Doesn't 1 John 5:1 grammatically say that regeneration logically precedes faith?

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Greektim, Mar 5, 2014.

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  1. Greektim

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    1Jn 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.

    In the Greek if that helps you:
    1Jn 5:1 Πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων ὅτι ᾿Ιησοῦς ἐστιν ὁ Χριστὸς, ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ γεγέννηται, καὶ πᾶς ὁ ἀγαπῶν τὸν γεννήσαντα ἀγαπᾷ καὶ τὸν γεγεννημένον ἐξ αὐτοῦ.

    First, the "everyone who believes" is the same as John 3:16's. The participle is present tense saying it is a continuous action, not that it happens in the present.

    Second, "has been born of/by God" is really important. It is present passive indicative meaning that the action happened before the participle "believing" and continues to have an ongoing result. The passive is answered w/ the prepositional phrase "by God". This then would logically place the sequence of causality to say being born by God was the cause of the faith. Or to say it in reverse (like this verse), your faith is the result of your already being birthed by God. You believe because you have been born by God.

    If that is the case, the regeneration is certainly a component or cause to faith.

    If you disagree, can you exegetically explain this verse (and not resort to another verse)?
     
    #1 Greektim, Mar 5, 2014
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  2. Revmitchell

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    I suppose if you are going to divorce it from the rest of the context of that book you can come up with all sorts of things. Presenting it like this outside of its context is not helpful nor does it prove your point.

    What the context is not is how salvation works or what the mechanics of it is. That is not the context here.

    It is simply saying if you believe that Jesus is the Christ then you are born of God. Another way to put it:

    Question: Do you know how you can tell someone is saved?

    Answer: You can tell because they believe Jesus is the Christ.
     
  3. psalms109:31

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    The word Jesus spoke is Spirit and life if you do not eat or drink in His word you have no life in you.

    Man to live physically they have to eat the same Spiritually. Jesus is what came down from heaven for us to eat to live.

    God gives me life He makes me born again but no matter what you have to eat to live.

    That is why it is those who listen and learn that are given to Jesus.

    I have no life in me in and of myself. I live because I eat and leave not a crumb of Jesus left. We all live because we eat.
     
    #3 psalms109:31, Mar 5, 2014
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  4. Greektim

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    Of course I agree that this verse is said in a context. I hope I didn't imply that. But the mechanics of the verse are such that it does say something about the author's understanding of how one's faith in Christ can be proven. And the way he forms that argument (amongst others) is to say that one confesses that the Messiah is Jesus can do so because he or she has already been born by God. And so I would argue that not only does it fit the flow of the book, but it helps to explain the mechanics of why he words himself the way he does.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    You did not make the context part of your argument. Therefore, whether you intended to or not you divorced it from the context.


    The problem with your view is you try to place timing on things that God does not. To say that you can tell someone is saved because they claim Christ does not impose anything either before or after anything else. It is simply evidence without trying to set up a chronology for the mechanics of salvation.
     
  6. Greektim

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    I did make the context part of my argument in my last post.

    Second, I used language that made it clear I am not talking about time or chronology but logical precedence and causality. The time between regeneration and faith is not the issue. That regeneration is the cause and faith the effect is.

    Third, I have noticed you have yet to do what I asked in the OP and offer a counter exegesis based on the grammar.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    Your position and argument cannot avoid chronology. It is a must in order to make your argument. In fact you used the word "sequence" in the op. What is considered logical is subjective and subject to presuppositions. In this case you view this verse through the lens that regeneration is both prior to and different than salvation. I see your logic as flawed because I do not see scripture through that lens.

    That is not what you said. Your words:

    The word grammar is not included in that. Maybe you meant too but it is not there.
     
  8. Yeshua1

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    Do notice tht this would answer the question which caused what, in this casse eing born of god resulted in the faith in jesus, but also that they are linked togtehr, as God causing the new heart, which then receives and pllies jesus thru that faith, so NO regeneration without faith happens, as it causes it to happen!

    2 sides of same coin!
     
  9. Greektim

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    It can... if you would let it. I am not using words of time. I am using words of causality. Cause and effect. No time whatsoever has to elapse in the interchange of cause & effect. I am not saying that there is time in between regeneration and faith. I am saying that this verse grammatically puts faith as the result of regeneration. Therefore, it is a logical conclusion not a chronological one.

    I find this ironic though. You have no problem saying that the result of saving faith is being born again, do you not? Why do you get to put things in terms of causality and I do not?


    Compare what I said with the title of the OP ("Doesn't 1 John 5:1 grammatically say that regeneration logically precedes faith?") and you get it!!! Straining at a gnat, dude. I hope your exegesis of this verse would adhere to the grammar even if I didn't use the word.
     
  10. Revmitchell

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    Well regardless of what you put in the title, I went by what you actually wrote in the op. Since you refuse to acknowledge that I can see this conversation going south. Too bad it seemed to be going well for a minute there. Take care.
     
