The conundrum of faith and the Calvinist

ReverendRV

Well-known member
To the Calvinist faith is a gift of God otherwise the claim is it is a work of man, and yet it takes a man to put faith to use, so it ends up being a work of man because it is the person's faith not God's and God does not believe for man. And faith takes a person's will to put it into effect, so man is actively involved in the mental act of the decision to repent and believe.

How do Calvinist reconcile this obvious issue within their thinking?

God bless
I am a 5-Point Calvinist. I reconcile this by saying Faith cannot be a Work because of the 'Salvation Equation". Grace + Faith - Works = Salvation. Faith can never belong to the Categories of Grace or Works, or you have a Category Mistake...

The Salvation Equation ~ by Reverend RV

Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV; 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

I often find people wondering what the fundamentals of the Gospel are; what is the minimum a person must believe in order to be a Christian? My study on the Gospel of Jesus Christ has led me to believe that ‘like a fraction’, there is a “lowest common denominator” wherein all the Righteous requirements of the Gospel can be rounded down to; this is the ‘Salvation Equation’. The Apostle Paul teaches us that the lowest common denominator is [Grace + Faith – Works = Salvation]. ~ But the main reason that I am writing this Gospel Tract is for those who know that the Apostle James says without Works, Faith is dead. Some use this as a reason not to believe the Bible because it seems to be an apparent contradiction! You ask, “Why would you call it an apparent contradiction, isn’t it self evident that it is a contradiction?” ~ It is not; let me explain…

Paul describes Biblical Works for us in two Verses; one in the negative “not by Works” and the other in the positive “works which we were created for”. Confusion about this is because we commit the Logical Fallacy of making a Category Mistake. Paul draws a distinction between good works and bad Works; those who are confused think there is only one category of Works. We do it all the time, an example of this is that the Bible says our personal righteousness is like a Filthy Rag. We are like a child who dusts his mother’s dining room table with his father’s grease rag; good intentions do not a good work make. Good Works are made from Faith; if they ever have their origins in the ‘not by Works’ factor, then the Bible says that Grace is no longer Grace. The Salvation Equation is irreducibly complex; like a mousetrap, remove its base and all remaining parts are useless to us. ~ Have you ever had an excuse because of a contradiction in the Bible? Then you’ve broken the first Commandment not to have another God first and foremost in your life. Having ‘no God’ puts everything before him in your life. All the good things you’ve done will never outweigh this Sin, the Bible says that our Works will be tested by fire; just how quickly will this greasy rag ignite and alight the rest of your Works?? God sends Sinners to an eternal Hell…

The works we were created for are in the Salvation Equation; but they are in its ‘Faith factor’. Having a lowest common denominator does not mean that there isn’t more to the good news of the Gospel. We are to Repent of our Sins; put God first in your life! This is done by God’s good Graces, through Faith in the risen Jesus Christ as our Savior. Through Faith, confess Christ as Lord, repent and find a Bible believing Church who will help you learn to put your Faith to work. ~ Take your Bible and read from Hebrews 11; make a list of all the verbs and put the word ‘Faith’ in front of them and you will see that indeed, Faith does work. ~ But since Biblically there is a distinction between our ‘Works’, never ever try to merit your Salvation; the Just shall live by Faith! The Prophet Isaiah said that God looks at the Works that Jesus preformed while here on Earth and is Satisfied. Jesus satisfied the Righteous requirements of the Mosaic Law for us and James knew this! That is why James taught that Faith keeps the Royal Law instead; and without those works; Faith is dead. Faith with Works is about doing right; not about being made Right…

James 2:8 KJV; If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
 
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Joe

Well-known member
I am a 5-Point Calvinist. I reconcile this by saying Faith cannot be a Work because of the 'Salvation Equation". Grace + Faith - Works = Salvation. Faith can never belong to the Categories of Grace or Works, or you have a Category Mistake...

The Salvation Equation ~ by Reverend RV

Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV; 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

I often find people wondering what the fundamentals of the Gospel are; what is the minimum a person must believe in order to be a Christian? My study on the Gospel of Jesus Christ has led me to believe that ‘like a fraction’, there is a “lowest common denominator” wherein all the Righteous requirements of the Gospel can be rounded down to; this is the ‘Salvation Equation’. The Apostle Paul teaches us that the lowest common denominator is [Grace + Faith – Works = Salvation]. ~ But the main reason that I am writing this Gospel Tract is for those who know that the Apostle James says without Works, Faith is dead. Some use this as a reason not to believe the Bible because it seems to be an apparent contradiction! You ask, “Why would you call it an apparent contradiction, isn’t it self evident that it is a contradiction?” ~ It is not; let me explain…

