"Does Regeneration Precede or Follow Faith" part 2

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by The Archangel, Dec 10, 2010.

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  1. The Archangel

    The Archangel
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    I usually don't like to start new threads, especially when the original was closed. But, because the thread was closed, I did not have a chance to address a post by webdog. So, I will do so here:

    This is not correct. I don't mean this to be a lesson in English grammar, but what does Schreiner say? What demonstrates that regeneration precedes faith? Texts. It is not an a priori presupposition (to be a bit redundant) to say regeneration preceded faith based on several texts. It is, actually, quite the opposite--it is the definition of exegesis, drawing one's conclusions from the text.

    Of course the text doesn't say that, that's Schreiner's point. He is arguing that the verses in 1 John show actions by God that result in actions. For instance, 1 John 2:29 says those who have practice righteousness have been born of God. Schreiner is using the inverse as an example of what we would not say--we would not say that we must first practice righteousness and then are born of God, and so on.

    Also, Schreiner is not saying that these texts--1 John 2:29, 1 John 3:9, and 1 John 4:7 show that being born predates faith. He is using these verses as examples (because of the similar structure and use of the passive gennao).

    After this, he turns to 1 John 5:1 and demonstrates that it must be understood the same way as the other verses. So, in effect, he is arguing, quite convincingly, that our understanding of the structure of 1 John 2:29 must inform our understanding of 1 John 5:1. Since no one would say that we must do righteous deeds to become born of God we cannot say that we must believe Jesus is the Christ in order to become born of God.

    Further, the, as the text and Schreiner's argument suggests--if someone is doing righteous deeds (at the present time) it is because they have been born of God (at some preceding time). Therefore, if someone is believing that Jesus is the Christ (at the present time) it is because they have been born of God (at some preceding time). In all of these cases, the action of the subject (practicing righteousness, not continuing to sin, loving one another, and believing Jesus is the Christ) is the fruit of the action of God. So, God's actions (His work) precedes the results seen in our lives, whether it be faith or righteous deeds.

    Unfortunately, you have not read Dr. Schreiner's work too carefully.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  2. webdog

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    First, I wanted it to be perfectly clear that in the now closed thread I did NOT question the salvation of James.

    He even stated " This I understand does not mean I have the right view....I just want to hear what your point is."

    Since the thread is now closed I was unable to comment to this error in public and have asked Dr. Bob to remove that "snippet" as that was not the intent of my post. If not, it should be clear there is a clear bias on this board. When you read JArthur's comments to my post a few pages down you can see what I actually said, and in no way did I even allude to the fact he was not saved. I do not stoop to the level of some here on the BB
     
    #2 webdog, Dec 10, 2010
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  3. webdog

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    ...yet there are no texts that demonstrate it...so what else could he be saying? This view must be read into the text as the plain reading of the text says no such thing, and to which you even agree with when you say. This is what he really said "Several texts from 1 John demonstrate that regeneration precedes faith." That's quite a bit different than what you stated (regeneration preceded faith based on several texts). What he said was in essense "there are several texts that prove pre-faith regeneration.
    I agreed with everything here, btw...except the bolded that you quietly slipped in. The text does NOT support that. Righteous deeds are a result of righteousness which only occurs via faith in Christ.
     
    #3 webdog, Dec 10, 2010
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  4. Winman

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    It is impossible for regeneration to precede faith, because until you believe on Jesus you are dead in your sins. There are numerous verses of scripture that clearly state this.

    John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

    It is impossible to be regenerated for years before you believe as some Calvinists teach (I have posted comments from noted Calvinists who hold this view several times), because until you believe you are dead in your sins. Not only can you not be regenerated for years before you believe, it is impossible to be regenerated for even one second before you believe.

    John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

    John 20:31 says you must first believe to have life.

    John 3:16 clearly says only those who believe shall not perish but "have" everlasting life.

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


    John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    John 3:18 clearly shows you cannot be regenerated until you believe, because until you believe you are condemned.

    John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

    John 3:36 clearly says only those who believe on Jesus have life. Those who have not believed shall not see life and God's wrath abides on them.

    I could go on and on, the verses that show faith precedes regeneration are many.

    If regeneration means life, then faith precedes regeneration.
     
    #4 Winman, Dec 10, 2010
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  5. The Archangel

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    Again, you are completely misunderstanding the argument.

    “If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him” (1 John 2:29).

    John is saying the one who practices righteousness has been born of God. That is to say practicing righteousness is a result of having been born of God. What happens first? Being born of God. What is the result? Practicing righteousness.

    “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9).

    John is saying that a true believer cannot keep sinning because he or she has been born of God. That is to say a practice of sinning is unbecoming of a Christian precisely because he or she has already been born of God. What happens first? Being born of God. What is the result? The Christian does not keep sinning.

