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"...the one automatic faculty with which the creation is endowed, as well as being the most elementary and utterly simple the faculty of reception. ...the Creator-creature relationship is in the nature of things of one kind only, that of giving and receiving. The Creator gives all by giving Himself, the creature receives all; and the faculty of receiving is so simple, obvious, natural, automatic, that it can hardly be called an action at all. It is the first activity of a newborn babe. It is the continued activity which sustains all life. And that is faith. ...it is humanity's sole basic capacity. (Norman P. Grubb. The Deep Things of God. Christian Literature Crusade. 1958. Pgs 22,23)
"...one Bible way of experiencing this union with Him. Nothing could be simpler, because we were created to live like that, by the exercise of the one simplest of all human functions. It is the faculty of reception, called in the Bible faith. 'To as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name' (John 1:12); for believing is receiving. 'Received ye the Spirit by the words of the law, or by the hearing of faith?' (Galatians 3:2)." (Norman P. Grubb. The Deep Things of God. Christian Literature Crusade. 1958. Pg 70)
"Faith involves something more than an academic nod! It involves that total dependence upon God which produces divine action in man. Faith is not optional. You either implement the purpose of your creation, by dependence upon God, or prostitute your humanity! "For whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23). You were created to please God. Without faith it is impossible to please Him, so without faith, whatever you do, no matter what it may be, is sin! The only alternative to faith is sin! That is why Satan will always present you with a reasonable alternative to faith, for he knows that if only he can get you to act in other than dependence upon God, you are defying your Creator, no matter how lofty your motives, or otherwise commendable your actions." (W. Ian Thomas - The Mystery of Godliness. Zondervan 1978. pgs 51,52)
"Being a receiver or a taker...is the basis for our relationship with God. Christians are not "doers for God" but "receivers from God." They are not active workers, but are first and foremost passive receivers. To be a Christian, we do not do something, nor do we join something. To be a Christians, we receive by faith the blessings of forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation offered to us in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. A person becomes a Christian by first becoming a receiver of God's grace. Being a passive receiver of God's grace is not easy! Human pride fights against the notion of being a taker. We embrace the erroneous notion that "God helps those who help themselves." We would prefer self-help rather than divine help. But in fact when we deal with eternal life, we are helpless. It is not easy being a receiver of grace! But speaking of a Christian as being a "receiver" defines the nature and action of Christian faith. (Don Matzat - Truly Transformed. Harvest House. 1992 pgs. 114-116).
"Belief provides answers to people's questions, so as to find assurance and provide a solution; so as to fashion for themselves a system of beliefs. Faith is not to supply us with explanation, but to get us to listen to God's questions. Belief talks and talks, it wallows in words, it takes the initiative to explain. Faith listens patiently. Belief brings people together, joined in the same institutional current, oriented toward the same object of belief, sharing the same ideas, following the same rituals, enrolled in the same organization, speaking the same language. It has the social benefit of consensus and identification. Faith individualizes. It has to do with a personal relationship with God in which God confers each with unique identity. Faith separates people and makes them unique, set apart for what God wants to do. Belief is antithetical to doubt. It is the basis of fundamentalism; people unbending in their convictions, intolerant of any deviation. In their articulation of belief they press rigor and absolutism to their limits. Belief is rapidly transformed into passwords, rites, orthodoxy. Faith recognizes doubt. Faith puts to the test every element of my life and society. It leads me to question all my certitudes, all my moralities, beliefs, and policies. It forbids me to attach ultimate significance to any expression of human activity." (Jacques Ellul - Living Faith. Harper and Row Pub. 1983. Pgs. 93-125) cf. Belief and Faith.
"...the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." The reception of that gift is faith: faith means not doing something but receiving something; it means not the earning of a reward but the acceptance of a gift. A man can never be said to obtain a thing for himself if he obtains it by faith; indeed to say that he obtains it by faith is only another way of saying that he does not obtain it for himself but permits another to obtain it for him. Faith, in other words, is not active but passive; and to say that we are saved by faith is to say that we do not save ourselves but are saved only by the one in whom our faith is reposed; the faith of man presupposes the sovereign grace of God." (J. Gresham Machen - What is Faith? Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1946. Pg. 195)
"...faith is not the act of God; it is not God who believes in Christ for salvation, it is the sinner. It is by God's grace that a person is able to believe but faith is an activity on the part of the person and of him alone. In faith we receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation." (John Murray - Redemption Accomplished and Applied. Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. 1978. Pg. 106.)
"...for Paul faith is always faith in a person. Faith is not the intellectual acceptance of a body of doctrine; faith is faith in a person. ...The first element in faith is what we can only call receptivity. ...Faith is the response of trust of a man's total personality to the love of God as shown to us in the life and death of Jesus Christ." (William Barclay. The Mind of St. Paul. London: Collins Press. 1965. Pgs. 101-116)
"Faith is said to justify because it
receives and embraces the righteousness
offered in the gospel." (John Calvin
- Institues of the Christian Religion, III,
xi, 17. Philadelphia: Westminster Press. 1960. Pg. 746)
"Faith is still a human act. ...Often faith is ascribed to the grace of God as being its creation side by side with other objects of the work of grace, without a further enquiry into the nature of this faith. In such incomplete teaching, fatih as the gift of God is left undefended against subtle heresy." (G. C. Berkouwer - Studies in Dogmatics: Faith and Justification. Wm. B. Eerdamans Pub. Co. 1954. Pgs. 178, 179.)
"Faith is the hand, the empty hand, by which we receive the divine gift of justification, redemption and reconciliation. It is not the ground on which God accepts us; for then it would become a meritorious 'work', something of which we could boast before God." (E. M. B. Green - The Meaning of Salvation. Hodder & Stoughton. 1965. Pg. 169)
"Saving faith is not creative, but receptive. It does not make our salvation, it takes it gratefully." (Robert M. Horn - Go Free: The Meaning of Justification. InterVarsity Press. 1976. Pg. 50)
"The function of faith is to bring sinful men into the possession and enjoyment of the benefits of Christ's salvation. The Atonement per se saves no one. It merely makes salvation possible. It brings within the reach of man a power by which he can be saved. By His atoning sacrifice Christ has brought the whole world into a salvable condition. All men are not actually saved, but all men may be saved. Universality is in the Saviour, not in the salvation. The nexus between the universal Atonement and the individual experience of its saving efficacy is faith. By faith universal potentiality becomes personal power, universal bestowment becomes personal possession, and universal grace becomes personal righteousness. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, not to all men indiscriminately, but "to every one that believeth." (James M. Campbell. The Heart of the Gospel. Fleming H. Revell. 1907. pg. 171.)
"(Salvation) is the change from being confident about our own efforts to the state in which we despair of doing anything for ourselves and leave it to God."
"I know the words 'leave it to God' can be misunderstood, but they must stay for the moment. The sense in which a Christian leaves it to God is that he puts all his trust in Christ: trusts that Christ will somehow share with him the perfect human obedience which He carried out from His birth to His crucifixion: that Christ will make the man more like Himself and, in a sense, make good his deficiencies. In Christian language, He will share His 'sonship' with us, will make us, like Himself, 'Sons of God.'" (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. pg. 128.)