Faith is NOT the Gift of God in Salvation

By Holly Garcia and Johninnc

Is Faith the Gift of God, or is it eternal life?

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

One of the more common attacks on the gospel is that God chooses who will believe in Jesus as Savior by giving them the faith to believe, while depriving everyone else of this “gift of faith.”

The teaching that faith is the gift of God, or even part of the gift of God, is the cornerstone error of reformed theology, or Calvinism. This error has been one of Satan’s primary tools in perpetuating the lie that we can earn eternal life by our works.

From Clear Gospel:

We observe from church history that the corruption of “grace” into an ethereal vitalizing substance, though often starting with the seemingly “innocuous” view that “grace” vitalizes the lost sinner to belief in Christ, deteriorates, almost inevitably, to the belief that the effects of grace, being sovereign or irresistible, will ultimately empower man to “repent of his sins,” to perform certain acts of righteousness, and/or to “persevere to the end” in faith and good works. Finally, we observe that the frequent conclusion of this heresy is that, if permanent and significant lifestyle changes are not manifest in the life of a sinner, God’s “grace” was never received.

As a consequence, we believe that such a corruption of the meaning of the word “grace” historically portends a grave likelihood, if not a virtual certainty, of a theological system deteriorating into a system of salvation by “Christ plus works,” (Romans 11:6-7, Ephesians 2:8-9), the very opposite meaning of the word “Grace.”

Contrary to the heretical teaching that faith is the gift of God, the Bible teaches that eternal life is the gift of God.

‘Faith’ does not = the gift of God.

‘Faith’ does not = salvation.

One can have faith and not be saved.   It is by having faith in the right object that we receive the free gift of salvation (believing upon Jesus Christ as our Savior – who He is and what He has done for us -1 Cor. 15:3-4).  We are justified by our faith in Him through the preaching of His truth, the gospel.

john 6-47Romans 5 – 6:23 lists the gift of God seven times, and not once is it suggested the gift is making someone believe (or be regenerated in advance of belief).

GIFT OF SALVATION

All the gifts are clearly identified as salvation; justification unto life (eternal), the gift of righteousness (His righteousness imputed to us), and eternal life.

Not once is “faith” named as being the gift seen in Romans 5:14-6:23.

It is concluded in Romans 6:23, that the gift of God, the free gift, is eternal life (which comes by belief in Jesus Christ as Savior).

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In the Bible, some are commended for their great faith, others challenged to have greater faith, and still other criticized for having little faith, yet others are told to ‘have faith’.

Luke 7:9: When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

Mark 11:22: And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

Luke 12:28: If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Jesus could not commend someone for great faith, if such faith were a gift from God. To do so would be attributing God’s glory to man. It is simply inconceivable that God would have Jesus praising man for something He had given him.  He would have been praising the wrong person — God does not make mistakes.  Jesus attributed the great faith to the centurion, not God.  Jesus also commented the woman with the daughter with the demon; “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.”

Why would Jesus ask someone to Have Faith if He had to give it to them first?

Similarly, Jesus could not challenge someone to have a stronger faith if such faith were to come from God. In so doing, Jesus would be challenging the Triune God (which includes Himself) to provide someone with a better faith.  If faith was the gift, God would have failed for not giving them enough.  None of this lines up with the Word.

Finally, Jesus could not chastise a believer for having little faith, if such faith had been provided as the gift of God.  Nor would an honest God tell a crowd to ‘have faith’ when (if Calvinism were true) then the minority would be the ones that had already been chosen to be gifted with this faith.

It is clearly evident from scripture that faith itself is not the gift of God.

Eternal life is the gift of God.

The Bible clearly shows that saved speaks to eternal life in this passage (by grace you are saved) and we are saved through faith.  Salvation/eternal life is the gift of God, it is not of us, not of works.

Ephesians 2:8-9:  [8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

John 4:10: Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

John 6:37-39:  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Acts 2:38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Gift of God is identified throughout scripture as eternal life itself or as the Holy Spirit who regenerates us (imparts eternal life to us) and indwells us, when we believe (Titus 3:4-7; Rom 8:9; Eph 1:13) not before (which would have to be the case if one was ‘gifted’ faith’). The measure of faith spoken to in Rom 12 does not have anything to do with receiving eternal life.

