January 14, 2013

The Changing Landscape is Mudding the Waters, ReDux

A few weeks ago, I posted a rather lengthy article on the depravity of man that I wrote, which drew some measure of controversy.  I don’t apologize for that.  It is good when men and women put their brains in gear.  Most people live their lives with their brain either in neutral or laying up on some shelf.  Then my good friend, Lou Martuneac honored me by posting the article on his well-acclaimed web site. It was well received in both locations with a few exceptions.  The article was entitled, “The Changing Landscape is Mudding theWaters.”  The question that was raised had to do with this statement:  “Even the faith necessary to reach out and accept God’s free offer of salvation, is granted to us by Gods GRACE and MERCY.”  Frankly, I saw nothing wrong with the statement, but some did.

The idea came from Eph. 2:8-9 where Paul states, “For by grace are ye saved, through faith and that not of yourselves: (it is the gift of God), not of works, lest any man should boast.”  The subject through out this passage, beginning in verse one is Salvation, which is the wonderful gift of God. This salvation comes to us by God’s Grace, which is unmerited favor, and it is received by faith.  The issue here is, how does faith operate and where does faith come from? One thing we know about faith is that it is simply taking God at His word. It was said of Abraham that “Abraham believed God and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.” From what we see through out the Bible, it is also an exercise of the will. For instance, in Hebrews 11, the Bible says that, “By faith Abel offered up a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.”  That is an exercise of the will.   In John 1:12-13 we read, “But as many as received Him (Christ), to them gave He the power, (authority) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe (faith) on His name.  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”  Again, this is an exercise of the will.

However it works and wherever it comes from, it certainly doesn’t come from within ourselves.  What I was trying to say and obviously not very well, is that Salvation begins and ends with God. It comes to us by God’s grace, through our faith.  However, no one will get into God’s heaven and be able to say, “I helped God save my poor wretched soul.”  God did it all by Himself by His grace, by enabling us to reach out by faith to receive his offer of salvation. I don’t know how else to explain it. Again, in our attempt to distance ourselves from Calvinistic teaching we strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.

Dr. Lawrence Hufhand
Hufhand Ministries

Related Reading:
Pastor George Zeller, The Dangers of Reformed Theology

The Danger of Teaching That Regeneration Precedes Faith


  1. Faith isn't the gift of God in Ephesians 2:8-9. Salvation is the gift. Faith is just me believing in the gift. That isn't something "good" in me, and all are able to believe in the gift (John 3:18). To call faith the gift there, would be calvinism, not Biblical doctrine.

  2. With all due respect, Dr. Hufhand is not looking at Eph 2.8-9 correctly. The nown, faith (pistis) is feminine gender, as is grace (charis). The "and that" (touto) is neuter. As I understand Greek grammar, the demonstrative pronoun (touto) must match its antecedent in GENDER, number, and case to be pointing to another word. Since both faith and grace are feminine and "that" is neuter, it can't be pointing to either faith or grace.

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

    The "it is" is supplied in English, the Greek doesn't have it, but the English isn't clear without it. The "that" has to be pointing to the whole concept of salvation, the topic at hand, which is the gift of God, NOT faith.

    I'm afraid I have to agree with Anonymous at 7:02 AM, the notion that faith comes from God is a tenet of Calvinism.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  3. Whatever or however you state the issue faith is
    NOT any part of the gift! Why continue to debate
    this dead issue? Dr. Hufhand is just repeating
    the teaching of the doctrine of Calvinism which
    tells us that we are not able to understand or to
    believe the Gospel on our own. I respect the
    Doctor, but I do not nor cannot agree with his
    Calvinistic doctrine in any way. He knows that
    what he has written is Calvinistic! I question
    his purpose. Why make a Calvinistic statement and
    then deny that the statement is Calvinistic?
    If I want to read Calvinism, I'll go & read
    some Calvinistic Teacher. There are many of them
    running loose!
    John Gregory