Regeneration and sanctification

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by allinall, May 2, 2011.

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  1. allinall

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    Regeneration: A process, or one time event?

    Regeneration - Sanctification: At one time it was all considered regeneration. I believe the distinction made between regeneration and sanctification is needed, but does that distinction take sanctification outside of the realm of regeneration?

    Why are these two examples not regeneration? If you think they are, would that not make regeneration a process? And if regeneration is a process, wouldn't it then be wrong to say that regeneration and the new birth are synonymous, because the new birth (one time act) would in fact be regeneration (process), but would not encompass the whole process of regeneration?

    Gal. 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

    John :44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

    It really troubles me that so many seem to assume that regeneration and the new birth are synonymous. I haven't seen a good case for this thought yet. You see, if those two terms are synonymous, then both would need to be one time event, then "it" must happen pre faith to save the system. But we have other scripture, like above. Pre faith -faith -post faith.

    I think that's why people try to say that being born again comes before faith, which is easy to disprove with scripture. The new birth is always the result of the spirit baptism, which is always the result of faith.

    What say you?

    peace
     
  2. percho

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    A good place to begin would be would be how many times do we find the Greek word for regeneration translated regeneration and is it describing the same thing both times? Oops I helped you out.

    Maybe the other times it is just regeneration in our mind.
     
  3. Allan

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    I'll play. I have done a few threads on this topic but got very few to engage.

    While 'regeneration' and 'salvation' are not literally synonyms, as in one word meaning the same as the other, they are conceptually synonymous. Scripture does not separate one from the other conceptually. You can not be saved and not be regenerate but nor can one be regenerate and not be saved.

    While 'salvation' speaks in a general (all encompassing) sense to all the aspects that have happened to place one in a right standing before God (status); 'regeneration' speaks specifically of certain things that are done to make that person BE right before God (action). However BOTH speak to the same conceptual idea. What is unique here is that BOTH groups agree that regeneration is not only an act of God upon man but ALSO that 'regeneration' is 'being made alive'.

    Thus regeneration IS noted as being synonymous (conceptually) with other phrases in scripture such as:
    born again/born from above/new birth; new creation; made alive/quickened

    Let us speak of these first:
    JI Packer states of the New Birth:
    The use of the figure of new birth to describe this change ... The regenerate man has forever ceased to be the man he was; his old life is over and a new life has begun; he is a new creature in Christ, buried with him out of reach of condemnation and raised with him into a new life of righteousness..

    Packers phrasing here is entirely applicable since being born means you are born into a family. Your birth establishes you are now apart of and in the family and thus have innately within you, aspects of your family, specifically in this case, your Father.

    Now in order to be apart of God's family two things just transpire.
    1. you must be born again, cause you do not have The Fathers nature originally
    2. for #1 to be come to pass you must be made new; a new creation

    Scripture speaks to this point specifically ad declares that we (believers) are a new creation/creature, old things have passed away (no longer there) behold all things have been made again, new (without stain or taint). However, there is a modifier here.. 'in Christ'. You can not be a new creation without being in Christ Jesus. but we will come back to this and for now just assume it doesn't say "in Christ".

    So.. in order to be in God's family, thus able to call him Father, we must have within us a new nature. In order to have a new nature the old nature must be removed and a new one placed within us that corresponds to the Fathers and therefore placing us IN Him. Ergo - set apart from others or sanctified

    However according to scripture, in order to be new or have no stain or taint (regarding sin) before God, we must be justified before Him. If we are not justified before him, we are still tainted and stained and not a new creature. If we are not a new creature (having a new nature) then we have no access to the family of God, therefore we have never been born again.

    Another interesting point about being born again or the new birth is that it does indeed speak to the fact that spiritually, they are made alive. But unless you have been born or birthed into the family of God, you are not alive unto Him. Scripture tells us that 'life' or spiritual life ONLY comes through those who are IN Christ Jesus. They are 'in' and therefore one or in union with Him. Rom 6:11 states we are alive unto God through Jesus Christ; 1 Cor 15:22 states that "even so IN CHRIST shall all be MADE alive; Eph 2:5 quickened/made alive us WITH Christ (we are alive because He is alive - He in us and us in Him, who is life) You can not have life apart from Christ Jesus.

    YET, one can not be unified in/with Christ, while still in sin, still tainted and stained. He who is thrice holy, will not unite Himself into one being with those who have not been cleansed. Does not the scripture state truly - what concord has light with darkness, righteousness with unrighteousness (sin)?

    Thus to be born again, into the family of God (sanctified -set apart) you must become a new creature (this through justification).. that you might be IN Christ and thus of the family of God. We find in Titus 3:5 this same compelling statement regarding regeneration.. that it is the work of justification and sanctification.
    NLT states it this way:
    Thus salvation and regeneration as seen in this passage as being conceptually synonymous.. we are saved through the work of regeneration.. and regeneration establishes why we are saved. So to be regenerate is also to be said, you are saved because you are now made alive IN Christ Jesus.

