Monday, March 14, 2011

The Gift of Faith (Ephesians 2:8,9)

The question you have to ask yourself is, what is God’s gift? Is it merely salvation which you received from Him through your ability to believe in Him, or is it that very faith itself which in turn has led to you being saved? The natural reading of these two crucial verses is that everyone who has been saved has been saved by faith—and it is that very faith that is the gift of God, given to us so that no one may boast in their salvation.

It is not just works that could be seen as making saved people better than lost people. The very fact that someone has grasped the truth of the Gospel and been able to believe in that message could be (and often is) taken as grounds for pride. A lot of believers seem to think that they are better than other people, at least on an intellectual level. The Bible is clear, however, and not just in this passage that the truth of the Gospel is something that is completely beyond human comprehension. If you have managed to believe and trust in God for forgiveness of your sins that does not mean you are smarter or more spiritual than other people. The fact that you can understand and believe is a gift from god.

The very practical application of this understanding for those following Jesus’ command to make disciples is that they have yet another reason to stop trying to do God’s job. We have only been commanded to do two things: be witnesses and make disciples. The first requires sharing what you know and the second requires helping someone learn what they are seeking to know. Neither demands that we convince anyone. If faith is a gift from God, no amount of flowery speech or impressive logic will make anyone believe. Never forget that sharing this truth is a two person job.

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