke tells us, “But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’” (Luke 10:28-29). Now he was not desiring to give a legal pronouncement about himself that he was not guilty in God’s sight; rather, he was desiring to “show himself righteous” before others who were listening. Other examples of the word justify meaning “show to be righteous” can be found in Matthew 11:19b; Luke 7:35; Romans 3:4.

Our interpretation of James 2 depends not only on the fact that “show to be righteous” is an acceptable sense of the word justified, but also on the consideration that this sense fits well in the context of James 2. When James says, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?” (v.21) he is referring to something later in Abraham’s life, the story of the sacrifice of Isaac, which occurred in Genesis 22. This is long after the time recorded in Genesis 15:6 where Abraham believed God “and he reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Yet this earlier incident at the beginning of Abraham’s covenantal relationship with God is the one that Paul quotes and repeatedly refers to in Romans 4. Paul is talking about the time God justified Abraham once for all, reckoning righteousness to him as a result of his faith in God. But James is talking about something far later, after Abraham has waited many years for the birth of Isaac, and then after Isaac had grown old enough to carry wood up the mountain for a sacrifice. At that point Abraham was “shown to be righteous’ by his works, and in the sense James says that Abraham was “justified by work, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar” (James 2:21). Grudem’s Explanation – Systematic Theology
 

Hopeful

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This (The "cause" is available to all men) is empirically shown to be untrue. Faith cometh by hearing and since God has not enabled everyone without exception hear the gospel, those that have not heard are doomed. (Unless you know of another gospel I am unaware of that saves.)
The rest of your conclusion are invalid due to this false premise.
Were that really true, then God is not available to all men.
As we know He is, it seems that God can and will provide the gospel preachers to those who seek Him.
I'll rephrase my referenced point...
The cause is available to all men who seek the cause.
It isn't hidden from anyone.
 
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The Good News is that the Holy Spirit can be "in" us now, instead of on the outside of us.......calling us out of the world.

John 14:17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. but you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

If he is in you, you are sealed. Majority of people are at the stage where he is "with you".........
 

Fastfredy0

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Were that really true, then God is not available to all men.
As we know He is, it seems that God can and will provide the gospel preachers to those who seek Him.
I'll rephrase my referenced point...
The cause is available to all men who seek the cause.
It isn't hidden from anyone.
O.K. ... let's see if your premise and conclusion works.

Premise1: The cause [salvation] is available to all men who seek the cause.
Premise2: I am a American Indian in the year 1292 who seeks to be saved (live forever)
Premise3&4: Faith cometh by hearing (Romans 10:17) and only by hearing as there is ONE Gospel (Gal. 1:8)
Premise5: The American Indian has no way to hearing the gospel
Conclusion: Your premise #1 is false OR no one seeks the cause (salvation)

Let's be reasonable ...
1) if God died for everyone without exception and
2) if He wished all to be saved without exception and
3) if God is all-powerful then
4) it stands to reason that God would ensure everyone got to hear the gospel as that is a perquisite for salvation. Thus, each of premises 1 through 3 is suspect. (Aside: I assume we both feel premise 3 is true)


In the same way the bible speaks of the Gentiles being without hope before Christ. Eph. 2:12

Were at that time without Christ - Having no faith in, or knowledge of, him. Being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel - Both as to their temporal privileges and spiritual blessings. And strangers to the covenants of promise - The great promise in both the Jewish and Christian covenant was the Messiah. Having no hope - Because they had no promise whereon to ground their hope. And being without God - Wholly ignorant of the true God, and so in effect atheists. Such in truth are, more or less, all men, in all ages, till they know God by the teaching of his own Spirit. In the world - The wide, vain world, wherein ye wandered up and down, unholy and unhappy. Wesley
 

OzSpen

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I may be wrong in my assessment of your position, but it seems that you are saying believing and faith are the same, nothing could be further from the truth.


Faith is a noun and comes to us when God speaks to us, whether directly as in Genesis 12, or indirectly through those He sends to preach the Gospel.


Believe on the other hand is a verb and is what we must to do in response to the Gospel message. Believe carries the idea of obey, which is why we se some passages say believe the Gospel, while others say obey the Gospel.


Do we agree on this or disagree?



JLB

JLB,

Are you aware in Greek that both the noun (pistis = faith) and the infinitive, pisteuein (to believe) are from the same Greek root, peitho, which most naturally means to persuade and convince (Acts 18:4; 28:23). There is no true Hebrew equivalent (TDNT vol 6, pp, 1-2).

Pistis means "confidence, trust" , "conviction", "certainty", and "firm belief" (Prov 1:30). It can mean faithfulness and trust (1 Thess 1:8; Phlm 51) (TDNT 6:177). As faithfulness, it is used rarely in the NT. Another related Greek noun, pistos means faithful and trusting (see 1 Cor 4:2, 17; 7:25). It refers to "the loyalty of faith (Rev 2:10; 17:14).

Pisteuein means "to rely on; to trust; to believe." Sometimes it refers "to believe in" (Gal 2:16 ESV) (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol 6, p. 203).

Oz
 
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