|2. Fundamentals vs. New Age -> Faith vs New Age Faith -> Salvation by Faith|
One of the most quoted scriptures relating to our salvation is Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Or "Because by the grace ye are being (present active indicative) saved (perfect passive participle) through (dia) faith, this (both the grace and the faith) the gift of God, not out from (ek) you. Not out from (ek) works that any might boast (aorist middle--on own behalf-- subjunctive).
You will notice that "are ye saved" is expressed specifically as two verbs, not one, emphasizing the present tense aspect of salvation. The perfect tense, meaning something occurred in the past with a present result continuing, no future indicated. Despite this periphrastic Greek form (see New Testament Greek, Perfect Tense, for explanation) it only means a past completed action in the now experience of the writer. It never indicates a permanent eternal action accomplished. (see article on this website directory, New Testament Greek, under the Heading, Fundamental Integration, for understanding the Greek).
Notice that the reason for our salvation is "by the grace," but the means is "through faith." The Love of God [[ Grace is Christ in you (the means), through your Obedience, Doing what you cannot Do. ]] is the banner over all His Works. His means to accomplish all His works through us in this world, including the start of our salvation, is "through faith (Christ in you)." And, as we have discovered in the previous article, our appropriation of this means, called faith, is given first, after the enlightening of prevenient grace of convicting by the Holy Spirit, and then second, after our Free-choice "repenting and committing into Him, Almighty, Immutable, Holy God."
And we are accounted (imputed) with "the Righteousness of God which is through (dia) Faith of Jesus Christ (after His Personal Person, Righteousness Himself IMPARTED, Indwelling us), unto (eis) all and upon (epi) all them that are believing (present active--you doing the action-- participle) (Rom 3:22), that the promise out from (ek) faith of Jesus Christ might be given (aorist passive subjunctive) to them that are commiting (present active participle)." Gal 3:22
Is it our faith? NO! We do not have faith, except as we have the "faith of Jesus Christ," indwelling us, by new-birth. Faith is the Holy Spirit (Mind of Christ) Indwelling in us. UNDERSTAND THIS.
"Marvel not that I said to you, ye must be born again" (Jn 3:7); "born of the Spirit is spirit" (Jn 3:6). This is the indwelling Holy Spirit within our spirits after our birth from above, "of the Spirit" experience. Jesus in His ministry as this disciples wondered about the miracle of the withered fig tree said, "have faith of God (genitive)." Mrk. 11:22. You do not have faith in faith, nor is it your faith. Have faith of God. Greek genitive literally means faith belonging to God, God's faith. If faith is from you, or your faith then vanity prevails. Try saving yourself.
Man has no part in his salvation except obedience (1 Sam 15:22) to the Holy Spirit within Him who also never violates His written Word; obedience to respond to the initial enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:32) to bring us to repentance and committing; and after that, obedience to obey the leading, assuring, teaching, and gifting of the indwelling Holy Spirit, the mind of Christ (faith) thereafter (Rom 1:5 and 16:26).
If faith is something arising or originating from man as believing or affirming anything, and then "exercised" by man, man would be saving himself by his own works. Faith cannot, by any sane evaluation of salvation, be the work of God only, and at the same time be something originating in or something of man. Child simple. Either--or.
Additionally, faith is not something of man that somehow gets acceptance because it only assumes a passive "trusting" position to only "receive" from God for salvation, as Charles Spurgeon taught (All of Grace, Charles Spurgeon).2 See this footnote.2 In this there is nothing of actual righteous relationship to God nor of any future living relationship established in this life by such a faith of passivity.
Unfortunately, Calvinism answers this by saying it is accomplished by a fictional non-scriptural "decree" of predestination by bookkeeping only, recording an external righteousness only. So this accomplishes nothing either, if it were true.
[[[ Luther and Calvin insisted that our "righteousness" was external to us only in Christ in Heaven. They effectively denied the "righteousness" of Christ Himself indwelling, guiding, teaching, and gifting us. Must man simply continue as passive toward God but continuing in sin awaiting actual righteousness later in Heaven, as we find that Calvinism teaches? ]]]
If faith is anything of man himself, all the plain Greek scriptures are denied. These are illustrated by the following:
"Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ ('of Jesus Christ' is genitive case, meaning "of" Jesus Christ as properly translated in KJV) unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference" (Rom 3:22).
"But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ ('of Jesus Christ' is genitive case, meaning "of" Jesus Christ as properly translated in KJV) might be given to them that believe" (Gal 3:22).
"For ye are all the children of God by faith in (ev, inside of) Christ Jesus" (Gal 3:26)
"For it is God which worketh (present active participle--continuous action in reality) in (ev, inside of) you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil 2:13).
"And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in (ev, inside of) them, and walk in (ev, inside of) them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (2 Cor 6:16).
Without being "Lord" Jesus Christ, He cannot save you! He cannot deny Himself, who He is, Lord Jesus Christ (2 Tim 2:13 and Phil 2:8-11).
See previous article, Fundamental Definition of faith, for plain detailed definition of what faith is. We are here discussing HOW our Lord uses faith in our lives and WHY.
Unregenerate do not have faith
"Marvel not, that I said, Ye must be born again" (John 3:7)
Of what use then is preaching and apologetics when natural unregenerate men cannot "know" Him, since they do not have "faith of God" imparted by the indwelling Holy Spirit? The scriptures plainly teach throughout that unregenerate men have not faith. 2 Thess. 3:2. Charles Spurgeon said, "Faith in the living God and His Son Jesus Christ is always the result of the new birth, and can never exist except in the regenerate."1
Paul emphatically states in Romans that the things of God are clearly known, by another perception in all unregenerate men, but not by faith. Rom 1:19-21
The problem is that they clearly know the "things of God manifest in them; for God hath shown it unto them," and that "invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." But "when they knew God they glorified Him not as God but became vain in their own imaginations..." They refused to believe (commit) into Him as their Lord because they realized the moral consequences this would have on their sinful lives and selfish ways. and they choose their sinful ways. (See article, Hermeneutics, about Four Laws of the Human Mind, clearly explains why natural man is without excuse.)
The "foolishness of preaching" (1 Cor 1 :21), what people already know to be true, is clearly that the Holy Spirit working through His spoken Word of enlightening, gains entrance with repentance (change of mind) and committal (believing) of the hearers. And it is only by the unregenerate submitting in repentance and believing that they may be born from above by the Spirit of God entering them and thereby imparting faith of Christ for the first time to them.
Obviously, faith is not believing. Faith and believing are not synonyms, but two entirely different entities, two purely distinct words and uses in the scriptures. Every word of God is pure (without mixture) and a verb is totally different from a noun despite having the same Greek stem. (This is explained in Hermeneutics Section.)
Through the enlightenment and enabling of the Holy Spirit, believing (committing) is man's participation, upon which God gives faith through His Holy Spirit, the mind of Christ, to indwell in our spirits. Christ commands all men everywhere to repent and believe, but faith comes as a gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit with the new-birth. It is by this free gift, the mind of Christ (faith), that we are accounted righteous (justified) before God. This is the manifest grace of God, the faith of God within us, not of man. Faith and justification (being made righteous) is nothing originating with man. Man has no means of saving himself.
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