Scripture is clear. Eternal life, not faith, is the gift of God. One receives the free gift of eternal life the moment he believes in Jesus as his Savior. Once received by faith, eternal life can never be lost or forfeited.

For more information on how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel

43 Responses to “Faith is NOT the Gift of God in Salvation

  • Wow how completely ironic… I “just” posted this response below on Eph 2:8 literally 10 minutes ago on another blog, then I clicked here. lol Romans 6:23 confirms it as well… thanks!

    “Instead of trying to exhaustively dissect this passage simply refer to other passages. Paul speaks of the gift of salvation extensively in Romans 5. We also know that salvation is offered to “Whosoever,” so why would the ability to trust in Christ be some special gift that Paul needed to stress here? Through context we can simply see that the gift here is salvation by grace through simple faith that all human beings are born with and have the ability to exercise.”

    Another guy had a good response on that blog as well. He said:

    “It” doesn’t refer to either noun, but to the verb “saved.” That’s ridiculously obvious. When referring to a whole process, nobody ever picks out one noun and says “it,” but “it” refers to the whole process. Anyone trying to make “it” either grace or faith, is doing it totally from doctrinal bias.”

    Brad

    • In another article I wrote about this, I supplied some opinions on the original Greek construction. These are not recommendations to the people themselves.

      A. T. Robertson, “’Grace’ is God’s part, ‘faith’ ours. And that (kai touto). Neuter, not feminine taute, and so refers not to pistis (feminine) or to charis (feminine also), but to the act of being saved by grace conditioned on faith on our part”.

      Kenneth Wuest says, “The word ‘that’ is touto — in the neuter gender. The Greek word ‘faith’ is feminine in gender and therefore touto could not refer to ‘faith’. It refers to the general idea of salvation in the immediate context”. I think faith in Acts 3:16 is the gift of faith given for that specific situation.

      To show that faith is not a meritorious work, the Bible contrasts faith in Christ with meritorious works in both Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 4:4-5. Faith means exactly that we can do nothing for our salvation. We can only receive salvation as a gift. Faith is like an empty hand that simply accepts a gift.” ~Dr.Charlie Bing,

      http://redeemingmoments.com/2014/02/27/1457/

    • Rayburne F. Winsor
      5 months ago

      “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” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The reason the “that” in the above Authorized version refers to the entire preceding clause is that the demonstrative pronoun , in Greek touto is neuter in gender, while the words “grace” and “faith” are feminine in gender, and the pronoun should normally agree with its antecedent in gender and number. Thus, the “that” would mot likely refer to the whole preceding statement, “by grace are ye saved through faith.” Since grammar is not always cut and dried, there are examples in Greek literature of a neuter referring to a feminine noun, but that is very exceptional. So, to sum up,that is why I believe the “that” refers to the entire preceding clause “by grace are ye saved through faith” and therefore faith is the gift of God because it is part of the “by grace are ye saved through faith” salvation. Also, the scripture is clear that repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin. We turn away from sin (repentance) in faith to Jesus Christ for salvation. In other words, There is no genuine faith without true repentance and no genuine repentance without true faith (genuine faith is permeated with true repentance and genuine repentance is permeated with true faith), so if the Bible explicitly teaches that repentance is the gift of God (Acts 11:18: “Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted granted repentance unto life”) , then, so is faith the gift of God Also, the Bible teaches that because unregenerate sinners (without spiritual life and the Holy Spirit) are spiritually “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) , spiritually blind (Ephesians 4:18; 1 Cor. 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4) and their carnal minds are “enmity against God” (Romans 8:7), they are not able to believe until God gives them spiritual life and power/ability to do so. Clear proof of this is the one scriptural passage (Lydia’s conversion in Acts 16:14) in the whole New Testament that deals with the OPENING of the heart (new birth or regeneration ) and explicitly states that it was THE LORD who opened Lydia’s heart to enable her to believe the Gospel message Paul preached: “…whose heart the LORD OPENED ; that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul (Acts 16:14 compare NIV translation). In short, repentance and faith, as this verse and others show, are the fruits of a regenerated heart (“…whose heart the LORD OPENED)–the evidence that regeneration or new birth has already taken place: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God….” (1 John 5:1; compare James 1:18: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures”). God bless.