Paul describes Biblical Works for us in two Verses; one in the negative “not by Works” and the other in the positive “works which we were created for”. Confusion about this is because we commit the Logical Fallacy of making a Category Mistake. Paul draws a distinction between good works and bad Works; those who are confused think there is only one category of Works. We do it all the time, an example of this is that the Bible says our personal righteousness is like a Filthy Rag. We are like a child who dusts his mother’s dining room table with his father’s grease rag; good intentions do not a good work make. Good Works are made from Faith; if they ever have their origins in the ‘not by Works’ factor, then the Bible says that Grace is no longer Grace. The Salvation Equation is irreducibly complex; like a mousetrap, remove its base and all remaining parts are useless to us. ~ Have you ever had an excuse because of a contradiction in the Bible? Then you’ve broken the first Commandment not to have another God first and foremost in your life. Having ‘no God’ puts everything before him in your life. All the good things you’ve done will never outweigh this Sin, the Bible says that our Works will be tested by fire; just how quickly will this greasy rag ignite and alight the rest of your Works?? God sends Sinners to an eternal Hell…

The works we were created for are in the Salvation Equation; but they are in its ‘Faith factor’. Having a lowest common denominator does not mean that there isn’t more to the good news of the Gospel. We are to Repent of our Sins; put God first in your life! This is done by God’s good Graces, through Faith in the risen Jesus Christ as our Savior. Through Faith, confess Christ as Lord, repent and find a Bible believing Church who will help you learn to put your Faith to work. ~ Take your Bible and read from Hebrews 11; make a list of all the verbs and put the word ‘Faith’ in front of them and you will see that indeed, Faith does work. ~ But since Biblically there is a distinction between our ‘Works’, never ever try to merit your Salvation; the Just shall live by Faith! The Prophet Isaiah said that God looks at the Works that Jesus preformed while here on Earth and is Satisfied. Jesus satisfied the Righteous requirements of the Mosaic Law for us and James knew this! That is why James taught that Faith keeps the Royal Law instead; and without those works; Faith is dead. Faith with Works is about doing right; not about being made Right…

James 2:8 KJV; If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Brother, I do love your reply! "Faith cannot be a Work because of the 'Salvation Equation". Grace + Faith - Works = Salvation." It is spot on! Faith is not a work, but from faith works certainly happen. And your tract is a good lesson to be taught!

God bless
 

Dizerner

Well-known member
I think he's on the right trail in that tract and almost gets there—two different kinds of works.

I would argue Paul meant "Works of the Law" when he referred to salvation by works—works attempting perfection.

James on the other hand referred to "Works of Faith," which are non-meritorious works—works expressing trust in grace.
 
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Joe

Well-known member
I think he's on the right trail in that tract and almost gets there—two different kinds of works.

I would argue Paul meant "Works of the Law" when he referred to salvation by works—works attempting perfection.

James on the other hand referred to "Works of Faith," which are non-meritorious works—works expressing trust in grace.
Yes, those are good points. It would help clarify the differences to the reader.
 

ReverendRV

Well-known member
Brother, I do love your reply! "Faith cannot be a Work because of the 'Salvation Equation". Grace + Faith - Works = Salvation." It is spot on! Faith is not a work, but from faith works certainly happen. And your tract is a good lesson to be taught!

God bless
That Tract includes just ahout everything I said today ..

Neat!
 
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Howie

Well-known member
Nope, I don't recall seeing it answered. So please do. And we are to judge everything brother. I don't judge my brothers, but I sure do judge the invention of a man from the 1500's that entrapped them!
Yep. Old Arminius has fooled and led astray many generations.

How does that feel, BTW? I bet you don't even know he's done it to you, do you? 🙂
 

Leatherneck0311

Well-known member
Yep. Old Arminius has fooled and led astray many generations.

How does that feel, BTW? I bet you don't even know he's done it to you, do you? 🙂
Howie, how do Calvinist explain away this scripture that Jesus taught ? Rev 22:17 - And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Looks like an invitation from Jesus to the whosoever to come to Him. It is for those that hear, those who are thirsty, and the whosoevers takes the water of life freely. The invitation from God is to come.
 

Howie

Well-known member
Howie, how do Calvinist explain away this scripture that Jesus taught ? Rev 22:17 - And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Looks like an invitation from Jesus to the whosoever to come to Him. It is for those that hear, those who are thirsty, and the whosoevers takes the water of life freely. The invitation from God is to come.
As far as I know, Calvinists don't explain away Scripture. If you want Scripture explained away, ask an Arminian.
 

