Scriptures

Is Faith A Gift From God?

Introduction

There are many sincere people who believe that faith is a gift from God, but before coming to any reasonable conclusion on any Scripture, we must bear in the mind the context of any passage.

In Ephesians 2:1-3 Paul reminds us of who we were and what we deserved and in Ephesians 2:4-10 Paul reminds us of everything God has done for us, He makes us alive, He raises us up, He seats us with Christ, He saves us and He has good works for us to do.

When we bear in mind that grace, in and of itself doesn’t save anyone, what grace does is opens the way up for us to be saved. Likewise, faith in and of itself doesn’t save anyone, this too opens the way up for us to be saved. There’s nothing we can do which will provide salvation for ourselves, but what we do does enable us to receive salvation, but we don’t earn it, Mark 16:16 / Luke 13:3 / Romans 10:9-10 / Mark 16:15-16.

If you fall off the boat and almost drown and somebody throws you a rope and says, ‘take the rope’ and he pulls you in, you didn’t earn your salvation. You had to believe in the rope, you had to believe that it will save you. Why grab the rope if you don’t believe it could save you?

Is Grace Or Faith The Gift?

‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.’ Ephesians 2:8-9

At first glance when we read this passage it appears to read that ‘faith’ is the gift of God, but when we focus on the word, ‘saved’, instead of focusing on the word ‘faith’, the text begins to make sense in its context and is in harmony with what Paul taught in Romans 6:23, where he describes salvation as the ‘gift of God’.

When we look at Ephesians as a whole, the first three chapters deal with salvation and they tell us that salvation is found in Christ, Ephesians 1:11 / Ephesians 1:13 / Ephesians 2:5 / Ephesians 2:13 / Ephesians 3:7. When we read the context of Ephesians 2:8-9, we find the theme of salvation again.

Notice that salvation is by grace, salvation is through faith, salvation is not from yourselves, salvation is the gift of God, salvation is not of works. In other words, Paul’s focus wasn’t on faith but salvation. He mentions faith in this passage as the way that salvation can be accepted, salvation is through faith.

‘Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours.’ 2 Peter 1:1

The word ‘received’ here means to obtain by lot, Luke 1:9, and it’s the same word Peter uses in Acts 1:17. The question is, how did they receive this precious faith? Was it a free gift from God?

Faith is described as coming when we read or hear the Word of God being proclaimed. Faith comes about when we think about God and what He has done and continues to do to this day, this produces faith, Romans 10:17.

Peter tells us that faith is precious, not a gift, it’s the kind of faith that will provide strength for us when we go through difficult times, Hebrews 6:18-19. Our faith is based on God’s grace through the sacrificial offering of the Son of God in whom we believe.

In other words, our faith comes about because we believe the evidence put forward in God’s Word concerning the miracles of Jesus and His resurrection, John 20:30-31 / Romans 1:4 / Hebrews 2:3-4. Our faith isn’t a gift from God, but something we have to conclude based on those evidences, Hebrews 11:1.

There Is A Gift Of Faith

‘To another faith by the same Spirit.’ 1 Corinthians 12:9

Remember the context of 1 Corinthians 12-14 is all about the miraculous spiritual gifts and here Paul mentioned the miraculous spiritual gift of faith, but this is a totally different kind of faith.

The faith which Paul speaks about here isn’t the faith we read about in Romans 5:1. This is a miraculous faith that enabled one to ‘remove mountains’, 1 Corinthians 13:2 / Matthew 17:20 / James 5:14-15.

Paul said that we all have different gifts, Romans 12:6, but if we say that everyone had to have received the ‘gift of faith’ from God in order to receive eternal life, John 3:16 / John 5:24 / John 6:47, then that means that every Christian would have the spiritual gift of faith, but Paul says we don’t, that’s not the case, 1 Corinthians 12:27-31.

Conclusion

Neither Peter in 2 Peter 2:1, or Paul in Ephesians 2:8-9, speak of the miraculous gifts, especially ‘miraculous faith’. The faith in which Peter and Paul are speaking of is the faith which comes through hearing the Word and isn’t described as a gift by Paul in Romans 10:17.

Salvation can never be merited, it’s a gift, it’s God’s grace, it can never be earned, and it can never be deserved.

There are those that say we’re saved through grace only, but this simply isn’t true as God demands obedience too, James 2:14-26. In 2 Kings 5:9-14 we see that Naaman has to immerse himself seven times in the river Jordan in order to be healed of his leprosy. God promised him, when he immerses himself seven times in the Jordan, he will be healed but it had nothing to do with earning his healing, Romans 5:5-8.

‘Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.’ Romans 10:17

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:6

MENU