      • Re: Eph 2:8-9 (You say that ‘most likely this would refer to the whole preceding statement – meaning faith being the gift). I’m sorry, that is wrong. I won’t get into your whole argument regarding the grammar, I think that a child can understand what is said in Scripture over and over again simply because of multiple witnesses/testimony in Scripture.

        The Gift, the Free gift is eternal life (Rom 5:15-6:23). Also called the Gift of righteousness, the gift of justification unto life, the Gift of the Holy Spirit (who baptizes us once we believeinto the church).

        Nowhere are we told faith is the power of God unto salvation. This is what I call pre-regeneration (being chosen for eternal life before we were even born, thus being given the Holy Spirit so that we can believe). A puppet Master with humans with no choice, just zombies walking, blinded by from being able to believe the gospel (by the way, that is Satan not God who blinds people from the glorious gospel – 2 Cor 4:4).

        By Reformed doctrine, one can never know if they are truly regenerated, or one of those fooled into thinking they believed because of that trickery called ‘evanescent grace’. Again, God doesn’t work that way, but the god of this age/world does.

        It is not faith that is the power of God unto salvation. It is not PRE-regeneration that is the power of God unto salvation. On the contrary, we are told it is the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16-17; 1 Cor 1:17-18).

        Which is it?
        1) Faith come by hearing, and hearing by the Word?
        2) Or is it Faith comes by receiving it as a gift of God?

        Is it
        1) How will they believe if they have not heard?
        2) Or is it how will they believe if they have not been regenerated by the Spirit?

        Let me assure you, both #2 are wrong.

        We are to believe the good news to receive this free gift of eternal life, and we need to hear the gospel. Again, we are told over and over we must believe on Jesus Christ — not ‘wait for it’.

        We can believe because we are told to ‘have faith’. We are told some would not come to Him that they might have life, not that they cannot come but they would not. We are told men resist the Holy Spirit. Men harden their hearts. We are told that those in Israel would not come when He wanted to gather them. They would not, not could not. God is not a man that He should lie, He would not exhort us to do something we could not. What you believe, or what I believe is inconsequential really if Scripture does not say it.

        You say: //We turn away from sin (repentance) in faith to Jesus Christ for salvation.//

        Completely wrong. Turning away from sin is not the definition of repentance. I believe you’ve likely heard this and reject it, but since you are into the original Greek, you certainly should know that meta and noia in no way contain the word sin although one could think differently about sins, but this is not in the original words. To add this is to add to God’s Word. God repented more than anyone in the OT and of course does not sin. Jonah 3:9-10 clearly shows God repenting and man’s WORK of turning from their sin (evil ways).

        If repent = repent from sin, we’d be in trouble, it would contradict with God’s Word. For it is NOT by works of the law, it is NOT by works of righteousness whereby one must be saved.

        You say frequently things like; a lot of ‘The Bible is clear, or the Bible ‘explicitly teaches’, etc., however you do not properly use the Word in context. Friend, you are using what is called proof texting, typical of the Calvinist/reformed doctrine.

        Let me ask you to ask Him this: Lord, am I going to be ashamed one day for the way I am presently handling Your Word? I believe so, I think the reformed doctrine casts an awful lot of God’s Word behind their backs – please see Psalm 50:16-17.

        Regarding Acts 11:18. Did the Gentiles also get included in the promises? This is what it speaks to, not all Gentiles will believe, but the Nations were included in the promise of the blessing made to Abraham, and now the Jews were seeing and understanding this (although they should have known from their Scriptures).

        You say //the Bible teaches that because unregenerate sinners (without spiritual life and the Holy Spirit) are spiritually “dead in trespasses and sins”…spiritually blind……and their carnal minds are “enmity against God”//

        And you were o.k. until you said this: //they are not able to believe until God gives them spiritual life and power/ability to do so. Clear proof of this is the one scriptural passage (Lydia’s conversion in Acts 16:14) in the whole New Testament that deals with the OPENING of the heart (new birth or regeneration ) and explicitly states that it was THE LORD who opened Lydia’s heart to enable her to believe the Gospel message Paul preached: “//

        You suggested that I look to the NIV (a dynamic equivalent which is a thought by thought translation) and I prefer a literal, but even so, whether KJV, NASB or NIV, none say that the Lord touching her heart to pay attention to what Paul say is God making her believe (you called it evidence of the regeneration of Lydia).

