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Ultimately, faith is a gift from God.

May 28 2016 at 4:32 PM
Tomas  (Login TomasSedlacek)


Response to So you believe that your faith comes from you. I don't.

 

OP:

Scriptures speaks of faith as such: "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb.11:1).

Faith, as can be learned from this scripture, pertains to things not seen. It is the EVIDENCE of things unseen. This means, that, faith comes, when there is nothing with which man may see with his eyes, nor touch, smell, hear, or taste, that he may believe. As such, the man may have faith, which is the very substance of the things that he can't see, touch, smell, hear, and taste - the evidence of such things.

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom.10:17). Not by anything else.

Now, faith COMES, it says. Here are some questions:

1. Where do you think it comes from?
2. Does it come from you, from someone else, or from God?
3. If you say faith comes from you, can you expound on that?
4. If you say faith comes from someone else, can you expound on that?
5. If you say faith comes from God, can you expound on that?

Scriptures clearly say, faith comes by hearing the word of God. By hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes from God. And if it comes from God, we need to hear God. And we can hear God through His words. And His words are written, in scriptures. If you can't read, faith can come to you by having somebody read it for you, or by listening to one who reads scriptures. If you can read, read scriptures and faith can come to you.

If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.
If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.

Here are some scriptures. May faith come to you by reading the word of God. If you have a Bible, read them from there.

Matthew 1:21
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Romans 3:30
30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

Romans 10:17
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9
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.

Have faith, by reading or by listening to the reading of the word of God, in Jesus and be saved!

TOMAS:

Yes, faith comes to us by hearing or reading about the gospel in the Bible.

So faith does not come to us from someone, but from something, namely the words in the Bible. It is the gift of God, because God has inspired the Bible.

ME:

You believe that faith does not come from someone, but from something.

And so you don't believe that faith comes from God. Very well then for you. As for me, it comes from God. As I have explained, by hearing the the word OF God, it says. As such faith comes not from hearing just anybody else. It must be God that one hears, who is the truth.

One can hear somebody by reading what he has written, say a letter. It is the author that one hears when one reads his words in the letter he wrote. It's not the letter that speaks to him, but the author, speaks to him, through his words in the letter. And so when one reads his letter, it is like the author speaks to the reader. If God were the author, then when one reads, it then means that God speaks to the reader. And the reader could either believe or not what it is that God says, and could have faith. So, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of not just anybody, but of God.

In my OP, I said:

"If somebody tells you that, you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God."

Do you agree?

"If somebody tells you that, you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God."

Do you agree?

Tomas:

Faith in a way comes from God, because he has inspired his word. So God speaks to us with his word.

"If somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God." I don't agree, one can be saved from just hearing the word of God proclaimed by someone. Still, it would be a foolish thing to say, the idea like what many Catholics believed, that only priests and monks can read scriptures, others would be confused and come up with heresies, that is wrong. Of course it can happen, but often does not happen. But Catholics tend to think that any deviation from the Catholic faith is a heresy, even though nowadays they prefer to use nicer words like 'separated brethren'.

"If somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God." I don't agree. Some churches claim that only the leadership of their church has the right to decide on what is the right interpretation, that there should not be a private interpretation, based on a misreading of a verse about prophecies. It is not correct, it is a wrong teaching, but it is not a deception, much less being against God. I can understand why some churches think so, the principle of sola scriptura, without the leaders being guided by God into the correct interpretation, it naturally leads to a great diversity of doctrines, since many verses are difficult to understand. But that is really a virtue, Christians can have many interesting and even fruitful discussions of verses, and if we are not too stubborn, we can learn from each other. After all, God wants us to be humble and not claim that we are infallible, that we can understand everything in the Bible. But I can see how some are turned off by all the diversity and just want to hear one interpretation, with authority, with no dissent, so there is unity. Well different strokes for different folks. Some prefer one, some prefer another.

ME:

So, if you don't agree that faith in God comes from God, though you at least admit that faith in a way comes from God, from whom does it comes from?

You said you don't agree that "If somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, then he is a deceiver and is against God.". So, it is like you saying that, "if somebody tells you that you are not to read scriptures, that he is for God and not against God".

