Calvinism's view of regeneration is unsupported by scripture.

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by William C, Mar 16, 2003.

  1. William C

    William C
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    Regeneration is the process in which man is made alive by God or as is refered to as new birth. Both Calvinists and Arminians believe regeneration is an act of God's grace, but we disagree as to the means by which regeneration comes. Arminians believe, as scripture clearly teaches, that we are made alive or regenerated through faith. While Calvinist believe that faith comes through regeneration. These passages seem to support the Arminian view that we are regenerated through faith in the word of truth:

    Col. 2:12
    buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

    1 Peter 1:23 
    having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever

    James 1:18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

    Eph. 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

    Gal. 3:14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

    How do Calvinists deal with these passages and what passages support the belief that spiritual regeneration comes before faith?
     
  2. KenH

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    1)A regenerated person willingly comes to Christ in repentance and faith.

    2)A regenerated person has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. The usual means that He uses is the Word of God, except for cases such as infants that die in the womb or at an early age.

    3)It says that God brought us forth by His will, not ours. Also see my answer to 2) above. In fact, that is one of the strongest pro-doctrines of God's amazing grace verses in the Bible. Thanks for using a verse that destroys your own false viewpoint. [​IMG]

    4)See answer to 2) above.

    5)See answer to 1) above. Charles Spurgeon has a wonderful sermon entitled, "The Warrant of Faith"(www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0531.htm. God might bless you through it if you read it. [​IMG]

    [ March 16, 2003, 09:09 PM: Message edited by: Ken H ]
     
  3. William C

    William C
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    1)Col. 2:12
    buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

    Bill:
    You really didn't deal with this verse. It specifically says we are raise through faith. We are not raised so that we can have faith. How do you deal with this.

    2)1 Peter 1:23 
    having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever

    Ken:
    A regenerated person has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. The usual means that He uses is the Word of God, except for cases such as infants that die in the womb or at an early age.

    Bill:
    I agree that a person in regenerated by the Holy Spirit through the means of the faith which come from the hearing the Word of God.

    We are raised or made alive by the Spirit who comes through faith. Do you agree with this too?

    3)James 1:18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

    Ken:
    It says that God brought us forth by His will, not ours. Also see my answer to 2) above. In fact, that is one of the strongest pro-doctrines of God's amazing grace verses in the Bible. Thanks for using a verse that destroys your own false viewpoint. [​IMG]

    Bill:
    Only in your own mind Ken. This verse is simply saying God brings us (those who believe) forth by the word of truth. This is telling us how God regenerates us through the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation. Notice it doesn't say that He makes us alive so that we can believe the gospel, it says he makes us alive through the gospel.

    4)Eph. 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

    5)Gal. 3:14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.[/qb][/QUOTE]1)A regenerated person willingly comes to Christ in repentance and faith.

    Read it. He approaches his subject with the same presupposition that all Calvinist approach the text with, "Election brings me faith, and faith is the evidence of my election." This is unfounded in Scripture therefore his entire sermon has no foundation.

    Election is never spoken of a bringing us faith. "Faith comes from hearing..."
     
  4. KenH

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    You don't think anyone besides yourself and your cronies have a foundation for what they believe in Scripture...blah blah blah. :rolleyes: (That's the technical term by the way - blah blah blah :D )

    One thing I have to admit about you, Brother Bill, you have plenty of hubris.

    Fortunately, your salvation(and mine) is not dependent on having all of your theological ducks in a row. [​IMG]
     
  5. William C

    William C
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    Ken, you really haven't deal with the arguments nor the scriptures which clearly teach that we are made alive through faith which comes by the word of the gospel.

    How do you deal with these passages?

    Anyone? :confused:
     
  6. KenH

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    You mean just like you have never dealt with the passages that teach that repentance and faith are granted by God as gifts to His people? You mean just like you have never dealt with the passages that teach election and predestination? You mean just like you have never dealt with the passages that teach man's inability to raise a finger to save himself?

    As I said, you have hubris, my friend, and lots of it. :rolleyes:
     
  7. William C

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    Have you read all of my posts over the last several months? Obviously not. This post is not about all of those arguements it about these.