        Sorry, once again, this is wrong. Don’t make a doctrine out of a few proof texts that can be answered by a multitude of other texts from Scripture., we all need to tremble at His Word (Is 66:2).

        You cited 1 John 5:1 as some sort of evidence that pre-regeneration comes first, but it says, ‘Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. It does not say, that whoever is born of God believeth that Jesus is the Christ.

        You also cited James 1:18, as somehow some proof that the Holy Spirit regenerates us before we can believe, but James is telling us that we are begotten by the Word of truth, this is when we believe (please see Scriptures below). This is another example of you not understanding the whole counsel of God. We are not born again by being regenerated before we can believe, but by believing the Word of truth, which both your examples actually witness to. Consider these also:

        In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. Eph 1:13

        For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 1 Thess 2:13

        • Holly, excellent, biblical answers!

          Calvinism serves no other purpose than to deceive people and frustrate grace.

          • I agree John regarding Calvinism. It puts believers in bondage, and if not believers, a gospel which tells you wait for the regeneration IF you happen to be one of the chosen to salvation, well…that is not the gospel. They don’t word it that way, but it still is indeed the truth. I hope the gentleman might prayerfully read, but for the most part, many of them do not.

          • Rayburne F. Winsor
            2 months ago

            You don’t know what you are talking about, Give me one verse that clearly teaches faith is the cause of regeneration or new birth. What is said is based on sound exegesis, not eisegesis or reading your own meaning into theses verses, which is what you have given us,. Yes, faith comes by hearing the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit, of course, which is why 1 Peter ssid., “being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth for ever. Sinners will believe by the Spirit of God convicting, drawing and regenerating their hearts through the preaching of God’s Word. God opens the heart to enable sinners to believe, sinners whose hearts are “dead in trespasses and sins” cannot open their own hearts to enable themselves to believe. That is as plain in Acts 16:14 as the nose on your face: The LORD OPENED her (Lydia’s) heart to enable her to heed the gospel preached by Paul. Take care

          • Rayburne, I’ll allow this one. I was thinking about what would be the point, as all Calvinists argue these same proof texts without taking context or multiple Scriptures into account.

            You asked, //Give me one verse that clearly teaches faith is the cause of regeneration or new birth. //

            And I had to laugh because you turned around and answered with two of the hundred plus verses that tell us just that.

            You cited Romans 10:17 and 1 Pet 1:23

            So then faith cometh >>>by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

            Comment: Faith doesn’t come by pre-regeneration of a dead unable to believe zombie. But by the hearing and believing of the Word.

            The Lord opening up Lydia’s heart to attend to the things Paul said, still did not guarantee her salvation, but she was already listening. She was seeking God.

            Eph 1:13 tells us this: ..in whom ye also trusted, after that ye >>>heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also >>>after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

            Calvinists teach that the Holy Spirit regenerates the person first, we find that nowhere in Scripture no matter how your scholars try to twist a few verses and do violence to the Scriptures.

            For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 1 Thess 2:13

            No, it does not say they were infused with it but when they believed they received it as the truth.

            I’m really hoping you will prayerfully consider what you are saying about God’s character. But if what you teach is truth then of course, you are not speaking on your own, He is speaking through you. May the Lord judge.

          • Here are some more Scriptures for you to consider Rayburne if you’ll get out of men’s ‘confessions’ and reformed books and just look into the Word alone.

            https://expreacherman.com/believers-justification/

      • jasonc65
        5 months ago

        If the fact that we are saved by grace through faith is the gift, then salvation or eternal life is the gift, not faith. If faith is the gift, the feminine should have been used. Latin is similar. Gratia and fidem are feminine, and hoc is neuter.

        • Jason, agree. We should pray for people who have been deceived by the poison TULIP of Calvinism.

          • Rayburne F. Winsor
            2 months ago

            The whole: “By grace through faith “salvation is the gift of God’s grace, as careful exegesis of this verse shows.

