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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Theopolis, Feb 17, 2010.
Is regeneration and conversion synonymous?
Definitely not. Regeneration is the invisible heart-work of God in calling a sinner from a state of death to life.
Conversion includes all those evidences that flow out of the new birth - repentance, faith, Gospel obedience, etc.
Well, you can see from J.D.'s answer why there is so much disagreement on faith, regeneration, etc. - we don't even agree on what regeneration is!
I think the answer to the OP is yes. I believe regeneration = being born again = being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. all of which is "conversion."
I don't use the word "conversion" however, unless someone else does. I use the terms "born again" and/or "born from above" and reference John 3.
Actually, I agree with you that "regeneration = being born again = being indwelt by the Holy Spirit". Conversion is repentance and faith.
Oh, okay. It's the order and use of the word "conversion." I think faith precedes regeneration but that they are so close they are pretty much simultaneous.
As I say a lot, we cannot dissect the process of salvation.
You don't dissect? What about "rightly dividing the word of truth"? Cut it straight, sister.
Just pickin at ya. I'm off the board for the night. See y'all tomorrow maybe.
Many people down through history have put together what they believe are the order of events of salvation. This order of events has been called the Ordo Salutis
Let me list the order of events leading up to salvation as I currently see them.
2. Holy Spirit begins convicting the person He regenerated drawing that person to Himself
3. Repentance and Belief (faith)
Any thoughts on this - anyone?
I respectfully defer to Elder Michael L. Gowens (emphasis mine):
You will find only Primitive Baptists (and a rare few that are not) agreeing there is any kind of distinction in scripture regarding eternal salvation and the gospel or timely salvation (- of which is nothing more that obedience to the gospel which God has revealed to a 'select group' of those whom he has already regenerated but not all of the regenerate).
Few to none (except for PB) will state that eternal salvation is given apart from faith.
While some reformed might agree in principle, which typically happens because they don't understand what you are actaully talking about, they would not agree that our eternal salvation (regeneration brought forth by the effectual call) is obtained apart from the excersizing of faith.
Your belief holds that many of those whom God has regenerated and have eternal life/salvation have never heard the gospel nor have they ever believed and potentially, will never believe/have faith in Christ. However it is from that group of regernate which God selects another group to be given the gospel and believe.
It is 'this' distinction that is played out in your quote:
It is important to note that when he states the effectual call is 'always obeyed', he is refering of the dead coming to life - ie. eternal life/eternal salvation. And thus you have the regenerate disobeying, shunning, and resisting.. and this can even be until death.
I am not arguing for or against you, but clarifying your position to those who will read your post and while not fully understanding it, would agree in principle to it. Knowing a little more about what you are actaully saying will help them say - Amen to what you give, or they might think a little more on it.
Did the PBs dominate this poll?:
regeneration precedes faith 13 46.43%
faith precedes regeneration 5 17.86%
faith and regeneration are
simultaneous 9 32.14%
other 1 3.57%
My point is that what you call 'regeneration' is not what the reformed or Calvinist call being regenerate. There is a big distinction between the two view. Though you agree on the 'words' you do NOT agree on the basic theological understanding of it's meaning.
I agree that you hold regeneration preceding conversion. Yet you belief is that if one is regenerate then one has eternal life and of those who have eternal life not all will obey the gospel call and more specifically not all will receive the gospel so as to be obeyed.
Regeneration = the 'free' 'gift' of eternal life, is indeed Primitive Baptist soteriology.
Regeneration is one singular act of grace by God on the individual, with God determining the when.
Conversion is a continuing process.
It may be conversion from error to truth, truth to error.
We see some examples of this from Bible characters.
And we see some examples of this from our own lives.
And we see some examples of this from this board, according to testimonies of some members themselves.
The Arminian who became a Calvinist.
The Calvinist who converted into the doctrine of grace as understood by Primitive Baptists (me, for example).
The Calvinist who converted to Arminianism.
The 5-point Calvinist who became a 4-point, or 3-point, or 2-point, or 1(?) point. lol.
The Baptist who converted to non-Baptist.
Truth to error, error to truth.
Conversion is a lifetime process, and has nothing to do with one's eternal standing, unlike regeneration, which is proof of one's eternal standing in Christ and before God.
First of all, many of our English Baptist forefathers agreed with the modern Primitive Baptists on this. This wasn't some invention of the PBs, it is not only scriptural, but it is also a historic Baptist belief.
I do not, nor do I know any PBs do, hold to the belief that God has selected a special section from within His elect to hear and obey the gospel. That's the second time I've seen you use this language and you should drop it immediately as it does not accurately describe PB beliefs. The fact is some have access to the gospel and some do not. History proves over and over again that not all of God's elect have heard the gospel, but they were all taught of God (Isaiah 54:13 and John 6:45).
You edited after I responded.
How many 'gospels' are out there Allan? Which one are they to repent and obey?
You think this condemnation is not pertinent today?:
And as for my sheep, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet, and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet. Ezek 34:19
Or this one?:
For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you, even as it is written. Ro 2:24
I suggest to you that there are many of His sheep that want to have nothing to do with what they perceive as 'the Church' today.
When specifically speaking of conversion to Christ, turning from darkness to light, I don't believe a continuing process is being referred to. But I do believe that sanctification (growing in grace and in the knowledge of God) is a continuing process.
Pinoy is correct in this statement:
.......although I would have used 'salvation' in lieu of 'conversion'. Gospel Salvation is indeed a continuing process, not a one time event as the modern evangelical Church espouses with it's mission and emphasis on populating heaven and it's failure to make a clear distinction between the effectual call and the gospel call. The gospel has become it's tool to 'make sheep' instead of 'feeding the sheep' as it was intended. Consider these passages:
for the word of the cross to those indeed perishing is foolishness, and to us -- those being saved -- it is the power of God, 1 Cor 1:18
'Those being saved' indicates a continuing process.
Take heed to thyself, and to thy teaching. Continue in these things; for in doing this thou shalt save both thyself and them that hear thee. 1 Tim 4:16
Is this passage to imply that Timothy was not yet 'saved'? Or those that he preached to? No, it indicates that salvation is an ongoing experience, not a one time event.
.....work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. Phil 2:12,13
Again, 'working out your salvation' not only indicates an ongoing process, but also a personal experience between one and God.
I don't know where you got that, my Bible says;
1 Cor 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Jesus said those who believe are "passed" from life to death, it is not a process.
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.
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Last time I looked the word "passed" means past tense.
for the word of the cross to those indeed perishing is foolishness, and to us -- those being saved -- it is the power of God, 1 Cor 1:18 Young's Literal Translation
I somewhat agree. I myself often make to following statement which I believe is true.
We have been saved (past tense) from the penalty of sin. - This refers to our justification
We are being saved (present on-going tense) from the power of sin - This refers to the process of sanctification
We yet shall be saved (future tense) from the presense of sin - This refers to glorification
Therefore we can say, I have been saved, I am being saved, and I yet shall be saved.