How many times are we "made alive" in the process of salvation?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Jul 28, 2011.

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  1. Skandelon

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    To "regenerate" is to "make alive."

    Some insist we are regenerated so that we may believe, while others teach that faith brings us to life.

    So, what does the bible say regarding our faith and new life?

    John 20:31:
    "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

    Clearly, life comes "by believing," and not the other way around. :jesus:
     
  2. preacher4truth

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    One "proof-text" and bam! case closed eh? :wavey:

    Let's see what those who believe in a different, more exhaustively explained process of salvation, (moreso than what we see in your one chosen verse) have to say about it.

    It's interesting. In Ephesians 2:5/Colossians 2:13 this word is used and literally means (suzooppoeio) "to reanimate." In 1 Peter 3:18 we see the word zoopoieo used concerning the Lord, and it means "to make alive" and we see a distinction here between that of believers and that of Christ in these two instances.

    But we also see this word restricted to Christ above here as used in 1 Peter, applied to believers specifically in John 5:21, 6:63; Romans 4:17; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 15:36; (and also used in Galatians 3:21 to show that the Law can't make alive); 1 Timothy 6:13; and again 1 Peter 3:18.

    Now this all differs from the word paliggenesia "regeneration" used in Titus 3:5 which means basically "a renovation or rebirth." (Also in Matthew 19:18).

    Now, I am asking are there two different meanings here, since in your above OP you use both words as if they are exactly synonymous, as on the other hand there seems to be a distinction made here with two differing meanings. Trying to define terms here, since this is true, and the above OP doesn't refer to this at all, and again makes these two differing terms one in the exact same.
     
    #2 preacher4truth, Jul 29, 2011
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  3. convicted1

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    We are made alive once in the salvation process. What brings life? Hearing the Word of God is what brings life.

    Isa. 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

    John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

    25 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.

    According to these two chapter verses, hearing is what brings life, and not life that brings hearing.

    Here is what brings life:
    John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
     
  4. quantumfaith

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    JOHN 3:15-21 "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.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. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."￾

    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 5:24 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him [God] that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."￾

    JOHN 5:24 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him [God] that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."￾


    JOHN 6:47 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."￾

    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."￾

    ACTS 2:21 "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."￾

    ACTS 16:30 "And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."￾

    ROM 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."￾

    ROM 10:9-10, 13 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."￾

    EPH 2:8-9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."￾

    TITUS 3:5-7 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."￾

    1JOHN 5:11-13 "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."￾
     
  5. kyredneck

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    ...and Paul told Timothy to 'lay hold on the life eternal'.

    Timothy had not yet been regenerated?

    The 'quality of' an eternal life comes from believing.
     
    #5 kyredneck, Jul 29, 2011
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  6. kyredneck

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    Try this; read the 21st verse 10 times out loud slowly. Maybe it will come to you.

    "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life”, i.e., He that believes has eternal life already. Try this; read the 21st verse 10 times out loud slowly. Maybe it will come to you.

    “ He that heareth my word, and believeth on him [God] that sent me, hath everlasting life”, i.e., He that believes has eternal life already.

    ...i.e., He that believes has eternal life already.

    The 'quality of' an eternal life comes from believing on, relying on, trusting in, adhering to, Jesus Christ.

    Can you show that 'sozo' (saved) in synonymous with the acquisition of the free gift of eternal life?

    YES! AMEN! God has given to us eternal life, and we know this because we believe!
     
  7. pinoybaptist

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    Speaking to Timothy, his protege, Paul writes concerning those in the ministry such as the two of them and makes the following points;

    a. God saved them (not the gospel, which by its preaching carries with it certain afflictions considering the context of their times);

    b. that God called them into the ministry, not because of their excellent conducts, behavior, character, or works, but because God has His own design and unworthy as they are, bestowed grace upon them;

    c. which grace was given them BEFORE the world began (which in other verses are rendered 'from the foundation of the world')

    d. and this grace, and purposes, is now made MANIFEST by the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the birth of the Messiah, the pitching of God's Son's tent among sinners. This Lord abolished death.

    e. This Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ, not only abolished death, but also brought life and immortality to light.

