Faith Not Of Ourselves


#1

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do…
Ephesians 2:6-10

Lest we should take pride in our own lofty ability to keep us afloat, to save ourselves from sure damnation, escape every temptation or be good enough to be consistent in our faith, lock our minds against any persuasion otherwise, and keep ourselves in top notch moral condition lest the smallest inkling of desires lead us astray, when half of us can’t even keep our checkbooks straight…

*To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— *to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! [size=150]Amen.[/size]
Jude 24-25


#2

… … checkbook…?

oh WELSH!!

:mrgreen:

Good post, Justin; thanks. :slight_smile:


#3

lol Good one! "I don’t place any confidence in myself.’ St. Paul.


#4

Why thank you, both of you. :mrgreen:

And, yeah… I don’t even keep a checkbook! :astonished: :open_mouth: :blush:
(Online banking FTW.) :smiling_imp: :laughing:

I think it’s very revealing that those who believe in our own ability to become saved in some way, shape or form tend to be self-righteous or prideful to some extent. Or vice versa, even. :laughing:

Now, I had a discussion with Aaron over this on PM, and he of course claimed that the verse was saying that it was only the grace that’s not from ourselves, saying that the KJV has the better translation (LOLZ) :laughing: because it uses the word “that” instead of “this”. But then what would be the point of the word, “and”? To say that Paul was referring to “grace” being not of ourselves (of course it is, or it isn’t grace… :unamused:) I think is HORRIBLE hermeneutics. What say ye? :ugeek:


#5

You nailed it, Stellar! Thank goodness, otherwise my wife would have no hope. Can’t balance a checkbook to “save” her life!


#6

Agreed. haha. :laughing:

If we can’t even keep our lives straight in one aspect or detail, then we can’t keep it straight at all. A dead fly spoils the ointment. It’s only by God’s grace flooding into our lives that we’re saved, and heaven help it completely drown us!

It will sooner or later, it’s only a matter of time. We can’t resist forever.


#7

Well, even Green’s Textus Receptus calls it “this” not “that” (in both of its superliteral translations), but I don’t think it makes any difference there.

The grammar in Greek could go either way: {tauto} could refer to {t(i)e chariti} or to {pisteos}. (Later textual traditions, but also a couple of early texts, include a direct article “the”, thus {tes pisteos}, through “the faith”. This could be gnostic-ish salvation, but it might also only be a way of emphasizing the faith–Biblical Greek often uses direct articles for emphases that wouldn’t translate into anything in English like a particular this or that.)

The context around verse 8, however, especially “not of ourselves lest any man should boast”, tends to indicate that the faith is not of ourselves, or not primarily so, as well. I don’t think this should be used to simply ignore what the scriptures say elsewhere (including in the Gospels) about a responsible contribution of our own as real persons, in our faith; but neither would I recommend that an acknowledgment of that real personal responsibility on our part be used to simply ignore what the scriptures have to say here (and elsewhere) about the primacy of the action of God in creating and sustaining our faith. A joint cooperation with God leading is still a joint cooperation; and a joint cooperation with God leading still involves God leading. :slight_smile:

What A37 was probably trying to deny, is the Calv (vs. Arm) doctrine of God’s persistence of salvation for those He intends to save even prior to their signing up with Him. (Many Arms do accept God’s persistence of salvation but only for those who have made a real profession of faith, and not until then.) He’d pretty much have to go to any lengths to deny that, since if he affirmed it along with the Arm (vs. Calv) doctrine of God’s scope regarding those He intends to save, then where would he be?!

(Hint: see title bar for the forum… :mrgreen: )

The Calv doctrine of persistence is directly linked to the notion that God Himself is always first and foremost responsible (even if we also have some real but secondary responsibility) for our faiths, most especially through the operation of the Holy Spirit being sent into our hearts as the Spirit of “adoption” (or more literally and properly ‘son-placement’; cf most pertinently Rom 8:14-17 and Eph 1:5-6 with pickups from 4. Also Gal 4:1-8. Rom 9 has a lot to say about this, too.)


#8

The Greek has “this” and not “that”, a fact which is neither “here” nor “there” in determining the referent of the word.

In my opinion, the word refers neither to “grace” or “faith” but to having been saved.


#9

Agreed.

For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and neither grace or faith is from ourselves , it is a gift of God and attained not by any work we can think or do.


#10

If we need to spell it out:

For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this salvation is not from yourselves; it is the gift of God – not by works.


#11

There we go, I see now! :slight_smile:


#12

Dammit, but that destroys the argument that the faith is not from ourselves! :frowning:

Oh well… :confused:


#13

For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this salvation, grace and faith is not from yourselves; it is the gift of God – not by works.


#14

Hm, you could be right! He could be referring to the whole first clause, maybe. Any Greek experts wanna chime in on that? Jason? :smiley: (Or do you know Greek, Student?)


#15

So it does! But what’s the big deal? If we ourselves don’t have faith, if we just sit back and do nothing, then nothing will happen. God doesn’t give the grace, cause the faith, and issue the salvation while we do nothing at all. If that were true, then everyone would receive salvation.

Hebrews 11 gives a list of many men and women among the ancient Hebrews who accomplished great things by faith.

Please consider the following passages:

*Matthew 17:20 …he said to them, “because of your little faith. for truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”

Matthew 21:21 and Jesus answered them, "Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and never doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will be done.

Matthew 21:22 and whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith."

Mark 11:22 and Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.”*

Why is Jesus asking His disciples to have faith in God, if that faith is not from themselves? Why is He telling them that if they have faith, they can move mountains — if they can’t have faith?

If Paul believed that faith is not of ourselves, why did he claim to have faith in God?

Acts 27:25 …so take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.

Shouldn’t Paul have written, " …so take heart, men, for God has given me faith that it will be exactly as I have been told."

Hebrews 10:39 but we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and keep their souls.

Shouldn’t the author have written, “… but of those who have been given faith and keep their souls”?

James 2:18 but some one will say, “you have faith and I have works.” show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.

Why did James write, “I will show you MY faith”? Shouldn’t he have written, "I will show you the faith which God has given me?"


#16

I’m thinking … ultimately everything we have is from God. Life, body, mind, will, possessions, knowledge, opportunity, faith, salvation … yet we also must use those things or they stagnate, or rot, or wither and become useless–and perhaps are taken away.

Sonia


#17

All righttttt, Sonia!


#18

Yeah, the same can be said of repentance, but repentance is also a gift. I don’t think that we necessarily naturally have faith. It comes as a gift and there’s a tension there between human action and divine assistance. Y’know, “working out your own salvation as God works in you.”

I still think that faith is not of ourselves, even if that’s not his point there. But I’m still wondering if, as Student implied, the Greek could allow for all three - “grace, faith and salvation” being referred to as not of ourselves.


#19

I’m struggling right now to make sense of what is the gift. I’m seeing things much the way you describe Stellar, I think. I need to review more. Every time I think I get close to understanding something Gene gives me a hard time that I’m trying to have grace and choice both, which is impossible. It makes some sense to me that God is always pursuing us so we are saved by His grace. It’s his efforts to save, not our own that will have resulted in our final fate.


#20

Faith just seems like the result of God’s grace, His efforts to reach us. It’s necessary we respond, but it’s almost like a no brainer, in our best interest, and a result of God freeing us, such that we can’t boast. I really wish these things were clearer. I start to get a headache.

What is the difference if it’s the salvation that’s not of ourselves if it requires faith. Faith leads to salvation so wouldn’t faith also demand grace so that we can’t boast?