Please join us LIVE at 10am Mtn. Sundays at

Berean Church  © 2020 | Privacy Policy

Berean Church

​​​Is Faith a Gift?
Pastor Bennett Boothe

To watch/listen to the video of this outline (recommended), please click here.

Why this Topic? (Patterns are Important)
•      Joy Macy was an amazing woman who, among many other amazing things,  taught Greek. Pastor Paul Sadler, past President of the Berean Bible Society, was one of her many Greek students. Joy passed in early 2022 and I heard the preacher at Joy’s Memorial say that Ephesians 2:8 should read “For by grace are ye saved through THE faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God”. “It’s a package deal!” he said!
•      Then, the very next week, Curtis preached on “Unshakeable Faith”
•      So, in researching the first 5 chapters of Romans what kept jumping off the page? “The faith”!
•      In the middle of all this: Folks were making contact with us who were struggling with their own faith.
•      So, four times and I’m saying, ‘OK Lord, I’m seeing a pattern!’
•      In particular, the question the Holy Spirit seems to be leading up to, and answering, in the first 5 chapters of Romans is this:
•      Because of the trouble man’s faithlessness has got him into, and his continued faithlessness over time, doesn’t faith have to be a gift from God? Or is it something we are on our own to muster (As we shall see below, the implications are enormous!)
Opposition to the idea of faith being a gift has several things in common:
•      Denies accountability for and the consequences of our faithlessness in Adam. We need to ask: When did we declare war on God?
•      Belief that one is not sealed by the Spirit until some time after they believe. i.e. 'we need to show God we are committed or are at least willing to change for him to save us' (NOTE: the 2nd “after” in Ephesians 1:13 should read “when”)
•      Emphasis is on performance and demonstrating to God how much we love him by showing “faith towards God”
•      Failure to “rightly divide” (2Timothy 2:15) between law and grace
•      The other extreme: Adam didn’t have a choice. i.e. man never had free will.
History: In every era, man erred
•      Every dispensation has three things in common:
•       God reveals new truth to (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Paul)
•       This truth, though God makes the circumstances for obedience ideal, is patently rejected by man.
•       God intervenes in Judgment
•      History is a long list of eras when God gave man the opportunity to show faith toward God, but in every era, man erred.
•      History proves that man could not lift himself by his own bootstraps, if the law wasn't enough, the cross was; the cross drove the nail in any delusion that we can commend ourselves to God.
What difference does it make?
•    Today, we will be searching the scriptures to see if there’s a difference in how “faith” is portrayed after the cross, after the dispensing of grace to Paul
πίστις pistis in the GNT (4102: the noun, not the verb)
•      Of 229 times it occurs pistis is translated “faith” in every instance except three times, where it is translated “assurance” (Acts 17:31), “fidelity” (Titus 2:10), and “belief” (2 Thessalonians 2:13)
•      Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.
•      Now the word translated “assurance” is pistis. Did God give faith to all?
•      The word translated “given” makes it sound like He has, but the word translated “given” (παρέχω parecho 3930) needs to be studied:
•      Parecho occ. 16 times in GNT, but it’s only tr. “give/given” 3 times.
•      Here’s how else it is translated: bring, show, do for, keep, minister, and in Luke 6:29 it is translated “offer” and in the vast majority of occurrences, “offer” seems to fit. As we shall see, God did not give faith to all.
The phrase “the faith”
•   In the AV “the faith” never occurs in the OT!
•   “The faith” does not occ. once in Mt, Mk, Lk, Jn;
•   not till AFTER the cross do we see it being used!
•   35 of the 42 times it occurs, it is used by Paul.
Key Verses Where “Faith” is Preceded by the Definite Article:
“The Faith”