    “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).

    John is saying that the one loving brothers and sisters in Christ has been born of God. That is to say if a Christian is demonstrating love for his or her fellow believers (especially, I believe, in the context of the local church) it is a result of having been born of God. What happens first? Being born of God. What is the result? The believer will love their brothers and sisters in Christ.

    “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whomever has been born of him” (1 John 5:1).

    John is saying that the ones believing that Jesus is the Christ have been born of God. That is to say, if someone is a Christian (believing that Jesus is the Christ) it is because they have been born of God. What happens first? Being born of God. What is the result? Believing Jesus is the Christ.

    In all these cases the unifying concept is "Being born of God." That is the preceding main cause. Therefore, all these verses are showing that being born of God (or as it is understood "Regeneration") is the cause of practicing righteousness, not habitually sinning, loving one another, and believing Jesus is the Christ.

    We do not practice righteousness and then God decides to regenerate us; we do not stop sinning and then God decides to regenerate us; we do not show love for one another and then God decides to regenerate us; we do not believe Jesus is the Christ and then God decides to regenerate us.

    You might wish to agree with examples 1-3 that our love for one another or our practicing of righteousness is a result of God's work, and you would be correct, however, you cannot affirm examples 1-3 and then deny example 4 just because it rubs you the wrong way. The structure is similar and it says what it says--Regeneration (being born of God) precedes all these things--practicing righteousness, not habitually sinning, love for one another, and faith. There is no way around this without doing violence to the text.

    The Archangel
     
  6. webdog

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    I don't think either of us will convince the other, but you are still adding to what it says! The text states the ones believing (present) have been born of God (past). That is to say if someone is currently a Christian (believing that Jesus is the Christ) it is because they have been born of God at some point in the past. NO mention of when. You're "what happened first" questions are all implied and read into the text. As John once mentioned in this debate, the present participle in both cases does not deal with at what point the present action begins--the present participle never does in koine Greek.


    "The present tense is not normally used in Greek to show ingression, or beginning. Daniel Wallace's grammar gives only two instances when the present is ingressive: the "mostly futuristic" use in which "The present tense may describe an event begun (Wallace's emphasis) in the present time, but completed in the future" (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, p. 537). Again, there is an ingressive-progressive use of the present imperative (Wallace, p. 721-722). But our three passages in 1 John fit neither of these cases."
     
    #6 webdog, Dec 10, 2010
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  7. Winman

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    No, that is the exact reverse of what 1 John 5:1 says.

    1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

    If 1 John 5:1 meant what you say, the first part of the verse should have been written like this;

    Whosoever is born of God believeth that Jesus is the Christ:

    But it is not written like that is it? No, because God knows how to say exactly what he means. I mean, isn't God more intelligent than us? And if God wanted to make sure we understand that a person has to be born of God to have the ability to believe, then he would have written it the way I showed that represents your view. But God did not write it that way.

    You cannot twist one verse like this and overwrite probably a dozen or more verses that clearly say a person must believe to have life. And if regeneration means life, then faith precedes regeneration.

    But going back, the one absolute proof that faith must precede regeneration is our sins. Until you believe you are dead in sins, condemned of God, his wrath abides on you, you cannot see life, you shall perish. Therefore you cannot be regenerated for even one second of time until you believe and your sins are taken away. You can't escape this fact. You can't be alive and dead at the same time.

    Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    If your doctrine was true, then Paul and Silas should have said;

    And they said, Be thou saved, and thy house, and thou shalt believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

    You would have to reverse half of the scriptures to say the exact opposite of what they truly say if your doctrine was true.
     
    #7 Winman, Dec 10, 2010
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  8. The Archangel

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    Well, no, that's not the case. It is common understanding that the past happens before the present. Not to mention that John's whole argument is based on God's prior work and our resultant condition.

    My "what happened first" questions are drawn from the text since the text states a past even (God's borning people) and a present state (belief, in the 4th example).

    The text clearly makes a distinction between present condition and past and because of this the text itself sets up an order of what happened first.

    Again, there's no getting around this.

    The Archangel
     
  9. The Archangel

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    Wrong. Simply wrong.
     
  10. webdog

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    I modified my post while you were typing yours...
    As John once mentioned in this debate, the present participle in both cases does not deal with at what point the present action begins--the present participle never does in koine Greek.


    "The present tense is not normally used in Greek to show ingression, or beginning. Daniel Wallace's grammar gives only two instances when the present is ingressive: the "mostly futuristic" use in which "The present tense may describe an event begun (Wallace's emphasis) in the present time, but completed in the future" (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, p. 537). Again, there is an ingressive-progressive use of the present imperative (Wallace, p. 721-722). But our three passages in 1 John fit neither of these cases."
     