    Manifested the life and immortality ALREADY POSSESSED by bringing it to light through the gospel. The gospel is good news of a finished redemption by a victorious redeemer of a people to whom He granted life and immortality from the foundation of the world, even when He knew, that in Adam, they will be estranged from Him, and in their fallen flesh, they will alienate themselves from Him.

    He loved us before we loved Him, He knew us before we knew Him.
    Now, is that grace, or is it not grace.
    That is scriptural grace.
    Salvation and life granted because one is a repentant sinner is not grace.
     
  8. preacher4truth

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    Well, the Gospel merely exposes those who are His Sheep, and those who are not His Sheep. Jesus knew those who were His and those who were not His. See John 10. As a matter of fact, most of His ministry in Johns record shows this.

    Paul called such the elect, 2 Timothy 2:9-10, and sought them out by preaching the Gospel. Those who believed? Elect before the foundation of the world.

    Look at Saul, on the road to Damascus, already set apart to be saved, fighting the goads, all the while elect at the foundation of the world, regenerated on the road to Damascus, looks back on his life, seeing how God set him apart for this, Galatians 1:15 &c. Sometimes some may appear to be unbelievers, as did Saul at this point, yet, belong to Christ which will become evident.

    - Peace
     
  9. glfredrick

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    Brother Skandelon, here is some concise, solid, biblical teaching on this subject that completely disagrees with your one-liner proof-text answer:

    Eph 2:1-10 (NASB) 1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind , and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

    I know that you will try to explain away the clear teaching in this text -- you have to, or else abandon your theology -- but the text says very plainly that God brings life -- first.
     
  10. quantumfaith

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    Thanks, I have read it SLOWLY, but still do not take from it what you do. Now I offer for your slow perusal.

    Which comes first, faith or regeneration? That is indeed the question. I cannot think of a more important theological issue with respect to the controversy between Calvinism and Arminianism. It is the defining feature concerning the question of whether or not God’s saving grace is irresistible. Calvinist James White would seem to agree,

    The question is: Does [God raise sinners to life] because men fulfill certain conditions, or does He do so freely, at His own time, and in the lives of those He chooses to bring into relationship with Himself through Jesus Christ? The question is normally framed in the context of the relationship of faith and regeneration. Do we believe to become born again [regeneration], or must we first be born again before we can exercise true, saving faith? (Debating Calvinism, pg 198)

    Many Arminians choose to focus on the proof texts offered by Calvinists in order to deal with their claim that God’s grace is irresistible. While this is a noble approach (and one we will deal with in a future post) it is far more effective to examine the Biblical evidence which directly addresses the question of priority. Does the Bible tell us anything about this subject, or must we rely on the prior claims of a theological system as James White implies,

    Objections to irresistible grace are, by and large, actually objections to the previously established truths of the doctrines of grace [i.e. Calvinism]. Obviously, if God is sovereign and freely and unconditionally elects a people unto salvation, and if man is dead in sin and enslaved to its power, God must be able to free those elected people in time and bring them to faith in Jesus Christ, and that by a grace that does not falter or depend upon human cooperation. (ibid.)

    James White seems to freely admit that the claim that regeneration precedes faith is not primarily derived from Scripture, but upon a prior commitment to the Calvinist understanding of unconditional election and the deadness of man in sin. He seems to be saying that the case for irresistible grace is Biblically weak unless one first adopts the Calvinist theological system that necessarily leads to it. If that is what James White is implying (and he would likely object) then I completely agree.

    There are several problems with the belief that regeneration precedes faith:

    1) It does not theologically comprehend the nature of justification.
    2) It does not theologically comprehend the correlation between regeneration and sanctification.
    3) It is not sufficiently “cross-centered” or “Christocentric”.
    4) It actually downplays the seriousness and nature of man’s deadness in sin.
    5) It does not seriously consider the necessity and implications of union with Jesus Christ with regards to all spiritual blessings.