    First, granting the Gentiles repentance simply means he has chosen to allow them entrance into to the covenant through faith and repentance. You can't repent if He hasn't chosen to reveal the gospel of repentance to your people now can you.

    Second, I'm dealing with the issue of election on the other post right now.

    I have dealt systematically with each of the Calvinistic proof texts for "total inability" and it is quite clear that no where in scripture does it teach that man is unable to see, hear, understand, and believe except in regard to hardened Israel. This argument has yet to be sufficiently answered.
     
  8. William C

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    Have you read all of my posts over the last several months? Obviously not. This post is not about all of those arguements it about these.

    First, granting the Gentiles repentance simply means he has chosen to allow them entrance into to the covenant through faith and repentance. You can't repent if He hasn't chosen to reveal the gospel of repentance to your people now can you.

    Second, I'm dealing with the issue of election on the other post right now.

    I have dealt systematically with each of the Calvinistic proof texts for "total inability" and it is quite clear that no where in scripture does it teach that man is unable to see, hear, understand, and believe except in regard to hardened Israel. This argument has yet to be sufficiently answered.
     
  9. KenH

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    Only in your own mind, Brother Bill, have you dealt with the verses that deal with election, predestination, repentance and faith as gifts, etc. You slap your presupposition on verses and expect everyone to bow down to your interpretation. Let me inform you that I bow the knee only to God and not to you or any other man.

    I have read your posts and I find nothing in them to shake my faith in Jesus Christ and my adherence to the Biblical doctrines of God's amazing grace. In fact, I find my adherence to the Biblical doctrines of God's amazing grace to be strengthened due to the weakness of your arguments against them. So please keep writing. You make the case for Arminianism seem more whimsical each time you do. [​IMG]
     
  10. KenH

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    I sincerely doubt there is anything anyone can say that would cause you to say that it has been sufficiently answered. We do not write on this board to convince fellow posters but to direct any honest inquirers who happen by to the truth of the doctrines of God's amazing grace and to warn them about the false doctrines that you and others teach.
     
  11. William C

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    Your wrong, I only expect people to address my arguments instead of diverting the arguments and ignoring the scripture. When someone fails to address the issues I call them on it. You don't like that because I'm constantly having to do that with you because of your tendency to resort to meaningless rhetoric that unfortunately you have pulled me into once again in this post.

    Good. Now read His Word.
     
  12. William C

    William C
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    Your wrong again. I was convinced to believe Calvinism once and I could be convinced once again. As a matter of fact I want you and anyone else to try and convince me by actually dealing with my arguments instead of dealing with all this mumbo jumbo. (that greek for "crud") [​IMG]
     
  13. russell55

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    I'd like to quibble a bit with the word "process" to describe regeneration. The word "process" carries with it the idea of a duration of time, rather than something instantaneous, and regeneration (at least as the Calvinist sees it) is and instantaneous thing. There is no lapse of time between this initial work of the Holy Spirit and the exercise of faith. They both--regeneration and the saving faith in the one regenerated--occur simultaneously. It just that one (regeneration) it the logical cause of the other (saving faith).

    I Just have to nitpik again. Both agree that regeneration is an act of God's grace, but more than that, both agree as to the means of regeneration: Regeneration comes through the MEANS of the Spirit. Arminans simply believe that there is a condition that must be met before regeneration occurs by means of the Spirit.

    And of course, I also disagree that scripture "clearly teaches" that we are born again through faith.

    Well, I don't disagree that we are raised with Him through faith. I just think that faith we are raised by comes as a result of the initial circumcision made without hands (see verse 11), that initial work of the Holy Spirit by which the body of the sins of the flesh is put off. Being raised comes as a result of being first being made alive (or quickened)--Ephesians 2:5.

    Well, I believe that the work of the Spirit in regeneration always takes place in conjunction with the work of the word of truth. It is the two things together that get results--and I suspect you believe this too. You don't believe the Spirit is not the operative in regeneration just because He's not mentioned in this verse, do you? This verse really doesn't seem useful as a prooftext for either side of this debate.