  11. The Archangel

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    The problem with his (or your) argument is that it does not deal with the passive verb. I might agree that you and JoJ would be correct if there was no passive verb or participles or whatever. However, this is not the case. Both are present, and as I argued before...and as Schreiner essentially argues, the juxtaposition of the two is where we get the text telling us which came first.

    The Archangel
     
  12. Winman

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    Why? Because it contradicts your doctrine?

    You can read, I have presented half a dozen verses that clearly say you must first believe to have life. And once again, if regeneration means life, then faith clearly precedes regeneration.

    Show me even one verse in all the bible that clearly says a person must be regenerated to believe. You can't, because such a verse does not exist. But I can easily show you many scriptures that support faith preceding regeneration. They are not difficult to read or understand either, they are simple and unmistakeable.
     
  13. Winman

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    1 John 5:1 is simply a diversion Calvinists use. Why hasn't Archangel addressed the many scriptures I showed that easily show faith precedes regeneration?

    Because he can't. And you KNOW you can't.
     
  14. Jarthur001

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    Winman, please do not think a no reply is victory.
     
  15. Winman

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    I don't think of a no reply as a victory. [personal attack snipped]
     
    #15 Winman, Dec 10, 2010
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  16. Jarthur001

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    could be they fear you and fear saying you are right.

    OR Maybe....

    Maybe he has been through this so many times, its not worth the time for a long reply.

    I can tell you this, it would not be the 1st time I have heard these verses misused. I pass over many post after I have heard everything from the "other side" 20 times.
     
  17. zrs6v4

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    I go to work today and come back to find my old thread closed. :)

    Jarthur in the previous threads you quoted verses from Jeremiah speaking of God giving us a new heart. You equated that to being born of the Spirit. This is respectable and I cannot completely deny this at this point. I agree that God brings all those He calls to Himself (the elect). The question regeneration from a Calvinist perspective will say by regeneration as they equate that with a new heart. I'm trying to ponder this idea, because yes in some sense God does bring us to life by giving us a new heart or a new inner man. We need spiritual senses from God or we will remain in darkness.

    How do we make the jump that God's "giving a new heart" is what Jesus was speaking of in John 3 when He said we must be born again?
     
  18. Jarthur001

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    I replied to your message note.
     
  19. Jarthur001

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    and another passage....

    Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, ....(IN ORDER)........to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

    Sounds like 1 John...no? :)
     
  20. Winman

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    You can read. I am not misusing these verses whatsoever. There are numerous verses that say you must believe to have life, and if you do not believe you will not see life. Well, if regeneration means life, then faith must precede regeneration.

    This all goes back to the Calvinist doctrine of Total Depravity. Non-Cals like myself truly believe all men are sinners, we are all depraved, but we believe the unregenerate can respond to God when God calls. And we see this in scripture. Adam and Eve responded to God when they were dead in sin, they came to him.

    To believe that the unregenerate cannot respond to God is also to say that God does not have the power to speak to the dead.

    Can God speak to the dead? You tell me.

    Spiritual death is not like physical death. It is true that the physically dead cannot do anything whatsoever. But spiritual death is different. The rich man who died and went to hell in Luke 16 was spiritually dead, yet he could see, hear, speak, feel pain, he repented, and even asked for mercy for his unsaved brothers. He could also communicate with Abraham who is spiritually alive.

    So, this is where Calvinism goes wrong in my opinion, they try to compare spiritual death to physical death when the scriptures clearly show a difference.

    The Philipian jailer was dead in his sins and unregenerate when he asked how to be saved. We know this, because he had not yet believed on Christ, and until you believe you are dead in your sins. Yet he clearly realized his soul was in peril and sought how to be saved from going to hell. So, once again, Calvinism misunderstands the spiritually dead. They are not like a lifeless corpse and can respond to God.

    So now I will be accused of being a Pelagian. Well, I do not know exactly what Pelagius believed, but I do not believe unregenerate man can know or seek God of himself. I believe God has to be revealed to every man by God himself, otherwise we would all be lost and without hope. But the scriptures show that God has revealed himself to all men.

    John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

    The spiritual dead are not blind because they cannot see, they are blind because they are in darkness. I can see, but if I am in a room without light I am blind. But turn on the light and I can see. This is how spiritual death is shown in the scriptures.

    Luke 1:79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

    If God did not reveal himself to us, we would all be in darkness. But Jesus came as a light and revealed himself to us.

    John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

    No man can see without light, and no man would know of Jesus Christ unless the Father had revealed him to us. I am no Pelagian.
     
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