Is believing/faith a work ?

JudgeRightly

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Believing is a action of the mind friend, its a work!

According to scripture, it is not a work, DESPITE it being an action of the mind.

A work is something that you do to merit your salvation. Belief is a recognition that you CANNOT work to earn salvation, and therefore CANNOT be a work.

You're trying to make A = !A. It's illogical.

Thinking is action of the mind,

So what?


Not within the context of scripture it's not.
 

Bright Raven

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Believing is a action of the mind friend, its a work ! Thinking is action of the mind, a work !
These two verses answer the question to Tee. Faith/believing is not a work. See verse 9.

Ephesians 2:8-9

King James Version

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
 

JudgeRightly

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Dr. Leighton Flowers does an excellent job explaining, in depth, why faith is not just another "good deed."
 

JudgeRightly

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Dr. Flowers did a follow-up video to the one I posted above regarding John 6:29.

 

JudgeRightly

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John Piper, one of today's leading calvinists, wrote an article back in 1976 in which he correctly explains why faith is not a work, not meritorious. In it he gives two illustrations that clearly show why:

Illustration 1 – The Guilty Convict​

What faith involves and whether it “merits” salvation may be shown by two illustrations. First, picture yourself as a murderer condemned to death and awaiting execution. You are guilty and everyone knows it. You deserve to die. Then you get a letter from the President of the United States which says that he has, by his sovereign power, decided to remit your sentence and let you go free.

The reason he gives for this decision is not that any new evidence has turned up, but rather he simply wants to demonstrate to everyone his power in this declaration of mercy and to transform your disregard for his laws into humble adoration of his merciful sovereignty. He calls your attention to his seal on the letter and instructs you to simply show it to the warden, who will then let you go free—no questions asked.

So you call the guard, show him the letter and get a hearing with the warden. As you enter the warden’s office, you smell the fresh air of life and liberty blowing in his window and you see the tops of trees and a kite flying beyond the wall. You hand him the letter and he reads it. Without a query he orders the guard to get your things. As you leave the gates you turn to look at the massive prison and the row of windows where you had been an hour before. Then you start running and jumping and shouting and laughing and telling everyone, “The President let me out! The President let me out!”

Illustration 2 – The Poor Laborer​

In the second illustration, picture yourself as a poor unskilled laborer who barely can scrape enough together to feed your wife and three children. One day you get in the mail a letter from a famous wealthy philanthropist. The letter says that if you will bring it to his lawyer, the lawyer will pay you a hundred thousand dollars—no strings attached. The reason he gives is simply that he enjoys giving to the poor.

There is no indication why he sent the letter to you and not to another. You need only go pick up the money with the letter. So you follow his instructions and go. Entering the lawyer’s office, you hand him the letter. He says he has been expecting you, writes the check and bids you farewell.

The question that these two stories raise is whether you, in either situation, could properly speak of “meriting” freedom or wealth? You did have to meet a condition: The sine qua non of freedom and wealth was to present the letters from the President and the philanthropist. But to use our definition of merit, was your presenting of the letters an act so valuable to the President or to the philanthropist that they were thus obligated to reward you?

Why Faith is not Meritorious​

I think the answer is clearly no. Only one thing obligated the President and the philanthropist—their own honor. Insofar as they were committed to maintaining their own honor, it was morally impossible for them to refuse the favor they had promised. In other words, there was something so valuable to them that they were obligated to “reward” it, namely, their own good name.

Faith is symbolized by the response of the prisoner and the poor man. On what basis could they with any assurance lay claim to the promise of freedom and wealth? No use of the terms “merit” or “deserve” in our ordinary experience would justify the prisoner’s saying to the warden, “I deserve (or merit) freedom because I brought you this letter.” Nor could he properly say, “My act of bringing you this letter is an act so valuable to the President that he is therefore obligated to free me.” That statement completely contradicts the dynamics of this situation.

The prisoner may say one thing: “Our merciful President has sent me a letter of remittance and I believe that his faithfulness to his word and his commitment to his own honor is so great that in spite of my guilt he will certainly do what he has said.”