    I would see this verse as supporting the idea that both are required: The work of the Spirit, the Agent who works God's will ("Of His own will"), and the gospel (the word of truth). But it is God's decision that begets us by the word of truth, not our own.

    I don't see sealing as the exact equivalent of regeneration. I agree that we are sealed (which I see as related to adoption, for it is a guarantee of our inheritance) as a result of faith.

    I see the promise of the Spirit as the same thing as the indwelling, guarantee, seal of the Spirit, which, as I explained above, comes through faith.

    Well, here are a few. I'm sure you will not be impressed, but they are the ones that convinced me.

    John 3:8

    The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

    In the rebirthing work of the Spirit, He is like the wind, coming "out of the blue", so to speak.

    John 1:12,13

    But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born....not of the will of man, but of [the will of] God.

    Those who believe (present tense) were born (past tense), not because they desired it, but because God willed it. The tenses in these verses seem to put being born of the will of God prior to believing and receiving Him, but put believing and receiving prior to adoption.

    Ephesians 2

    We were following Satan, fulfilling the lusts of our flesh and the desires of our minds--a condition that is the exact opposite of saving faith, which includes the desire to follow Christ, a love for God and a desire to please Him--when we were made alive. This is one I find particularly powerful to me. It describes what being dead in sin is, and then tells us it is while we are like that that we are made alive together with Christ.

    1 Peter 1:3

    Bless be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hop through the resurrection of Jesus Christ form the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible..."

    The result of being begotten again is a living hope--an enduring confidence in our future inheritance--in God's future blessing of salvation for us. Sounds a lot like the sort of faith the OT saints were justified by, and we get the same type of faith as a result of being begotten again.
     
  14. Frogman

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    Amen, Russell55, Excellent post.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  15. npetreley

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    Actually, his writing takes the argument to a new level of abstraction.

    Arminianism, as presented here pre-Bill, was based entirely on inference from what it says in scripture. "Whosoever" implies everyone. "Decide" implies ability. Etc. It's about as weak an argument as you can get, but at least it's based on scripture that actually exists.

    Billism is based on what the Bible does NOT say. The Bible does NOT say that what applied to the apostles also applies to the rest of the elect. The Bible does NOT say that the Gentiles are hardened. Etc. Billism is therefore founded entirely in what we programmers call "whitespace" (tabs, spaces, anything you cannot actually see). Think of it as being the ideal theology for the poor, since they are spared the expense of a Bible that actually has something written in it. ;)
     
  16. npetreley

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    Thanks, russel55. The above is unambiguous, and does not rely on inference or what the Bible does not say. Therefore, that should end all argument. But it won't. ;)
     
  17. William C

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    First, let me say this is a very good post Russell. You don't degrade me and you honestly and clearly deal with each of my arguments. I will extend you that same curtiousy and hopefully we can both leave this discussion with more understanding of these passages. I sincerely thank you.

    Thank you for the clarification. I can see your point.

    That condition is faith. Faith comes before the Spirit, that is clear throughout the text. Many in the gospels express faith in Christ who have yet to recieve the indwelling of the Spirit.

    Arminians believe that their is a general calling of the Spirit which is geniune to all men (most Calvinists agree). This calling can be resisted (most Calvinists agree with this). Then the Spirit indwells those who respond in faith to the general call. (Calvinists insist that the general call is not sufficient but there must be an effectual call as well. I don't see that supported by scripture. I don't see a distinction between the general and "effectual" calling of the spirit, except as it relates to the unique divine calling of the apostles who specially were appointed.

    Russell I would agree except look closer at the verse:

    11 in whom ye were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

    Those that it says "having been" meaning that the phrase that follows has already taken place. Though I do see your point, for these reasons I still disagree

    The reason I point out this text is because it shows the means God has selected to work through in bringing new birth. The word of truth as we see in Eph. 1:13 is the "gospel of salvation." This is the means through which we are born again. Yes, the spirit is involved every time the word of truth is presented, but this is the general calling of the spirit that can be resisted by mankind (Acts 7:51).

