Is Faith A Gift From God?10-02-2014 - Posted by Andre Piet
The key question here is: What is a gift from God? 1. is it salvation?; 2. is it faith?; 3. or does it apply to both: salvation as well as faith?
The Greek language, here, gives a definitive answer. Option 1 and 2, for grammatical reasons, are out of the question. It literally says, “IT is a gift of God”, where “IT” is a neuter word. “IT” could, therefore, not refer to “faith”, because that is feminine, but not to “saved” either, because that is masculine. This leaves option 3. “… IT is a gift of God” refers to the entire, preceding part of the sentence. Both, salvation and believing are a gift from God. It is grace that we are being saved and it also is grace that we are given to believe. As Paul writes elsewhere:
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; -Philippians 1:29- (KJV)
The Evangel is not merely the preaching of grace, but of grace ALONE. If there would be anything in it of ourselves (e.g. faith), we would have an opportunity to boast. But God precludes this completely!! Otherwise grace would not be grace anymore (Rom.11:6). God maintains, from the beginning to the end, the honor of salvation to Himself (cp. Phil.1:6). Romans 8:30 says that whom God designates beforehand, these He calls also, and whom He calls, these He justifies also; now whom He justifies, these He glorifies also.. Here is presented an unbreakable golden chain, of which not one chain-link is of human origin. That is why Paul in Ephesians 2:9 adds:
“… lest anyone should boast.”
It was the Lord who opened the heart of Lydia, so she paid attention to what was spoken by Paul (Acts 16:14).
The hearing ear and the seeing eye–YAHWEH has made them both. -Proverbs 20:12- (CLV)
God has and keeps the ‘stage-direction’ completely in His hands. It is HE Who closes and opens man’s eyes, ears and heart. He enables us to see, hear and understand. When we believe Him, it is because He graciously grants us to believe. It is a privilege given to a human being. This shows that since God can open our heart, he obviously can open every heart. And He WILL do that, too, at His time.
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. -Romans 5:18- (NASB)
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. -Philippians 2:10,11- (KJV)
For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. -Romans 11:32- (KJV)