Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Brief Note on Faith as a Gift

Of saving faith, the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith (2LBCF) declares:
The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word; by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord's supper, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened. (14.1)
Notice the assertion that saving faith is "the work of the Spirit of Christ in their [i.e. the elects'] hearts. The Abstract of Principles, used by the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, similarly declares, "[Faith] is wrought by the Holy Spirit." In 2LBCF the Scripture proof specifically tied to the doctrine that faith is a work of the Spirit is Ephesians 2:8, which reads, "For by grace you are saved through faith, and this not from yourselves, [it is] God's gift."

Sometimes, people who think that "faith" must originate in Man's 'free-will' object to using Ephesians 2:8 as a proof that faith is a gift. They point out that "faith" in the Greek is a feminine noun, whereas the pronoun "this" in the Greek is neuter. HOWEVER: because there is NO neuter antecedent for "this" in the Greek text, then it is best to see "this" as referring to "grace" (a feminine noun), "saved" (a masculine participle), and "faith" (a feminine noun) taken together. The singular pronoun "this" is used because "grace," "saved," and "faith" are seen as one experience of salvation enjoyed by the elect. As C.H. Spurgeon (who himself held to the 2LBCF) wrote,  salvation is All of Grace.

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