•      Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Who was Paul writing to?
•      God dealt to everyone He called “saints” (believers -Rom 1:7) THE measure of faith! (NOTE in Eph 1:1 there’s a distinction made btwn the saints and the faithful, so is it poss. for a saint to act unfaithfully?)
•      Not “a measure” as modern translations render it, but “THE measure of faith”.
•      As we shall see (in Gal 4:6), that “measure” is “His Son”
•      And we know from John 3:34 that “God giveth not the Spirit by measure [unto Christ]”.
•      In other words, if Christ is in you, then how could your faith be any greater? And how humbling is this thought?
Notice a Difference? Rightly Divide it!
•     Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold, his soul [which] is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” (i.e. faith towards God)
•     Paul: Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
•     Paul: Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
•     What’s missing from Paul’s quotes? What does that mean?
•     And what is meant by “from faith to faith”?
•     We should be asking: Whose faith justifies us? Ours or His?
•     Since “just” = declared righteous, then whose righteousness is it?
•     Whosoever's faith it is!
More Key Verses Where “Faith” is Preceded by the Definite Article:
“The Faith”
•      Romans 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
•      The world defines truth based on whatever the majority holds.
•      Those to whom God committed His word were looked at incredulously because they were almost always in the minority, not to mention they repeatedly disobeyed the very word God committed to them.
•      What is more important to focus on: Our faithfulness or His?
•      2Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, [yet] he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
More Key Verses Where “Faith” is Preceded by the Definite Article:
“The Faith”

•      Romans 3:25 “Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through [the] faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (i.e. sins that were committed before the cross)
•      Propitiation has to do with God’s wrath being satisfied, so who is Rom 3:25 referring to?
•      What satisfied God’s righteous demand? (Rom 6:23)
•      Was it our faith? Was it our righteousness?
•      Could it be saying that God had faith in the blood of His son?
•      Faith that the blood of Christ could do what?
•      Satisfy God’s holy requirement, once and for all!
More Key Verses Where “Faith” is Preceded by the Definite Article:
“The Faith”
•      Romans 3:30 Seeing [it is] one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through THE faith.
•      Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through THE faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law:
•      Romans 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
•      Romans 4:5 But to him who worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, [THE] faith [that] is his [is] counted for righteousness. (IGNT)
•      Romans 4:14 For if they which are of the law [be] heirs, [THE] faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
•      (there would be no need)
More Key Verses Where “Faith” is Preceded by the Definite Article:
“The Faith”
•     Romans 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, [but] not to doubtful disputations.
•     Note: His faith is not weak; his grasp of it is.
•     The phrase “little faith” occ. only BEFORE the cross
•     1Corinthians 2:5 That THE faith [that is] yours should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
•     What could be more powerful than THE faith that is His?
More Key Verses Where “Faith” is Preceded by the Definite Article:
“The Faith”

