Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Faith Is A Gift - Pastor Jim McClarty


a helmet said...

McClarty's explanation here regarding the grammar of Eph.2:8-9, is right. However, his conclusion that faith is proven to be a gift by that passage, is still not as safe as it seems.

It is right, that the word 'this' here cannot refer to only grace, only salvation or only faith. Because the nouns are

1) feminine (grace),
2) masculine (saved),
3) feminine (faith).

Since the genders differ, the demonstrative pronoun 'this' must refer to all 3 words as a whole we are told. However, not only do all 3 words differ in gender, but the first 2 ('grace' and 'saved') differ already in gender (feminine, masculine). So if Paul had intended to say, "salvation by grace is a gift", then the grammatical situation would be the same, that is, the differing genders of 'grace' and 'have been saved' would already require the usage of the neuter 'this'. So if Paul had simply said that "by grace you have been saved and this not of yourselves; it is a gift", then the grammatical form would be exactly the same.
So while it is possible for this text to mean faith is a gift, it isn't grammatically necessary. Rather it is likewise possible that faith is mentioned parenthetically as the means of the gift of salvation. Thus, while McClarty's conclusion is grammatically possible, it isn't grammatically necessary. So the question whether faith is a gift, must be investigated further. Eph. 2:8-9 is not a sufficient fundament to settle the issue.

Vance said...

Ok, here are some more verses, that prove faith is something God must do in a person.

Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Romans 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

Philippians 1:29 For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,

Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."

Rom 9:16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

John 1:12-13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, (13) who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

These are just a few verses to consider. There are plenty more. God Bless.