Does God Enable Faith?

Over at SBC today, I posted in reply:
Thanks for your reply. Here is one thing you said that kind of agrees with me:

“But let’s put aside the FACT there is no biblical evidence in support of this claim and consider how much gobbledygook this really is. My bible says that faith comes by hearing and specifically it is hearing the Word of God. A person hears the Word and the Spirit works through this Word giving them understanding and enabling faith. ”

I said kind of because no where in the Word does it say anything about “enabling” faith. It says those without understanding are of the perishing and those who God opens their eyes are set free:

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “ Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

P.s. the answer to this should not be in a boast. thanks

Does anyone here have thoughts on this?

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8 comments

  1. savedbygrace

    @”Does God enable Faith?”
    ……………………….
    if so, then the starting faith is disabled.

    the scripture says in Romans “the Law voids faith”

    voided faith is no faith at all. maybe something closer to disabled? but not quite.

    but one thing is for certain that
    “Faith comes by Hearing and Hearing the gospel about Christ”

    it could be that the starting point is with “Faith”
    then we void that “Faith” by mixing it with “the Law”

    but a disabled Faith that is enabled by God?
    i just don’t get it. the next thing you’ll know they say
    “you have do do this for God to enable your faith” then we are back to works/
    just my thoughts

    – grace and peace

  2. woodlandbaptist

    Mike,

    Wanted to let you know in case you didn’t know, I did respond to your comment on one of myarticles. I apoligize for the latenes of the response. i was on vacation then had to catch up on pastoral duties and then I did repond on 8/9 but it did not transfer here. I will get the hang of blogging soon.

    Alan

  3. Stephen Newell

    Thanks for adding me! Just an observation here:

    If faith is a gift (Eph. 2:8), how then can we not say that God “enables” faith? Certainly seems as if God gives us the faith to believe, which is not much different from “enabling.”

  4. Ken Hamrick

    Welcome to SBC Open Forum, Stephen!

    I think the difference between enabling and giving faith is found in what distinguishes one man from another—why one believes and the other never does.

  5. Stephen Newell

    Wouldn’t that be addressed by John 3? As in we don’t know where the Holy Spirit goes until he gets there? If no one can be born again apart from the active work of the Spirit, we need the Spirit to give us that gift of faith before we could ever exercise it. So in a sense we are certainly “enabled” to believe.

    I’ve always believed this is why it’s so very important to pray for the Spirit to work in a person’s heart before we do evangelism. We often hear people pray for God to change a person’s heart to believe in Jesus – this is exactly what the Spirit does! I’m convinced so much of our evangelism fails because we forget this little detail and don’t pray for it. 😉

    • Ken Hamrick

      Amen, Stephen. Were it not for God, where would I be? I think the libertarians (“traditionalists”) should seriously consider the source of their own faith. What true believer would not give complete credit to God not only for saving them but also for providing an overwhelming amount of influence in their life, giving them what they need every step of the way in order to bring them to believe?

  6. lasaroflores

    I would believe that the question is not quite correct: “Does God enable faith?” That presupposes that a sinner already has a faith that saves, but according to the question, it implies that faith has to be “enabled” by God in order for the sinner to believe in Christ. In order not to get long winded, let me share some Scriptures to show why I feel that the question is not correct: 1) Faith is a gift of God to a sinner by grace; and it is given on Christ’s behalf (Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29). 2) Not everybody has faith, meaning that the faith that saves, man does not have it naturally (2 Thess. 3:2). 3) Since faith has to come by the hearing of God’s Word, that would mean that one would not be given faith apart from hearing the Gospel as it is in the Scriptures (Rom. 10:17). Suffice these 3 points to show why it is not that God enables faith in a sinner, but Does God Give Faith?; or perhaps this way, Does God Enable One To Believe? Although ‘faith’ and ‘believing’ are similar in the Greek,yet ‘faith’ is the ability ‘to believe;’ whereas ‘to believe’ is the result of ‘faith,’ which of course, is given to us by God since we don’t have ‘faith’ ‘to believe’ from the beginning. Amen.

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