•      Ephesians 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
•      Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by THE faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
•      Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of THE faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
•      Colossians 1:23 [Since] ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [are] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister
•      Colossians 2:6,7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
More Key Verses Where “Faith” is Preceded by the Definite Article:
“The Faith”
•      Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism (into death), wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
•      Can you guess what pistis (faith) is translated in 2Thessalonians 2:13?:
•      But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
•      Literally: Faith of the truth (cp Rom 10:17)
Even More Key Verses Where “Faith” is Preceded by the Definite Article:
“The Faith”
•      The secret to godliness is His presence in you:
•      1 Timothy 3:9,16 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience… 16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (see Pastor Kurth’s 2 min. article on the mystery of godliness)
•      Pretenders in the church reject “the faith”: 1Timothy 4:1,2 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron”
•      The way to a pure conscience: Understanding the Faithful One who is in you. (see Col 1:27)
If you have the Spirit, then you’ve got faith!
•     And as we saw, it is God who giveth us His Spirit, not by measure.
•     And Galatians 5:22 teaches us what?
•     That “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, [and]…
•     Faith!
•     Is His word, the spiritual hearing of which brings faith, a gift?
•     Is the Spirit is a gift?
•     Is the fruit of the Spirit a gift?
•     If so, then faith is a gift!
Before and after “The Faith” came:
•      Galatians 3:23,24 But before THE faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
•      What did the law “teach” us?
•      Galatians 3:25,26 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by [the] faith [which is] in Christ Jesus.
•      When did faith become a gift of grace, with no strings attached?
•      God has always been faithful, but when was His faithfulness most apparent to us?
•      When was His faithfulness shown like never before?
•      His obedience of faith unto death, even the death of the cross.
Evidence of the unseen realm? Faith!
•      Our fatal flaw: Our faithlessness (Rom 3:23; 5:12)
•      Little wonder why our Lord said “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8b
•      Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
•      How miraculous is it that anyone has faith?
•      Romans 10:17 So then THE faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
•      Abraham’s assurance that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead? Because God gave His word, and promised He would! (Heb 11:17-19)
•      Matt`hew 13:9: Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Speaking of Abraham:
•   Galatians 3:13,14: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through THE faith.
Can you own something but not possess it?
•      If our faith is that of Christ Himself, then why does Paul say what he does in 2 Corinthians 10:15 “Not boasting of things without [our] measure, [that is], of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly”?
•      Standing and state: When God looks at us, He see us in Christ, faithful! This is our standing before Him.
•      But when failure and falling short happens every day, we see ourselves and our state as needing to grow in our understanding of what it means to have the faith of Christ:
•      1Thessalonians 3:10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your [understanding of] THE faith.
•      Ask the Lord to help you grow in your understanding so you may align your state with your standing.
But don’t we need to show we are willing to change?
•      Don’t we have to change in order to be changed? Don't we have to repent?
•      Did our merciful Savior require Paul to repent before He introduced Himself to Paul?
•      Look at how Paul’s salvation changed things:
•      1 Timothy 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
•      God has always been longsuffering, but not like this!
•      Grace requires no obligation, else it ceases to be grace.
•      Grace finds its only motive in the bounty and freeheartedness of the Giver, else it ceases to be grace.
•      Grace confers no expectation of return or performance, else it ceases to be grace.
Even the writer to the Hebrews said “leave it”, leave the idea that you have to prove your own faithfulness towards God.
•      2Corinthians 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.
•      Hebrews 6:1 Therefore, LEAVING the discussion of the first teachings of Christ (when he was in the flesh), let us go on to perfection, NOT laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.
•      Today, the only faith that matters is the faith we received FROM God.
•      This is the faith that finds it’s expression toward God in only the way Christ can.
Only Paul Writes of “The Faith of Christ” (Seven Times)
•      Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God upon THE faith.
•      Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” We will talk about Galatians 2:20 in a few minutes.
•      Gal 2:16 sheds light on the LINK between FAITH and RIGHTEOUSNESS.
•      Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
•      Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
•      Romans 3:26 To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him [who is of the faith of] Jesus. YLT
From “Do” to “Be”
•      A young couple found us online and the wife was distraught because she felt like she wasn’t committed enough. It was as if she was saying ‘in order to have faith, we must act like we have faith’.
•      Perhaps this is why God gave us the admonition in Galatians 2:21:
•      “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [comes] by the law (our performance), then Christ died in vain.”
•      The consequence of not walking in the Spirit of grace is that one’s attention will be drawn to thinking about their own faithfulness instead of God’s faithfulness. If we are ever pleasing to the Lord, it is because of the gift of faith He has given us. It is because of Christ within us.
•      Since ‘committing one's life to Christ’ is unclear, it opens the door to more attempts to show ‘total commitment’ as if to prove to themselves that they have faith. (see “whole law” Galatians 5:3)
When One Cannot Help But Cry Out to the Father
•      Romans 10:8,9 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of THE faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
•      Someone recently asked how they can know they were being genuine when they “confessed” the Lord and His resurrection…
•      But Galatians 4:6 says “because ye are sons, (the posterity of God) God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”
•      How could the Son deny he had been raised from the dead?!
•      A lot of people pretend to be believers, hence 2Cor 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith”
•      But if Jesus Christ is in you, His cry to the Father is genuine!
How do you know you are a child of God?
•      Romans 8:15,16 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
•      You are drawn to members of His family: 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death.
•      You are drawn to His word: Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man
•      You have conflict: Galatians 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him [that was born] after the Spirit, even so [it is] now.
When Christ’s Faith Becomes “Your Faith”
•     19 of the 24 times the phrase “your faith” occ. in the AV, it is used by Paul
•     Just because it is Christ’s faith does not mean that you do not possess or express it once received.
•     Just because our faith might find it’s expression to be towards God does not mean that it wasn't a gift!
•     Hence the references to “your faith”
But thank God for Galatians 2:20:
•      Galatians 2:20 I [have been] crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
•      Note, it is NOT as new translations say ‘I live by faith in the Son”
•      It is “I live by the faith of the Son of God”
•      This is the “unshakeable faith” of which Curtis spoke last time.
•      Is it possible for someone to own something but not possess it?
•      Every true believer in Christ owns the faith of Christ, regardless of whether they feel like it or not.
•      Do YOU own it? Just, believe that Christ died for all your faithlessness and you will receive the gift of God!
The faith which worketh by love
•      1 Corinthians 16:13,14 Watch, stand fast in THE faith, be brave, be strong. Let all [that] you [do] be done with love.
•      For even “though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love), I am nothing.” 1Cor 13:2
•      Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
•      Titus 3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace [be] with you all. Amen.
If you have the faith: SPEAK IT:
•     2 Corinthians 4:13 We having the same spirit of THE faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.
•     Philemon 1:6 That [your] communication of THE faith may become effectual (energes = efficient) by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.
The Whosoever Question:
•      John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
•      Yes, the Bible says “Christ died for all” and in Acts 2:21 it is written “And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
•      But who DOES?
•      Romans 3:10-11 says “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” A preacher once said 'a drunk cannot be saved while drunk, because the gospel has to be understood to be believed', but the preacher had no answer for Romans 3:10-11.
•      John 3:17-18 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