You said you don't agree that "If somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he is a deceiver and is against God.". So, it is like saying that, "if somebody tells you that you can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, that he is for God and not against God".

Well, what could I say, but that I respect your opinion. In my opinion, those who prohibits one to read scriptures, or seemingly allows them but in fact put a condition which in effect is tantamount to really be not hearing what it is they read, such a one is against God, and not for God.

Tomas:

Faith comes from us hearing the word of God, so ultimately it does come from God, since God inspired his word for us.

If someone tells me that I am not to read scriptures, more commonly he would be against God, he might be a communist or a Muslim or something. But if he was an ancient Catholic, worried that we might misunderstand the Bible and go into heresy, then he meant well, he was for God.
Likewise if someone tells me that I can read scriptures, but must not interpret it, then he could be evil, or he could be for God, just wanting me to accept the interpretations of his church, believing that somebody in his church, like past popes, past church councils, holy traditions, were inspired by God to interpret some verses correctly, or in case of INC, then FYM, Erano Manalo, Eduardo Manalo were inspired to interpret verses correctly, or similarly in case of some other churches. It is not correct, God does not tell anyone how to interpret a verse, since the Bible tells us not to go beyond what is written. So it is better for us to study the Bible for ourselves, God will not give us any interpretations except interpretations written in the Bible. That is the principle of sola scriptura. But many do not believe it. And it seems like fewer and fewer believe it, Pentecostalism or Charismatic Christianity have become so popular, and many Pentecostals and Charismatics believe in messages from dreams, visions, interpretation of tongues. I am not saying there can't be miraculous interpretation of tongues, but those would be like prayers of believers, they would not be messages from God, so they would not be inspired, inerrant. So in such prayers we can encourage each other, or say other things, but we should not expect them to be inerrant. So it is wrong to think that I have received a message from God, and so you should believe it, but if I were wrongly to believe it, I would not be against God, I would just be in error on this. So to be more correct, people should not listen to my interpretations or your interpretations or anyone else's interpretations, as if they are inspired by God, because they are not.

ME:

And so we believe differently. You believe that faith comes from you, while I don't believe that faith comes from me.

You believe that man is saved by his good works and faith, faith in God, am I right? If I got your belief right, then perhaps, you believe that it is man that basically saves himself. Why do I say that? Let me start with good works. Is not good works coming from you, that is, you are the one who cause it and made it happen? Next on faith. You say that faith comes from you, that is, you are the one who cause it that you have faith, by reading scriptures. So, clearly it's you who basically caused it all, and that by it, God will save you.

No one, ancient or not, who forbids one to read the words of God in scriptures, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. And further, ancient or not, no one who tells you that you can read the words of God scriptures, but must not interpret it, could never be said to be for God, no matter what his intentions are. That is what I believe. For such a man, by doing so, denies the power of God, that God could grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words in scriptures?

Tomas:

Ultimately, faith is a gift from God. God offers us this gift, if we recognize it, if we know the gospel, we have accepted the gift of faith. If we keep rejecting the gift, by not believing the gospel, we have not accepted that gift. God will not force the gift on us, he lets us have free will. So as we read the Bible, which is inspired by God, and we become convinced about the gospel, we accept the gospel, we have accepted the gift of faith, and also we have read that we need to repent, so we repent of the sins we know of, so God saves us, justifies us, adds us to the church, forgives our sins. We also find out in the Bible that some things are sinful, so we try to avoid such sins. We don't become sinless, we can slip up, but then we repent. But if we decide to rebel against God, refuse to repent any more, start living in sin, doing bad works continually rather than good works, then like Heb. 10:26 says, there is no more sacrifice for sins. So Christ's sacrifice no longer applies to us, we have lost salvation. But it is not like some churches claim, that whenever we sin, we have lost salvation, that is based on a mistranslation of Heb. 10:26. Many modern translations have corrected that error. Now who gave us the information what works are good and what works are sinful? God, through his word, the Bible. And since we are saved, the Holy Spirit dwelling in us helps us resist temptation, avoid sins. But we still have free will, we can still rebel against the HS and start living in sin, and lose salvation. Though normally we could slip up and commit a sin, and we feel terrible, we repent of the sin, so we remain saved. We have free choice to do good works, or do bad works, we have not lost free will when we became saved. Though ultimately even good works come from God, because God tells us in the Bible, what are some good works, like prayer, giving to the church, giving to the poor, helping people in need, discussing the Bible, trying to persuade unbelievers, studying the Bible. But we have free will to do the good works or not. God does not force us into good works.

