Ever wonder how you got the faith necessary to believe Christ is the Son of God?
Some people would tell you that God’s grace assists a believer to exercise his faith…
A faith that’s native to his being.
That’s the so-called semi-Pelagian view.
And on this view, everything depends decisively on a person’s response.
But this was not the view of Augustine, Luther, Calvin or Edwards. Nor is it the teaching of the New Testament.
Dead men don’t drink water.
Neither do dead men respond to offers of grace. At least not until they are raised from the dead.
This view is spelled out in Paul’s letters. For instance, Paul writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
What is NOT our doing? Paul is clear: the origination of our faith.
The Killer Blow to Semi-Pelagianism
Yes, it becomes our faith. We exercise that faith. Nobody else does it for us. But we can’t exercise what we don’t have, so God, through salvation, gives us faith to accept his grace.
Paul’s simple statement is a deathblow to all forms of semi-Pelagianism. It affirms that the faith by which you are justified…by which you are united in Christ…and that is the instrumental cause of your justification…did not originate in some activity or decision of your will.
It did not come from unregenerate flesh. It came from God. Decisively.
God made a promise to save every person who responds to the gospel with faith:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Fortunately for us that response doesn’t depend on our self-absorbed, wretched will.
No. It depends on God. That way our faith is eternally stable and secure. Our preservation is a promise that can’t be broken.
And that is a God worthy of our adoration.