Our Imperfect Faith

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InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
Everything about us is imperfect, not only due to our sinfulness, but also our creatureliness. Our faith in God’s existence is imperfect. We are able to believe in God’s existence by any evidence thereof, and we are also held accountable for it. But is it not true that the more evidence we have of God’s existence, the more perfect our faith in it will be? In other words, does faith feed upon evidence?

If hatred against the truth (evidence) keeps one from seeing the truth (evidence), then surely it is no good how much evidence you get. First one needs to set his heart right with God. Then, if necessary, one should seek more evidence to strengthen his faith.

But doesn't the Bible say faith is a gift of God and not an immediate effect of perceiving evidence? Which leads me to ask: Can we have faith in absolutely anything without God granting us the faith? Is God pleased to use His Word (and all other means of grace) as a guaranteed source of faith to regenerate Christians?

I hope you will bear with my stupidity (once again). Thanks!
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
You'd have to "tease out" precisely what you're talking about, Samuel.

There is faith that falls short of saving faith because it is not resting in Christ as Saviour and Lord respecting our sin and our relationship with God.

E.g. there is historical faith that essentially assents to the facts of the Gospel but doesn't put one's trust in Christ for salvation (cf Acts 26:26-28). There is the bare belief in the existence of a god or of God, which the Devils also have.(James 2:19) There is temporary faith which sometimes appears to be the real deal but isn't (Matt 13:1-23)

Our Lord commends great (saving) faith (Matt 8:10) rather than small (saving) faith (Matt 8:26)

The graces of faith, love and hope can grow.(II Pet 1:1-11)
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
There is faith that falls short of saving faith because it is not resting in Christ as Saviour and Lord respecting our sin and our relationship with God.

Does not even that faith fall short in the sense of being perfect? Just saying this from an ex roman catholic perspective in that while I was a RC I had real faith.
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
You'd have to "tease out" precisely what you're talking about, Samuel.

There is faith that falls short of saving faith because it is not resting in Christ as Saviour and Lord respecting our sin and our relationship with God.

E.g. there is historical faith that essentially assents to the facts of the Gospel but doesn't put one's trust in Christ for salvation (cf Acts 26:26-28). There is the bare belief in the existence of a god or of God, which the Devils also have.(James 2:19) There is temporary faith which sometimes appears to be the real deal but isn't (Matt 13:1-23)

Our Lord commends great (saving) faith (Matt 8:10) rather than small (saving) faith (Matt 8:26)

The graces of faith, love and hope can grow.(II Pet 1:1-11)

Is historical faith, then, utterly useless? Or can it somehow contribute to saving faith? Another question that I'm getting at is: Is the pursuit of evidence of God's existence and the Bible's credibility absolutely worthless?
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Earl
Does not even that faith fall short in the sense of being perfect? Just saying this from an ex roman catholic perspective in that while I was a RC I had real faith.

Well if you had saving faith while still being a Roman Catholic, you would have been seriously confused about certain matters. It might have been difficult to recognise you as a true believer in Christ from your answers to certain Qs about salvation. I don't know your history.

I wouldn't deny that someone can have faith and yet be very confused or ill taught about the facts of salvation, sometimes if someone has been given saving faith after years in e.g. the Roman Catholic Church or many Protestant churches.

Unless you are saying you were converted in the RC Church and were not committed to that church and its doctrine from the time you were converted until you came out.

Saving faith is real and saving faith but not perfect faith. But even if it is small and imperfect it still saves. The graces of hope and love aren't perfect in the believer either. Hence we are not sinless in this life.

Samuel
Is historical faith, then, utterly useless? Or can it somehow contribute to saving faith? Another question that I'm getting at is: Is the pursuit of evidence of God's existence and the Bible's credibility absolutely worthless?

A general belief in the historical trustworthiness of Scriture won't save in itself unless the Holy Spirit irresistibly gives a new heart and saving faith.
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
Is historical faith, then, utterly useless? Or can it somehow contribute to saving faith? Another question that I'm getting at is: Is the pursuit of evidence of God's existence and the Bible's credibility absolutely worthless?

A general belief in the historical trustworthiness of Scriture won't save in itself unless the Holy Spirit irresistibly gives a new heart and saving faith.

That's not my concern. I'm asking whether evidence can enhance one's already saving, yet imperfect, faith.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Saving faith is real and saving faith but not perfect faith. But even if it is small and imperfect it still saves. The graces of hope and love aren't perfect in the believer either. Hence we are not sinless in this life.

As per my point that none can have a perfect faith with the statement "I trust in Christ alone". Knowing that the faith that justifies is also the faith that sanctifies. Personally I realize we all are still sinners and recognize that our belief or faith in God is sorely lacking every time we sin. Thus I like how it is said that The Object (Jesus) is What saves and if you have any faith in Him you are indeed saved.In other words, I think we protestants separate faith way too much. Just an observation of a "rabid protestant" for the last 25 years or so.

---------- Post added at 03:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:31 PM ----------

Is historical faith, then, utterly useless? Or can it somehow contribute to saving faith? Another question that I'm getting at is: Is the pursuit of evidence of God's existence and the Bible's credibility absolutely worthless?

A general belief in the historical trustworthiness of Scriture won't save in itself unless the Holy Spirit irresistibly gives a new heart and saving faith.

That's not my concern. I'm asking whether evidence can enhance one's already saving, yet imperfect, faith.

Most defiantly yes.
 
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