Now if some saved Christian is misguided enough to forbid us from reading the Bible, he is still for God, because he is saved. Salvation does not depend on believing correctly that one should not forbid reading the Bible.
Likewise in some churches, people are misguided enough to claim, based on misreading a verse, that there should not be private interpretations of any verses, that you should instead accept the interpretation of the church leadership. We see that for example in the Catholic church, the Eastern Orthodox church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the INC, the New Apostolic Church, and some others. Now plenty of people in such churches are saved Christians, so they are not against God, they are for God, but have the wrong interpretation of this. So they don't like a diversity of beliefs in their church.
But it is not a matter of denying the power of God, that God could grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words in scriptures. No, Christians in general are aware that God is omnipotent, that He has the power to grant even the most unlearned man to understand His words, if that is what He were to want. He could grant all saved Christians to understand every verse in the Bible, so that all Christians would have the same beliefs on every doctrine, like pacifism, oaths, eating blood, women obeying husbands, slaves obeying masters, women speaking in church, women being elders, masturbation, holy pictures or statues, Mary remaining a virgin or not, Mary being sinless, infant baptism, water baptism by sprinkling or pouring instead of always immersing, the words used during water baptism, how many persons is God, and various other beliefs that Christians disagree with each other. Sure God has the power to reveal to us the correct interpretation of each verse. But He does not do it, he wants us to feel humble and not feel infallible, so he inspired Paul to write the commandment not to go beyond what is written. So we should not feel disgusted by the diversity of beliefs among Christians. It is a natural result of many verses being difficult to interpret, and our minds being so limited, that we can't possibly be infallible, and after all, God does not give us the correct interpretation of any verse. So we should be happy about the diversity of beliefs, we can then debate with each other, and we can learn from each other. Yes, God has arranged it wonderfully.