In Conclusion:

  • Patterns are Important, so spend enough time in God's word to be able to see for yourself when and how things changed over time.
  • For example, the source of faithchanged after the cross. Then it was towards God, but now we know that in the end, it always has been a gift from God!
  • Faith today is particular and specific. It is not merely anyone's faith, but THE faith, the faith of Christ Himself!
  • ​To be able to see these patterns in Scripture, you need to immerse yourself in the Bible, and get some help/tools that can make your study time more efficient. For example, has a free Bible software download, they even offer Strong's numbers which can amplify your Bible study. Even the humblest believer can have a strategic grasp of the Bible without going to seminary.
  • The just shall live (have eternal life) by faith, so the threshold question is this: Whose faith justifies us? Ours or His? We now know "that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." Galatians 2:16 (cp Php 3:9)
  • Justification is the result of faith, Christ's faith. All other ground is sinking sand.
    Whose righteousness would you rather have when you stand before God? Yours or His?
  • We are to walk by faith the same way we received it: (effortlessly! Colossians 2:6)
  • The things of this world grow dim the more our needs are met in Him.
  • What's easier? To live a life that is pleasing to God by fear or out of thankfulness?
  • The faith we walk by today is not our own (Gal 2:20). We are not left to our own strength to quench the arrows and accusations of the accuser.
  • Dear believer in Christ, since Christ is in you, you can have courage in these uncertain times. Just think of the courage it took for Him to go to the cross.
  • Some say the only unpardonable sin is to die without trusting Christ, but John 3:17,18 make it clear that we were already condemned, because of our unbelief.
  • If someone says 'I've always been a believer', then they simply do not see this fact. It does not mean they are not saved for they may have been saved at such an early age that they do not recall.
  • All sin originates with unbelief, so anyone who does not think they have a sin nature needs to be honest. 
  • If you have a sin nature, it's because of that fateful moment you first acted in unbelief towards God, in Adam. The proof? You cannot help but sin! Romans 3:23 "All have sinned and come (every day) short of the glory of God" Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
  • We have to take responsibility for having declared war on God.
  • ​Yes, the Bible says Christ died for all, 2 Corinthians 5:15 "and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again" but this does not become a reality in one's life until they become one of "those who live" and, as we have seen, "the justified shall LIVE by faith".
  • Have you received the gift of faith?
  • "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" Acts 16:31
  • Feel free to contact us if you ever have any questions.

To watch/listen to the video of this outline (recommended), please click here.