For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.Romans 8:5

heart of stone

I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  Ezekiel 36:26

As we have been looking at “faith” by defining what it is and what its object must be, now we are going to answer another question about the nature of saving faith, namely, “Where does faith come from?”  We will examine Romans 10:17; Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 5:22-23; and several other key texts that will help us identify where saving faith comes from. But in order to do that effectively, in order to affirm the positive about where faith comes from, we must first expose the negative, that is, we must explain where faith does not  come from. Not only will this sweep away several myths floating around the evangelical world, it will also give us a clean foundation upon which to build with the Word of God as we answer the question about where faith really does originate.

So what are a few of the incorrect answers out there about where faith comes from and how do we know that they are indeed wrong answers? Let’s look to the Scriptures and allow the Spirit to expose doctrinal error where we find it.

Faith Does Not  Come  from the Heart

The first error, or wrong answer we will examine is the idea that faith is produced in the hearts of men. This would be explained as if every man, fallen or saved, has the ability in his own heart without any input or influence from the outside to chose to believe or not believe the Word of God or the gospel. Faith is there, lying dormant until awakened by the yearning of the heart.

Does every person have the ability to just believe? Is faith really there deep in the heart of every man, woman, and child, as if all they have to do is dig deep enough and be persuaded to search hard enough to find it, bring it up to the surface, and use it? Does faith originate in the hearts of men?

Since we have already identified this as a wrong answer then of course the answer to these questions is “No.” Human beings do not get faith from deep down in their hearts. The Bible is clear about the condition of the hearts of men without Christ. Consider what the Scriptures say:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? – Jeremiah 17:9

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man. – Matt. 15:19-20

But, you might say then that there is another verse that may apply. What about Luke 6:45? “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

Ah. Yes. The Bible does say that a good man out of the treasure of his heart brings forth good things. But hold one for just one second. How many men are good? Outside of Jesus Christ, how many good men are there who bring forth good things from their hearts?

They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one. – Psalm 14:3

They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. – Romans 3:12

No one is good but One, that is, God. – Matthew 19:17

So how many good men are there who can bring forth good or faith from their own heart? None. Left to ourselves all our heart can bring forth is sin and wickedness and evil. Even the things we think are righteous are nothing but filthy rags in God’s sight – that is how Holy He is and how sinful we are without Jesus Christ.

So we see that faith does not originate in the hearts of men.

(tomorrow: Faith Doesn’t Come from the Minds of Men)