 
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Responses

  1. Ultimately, faith comes from God, a gift from God. - Michael on May 29, 2016, 10:44 AM
    1. OK, by your request, I'll answer your questions within your post. - Tomas on Jun 4, 2016, 7:59 PM
      1. Re: OK, by your request, I'll answer your questions within your post. - Michael on Jun 5, 2016, 1:56 AM
        1. About faith, salvation, works, unity. - Tomas on Jun 11, 2016, 6:40 PM
          1. Re: About faith, salvation, works, unity. - Michael on Jun 12, 2016, 11:17 AM
            1. More about faith, salvation, unity. - Tomas on Jun 19, 2016, 2:13 AM
              1. Re: More about faith, salvation, unity. - Michael on Jun 19, 2016, 8:50 AM
                1. Being saved but against God? And about receiving. - Tomas on Jun 25, 2016, 11:12 PM
                  1. Re: Being saved but against God? And about receiving. - Michael on Jul 15, 2016, 12:37 PM
                    1. Against God, receiving versus not receiving. - Tomas on Jul 16, 2016, 9:47 PM
                      1. Re: Against God, receiving versus not receiving. - Michael on Jul 16, 2016, 10:30 PM
                      2. Not against God, receiving or not receiving. - Tomas on Jul 16, 2016, 11:44 PM
                      3. Re: Not against God, receiving or not receiving. - Michael on Jul 17, 2016, 8:26 AM
                      4. About what is ungodly, about receiving and not receiving. - Tomas on Jul 23, 2016, 6:20 PM
                      5. Re: About what is ungodly, about receiving and not receiving. - Michael on Aug 13, 2016, 6:20 AM
                      6. About private interpretation, about receiving from God. - Tomas on Aug 13, 2016, 6:00 PM
                      7. Re: About private interpretation, about receiving from God. - Michael on Aug 27, 2016, 2:49 AM
                      8. More about private interpretation, receiving from God. - Tomas on Aug 27, 2016, 7:59 PM
                      9. Re: More about private interpretation, receiving from God. - Michael on Sep 8, 2016, 8:23 AM
                      10. You have skipped the section about private interpretation. - Tomas on Sep 10, 2016, 2:06 PM
                      11. Re: You have skipped the section about private interpretation. - Michael on Oct 2, 2016, 2:58 AM
                      12. Private interpretation and Rom. 14, and 1 Cor. 4:6-7. - Tomas on Oct 2, 2016, 4:16 AM
                      13. Re: Private interpretation and Rom. 14, and 1 Cor. 4:6-7. - Michael on Oct 9, 2016, 8:51 AM
                      14. About private interpretation, Rom. 14, 1 Cor. 4:6. - Tomas on Oct 15, 2016, 8:38 PM
                      15. Re: About private interpretation, Rom. 14, 1 Cor. 4:6. - Michael on Oct 18, 2016, 10:22 AM
                      16. Private interpretation, Rom. 14, 1 Cor. 4. - Tomas on Oct 23, 2016, 1:46 AM
                      17. Re: Private interpretation, Rom. 14, 1 Cor. 4. - Michael on Oct 23, 2016, 6:16 AM
                      18. Private interpretation, Rom. 14 and sinful eating, 1 Cor. 4. - Tomas on Oct 30, 2016, 3:02 AM
                      19. Re: Private interpretation, Rom. 14 and sinful eating, 1 Cor. 4. - Michael on Oct 30, 2016, 10:34 AM
                      20. Rom. 14 and sinful eating, Apollos. - Tomas on Nov 6, 2016, 2:52 AM
                      21. Re: Rom. 14 and sinful eating, Apollos. - Michael on Nov 6, 2016, 3:24 AM
                      22. Sinful eating, Apollos. - Tomas on Dec 5, 2016, 1:55 AM
                      23. Re: Sinful eating, Apollos. - Michael on Dec 10, 2016, 7:20 PM
                      24. Concerning sinful eating and drinking. - Tomas on Dec 19, 2016, 3:12 AM
                      25. Re: Concerning sinful eating and drinking. - Michael on Dec 19, 2016, 6:11 AM
                      26. It seems so simple to you, but don't ignore other verses. - Tomas on Dec 24, 2016, 8:27 PM
                      27. Re: It seems so simple to you, but don't ignore other verses. - Michael on Jan 2, 2017, 6:43 AM
                      28. You are still ignoring the other verses. - Tomas on Jan 8, 2017, 1:23 AM
                      29. Re: You are still ignoring the other verses. - Michael on Jan 11, 2017, 5:51 AM
                      30. But I already told you what I say the verse means. - Tomas on Jan 15, 2017, 12:19 AM
                      31. Re: But I already told you what I say the verse means. - Michael on Jan 20, 2017, 11:50 PM
                      32. Sinful eating and drinking. - Tomas on Jan 22, 2017, 11:20 PM
                      33. Re: Sinful eating and drinking. - Michael on Jan 29, 2017, 5:58 AM
                      34. More about sinful eating and drinking. - Tomas on Feb 4, 2017, 11:14 PM
                      35. Re: More about sinful eating and drinking. - Michael on Feb 6, 2017, 6:47 AM
                      36. And more about sinful eating and drinking. - Tomas on Feb 12, 2017, 2:21 AM
                      37. Re: And more about sinful eating and drinking. - Michael on Feb 12, 2017, 2:53 AM
                      38. So let me answer. - Tomas on Mar 19, 2017, 7:31 PM
                      39. Re: So let me answer. - Michael on Apr 20, 2017, 8:26 AM
                      40. To keep out of trouble? That is not what Peter meant. - Tomas on Apr 30, 2017, 12:39 AM
                      41. Re: To keep out of trouble? That is not what Peter meant. - Michael on May 3, 2017, 6:01 AM
                      42. OK, since nothing more to say, then you have ended the discussion. - Tomas on May 13, 2017, 10:36 PM
     
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