    I see this as saying it was God's will to make people alive through the word of truth which is what brings faith--"faith comes by hearing." But I can see your point as well. The point I was really pointing out is that God chose the word of truth, the gospel, as the means by which one is made alive. Therefore, one is made alive through the gospel, not the gospel is made alive through regeneration.

    Russell, notice what this passage says. It says you truted or had faith in Christ after they heard the word of truth. And after they believed they were sealed with the Holy Spirit. This is consistant with the passages in John and Acts that show people with faith before the indwelling of the Spirit. Faith precedes the work of the Spirit, that is quite clear in the text, therefore we should understand "less clear" with these much clearer verses in mind.

    Let me give some examples of these very clear passages:

    Acts 5:32
    And we are witnesses of these things; and [so is] the Holy Spirit, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

    Acts 8:
    Now when the apostles that were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: 16 for as yet it was fallen upon none of them: only they had been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit

    John 7:
    31 But of the multitude many believed on him... He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water. 39 But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him were to receive: for the Spirit was not yet [given]; because Jesus was not yet glorified.

    As is obvious here one can believe without the indwelling of the Spirit.

    Where does scripture make this convenient distinction between the regenerating work of the spirit that takes place indendant of faith and the "promise, indwelling, sealing" work of the spirit which does come through faith. The passages I have mention do speak of being brough forth and being made alive through the word of truth which is believed upon through faith. I just don't see your view supported unless you trying to force it to support a presupposition.

    So too, the gospel and the genernal calling of the Spirit goes wherever and however the Lord leads it. I often feel lead by the Spirit to witness or teach and sometimes the Spirit convicts those I speak with and other times they resist the Spirit just as those in Acts 7:51.

    This passage confirms a common point of agreement among us: rebirth is a work of God's Spirit. It doesn't address the means that God works through to accomplish this rebirth until verse 16 when is speaks of "whosoever believes". How is one born again? By believing.

    This post is getting too long so I'll pick up those other passages as soon as I get a chance. God bless. And thanks again for actually engaging in a meaningful discussion instead of resorting to MUMBO JUMBO. [​IMG]
     
  18. Ray Berrian

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    Brother Bill,

    Regeneration is a one time act of God. His Spirit remains in us forever. [I John 3:9] Bill, I agree with you that when you see truth correctly you do build confidence into spiritual fortitude or as one has said, hubris. There is nothing wrong with your confidence and it is not tainted by pride. A thus saith the Lord is always in order.

    Calvinism does not at all commingle Scriptural truth; no wonder the lack of spiritual assurance as to its validity and truthfulness as related to His eternal words of truth.
     
  19. William C

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    Calvinist teach that we are born spiritually dead. I'm not debating this point I'm just wondering where the Bible ever actually says we are born dead.

    The bible says that we were dead in our trespasses and sin in which we once LIVED.

    I agree that man is born sinful and guilty of sin and in need of a savior, but does it really ever teach that we are born dead, or could it be that being "dead" is similar to hardening in that it's something that describes someone who lives in sin and rebellion to God for a period of time.

    Calvinists just seem to jump to the conclusion that man is born as depraved as someone who has continually refused to listen to the gospel and has lived in sinful rebellion. I'm not arguing that Calvinists think depravity means people are as sinful as they could be, but I am arguing that Calvinists think they are just as "unwilling" from birth as they are after being hardened in sin. That doesn't seem consistant with Romans 1 or any text of scripture.

    Just something to think about . [​IMG]
     
  20. Ray Berrian

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    Brother Bill,

    One would think that Calvinists, by now, would see the ridiculousness of their 'dead corpse theory.' While a sinner's sin keeps him dead toward God, He does not leave them in their sins once they hear the Gospel. The Spirit attends the Word in relation to said sinner, so he has to make a choice either to receive Christ or to discount and turn aside the offer of grace coming from God our Savior.

    Whoever heard of people making up their own illustrations, without Biblical warrant, about a 'dead corpse' showing how sinners are totally dead toward God and then trying to sanctify their view by resurrecting good old Lazarus. How sad a theology is this?
     

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