  11. Greektim

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    Really? The OP doesn't include the title? I am not acknowledging something? It is my fault this "went south"? Even if I didn't say it, grammar isn't included as a part of exegesis? Even if I didn't say it, my OP was littered w/ grammatical points and you couldn't have figured it out?

    Come on, Rev. This is give and take. I'm willing for you to give here. But I can't take it that you honestly are going to quit b/c of this silly disagreement. It was in the title of the thread (thus the OP). It was assumed since exegesis uses grammar. The OP was mostly a grammatical argument. How do you not see this? Why be this obtuse? Just b/c that means you have to admit something so trivial? Who cares.

    Despite all this bunk above, give it a try now. Why back away? Give me a grammatical argument that shows why I'm wrong. Please challenge me.
     
  12. Winman

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    1 John 5:1 is the Calvinist desperation verse. It is the ONLY verse they can use as a proof text to prove regeneration precedes faith, but it doesn't even say that. It says the person who believes is born of God, it does not say the person born of God believes.

    The greater problem is there are probably a dozen scriptures that all show faith precedes regeneration. John 1:12 shows this most clearly.

    Jhn 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
    13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    It is to those persons that received Jesus and believed on his name that God gave the power to be born again and become the sons of God.

    Another verse that clearly shows faith precedes regeneration is John 20:31;

    Jhn 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.

    Regeneration means to be made alive AGAIN. The very word refutes Original Sin, but that is for another discussion. But John 20:31 shows that the book of John was written so people might believe, and that believing they might have life, that is, be made alive again, regenerated.

    You can't cherry pick one verse, pull it out of context and try to override a dozen verses that all teach faith precedes regeneration, but that is what Calvinists vainly attempt to do with 1 John 5:1.
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    John assures us thoughthat the cause of the sinner being born again and placing faith in jesus is the will of God, so that would actually support the OP!
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    Yes that is what John says and no it doesn't support the op.
     
  15. Winman

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    Yes, but John also says that to the persons who received Jesus and believed on his name God gave the power to be born again and become the sons of God. John clearly shows faith precedes regeneration in MANY scriptures.

    Are you trying to say a person must be born of God so they can believe and then become a son of God? Absurd. Any person who is born of God is a son of God.
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    What I would like to know is why this subject has to get rehashed in thread after thread every day adnausium. Is there no other theological subject in which some folks are interested in at all.
     
  17. Greektim

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    Jn 20:31 may not be as clear as you like. And I used to make Jn 20:31 a watershed for faith preceding regeneration. But I think a good argument can be made that "life" in John's gospel account is a reference to eternal life or life in the age to come. That aside.

    I asked that this thread be focused on 1 Jn 5:1 w/out having to disprove its meaning from other passages of Scripture. If your view is correct, then show me what 1 Jn 5:1 says exegetically (including grammar).

    Then you tell me I pulled the verse out of context. Really? I did mention the context in a later post when that was raised. So now you are the one cherry picking an entire convo out of context. And if my understanding of the grammar is so wrong contextually, please prove it. Otherwise you are pontificating ex cathedra.

    Lastly, this is not desperation. This is a verse that is much more plain than the verses (or dozens you claim) you listed. I would venture to guess that is why you didn't deal with the verse but had to resort to this kind of tactic of discreditation. Don't like the exegesis??? Just criticize the exegete's practice of actually exegeting a verse at the grammatical level. Disqualify all he says b/c you have your verses that says something else. No dialogue. No exchange about the actual verse in question. I can't say I'm surprised really.
     
  18. Greektim

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    Actually, this is my first venture in this part of the forum. I just entered the foray today. I thought this would be about as objective as you could get. "Here is a verse. I believe it means this based on the grammar. Am I wrong? Can you show me where I made a mistake in interpreting this verse?"

    Alas, that rarely happens.
     
  19. Winman

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    LOL, now you are like Biblicist who insists on one verse being pulled out of context and being isolated from all other scripture. You can prove almost anything with that method of interpretation.

    You simply can't have an attitude like that and expect to interpret scripture properly. You must look at ALL scripture concerning a given subject, and scripture cannot contradict itself.

    And this is why 1 John 5:1 cannot be teaching regeneration before faith, because there are literally at least a dozen or more scriptures that ALL say faith precedes regeneration.

    Why would you want to improperly interpret scripture??
     
  20. convicted1

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    Brother Winman, sometimes you have to isolate verses to bring about a point. Look at Romans 12:3 and 2 Thess. 3:2 for instance:


    Now, if you singled Romans 12:3 out, you could possibly show that God has given every single solitary human being that has ever been born enough faith to be saved...including those who never even knew Jesus existed...because every man means every man and all means all...

    It appears that in light of 2 Thess. 3:2, this causes a connumdrum because it says that all men have not faith.

    I am not wanting to start a debate about who has and who hasn't faith, but used this as an example of what Brother Tim is looking for your exesis of 1 John 5:1, and not other verses from other chapters in 1 John or any other book in the bible. He wants you, and the others to focus on what 1 John 5:1 is saying.

    Did I do this any justice, Brother Tim? I hope this doesn't offend me coming into the debate this way.
     
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