Why faith comes from outside us

Discussion in 'Daily Devotional Forum' started by greenbaggins, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Thomas Goodwin marshals arguments for why faith is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-10). This is one of his most interesting arguments:

    For Adam to believe that while he pleased God in all things, he should continue in his favour, it was easy for him to believe it; because he had a principle in his conscience which told that he should have peace if he did it. There was the justice of God, whereof he had the image in his own bosom, that might assure him. But to believe that God will justify the ungodly, and to apprehend myself ungodly, and yet to believe that he will justify me; to believe that God will account an ungodly person as godly and righteous as all the angels in heaven, this would have posed his faith. Further, when that ungodly person justified shall continue holy, and yet not have a dram of power in himself, but he must go and fetch if from another,-'Without me you can do nothing,'-all these would have been paradoxes, and those too great even for Adam to believe. Therefore well may it be said, 'Faith is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God.-' (Works of Thomas Goodwin, volume 2, p. 343). ​

    The upshot of the argument is that not even Adam before the Fall would have had the strength of mind to believe in justification by faith alone, which justifies the ungodly. Therefore, faith must be a gift coming from outside us, coming from God himself. Is there anything more humbling than to know that we cannot even receive God's gift of righteousness on our own steam?

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