          • Rayburne, it appears you just haven’t read any of the article at all. ‘Careful exegesis’ doesn’t show this one bit, more like twisted eisegesis. Children can understand what the gift is. But Scripture witnesses to us what the gift is over and over and over. And Scripture tells us over and over how we are justified or counted righteous… by faith.

            15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:15-21

              16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17 (as it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:20 he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Romans 4

        • Jason, even if they could make their case grammatically, which they do not except by extreme twisting (i.e. James White and John 3:16), the fact of the matter is, that the extreme amount of other Scriptures tell us differently, that eternal life is the gift, which is salvation. We cannot deny the whole counsel in favor of one verse they attempt to understand one way. Funny thing, ask any child what the gift is in Ephesians 2:8-9, and I do believe (as I’ve tried it), they’ll all answer salvation.

          • jasonc65
            5 months ago

            My Calvinist Bible teacher used the very same world = elect trick. Another trick I have seen is to argue that “shall have eternal life” in John 3:16 is subjunctive. Yet John 3:18, John 3:36, and John 5:24 are indicative, and there is no way one can forcefully argue that a purpose clause is hypothetical. But they do it anyway.

          • Thank you for that Jason, seems that they continue to count on the excellency of their speech and their own wisdom vs. His Word.

            And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Cor 2:1-5

            Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech. 2 Cor 3:12

          • jasonc65
            5 months ago

            By the way, that subjunctive argument is typically made by catholics.

          • I agree Jason, thank you for sharing.

  • This really spoke to me, over the years my understanding of faith had become clouded by non scriptural ideas that had tucked themselves into my beliefs. This really helped me discard those false notions and return to the true untarnished faith that scripture teaches.

    Thank you,
    Angela

  • violet thompson
    2 years ago

    Romans ch.12 v.3 last part of verse that God has given to every man a measure of faith please explain

    • Violet, thanks for joining in, I am just not quite sure what you are asking to have explained. The verse seems clear to me, just as He gives every man in this world light (Jn 1:9). Does that answer what you were asking?

    • Dear Violet,

      Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

      This verse means that every person has been born with enough faith (THE MEASURE OF FAITH) to believe in Christ if they choose to do so. It’s not if we have faith, it’s what do we do with the faith that we have been given. Are we trusting in ourselves and our own works Or in the finished work of Jesus only for salvation.

      🙂

  • Angela – I know what you mean. Spending time with the Lord in His Word helps brings light into the situation (Ps 119:130, 105) and is the best thing we can choose (Lk 10:38-42). May we all unlearn the errors we’ve picked up along the way by studying with His approval as our goal.

  • Holly, what I think Violet means is that it appears in Romans 12:3 that faith is a gift.

    Romans 12:3

    “3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

    I believe faith is a gift, but it’s not the specific gift in Eph 2:8. Life is a gift and the ability to believe is a gift, but it’s not some special gift that only certain people get.
    Everybody has the ability to believe.

    But, I think Romans 12:3 is talking about spiritual gifts anyway and everybody’s faith is different in that regard. Hence; a “Measure” or different levels / aspects.

    Brad

    • Thanks Brad, not sure how I missed this. I have seen it described three different ways. The Calvinist way (Faith IS the gift) which I do not believe can be backed up with their proof texting. Or there are two other ways which are both Biblically consistent I believe.

      One is as I mentioned is a measure of faith given to all men, it’s consistent with the Light God gives to every man in the world. They need to decide where they will place their ability to believe.

      Secondly, if it is only spoken OF believers, (which 12:6 would seem to also say) then it would be consistent with what you said, it is faith speaking to differing gifts in the body, however, because of 1 Cor 12:9, I think of the gift of faith given to certain members in the body, so? I think both the above are possible, with more in grace leaning towards your definition. 🙂

  • Hi,

    Just thinking about this and Violet’s question ….. this may be helpful.

    In Ephesians 2:8-9: [8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    For sure here the gift is not Faith but Salvation and this so important as Holly so clearly explains to view Salvation as the Gift. If one rightly divides the Word this is the faith that leads to salvation which all men have equal access to.

    Yet the faith in Romans Chapter 3 verse 12 “that God has given to every man a measure of faith” is for the believers, those who have received the gift of salvation.

    This faith when read in context has to do with using our individual gifts.

