Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cranfield on Faith in Romans 1:16

C.E.B. Cranfield commenting on Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes...

Faith, in the sense in which the term is used here, can exist only as response to the gospel...For Paul, man's salvation is altogether--not almost altogether--God's work; and the faith spoken of here is the openness of the gospel which God Himself creates, the human response of surrender to the judgment and unmerited mercy of God which God himself brings about--God who not only directs the message to the hearer but also Himself lays open the hearer's heart to the message. And yet this faith, as God's work in man, is in a real sense more truly and fully the man's own personal decision than anything which he himself does of himself; for it is the expression of the freedom which God has restored to him--the freedom to obey God...The "all" emphasizes the fact that the gospel is God's power effective unto salvation for all those who thus accept it, without exception and without distinction. Romans 1-8 (ICC), p. 86.
The freedom which God has restored to him: God is sovereign in salvation and only those who believe will be saved.

Freely choosing what has been eternally ordained solely through the gift of faith: Compatiblist freedom, the only freedom that the Bible portrays as worth having.

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