    The Bible is clear that we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ. Not even Calvinists will argue with that. One only needs to read Rom. 3:21-5:21 and Gal. 3 to plainly establish that God justifies on the basis of faith. What is comprehended in justification? Justification is the act of God by which he forgives us of our sins and declares us righteous. This forgiveness and righteousness rests solely on the merits of Christ’s blood, and is enjoyed only by those who come to be in union with Him. Consider the following passages,

    “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” (Rom. 5:1,2 NIV)

    “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Rom. 5:9, 10 NIV)

    “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.” (Rom. 3:22-25 NIV- emphasis mine)

    “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession- to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:13, 14 NIV- emphasis added)

    “..so that Christ might dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Eph. 3:17 NIV- emphasis mine)

    These passages teach us much regarding the nature of justification. Prior to being justified God’s wrath abides on us (5:9). We can only be at “peace” with God after we have been justified (5:1). We can only be justified by coming to be in union with Jesus Christ through faith, and it is only through this union that the soul cleansing blood of Christ is applied (Eph. 1:13; 3:17; Rom. 5:2, 9, 25).

    To claim that regeneration precedes faith, is to claim that God can bestow life apart from the blood of His Son. It is to claim that God gives life prior to the removal of sin. Since it is sin that causes spiritual death, our sin must first be removed through Christ’s blood before God can give us life. As long as sin remains, death remains. If God can bestow life (regenerate) apart from the the application of Christ’s blood, then the atonement becomes less than the necessary means by which a holy God reconciles sinners to himself (Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:21-23). For this reason, the Calvinistic doctrine of irresistible grace is not sufficiently Christocentric, does not theologically comprehend the nature and necessity of justification, ignores the necessity of union with Christ for salvation, and downplays the seriousness of sins deadly effects.

    The Bible is clear that the new life belongs only to those who have been justified through saving union with Christ. Look again at Rom. 5:10,

    “For if when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (NIV- emphasis mine)

    It is only through union with Christ, wrought by the reconciliation of His blood, that we can experience regeneration. Only when we come to be “in Christ” can we experience the life that flows from Him, and this union results from faith (Eph. 1:13; Rom. 5:1). Consider Col. 2:12,

    “…having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God who raised Him from the dead.” (NASB- emphasis mine)

    While Paul mentions baptism, our baptism is nothing more than a public display of what God has already done in the heart. According to this passage, we are raised to life “through faith” in the “working [or power] of God”. The context also makes it clear that this spiritual resurrection is the result of being “in Christ” (verses 6-13).

    Paul tells us in Galatians that the life of Christ that dwells within him is “by faith in the Son of God” (2:20). He also proclaims in Ephesians that all spiritual blessings, including being made “alive together with Christ” (2:5) and being “raised up with Him” (2:6) are “by grace…through faith” (2:8- emphasis mine).

    A further problem that the Calvinist insistence that regeneration precedes faith fails to address is the theological correlation between regeneration and sanctification. F. Leroy Forlines observes,

    “…justification must be prior to regeneration [because] regeneration is the beginning of sanctification.” (Quest for Truth, pg. 260- emphasis his)

    He goes on to quote Calvinist Louis Berkhof who says, “regeneration is the beginning of sanctification.” (ibid.)

    …and concludes by stating,

    If indeed it is true that regeneration is ‘the beginning of sanctification’ (Berkhof, a major Calvinist theologian), and if indeed it is true that God cannot enter with His sanctifying grace until the guilt problem is solved by justification (Haldane, one whose Calvinistic credentials are not in question), Calvinism is in trouble with its view of having regeneration prior to justification. (ibid. 261)
    It is absurd to believe that God can begin to make us holy [i.e. sanctify us] while we are still under God’s wrath and dead in sins. God must first reconcile us through Christ’s blood (justification) before he can give us life and make us holy.

    We could state the Arminian case as follows:

    1) One cannot experience justification or regeneration apart from union with Christ.
    2) We come to be in union with Christ by faith.
    3) Therefore, faith precedes justification and regeneration.

    or…

    1) We cannot experience life (regeneration) while still in our sins.
    2) We remain in our sins until we are justified on the merits of Christ’s blood.
    3) We are justified by faith.
    4) Therefore, faith precedes regeneration.

    http://evangelicalarminians.org/node/29
     
  11. kyredneck

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    Dag nab, QF! I just gave you one (1) itty bitty verse to peruse! :)
     
  12. psalms109:31

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    Start

    We are to be taught to trust in God over our own understand and the only one who will come is those who listen and learn. It is the work of God through Jesus that we believe and it is Christ words that we learn from. His word is the Fathers and it is Spirit and life.

    God loved the world that He sent His Son, and God wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. So no one has an excuse not to come to Jesus.

    They can only blame themselves, because it isn't God who isn't willing, but themselves.

