Faith is not a gift from God. Every person is able to believe in Jesus for eternal life just as they are able to believe any other fact or piece of knowledge that is presented to them. Not even Ephesians 2:8 teaches that faith is a gift from God.
In this teaching on Ephesians 1:4-5, I explain the biblical concepts of election, predestination, and adoption, showing you that God does NOT choose some to receive eternal life while everyone else receives eternal death. Election is to service; not to eternal life.
What does Paul mean about divine election in Romans 9 when he writes about God loving Jacob and hating Esau, making what he wants from clay, and hardening Pharaohs heart? This article answers these questions from Romans 9, and also looks at what Romans 11 teaches about divine election.
It is critical to recognize that the Sermon on the Mount does not contain the offer of eternal life, because if we get confused on this fact, we will think that one gains eternal life by fulfilling the conditions and requirements Jesus talks about in this Sermon.
Here is a truth that will help you unpack many tricky and often-misunderstood Bible passages: Though all believers have eternal life, not all believers are disciples, and not all disciples are believers. Once you understand the difference between believing in Jesus for eternal life and becoming a disciple of Jesus during this life, many tricky Bible texts will make a lot more sense.
Frank Viola, author of Insurgence, joins me to discuss the Gospel of the Kingdom and what it really means to seek the Kingdom of God in our lives here and now. They also look at Luke 17:20-21 and Matthew 11:12 and what these passages teach about the kingdom of God.
When James writes about dead faith in James 2:14-26, many people think he is referring to faith that does not exist. But this is not the message of James. What is dead faith? It is useless faith. It is faith that does exist, but is not accomplishing what God wants or desires for it.
Is Paul teaching in Ephesians 2:1 that unbelievers cannot even believe in Jesus for eternal life unless God first regenerates them? Must God give unbelievers new life (regeneration) before they believe and so that they can believe? No. This is not what it means to be dead in trespasses and sins.
Most Christians are doing more harm than good with how they attempt to share Jesus with others. Many of the modern evangelistic efforts of Christians only do harm to the cause of Christ and the message of the gospel. If you want to see what I mean, I explain it all in parable form through my new book, Adventures in Fishing for Men.