Faith is a gift of God by Martyn Llyod Jones
Where in the Bible that says Faith is a gift of God? It is in Ephesians 2:8 KJV: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
This is how Martyn Llyod-Jones explains it:
“What is the origin of faith? And the answer is: it is the gift of God. Again, you see the importance of taking doctrines in the right order. How important it is that we should have studied regeneration and so on before coming to faith. This again is the gift of God.
“But here we come to a controversial point. Take the statement in Ephesians 2:8: ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.’ Now the whole question is: what does the ‘that’ mean? What does it refer to? There are those who would have us believe that it is a reference to the salvation. But surely it cannot be that. If it were, then Paul is just repeating himself. He has already said, ‘By grace are ye saved’, and he goes on to say that in the entire paragraph, so if he just repeats it again here, what is the purpose? No. By ‘that’ he is referring to faith, not salvation. ‘By grace are ye saved through faith; and that’—the faith as well—‘not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.’
“Yes, faith is the gift of God, and this, of course, can be proved quite easily by the previous doctrines that we have already considered. Think again of 1 Corinthians 2 and all that we have seen about the natural man to whom the things of God are ‘foolishness’ (v. 14), and Romans 8 where the carnal mind is described as being ‘enmity against God’ (v. 7). Such a person cannot exercise faith, as we have seen. In other words, the seed of faith is placed in us in regeneration and will be called into activity by the effectual call.
“Or, to prove the same point from a different angle, let us look at it like this: faith, ultimately, is governed by what we have called our disposition. It is our fundamental disposition that determines whether we have faith or not. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews talks about ‘an evil heart of unbelief’ (Heb. 3:12). That is it. Faith is not an intellectual matter only, as we shall see. It is our disposition. If we have an evil heart, then we will be unbelievers. Whether we have faith or not is determined by our fundamental disposition.
“Or, again, the Lord Himself says, ‘How can ye believe which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?’ (John 5:44). ‘You people cannot believe,’ says our Lord in effect, ‘your whole disposition is wrong. You are seeking honour one from another, and while you do that you will never have faith and you will never believe. How can you believe?’ And then He repeats it, ‘Why do ye not believe me?’ (John 8:46). The same thing again: it was their disposition that was wrong. In other words, this is ultimately a moral question. It is something that concerns one’s whole moral being, so that we must cease to think of faith as a kind of natural faculty that can be turned in the direction of God. No, it is the gift of God.”
[The full article “Saving Faith” can be found in my web site under the Heading “Faith”]
Again Martyn Lloyd-Jones in “Spiritual Depression—Its Causes and Cure,” 134 says:
“The one that is dealt with here is the whole problem and question of the nature of faith. In other words, there are many Christians who get into difficulty and are unhappy from time to time because they clearly have not understood the nature of faith. ‘Well’, you may say, ‘if they have not understood the nature of faith, how can they be Christians?’ The answer is that what makes one a Christian is that one is given the gift of faith. We are given the gift of faith by God through the Holy Spirit and we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and that saves us; but that does not mean that we have fully understood the nature of faith. So it comes to pass that, while we may be truly Christian and genuinely saved through receiving this gift of faith, we may subsequently get into trouble with our spiritual experience because we have not understood what faith really is. It is given as a gift, but from there on we have to do certain things about it.
“Now this very striking incident brings out the vital importance of distinguishing between the original gift of faith and the walk of faith, or the life of faith which comes subsequently. God starts us off in this Christian life and then we have to walk in it. ‘We walk by faith, not by sight’, is the theme that we are now considering.” [The full article “Where is your Faith” can be found in my web site under the Heading “Faith”]
Martyn Lloyd-Jones talks of:
“See to it, says Peter, that your faith is a living faith, see that it is an active faith, see that it is a vigorous faith, see that it is a manly faith, see that it is an energetic faith.”
[The full article “Christians Start with Faith and End with Love” can be found in my web site under the Heading “Faith”]
Mother Teresa says:
“Faith is a gift of God. Without it there would be no life. And our work, to be fruitful, and to be all for God, and to be beautiful, has to be built on faith—faith in Christ who has said, “I was hungry, I was naked, I was sick, and I was homeless, and you ministered to me.” On these words of His all our work is based. (“A Gift for God,” 21)