Leatherneck0311

Well-known member
As far as I know, Calvinists don't explain away Scripture. If you want Scripture explained away, ask an Arminian.
Yet not one word on what Jesus taught in Revelation 22:17 ? I understand why though it is yet another invitation from God to “whosoever” thirst let him come and “whosoever” will let him take of the water of life freely.
 
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Beloved Daughter

Super Member
If this were true hell would be empty. If faith wasn’t necessary grace would be available to everyone, which contradicts Ephesians 2:8,9, which says saved by grace through faith.
Too bad, the KJV translators believed in Calvinism. You have said in the past that the KJV is the only Bible a Christian should use. Make up your mind.


Article 1: Of Faith in the Holy Trinity


There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker, and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Article 2: Of the Word or Son of God, which was made very Man
The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took Man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect Natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God, and very Man; who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men.​

Article 3: Of the going down of Christ into Hell
As Christ died for us, and was buried, so also is it to be believed, that he went down into Hell.​

Article 4: Of the Resurrection of Christ​


Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of Man’s nature; wherewith he ascended into Heaven, and there sitteth, until he return to judge all Men at the last day.

Article 5: Of the Holy Ghost
The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.​


Article 6: Of the Sufficiency of the holy Scriptures for salvation


Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an Article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the holy Scripture we do understand those Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.


Article 7: Of the Old Testament​


The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to Mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and Man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the Law given from God by Moses, as touching Ceremonies and Rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the Civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the Commandments which are called Moral.


Article 8: Of the Three Creeds​


The Three Creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasius’s Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles’ Creed, ought thoroughly to be received and believed: for they may be proved by most certain warrants of holy Scripture.


Article 9: Of Original or Birth-sin​


Original Sin standeth not in the following of Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk;) but it is the fault and corruption of the Nature of every man, that naturally is ingendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are regenerated; whereby the lust of the flesh, called in the Greek Phronema Sarkos, which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire, of the flesh, is not subject to the Law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.

Article 10: Of Free-Will


The condition of Man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God: Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.

Article 17: Of Predestination and Election
Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour. Wherefore, they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God be called according to God’s purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through Grace obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons of God by adoption: they be made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God’s mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.

As the godly consideration of Predestination, and our Election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal Salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God: So, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God’s Predestination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the Devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.
Furthermore, we must receive God’s promises in such wise, as they be generally set forth to us in holy Scripture: and, in our doings, that Will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the Word of God.

 

Manfred

Well-known member
To the Calvinist faith is a gift of God otherwise the claim is it is a work of man, and yet it takes a man to put faith to use,
Putting faith to use and receiving the gift of faith by grace is two different things.
Why do you conflate them.
so it ends up being a work of man because it is the person's faith not God's and God does not believe for man.
So is it a work of man, or is faith by grace a free gift. Do you work, mentally (exercise your mental acuity) resulting in your faith or does God open your heart to understand truth Spiritually, and through Spiritual understanding you have faith.
And faith takes a person's will to put it into effect, so man is actively involved in the mental act of the decision to repent and believe.
That which is flesh is flesh and that which is spirit is spirit.

Your explanation above is of a faith born because of your mental acuity (human wisdom) and not born of the Spirit.
1Co 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

The repentance you talk about comes because of the conviction the Holy Spirit brings that Jesus Christ died for your sins, and not because it is the wise thing to do. You repent because you are obedient.
When the hearers of the first evangelistic sermon preached by Peter who were cut to the heart by the Spirit of God cried out, "what should we do now", Peter did not say, make a decision on weather or not you want to repent and believe.
You made up that part. Many hearers of the gospel are not cut to the heart and never shout out "what should we do" Your explanation "they were not cut to the heart because they love darkness more"

When God opened my heart, I was in the darkness, loving every minute of it. He lifted the stupor and convicted me. He was stronger than him who was in me. This idea that the human intellect and intelligent choices causes belief, which in return causes God to react and show mercy is the polar opposite of what the Bible teaches, yet you cling to it so desperately.
How do Calvinist reconcile this obvious issue within their thinking?
This "obvious issue", is a completely false premise to start with.
 

fltom

Well-known member
Calvinism does NOT teach that man has to take an extra step and "put faith to use".
God gives man an ACTIVE faith.
But that doesn't mean that "God belivese for man", it means that man believes for himself from his own faith that God gave him.
If man has not employed it how can it be an active faith

In any case God gave the ability and the enablement for faith not the faith itself
 
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Howie

Well-known member
Yet not one word on what Jesus taught in Revelation 22:17 ? I understand why though it is yet another invitation from God to “whosoever” thirst let him come and “whosoever” will let him take of the water of life freely.
You read scripture acontextually.
 
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