Faith is the one human act which morally obligates another person without calling attention to the other person’s honor. Faith in God’s promise obligates him to save the believer not because the quality of faith is meritorious, but because faith is the one human act which calls attention alone to God’s merit, honor and glory and his unswerving commitment to maintain that glory.
(The full article can be found here: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/is-faith-meritorious)
 

JudgeRightly

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While this video isn't about whether faith is a work or not, it is related. Dr. Flowers makes a point at around 28:13 up to 33:15 that you need to hear, B57:

 

beloved57

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Believing or Faith is contrasted with works Salvation because one must be saved already in order to believe in Christ. So when you see verses like Rom 3:22

Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Rom 4:11

And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

1 Cor 1:21

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Gal 3:22

But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Heb 11:6


But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

1 Pet 2:7

Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

Believing is evidence of being in a saved state, not a condition to get into a saved state. When this truth is adhered to, its then believing is in contrast to works salvation or justification
 

oatmeal

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The answer is absolutely yes. If we agree with the overall definition of work according to the greek word for work ergon:

See strongs # 2041:


  1. business, employment, that which any one is occupied
    1. that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking
  2. any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind
  3. an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasised in opp. to that which is less than work

    A work is anything done, accomplished by #1 hand, #2 art, #3 industry, #4 or MIND

    The mind is :

    (in a human or other conscious being) the element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc.

    Psychology. the totality of conscious and unconscious mental processes and activities.

    So believing something via the mental activity and process of reasoning is work. The process of decision making is a activity, work of the mind.

    Now for instance, the sin of hatred Gal 5:19-20


    Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,


    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

    How is that sin committed ? It starts in the mind or heart ! Yet in Vs 19 its stated as an work of the flesh

    So activity in and with the mind/heart is a work, this cannot be denied..

    Now believing is either a work of the flesh [unregenerate] or of the Spirit [ regenerated]

    But now Salvation is not by works, Neither by works of the flesh or works of the Spirit.

No.

Jas 2:14-18
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,


And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?


Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.


Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
 

beloved57

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A persons believing is a gracious gift God gives, its a preternatural operation enacted by God on spiritually dead people. Its given to a person to believe on Christ Phil 1:29 since its something mn cannot naturally do.

 

beloved57

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Believing is one of works God has ordained each new creation of His to walk in. Eph 2:10

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before

Thats why believing Faith can be contrasted with works for Salvation, when its a work post Salvation !
 

Bright Raven

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Believing is one of works God has ordained each new creation of His to walk in. Eph 2:10

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before

Thats why believing Faith can be contrasted with works for Salvation, when its a work post Salvation !
You do not believe the scriptures.

Ephesians 2:8-9​

New International Version​

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
 
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beloved57

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The only time believing isnt a work is when its understood that the Faith in which a believer believes did not originate from within him or her self, but it was granted to them by Sovereign Grace, otherwise believing faith defaults to a work of man naturally from within himself.
 

Bright Raven

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The only time believing isnt a work is when its understood that the Faith in which a believer believes did not originate from within him or her self, but it was granted to them by Sovereign Grace, otherwise believing faith defaults to a work of man naturally from within himself.
Cherrypicker
 

beloved57

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If a person says that they were saved after they obeyed, or after they believed, this person is in essence saying, salvation is of myself, of my work, and whether they admit it or not, they have something to boast of. Yet Gods word insists that salvation is the Gift of God, not of man, its not of works lest any man boast Eph 2:8-9

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
 

Bright Raven

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If a person says that they were saved after they obeyed, or after they believed, this person is in essence saying, salvation is of myself, of my work, and whether they admit it or not, they have something to boast of. Yet Gods word insists that salvation is the Gift of God, not of man, its not of works lest any man boast Eph 2:8-9

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
you quote the same verse that proves you wrong. you need to study that verse more. saved by grace, not of works.
 

JudgeRightly

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If a person says that they were saved after they obeyed, or after they believed, this person is in essence saying, salvation is of myself, of my work, and whether they admit it or not, they have something to boast of. Yet Gods word insists that salvation is the Gift of God, not of man, its not of works lest any man boast Eph 2:8-9

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Wouldn't your theology be more likely to lead someone to boast? After all, anyone who is one of "the elect" is special, better than one of the "non-elect" because the elect have been enlightened (for lack of a better term) by God, whereas the non-elect have not been, no?
 

beloved57

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Many tell us that in order to get saved you must accept Christ, now understand, if we call ourselves accepting Christ to get saved, that would be a work, since its an action we do. The word for work ergon:

  1. an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasised in opp. to that which is less than work

So accepting Christ is an act on our part. But the scripture teaches Salvation without works See Eph 2:8-9; 2 Tim 1:9

Yes, if we must perform any act to get, or keep salvation, its no longer salvation by grace, but of works.
 