    They have been blaming God from the beginning, It was the snake you created it deceived me. It is the women you created. Now it is you don't love me, you didn't chose me. The truth still stands, and you have no excuse

    God loved the world that He sent His Son, and God wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
     
  13. preacher4truth

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    What an insulting mirepresentation of cals/reformed/DoG's here below:

    (from a post by quantumfaith, he gives his source on his post)

    1) Cals have a solid grasp on the nature of justification, and reckon as do Scriptures, that it is faith, and the gift of faith that makes this possible. Romans 4; Romans 12; 2 Peter 1.

    2) Cals certainly do comprehend the correlation between regeneration/sanctification. 1 Peter 1:1ff are used and given as exposition of this truth, also Romans 8.

    3) Not cross-centered or Christocentric? More misrepresentation and a personal attack upon these brethren. If anything, we are accused of giving too much glory to God and discounting the role of man. It is instead moreso than less cross/Christ centered. Whomever wrote this should be ashamed.

    4) Cals discount the seriousness of spiritual death? Another stretch and completely fallacious. This would be the non-cals who do so, not the calvinists. Even our resident arminian would acknowledge this. We affirm man spiritually dead and thus incapable.

    5) Number 5 is also out of wack. Cals affirm union with Christ to the extent that we realize and preach that ALL gifts come from Him and only Him. Romans 12, James 1:17. This is a well known fact.

    Obviously whomever wrote the 5 points above doesn't know much about Calvinists/Calvinism and has completely misrepresented them, and this comes across as a personal attack and slam.
     
  14. pinoybaptist

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    lol. rotflmbo.:laugh::laugh:
     
  15. Skandelon

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    I guess you think one proof-text deserves another? ;)

    It's fine to make an accusation of proof-texting, but back it up by showing how the verse means something different than what I've presented. For example, in the verse you present, nothing is said regarding HOW God made us alive together with Christ. Could it be through the gospel being heard and believed? Of course it could.

    Where does it even speak of being made alive prior to faith in the this verse? You are just reading something into the verse that isn't there by presuming that they must have been made alive prior to their hearing and believing the truth, which is unfounded.
     
  16. Skandelon

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    To which verse are you referring? I'll need to read it in context. But, I will say now, that I'm not denying that believers still have the hope of life more abundant and even the eternal life which is to come. But the verse I presented CLEARLY states (as do others) that life comes BY FAITH, not the other way around.
     
  17. quantumfaith

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    :) :) :)

    Was not sure if you were "yanking my chain" or not. Thank you.
     
  18. JesusFan

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    you don't seem to have the full biblical understanding of just "How bad" fall effected all of us

    You seem to have problems also with God being 'allowed" to save us IF He chose to do it the Cal way...

    Do you think God saves us because we "allow/permit" Him Too?
     
  19. preacher4truth

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    Certainly the case and belief is that non-cals certainly hold to "we've permitted Him to do so." This is a misunderstanding. I don't believe that since they misunderstand soteriology/process of salvation is damning by any means, it's just that they, as well as others, don't have a handle on this truth. I believe part of this is due to our culture, exaltation of man, "mans freedom" (which is a lie, see John 8:30-36, man is not free) and other things that exalt man and his abilities. Thoroughly saturating the mind with Scripture can help erase this, or at least, should.

    We are saved because He draws us unto Himself, enabling us, and even our desire becomes to be saved, totally dependent upon Him to do all of this.

    It is God who gives us this heart, Dt. 29:4; 30:6. I believe His drawing changes the heart of His elect. Only He can do this, and supply us a heart that can accept Him.
     
    #19 preacher4truth, Jul 29, 2011
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  20. quantumfaith

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    JF,

    Skan (and others) have stressed numerous times that Cals and Non-Cals essentially agree on the depravity issue.

    I would never interpret that Skan has ANY problem with God being "allowed" to accomplish salvation in ANY way that He has so deemed. Rather, the arminian (non-cal) does not read that "regeneration" precedes faith.

    Personally, (and I do not think Skan agrees with me here) I feel that the fall affected us "horribly", but I think that the ability to respond to God, the ability to believe and have faith, based on the message of the gospel is naturally designed grace of God (prevenient grace). It "seems" to me that "we" quibble over where (when) this prevenient grace comes into the picture.
     
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