“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Source of our Faith

I have posted on the necessity of faith, and the object of our faith, but now let me dwell for a moment on the source of our faith.

In the Heidelberg Catechism we read: "This faith, [saving faith], the Holy Spirit works in my heart by the gospel."

Sadly there are many who have been taught, directly, or indirectly, that they can grit their teeth and 'develop' faith. My friends, you cannot 'develop' your own faith; the source of our faith is God and God alone. Yes, we exhibit it, but it is given to us by the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, through the preaching of the Word of the Gospel.

One cannot work up saving faith – it is a gift from God, by grace. God, monergistically – that 25 dollar word meaning working alone - works in us to give us saving faith. It is not synergistically developed, with me adding a little something and God adding a little something.

Let me give you but two examples:

Ephesians 2:8, 9 -- But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Acts 16:14 -- One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.

My friends, we were as dead as Jairus’ daughter when Christ arrived at the door of our heart – it was the blessed Holy Spirit that made us alive, like Lydia, to hear the word of the Lord, and believe! And by this belief we are saved.

Why would God do this? I don’t know, but what an awesome God we serve, one who sent His only begotten Son to die a horrific death on the cross for sins that I committed, providing a way for me to be made right before the Father. Not only did Christ die for our sin, but God puts in our hearts the very ability to believe this! Words fail me when I think of the greatness of salvation, and the amazing Grace of God!

Let me close out this post by saying this; the means that God has chosen for stirring the hearts of those being regenerated by the Holy Spirit is the Word of God – as Paul says in Romans 1, For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

My friends, the proclamation of the word is so vital! We must never forget that God uses the means of His Word to stir the hearts of one who is lost, and by the power of the Holy Spirit He brings them to Himself – let us never neglect the reading, studying and applying of God’s Word to our lives!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The key word in Eph. 2: 8,9 is "that." "and THAT (the faith that saves you through grace) is not of yourselves."

The faith comes from God. Nowhere else.

As you say we can't generate it no matter how hard we try. (or how much Benny Hinn tells us we can)