    FOR as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

    Paul is exhorting by faith to use the gifts we are given, all of us believers have been given some measure of faith as part of our new status in Jesus…so use what has been given to use access the gifts.

    Just my thoughts, I have always found it is helpful to see what is the message of salvation to the unbeliever and then what is the message to the believer.

    I may be off since I have not done an exhaustive study …so of course feedback is welcome.

    Angela

    • Angela, I don’t think you are off. I have heard it explained both ways, either fits, also with the fact He gives light to every man that comes into the world, and the Holy Spirit convicts the world (Jn 16) and God makes the truth manifest to everyone (Rom 1). Every person has the ability to believe. Love in Him.

  • I had some thoughts on this article this morning. The Pastor of the church I have been attending has been really nice and responds back to all my emails. For the most part he has been right in line with free Grace. He’s completely against reformed theology and believes repentance is a change of mind and that works are not necessary to earn, keep or prove salvation etc. He did say that he felt salvation faith is a gift. But, he said all humans are gifted with this faith at birth and that it must be exercised for salvation. So just as our very life is a gift, so is the faith to believe on Christ. I see where he is coming from, and he doesn’t believe anybody has some special faith to believe for salvation that other’s don’t have. Technically he’s right. He believes the whole process is the gift of eph 2:8-9. Being saved by grace through faith is the gift in his opinion. I see where he is coming from. Pretty smart guy.

    • Technically, I cannot agree with your pastor that salvation faith is the gift or that all are ‘gifted’ with this faith. The Word tells us that God gives light to every man that comes into the world. That the truth He makes manifest to all. To say that people are ‘gifted with salvation faith’ is qualification and again speculation. Why cannot people just stick with the Word? The entrance of HIS WORD gives light.

  • rudy bucci
    1 year ago

    why faith is a gift or enablment to believe the gospel is because every person enters this world with no ability because of are Adamic nature or as the bible calls us a natural man Spiritualy dead as the book of Romans chap.3:10 declares there is none righteous,no not one,there is none who understands,there is none who seeks after God,they have all turned aside,they have together become unprofitable,there is none who does good,no,not one,and it continues to verse 18,describing mans total depravity unable to believe just as the Jewish nation because of there unbelief could not enter into Gods rest or favor.God’s Son died for those who the Father had given Him while they were dead in there sins,yes the whole gift starts with God’s umeriting favor for by grace you have been saved,notice,it has been done for you.then it says through faith and not of your selves,it is a gift of God,not of works lest anyone should boast.note miss Holly Garcia has started her article disregarding mankind’s original condition she assumes be cause of man’s free will He can choose God’s free gift any time he chooses.

    • Rudy, “faith” is not the gift of God, eternal life is the gift of God! (see Romans 6:23).

      Holly explained that point adequately, and compellingly, in the article.

      Regarding man’s free will to choose whether or not to believe the good news when presented with it, scripture is replete with passages that affirm this.

      John 3:18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

      It is clear, from John 3:18, that people are accountable to God for having either believed, or not believed, in Jesus as Savior. Accountability requires responsibility. If God were to compel some people, but not others, to believe the gospel, man cannot be responsible.

      I think you might find the article linked below, and the quote below, to be helpful:

      https://expreacherman.com/2014/03/23/john-318-denudes-and-proves-false-the-main-tenet-of-calvinism-predestination/

      From Clear Gospel:

      We believe that no man, left alone in his lost estate, will seek after God in truth (Romans 3:11), but will corrupt the knowledge of God for a lie (Romans 1:21-25). Accordingly, we believe that no man will therefore ever come to saving faith in Jesus Christ apart from the activity of the Triune God in drawing the unbeliever to Christ, (John 3:8; 6:44; 9:1-41). We believe, however, that in His infinite grace and mercy, our Triune God does, in fact, draw all men unto Jesus Christ (John 16:7-11; John 12:32), and that His offer of salvation to all men is authentic (John 3:16; 1st Timothy 2:4; 2nd Peter 3:9; 1st John 2:2).

      We reject the doctrine of “sovereign grace,” that God infuses in certain elect persons some divine empowering substance that will “irresistibly” impel them to faith in Christ, and that apart from this infusion, men are incapable of faith. Faith is an act of the creature, not an imposition of the Creator. And the drawing of men to faith Christ is an act of the personal Triune God, not a product of an impersonal Aristotelian substance.