    And in understanding salvation, we note that you can not be saved apart from being justified and sanctified. And you are not a child of God until you are saved, being placed into Christ and making you apart of family of God, whereby God Himself comes to indwell and become unified with the believer. Eternal life is knowing God the Father, and His Son, whom He sent. What is also intriguing is that all of these things happen at salvation, but none of them transpire prior to exercising faith. And therefore I believe, according to scripture, you can not be regenerate (which MUST include justification and sanctification and the infilling of the Holy Spirit) before faith.
    WHY?

    It is 'by faith' we are justified (Rom 3:28)
    It is 'by faith' we are sanctified (Acts 26:18,)
    It is 'by faith' we are made righteous (or in union with God) (Rom 3:22, Rom 4:5)
    It is 'by faith' the propitiation (substituationary death) is applied to man (Rom 3:25)
    It is 'by faith' we receive (obtain) the indwelling Holy Spirit (Gal 3:14)


    ...
    Thus in short, the best way to study what regeneration is, is to note not only what it does, but HOW it brings that to be (or into being)?
    To me, that is the key to much of the debates. The understanding of not only what 'regeneration' does but HOW it does it, I believe, is the hinge pin of the debate. From this word, two views diverge.
     
  4. kyredneck

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    A more pertinent question to begin with would be, is it a 'new' thing?

    .....It behoveth you to be born from above Jn 3:7 YLT

    Was Christ implementing something new here, or was He revealing a mystery from of old, something that had always been?
     
    #4 kyredneck, May 3, 2011
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  5. Van

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    Regeneration means to be originated again. Thus means to be "born again." To be born again physically is not what is being said, the idea is to be born again spiritually, alive rather than dead. In Adam we are spiritually dead, and in Christ we are spiritually alive. Thus when a person is spiritually placed in Christ, they are made alive together with Christ. i.e born again, regenerated, given the right to become physical children of God at His second coming. In summary, regeneration is a one-time act of God and it occurs when a person is spiritually placed "in Christ."

    Sanctification can refer to a one time event, or a process. Positional sanctification refers to being spiritually placed in Christ, a one time event, but progressive sanctification refers to what we do after we are spiritually in Christ. This is where we grow in Christian maturity and strive to become Christ-like. This process continues until we physically die or Christ returns. The third type of sanctification is called "ultimate" sanctification and that refers to our being resurrected in glorified bodies. Positional sanctification results in us being set free from the penalty of sin. Progressive sanctification sets us free from the power of sin. And ultimate sanctification sets us free from the presence of sin. Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, free at last.
     
  6. percho

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    Are not these two synonymous. Isn't being born again what makes you a new creation?

    We are heirs of God being joint heirs with Christ. What ever we are to inherit I assume Christ has already inherited. When did he inherit it? Did he inherit it as God or as the Word made flesh? Is this it relative to a promise made to one called Abraham? I ask these questions in order to ask this. By we being in Christ, does that make us already inheritors or is that what makes us heirs and we have been given only the earnest of what we shall inherit?
    Just one more question. When we have followed Christ in the regeneration, will we then have inherited all and not just the earnest?

    And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

    Yes I moved a comma.
     
  7. kyredneck

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    It is literally 'born from above'; the idea being that 'the Jerusalem which is above', is our mother. [edit] It is a supernatural birth that man is 100% totally passive in (just as he is with his birth here below).

    Sometimes I think the term 'born again' can lead off into wrong directions.
     
    #7 kyredneck, May 3, 2011
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  8. percho

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    Allen

    Please read and tell me what it says.

    Young's Literal Translation 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 without the words not in the Greek.

    So that we henceforth have known no one according to the flesh, and even if we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him no more; so that if any one in Christ -- a new creature; the old things did pass away, lo, become new have the all things. And the all things of God, who reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and did give to us the ministration of the reconciliation, how that God was in Christ -- a world reconciling to Himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses; and having put in us the word of the reconciliation, in behalf of Christ, then, we are ambassadors, as if God were calling through us, we beseech, in behalf of Christ, `Be ye reconciled to God;' for him who did not know sin, in our behalf He did make sin, that we may become the righteousness of God in him. for him who did not know sin, in our behalf He did make sin, that we may become the righteousness of God in him.

    Does that not say the same thing as this passage?

    And himself is the head of the body -- the assembly -- who is a beginning, a first-born out of the dead, that he might become in all [things] -- himself -- first,

    Just who is the new creation?

    If this doesn't float say so but this is the way it reads if you remove the quote unquote help words.
     
  9. percho

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    I have posted many times unless someone can show me where they had anything to do with their physical birth then they also can have nothing to do with their spirit birth including them having faith.

