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::Devotional:: ‘Where does Faith come from?’

January 14, 2010

Faith is a very popular word in the Bible. It occurs over 230 times in the KJV translation and over 250 in the NIV. Sometimes it is used in reference to trust, hope, loyalty and more. But where does it come from? Is it generated within ourselves somehow? Is it merely a decision to act upon a belief we have? These are all important questions and I believe the place to start answering them is at the point of our salvation.

As a Christian, my confidence in the things I hope for, according to the scriptures, and the evidence in my life of the things I do not see are based on faith. In other words, it is a certainty of hope with which I live my life. My trust in God and loyalty to the Lord are based on faith. However, this faith is more of a decision of my will, a choice. I choose to live out my life in such a way that it is based on the hope, trust, and loyalty of my faith in God. This is faith by choice and comes from within me. However, faith by choice stems from something else within me and that is faith by grace.

Where does Faith come from?

My faith by choice is built upon my faith by grace. Faith by grace does not come from within me and it is not something I made up my mind to do.  In fact, the faith by grace I have was planted within me at the time of my salvation by the Lord himself.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

Faith by grace was a gift from God.  Track with me on this.  If faith by grace were something I chose to have or made up my mind to do, wouldn’t that make this verse false?  Wouldn’t my choice to have this faith by grace be considered a work of mine?  It would and that is why the verse says that this faith by grace is “not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Generated in Grace

Jesus said that “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44)  God is the initiator of our salvation and we are the ones who respond by accepting it.  It is by God’s love, mercy, and grace that he is motivated to save us.  Grace is our undeserved favor in the eyes of a holy and righteous God.  The scripture says “it is by grace you have been saved”. Faith by choice is generated from within me, but this faith is generated in God’s grace.

Given as a Gift

Since faith by grace is generated within God himself, there has to be a transfer of ownership from him to me in order for it to be part of my life.  I can’t simply decide to have it because I can’t generate it on my own.  Therefore, I must receive this faith by grace as a gift from God who has given it to me freely.  The scriptures say that I “have been saved by faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Accepted in Gratitude

Sometimes certain gifts are given to us because we earned them, those are called rewards.  Faith by grace is not a reward for something we’ve done but rather it is a gift we don’t deserve.  The scriptures say that it is “not by works, so that no one can boast.” Think about it, wouldn’t you be inclined the least little bit to brag if you had done something so noble and so righteous that the God of the universe rewarded you by excusing you from eternal punishment?  I know myself and if I were in that situation my pride would get all over me and boastful would be an understatement.  If that were the case, I would accept the “reward” with an attitude, an attitude of arrogance.  However, since that is not the case (praise the Lord), and faith by grace is given to me as a gift that I did not deserve – I am left only to accept it with gratitude and humility.

Faith by grace is planted within us as a small seed at the point of our salvation.  As it is nutured through God’s word, through prayer, and even through testing, it grows and serves as the foundation for our faith by choice.  I have certainty of hope in the promises of God because I choose to live that way.  My choice is based upon the fact that God has freely given me faith by grace.  This faith comes from God.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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