      The fact that all men, even those dead in their sins, have the capacity to believe, is evidenced by the activity of Satan, who “has blinded the minds of them which believe not,” and “takes the Word out of their heart” . . . “lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” . . . “lest they should believe and be saved,” (Luke 8:4-5,12; 2nd Corinthians 4:4). The plain meaning of the term “lest they believe,” demands that those who are lost have the actual capacity to believe on Christ without some magical infusion of “sovereign grace” or “irresistible grace.” The fact that not all men respond to Christ is evidence that they are endowed with a free will to resist the drawing of the Father, and to reject the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit, thereby calling the Holy Spirit a liar.

  • Marie-Eve Martin, Brampton, Toronto
    1 year ago

    Calvinism/Reformed “theology” and all its offsprings are pure evil. Presbyterianism (the blasphemous Sproul and his fabled double imputation and his license to “believers to watch any movie, porn or not, music, vile or not, as it won’t affect you since you are of the “elect.” I heard that years ago and still have not forgotten it; just maybe it explains in a way the very (wouldn’t you say unnaturally high) incidences of sexual sins and sexual abuse in Protestant “circles of late? Gee whizz, this lot is covering up and explaining away like the devil is on fire!
    No wonder the Calvinists I know are carnal to the bone, living as ones of the world with no, I mean NO, difference between them and the world. I guess that is the difference between being “elect” their way and born-again the biblical way. These two terms are simply not the same.
    Here in my city of Toronto, the Calvinistic effects are nauseating. Some churches here have counselors with very dodgy and sexually perverted pasts. How would you like to be counseled on marriage problems by a former prostitute, for example? Yes, anything goes with Calvinists, and one has to ask why?
    They are not born again. That is why. They are still of the world, still lost, and still on their way to hell, and they are taking with them souls who know no better.

    Please pray for Toronto, that this evil and anti-biblical spirit may implode and that people may see the simple truth and that they may no longer think that wolves like MacArthur, Sproul and Calvin and Luther are by any means godly. They are not. They are ravenous wolves.

    • Marie — I had no idea about that, surprises me slightly, yet I see the hard hearted attitude and elitism in Calvinism that is surely distressing. Praying with you…

    • I am troubled by the following statement that Marie made: Yes, anything goes with Calvinists, and one has to ask why?
      They are not born again. That is why.

      I am against Calvinist teaching in a big way. However, one of the tenets of Calvinism – perseverance of the saints – leads to fruit inspection.

      We cannot know whether someone who seems to adhere to Calvinist theology is or is not saved. In fact, we cannot know whether anyone is or is not saved – particularly by their behavior.

      • Thank you for catching that John, I missed that. Yes, we cannot know whether anyone who is mixed up in a certain theology is saved. All it takes is to believe on Christ (who He is) and Him crucified for our sins and resurrected (what He did for us), in order for us to receive the free gift of eternal life. We see all over the epistles that Christians had their faith shipwrecked, or believers bewitched, or believers in doubt, many in carnality etc. We might wonder if they’ve ever understood the gospel, in that case, it’s good to share the good news clearly with them.

        Thanks again for reading carefully John. Marie, I hope you’ll consider what John said here because the Word doesn’t show the apostles doubting people’s positional stance based on their correctness in theology. In Christ, Holly.

  • jasonc65
    8 months ago

    That sure is comforting. I see people with incorrect theology everywhere I look. Just one instance of turn from sin is all it takes to prove that they are confused. Until last year, that was me.

    • So glad you’ve seen the truth from His Word, Jason. I remember the story from John 9 speaking to me, in that, even though I had believed, I had been blinded because of all these false teachings. This thing I know is I once was blind but now I see. <3 I heard you met Curtis, so glad to hear the two of you were able to fellowship together.

  • jasonc65
    1 month ago

    I noticed this corruption of grace into a substance in Walter Martin’s last speech. It was creepy. Even life undergoes this corruption. It becomes the very essence of God. In the end, all criticism of Word of Faith is nullified, just as the gospel is nullified by lordship. I had to listen to discover the horror that this is what “freed” me from Armstrong. It is all lordship.

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