Gospel regeneration

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by BrotherJoseph, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. BrotherJoseph

    BrotherJoseph
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    Does regeneration precede belief in the gospel or is it a result of belief in the gospel? Please state your position and reasons why from the scripture.

    Brother Joe
     
  2. kyredneck

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    12 but as many as did receive him to them he gave authority to become sons of God -- to those believing in his name,
    13 who -- not of blood nor of a will of flesh, nor of a will of man but -- of God were begotten. Jn 1 YLT

    Those who receive Christ (v. 12) were already children of God (v. 13). They now have the power to mature and become Sons of God, as Paul drew the distinction between 'children' and 'sons' in Ro 8.
     
  3. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother KY,

    I agree with you that they were already children of God before belief in the gospel because Galatians 5:22 tells us faith is a fruit of the spirit. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,", therefore one cannot have faith in the gospel until one first has the Holy Spirit (i.e. the tree that produces the fruit of faith). This is further proven by Jesus's statement in Matthew 7:18, "...a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit." Prior to regeneration we are only a corrupt tree.

    Brother Joe
     
  4. kyredneck

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    20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, lest his works should be reproved.
    21 But he that doeth the truth cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, that they have been wrought in God. Jn 3

    It's a redundant theme throughout the NT, God has already wrought within those that come to the light.
     
  5. BrotherJoseph

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    Good observation regarding John 3:21, the person is already doing "truth" before coming to the light. I never noticed that regarding that particular scripture.
     
  6. kyredneck

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    More from Jn 3:

    And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth may in him have eternal life. Jn 3:14,15

    And Jehovah said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a standard: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he seeth it, shall live. Nu 21:8

    The brazen serpent was lifted up for those that were bitten. It is the Spirit working within His children that causes them to feel their need for Him.

    ...They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners. Mk 2:17

    Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Mt 5:6

    God has already wrought within those that come to Christ, He's given them the "want-to", whether it's manifested as fear of retribution, or a desire to live, or an inexplicable attraction to Him, it doesn't matter, the Spirit works in many ways within His children. It's AFTER they get to Christ is when they learn the truth about things.

    There's a member here, salzer mtn, that carries a signature that I love:

    "The Only Thing That Can Stop A Screaming Conscious Is A Right View Of The Atonement".

    It's the Spirit working within His children that blesses them to have this 'screaming conscious' that drives them to Christ. Yea, how very 'fortunate' they are:

    "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."
     
  7. kyredneck

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    BroJoe, your thoughts on Abraham prior to Gen 15:6?
     
  8. SovereignGrace

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    I am hopeful that this can be a peaceful and fruitful thread with all the perjoratives being left unsaid, or in this case, untyped.


    Take for instance someone in the Congo, I mean deep in the Congo. They have had no outside interaction with the outside world whatsoever. How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? They can not do this. I know that Abram when he was dwelling in the land of Ur, those who oppose gospel regeneration quickly point to him. But, what about John the Baptist? He was indwelt with the Holy Spirit in Elizabeth's womb, so the case with John the Baptist is similar to Abram's account. They were one time occurances in the bible. So it is not wise to use Abram to support God regenerating peoples outside the gospel.


    Now, then there is How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? I will use Joanie in America. She has been raised around Christians her whole life, yet she is living a life of debauchery. She has multiple partners, abuses drugs, thumbs her nose at the government, is liberal to the core, supporting gun control, abortion and [email protected] marriage. She has been exposed to the gospel as she was growing up, but it had no effect on her. Why? She was dead in transgressions and sins. No amount of gospel preaching and/or witnessing to her can help her in her fallen state. In comes someone who presents the gospel to her. In the middle of the gospel presentation, God begins to work in her to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. In this work, is quickening, and in this quickening, faith and repentance. She then makes her statement of faith and is baptized and lives her life for God.

    Yes, God is the one who regenerates, but He does so via the gospel.
     
  9. savedbymercy

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    sovereigngrace

    It is the Spirit that quickens, or gives Life Jn 6:63

    It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

    The Gospel doesnt give Life, but it does make it manifest 2 Tim 1:10

    10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

    The Gospel brings to Light the Immortal Eternal Life given by the Spirit after He quickens the Elect !

    Thats why Jesus said the Gospel fell upon good ground that bears fruit Matt 13:23

    23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

    So its obvious that the ground was good[by regeneration of the Spirit] in preparation for the receiving of the Gospel !
     
  10. SovereignGrace

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    That is what I said mon ami. God quickens via the Spirit. But He does this through the gospel.
     
  11. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother KY,

    According to Paul in Romans 4, Abraham was justified by faith in Genesis 15:6 when he believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. However Abraham left Ur in Genesis 12:1. According to Hebrews 11, Abraham left Ur by faith. According to Galatians 5:22, faith is a fruit of the Spirit. According to Hebrews 12:2, Christ authors Faith in a person. In short, no one has faith without first being born again (1 John 5:1). Faith is a product of the New Birth, when God writes His laws upon our hearts, and teaches us to “know Him” (Heb 8).

    According to Reformed Theology however, justification by faith comes at the identical time as the new birth. Yet, we find Abraham walking by faith 15 years prior to the event in which he was “justified by faith,” all the way back in Genesis 12:1. Hmm...how can one walk by faith for over a decade prior to being justified by faith, if justification by faith and the new birth are synonyms? Simple, that idea is erroneous.


    Abraham walked by faith, worship God, etc., prior to believing in Christ's power to raise his dead body in a reproductive sense. He was already born again.
     
  12. savedbymercy

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    No its not what you said ! You obviously didnt read my post carefully !
     
