Hi Zion Seeker:

You made the statement that:

The Bible says that we have life through believing in the name of the Son of God, so I am going to go with that!

Acutally, that is not what the Bible says <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

The Bible says, and I respectfully suggest you read this very carefully and very slowly because each word was chosen by God himself:

"by Grace"

"through Faith"

In the more full context the phrases are:

"by Grace"........ are you saved......"through faith".......it is the gift of God

Grace is the agent, the generating, causal power, faith is the resulting means or instrument.

That is, by the impartation of the grace of God, by His Spirit, the gift of new life, spiritual life, just as, to use the analogy of human life, the seed is implanted and a new life is created or begun at conception and begins to function as a new life. That in my view is the point of regeneration, when the Spirit of God makes a person alive to the things of God.

This person has not yet expressed that faith but is now capable of it and indeed has it because he or she is now alive, spiritual things have become real and important for the first time, in a truly spiritual and divinly given sense because that person is spiritually alive for the first time. The person "believes" and therefore has faith, but it is due to grace and grace alone, "the gift of God" that this is so.

The phrase "through faith" is the result of that spiritual life given by the Grace of God in the work of the Spirit of God in Regeneration. A spiritually dead person cannot, and of course will not, believe or possess faith any more than a still born child cries out for air when it leaves the birth canal. There is a wealth of instruction in natural processes and I believe that is why the Lord continually used them to teach. They can, of course, be abused like any figure of speech, but rightly used and understood they are wonderful illustrators of spiritual realities.

I know it has been recommneded here already, but I recommend your reading the excellant article by J. Beeke which can be found here:


Dr. Beeke makes a clear distinction between the difference in faith in faith, and faith in Christ, and that it seems to me, may be a point of confusion for you. But be that as it may, the article is truly excellant in terms of explaining Justification by Faith alone and what the Reformers meant by that term.

May it be blessed to your spiritual understanding.

As an aside, you may find S. Nichols work, "An Absolute Sort of Certainty" helpful also as he discusses the difference, as understood by Jonathan Edwards and others such as Calvin, between mere notional, or natural, faith or understanding, temporary faith the scriptures call it, and true faith or spiritual understanding.

In Him,