JudgeRightly

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Many tell us that in order to get saved you must accept Christ, now understand, if we call ourselves accepting Christ to get saved, that would be a work, since its an action we do.

Your definition of "work" is not based on scripture, but is a modern definition.

Scripturally, a "work" is something done in order to achieve salvation, or to get to heaven.

It is NOT "an action we do."

Works are attempts to be meritorious, they are actions, yes, but it's not because they're actions that they're called works, it's because they are actions that are meritorious, the person doing those actions is doing them in order to gain salvation or get to heaven, that's what makes them a work.

Faith, on the other hand, or belief, is NOT a work, because it is NOT meritorious, the person who is believing or having faith is NOT doing so in order to achieve salvation or to get to heaven, but it's a recognition that one CANNOT merit one's own salvation.

To say that faith or believing is a work is to call A = !A.

It's calling [letting go of the rope that leads to heaven and trusting in the one who can bypass the rope completely] the same as [climbing the rope].

The word for work ergon:

  1. an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasised in opp. to that which is less than work

Which only supports what I said above.

So accepting Christ is an act on our part.

Yes, it is an act. But it is NOT a work, because it is not done to merit one's salvation.

Believing in and of itself is not meritorious.

But the scripture teaches Salvation without works

Yes it does, and since faith/belief is not a work, as Paul contrasts the two in Romans 4:5, therefore it does not conflict with the rest of scripture.

See Eph 2:8-9; 2 Tim 1:9

Question: how do you answer verses such as James 2:24, which says we are "justified by works, and not by faith only"? For one, it says works are requored to be justified, and two, even James is contrasting works against faith, clearly stating that faith is not included in the concept of works.

Yes, if we must perform any act to get, or keep salvation, its no longer salvation by grace, but of works.

Not once has anyone stated that believing or having faith merits (performs an act to get or keep, which is exactly what I said above, and not what you were trying to say) salvation.

What we have stated is that faith is required BY GOD for us to have in order for Him to graciously save us. It is a condition that must be met, not because faith is meritorious, but because God determined that He will save anyone who puts their faith in Him.
 

beloved57

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Your definition of "work" is not based on scripture, but is a modern definition.

Scripturally, a "work" is something done in order to achieve salvation, or to get to heaven.

It is NOT "an action we do."

Works are attempts to be meritorious, they are actions, yes, but it's not because they're actions that they're called works, it's because they are actions that are meritorious, the person doing those actions is doing them in order to gain salvation or get to heaven, that's what makes them a work.

Faith, on the other hand, or belief, is NOT a work, because it is NOT meritorious, the person who is believing or having faith is NOT doing so in order to achieve salvation or to get to heaven, but it's a recognition that one CANNOT merit one's own salvation.

To say that faith or believing is a work is to call A = !A.

It's calling [letting go of the rope that leads to heaven and trusting in the one who can bypass the rope completely] the same as [climbing the rope].



Which only supports what I said above.



Yes, it is an act. But it is NOT a work, because it is not done to merit one's salvation.

Believing in and of itself is not meritorious.



Yes it does, and since faith/belief is not a work, as Paul contrasts the two in Romans 4:5, therefore it does not conflict with the rest of scripture.



Question: how do you answer verses such as James 2:24, which says we are "justified by works, and not by faith only"? For one, it says works are requored to be justified, and two, even James is contrasting works against faith, clearly stating that faith is not included in the concept of works.



Not once has anyone stated that believing or having faith merits (performs an act to get or keep, which is exactly what I said above, and not what you were trying to say) salvation.

What we have stated is that faith is required BY GOD for us to have in order for Him to graciously save us. It is a condition that must be met, not because faith is meritorious, but because God determined that He will save anyone who puts their faith in Him.
It is based on scripture. The greek word for work used in scripture is ergon, which means:

  1. an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasised in opp. to that which is less than work

What can be more plainer than that ?
 
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