  13. BrotherJoseph

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    I think we can pull that part off brother!


    Brother Sov,

    Regarding Abraham, I believe he is a fair example to use to show how one is born again before they are justified by faith, after all, didn't Paul use him as his example in Romans?

    In regards to John the Baptist having the Holy Ghost from him mother's womb, Jesus said, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit". (John 3:8) This verse tells us "every one that is born of the Spirit" is born in the same manner. Now I am not contending that everybody is born with the Spirit from the womb like John the Baptist, but simply that they are born in the same manner. How did John get the Spirit from his mother's womb? It must have been through a sovereign quickening without the use of means such as the gospel, therefore if it is in the same manner for "every one that is born of the Spirit" one cannot then say it was this way for John or Abraham, but it is this way for everyone else. "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they" (Acts 15:11). What scripture do you have to show that there are different ways of becoming born again? Also, what scriptures do you have the lead you to believe that Abram and John the Baptist were one time occurrences? Moreover, notice Jesus compares being born again to the wind that you cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes, however if gospel regeneration is true, how could this comparison to the wind be true because one would be able to pinpoint an exact time, date, and manner in which the received the Holy Spirit?

    Also, if you do not like simply using the examples of John the Baptist or Abraham, what about Cornelius and Apollos, do you believe they were born again prior to hearing the gospel preached to them in the book of Acts?


    Brother Joe
     
  14. savedbymercy

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    bj

    Cornelius is even a better example of regeneration before Faith in the Gospel. He was one that feared God before He he heard the Gospel that God sent to him by Peter's mouth.

    Acts 10:1-2

    There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,

    2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

    And we know that the natural man by nature does not fear God Rom 3:18

    18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

    So Cornelius was regenerated and given a heart that fears God, before he believed the Gospel sent to him by Peter !
     
  15. BrotherJoseph

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    How did God make David TO, " hope when I was upon my mother's breasts." (Psalm 22:9)? In the same manner he made David to Hope he can teach the person in the Congo to believe. He was hoping in something while yet in the womb, was it not in the Savior? Those that are born again are taught of God through His Spirit sovereignly, "33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord..." (Jeremiah 31:33-34) Jesus said, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." (John 6:45). \


    Also Jesus said,"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live" (John 5:25). He could not be talking about his return when the dead shall rise because he says the hour "now is". Therefore, the "dead" that "hear the voice of the Son of God" are the same dead that are spiritually "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1) and are quickened by the Spirit (Ephesians 2:1). A preacher can speak the words of Jesus, but cannot use His voice, only Jesus can use "His voice" and He said in John they will hear His voice.

    One final point regarding the Congo example you gave and and I will move on. Revelation makes it clear in two places that there will be saints from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. " for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;" (Revelation 5:9) and "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;" (Revelation 7:9). How can gospel regeneration be true if there are saints in every kindred, tongue, people, and nation, but yet we know the gospel did not reach all of these tribes simply based upon the fact alone that some died out prior to ever even getting a chance to hear the gospel?


    In your fictional example, how do you prove that person wasn't regenerated minutes, a day, a week, or a month prior to hearing and having faith in the gospel? Your example does not prove your proposition of gospel regeneration.
    Also, Galatians tells us faith is a fruit of the Spirit, thus how can one produce faith in the gospel if they don't first have the Spirit in them that produces the fruit? What comes first the seed and tree that produces the fruit or the fruit?


    I'll suppose for a minute for arguments sake that what you are saying is true, i.e. the gospel is the means that regenerates. If it has such a power to produce it and everyone has the same nature from Adam, how come it doesn't produce regeneration in all that is preached to? Identical causes put on identical things would have identical effects wouldn't they not? The reason they don't in the case of the gospel is because God has already given a new heart to the one who believes it so they can receive it, but He hasn't to the one who does not believe it. This is seen here, "And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul." (Acts 16:14). Lydia was already born again because it states she "worshipped God", it didn't say "she worshipped an idol", also notice the Lord "opened" her heart first, then she "attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul".
    God bless,

    Brother Joe
     
    #15 BrotherJoseph, Jul 1, 2015
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  16. kyredneck

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    OUTSTANDING post brother.

    Consider the 'correlation' between 'works' and 'faith':

    .....the righteous by his stedfastness liveth. Hab 2:4 YLT

    who will render to every man according to his works: to them that by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruption, eternal life: Ro 2:6,7

    ....I by my works will show thee my faith. Ja 2:18

    The saints of Heb 11 are showing their faith through their patience in well-doing, their stedfastness. This faith is not a choice or the will of the creature. It's a deep conviction that is the motivation for all true good works.

    13 for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified:
    14 (for when Gentiles that have not the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are the law unto themselves;
    15 in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them); Ro 2

    These all in Heb 11 had the law written upon their hearts. That's what the 'heart change' of regeneration does for us, it puts his law within our hearts, and THAT without ever have had the law or heard the law.
     
    #16 kyredneck, Jul 1, 2015
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  17. Don

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    Actually, you didn't read his post carefully enough. It's exactly what he said.

    He said that in the middle of the presentation, God began to work on her. How does God do that? With the Holy Spirit. The gospel was present; the Spirit worked.
     
  18. SovereignGrace

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    Did you understand the points I made in the posts? Please review them back to me the way I explained them, then we debate or discuss them!


    See, that works both ways.

    You need to re-reread my post.
     
  19. SovereignGrace

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    In regards to Cornelius:

    Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. ”While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.[Acts 10:34-48]


    Cornelius had heard the gospel before he had been saved. Read carefully what I bolded.
     
  20. SovereignGrace

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    Thank you for this kind post. :thumbs::thumbsup:
     

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