Sep 23, 2010

Faith by Hearing?

Today's "Primitive" or "Hardshell" Baptist teaches that one must have faith before they can hear the gospel. It is said by them that God, in regeneration, implants "faith" and then later, perhaps, some of them will exercise this "faith" by hearing and believing the gospel. It is astonishing however how they could teach what is so contrary to what the scriptures teach. For instance, Paul is very clear on this matter.

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10: 13, 14, 17)

The Hardshells say faith comes before hearing and believing the gospel, but the apostle said it comes after.

The best the Hardshells can do is to say "well, there are two kinds of faith in the bible. One is given to all the elect in regeneration and the other to only those regenerated elect ones who hear and believe the gospel." The first, they say, is regeneration faith and the latter is gospel or conversion faith.

The first kind of "faith," however, is nonsensical. It believes nothing, understands nothing, receives nothing. It has no object. It is totally indescribable, some kind of metaphysical substance. This kind of "faith" does not believe in the one true and living God, does not believe in Christ, or in the gospel, and does not trust. The scriptures know nothing of this kind of "faith."

To have belief in God, one must first hear about God. One cannot believe in one whom he does not know. Men come to believe, to have faith, when they have heard the gospel and been convinced of its truthfulness.

The Hardshells thus teach what is opposite of what Paul taught about faith and can only distort Paul's words in order to make them appear to harmonize with their non-biblical ideas.

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