One of the most common responses I get from the "free willers" when I ask them WHY do some people have faith and others do not, is for them to cite Romans 10:17 - "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Yet this is NOT answering the question as to WHY some believe and others do not.
This verse tells us HOW they came to believe, but it does not tell us WHY they believe or WHY they have faith.
And if we follow the logic of their thinking, then it follows that ANYBODY who simply hears the word of God preached automatically has faith; and we all know this is not true at all.
And Who is it that opens the ears so that some CAN hear, and Who also closes the ears of others so that they CANNOT hear?
See more on Romans 10:17 in my separate article on this verse here -
Repentance is also a gift of God
Just as God Himself gives us the faith to believe the gospel, so too He gives Repentance.
In Acts 5:31 the apostle Peter says in his preaching: "Him (Christ) hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, FOR TO GIVE REPENTANCE to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."
("For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel...but the children of the promise are counted for the seed." - Romans 9:6-8)
Again, in Acts 11:18 when Peter is before the brethren in Jerusalem telling them how God had sent him to preach to the Gentiles the gospel of the grace of God and how God had given them the Holy Ghost just as He had to the Jewish believers, we read: "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, THEN HATH GOD ALSO to the Gentiles GRANTED REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE."
In 2 Timothy 2:24-25 the apostle Paul writes to Timothy telling him how to deal with those who hold false doctrines. He tells him: "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; IF GOD PERADVENTURE WILL GIVE THEM REPENTANCE to the acknowledging of the truth."
The same truth is taught in the Old Testament. In the book of Jeremiah we read: "Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke; TURN THOU ME, AND I SHALL BE TURNED; for thou art the LORD my God. Surely AFTER I WAS TURNED, I REPENTED." Jeremiah 31:18-19.
Lamentations 5:21 "TURN THOU US UNTO THEE, O LORD, AND WE SHALL BE TURNED; renew our days as of old."
It is recorded in 1 Kings when the prophet Elijah was contending with the false prophets of Baal and telling the people of Israel - "How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." In his prayer to the Lord God Elijah then says: Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and THAT THOU HAST TURNED THEIR HEART BACK AGAIN." 1 Kings 18:37
Answering an Objection raised by a free will choice Arminian.
A man who blows right on by all those verses that tell us God is the one who gives faith to some and blinds others so that they cannot believe, objects to this idea saying:
“Perhaps you can explain why God credited Abraham's faith to Him as righteousness. Why Christ rebuked first Peter and then later all the disciples for not having enough faith. He didn’t say....sorry, I didn’t give you enough faith. You will also note that the bleeding woman and the centurion were commended for their faith. Jesus did not say "I did not give faith like this in all of Israel."
Saying that Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness, in no way denies or negates the truth that God himself gives both faith and repentance. God chose Abraham before Abraham believed.
Nehemiah 9:7 Thou art the Lord the God, WHO DIDST CHOOSE ABRAM, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham.
Then how do we explain such things as where the Lord exhorts the disciples to “Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22)
or where he rebukes them for not having enough faith, as in places like Matthew 8:26 where in the midst of a storm the disciples cry out “Lord save us; we perish.” and Jesus replies “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?”
or in the same context as it says in Mark 4:40 “How is it that ye have no faith?”
or individually to Peter when he tried to walk on water to join Jesus and he saw the wind boisterous and was afraid and began to sink he cries out, “saying, Lord, save me.” and then takes hold of his hand and catches him and says to him “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
Verses like these cannot contradict the other verses that tell us that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) or that God hath dealt to every man among the Christians the measure of faith (Romans 12:3) or that it was given to us to believe (Philippians 1:29)
Anytime God rebukes us for our sin or shortcomings, this does not deny the truths that “He that began a good work in you will perform it till the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:6) or that “the fruits of righteousness are by Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:11) or that "it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13) or that faith is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
Jesus said regarding the bearing of fruit “without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5). Let’s not forget that it is God who “makes you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ” (Hebrews 13:21)
God’s rebuking us for our lack of faith or spiritual growth, or for sins of any kind merely shows us our shortcomings and our inability in ourselves to measure up to his high standards, and thus we need to cast ourselves upon God and ask him to do for and in us what we cannot do ourselves.
We see this very thing when we read in Luke 17:5 - “And the apostles said unto the Lord, INCREASE OUR FAITH.”
The Lord is not only the Author and Finisher of our faith, but he is also the one who causes it to increase and he prevents our faith from failing as he prayed for Peter when he knew he would deny him, saying - “But I have prayed for thee, THAT THY FAITH FAIL NOT”. (Luke 22:32)
And whenever the Scriptures refer to “thy faith” or “their faith” or “your faith”, it does not mean that faith originates within or from the natural man, who is at enmity with God, loves darkness rather than light, and is not seeking God.
But rather this faith becomes ours when God himself gives it to us. Just as we read in what is called the Lord’s prayer where we pray “Give us this day OUR daily bread.” It is OURS only because God gives it to us.
JESUS is the Author and the Finisher of OUR faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
See many important Scriptures that answer this question -
Why is it that some people believe (have faith) in Christ as their Saviour and others do not? Does the Bible tell us? Yes, it does!