    Think about this, Jerusalem which is above, Zion?
    That which is born from above may be born from below.
    Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? [or] shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
     
  10. Van

    Van
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    Reply to Kyredneck,

    Interesting observation. To what verse are you referring? John 1:13 says born of God. We also find born of the Spirit. And God causes us to be born again. We have verses that tell us that we have proof we are born again if we love and practice righteousness. I do not think the term "born again" leads off in the wrong direction. I think it conveys a spiritual truth, no one enters heaven unless they have been born again. God must cause us to be born again spiritually. We cannot cause ourselves to be born again, for it does not depend on the man that runs or the man that wills, Romans 9:16.
     
    #10 Van, May 3, 2011
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  11. Allan

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    That is both yes and no. In the technical sense no, just as the terms regeneration and salvation are not literally synonymous neither are these two. However they are 'conceptually' so, yes.

    We find no where in scripture that He inherited anything.

    See above.

    No.
    There is no distinction here.
    If you are an heir, you are to inherit.
    The 'earnest' is that pledge for what it promised to come. It is the proof of what is to be given at the appointed time. Thus in order to in the family (specifically God's family) and therefore able to be an inheritor, one must have that very nature (which reveals those family characteristics) of the family he is apart of. In order to be apart of the family in question (the spiritual family of God) one's nature must be changed, with old removed and new one replaced. When this happens we go from being dead to life. Scripture establishes that apart from Christ Jesus there is 'no' life, but 'in' Christ there is life and thus unity with God.


    That depends on what one understands the regeneration you are speaking of, is. Please elaborate more on what you are asking and from the premise you are asking it.

    However I will answer what I THINK you are asking - For me - it refers to the final judgment and full removal of sin and the effects thereof upon all creation, both seen and unseen. Thus it refers in context to the fullness of our inheritance. What that means is the fullness of our inheritance is wrapped up in promises of God. And till all the promises are fulfilled we like He, look for the final consummation of his kingdom and thus the fullness of our inheritance revealed.

    :) It doesn't matter as in the original language, it still doesn't change the meaning.

    Aside from this, how does this refer to the threads OP in discussing whether regeneration is synonymous or separate?
     
  12. Allan

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    No, they do not say the same thing. Where do you even postulate that?
    The 2 Cor passage is speaking of the believer who has become a new creation, for just as Christ can no longer be thought of as the same who in flesh (we know Him this way no longer) neither are we to view that person in the same way as they have become a new creation. In conjunction with how we are to perceive one another, the apostle goes on to declare that we also have been given a purpose and message, illustrated and establishing our relationship with God because we are 'in Him'.

    The other passage speaks to a corporate view in general.


    In the first passage, the individual. In the second, the NT Church.
     
  13. JesusFan

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    isn't the Biblical understanding on regeration though is that it happens one time basis, person is "born again" made a new creation in Christ Jesus... Justification before God

    predestination refers to the process God has ordained that we who have been regenerated will now going forward be confirmed more and more into Image of Jesus, aka Saunctification?
     
  14. allinall

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    I always thought that the main distinction between regeneration and sanctification, as I see these terms being used these days, is like comparing the Spirit baptism with the filling of the Spirit. So, I often wonder, is it too much of a stretch to define regeneration as any work by the Holy Spirit that brings about change in us? That seems to be the definition used already, but it also seems that most confine that "change" to the new birth.

    I'm short on time right now. Sorry

    If being born again is a one time act, and I agree with that, then that one time act must be a result of being placed into the Body, as I believe that Allan noted, which is always the result of the Spirit baptism, which is always the result of faith, at least post Pentecost. But what about our being drawn pre faith? Or our post faith being set apart (sanctified)? These are both works of the Spirit in us. We call most of that sanctification, but it's still regeneration, no?

    I believe that the only reason people hold to the idea that being born again happens before faith, is the idea that regeneration and being born again are synonymous, thus both must be one time acts, and as a result, this forces regeneration to be a one time act. But what if regeneration happens pre faith, but not being born again?

    peace
     
  15. percho

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    I do not know where to begin.

    Why did Jesus say this to his disciples?
    Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

    Why did he not just go ahead and give them the Holy Spirit?

    Does it have anything to do with this verse?
    at the right hand then of God having been exalted -- also the promise of the Holy Spirit having received from the Father -- he was shedding forth this, which now ye see and hear;

    Was it because until he had died for our sins and been resurrected to life and been accepted for us by the Father and received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, the Holy Spirit could not be given to us in his name.

    Did he receive the Holy Spirit from the Father as Acts 2:33 says he did or not?

    Another Question.
    For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

    Is Paul saying here that if Christ has not been raised from the dead that you are still in sin and those that died in Christ are dead in sin and perished because it takes Christ being made alive again for his blood to have washed you clean? If not the resurrection was not necessary.

    Therefore: What did God do to save living souls? The Word was made flesh.
    Died that is shed his blood that we are washed in. but that isn't enough without renewed life.
    He saved us-------by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; This was all done to and by the Son and the Father. Jesus received of the Father the gift and shed it upon us as the next verse says. Acts 2:33 Titus 3:3,6

    To follow him in the regeneration is to be resurrected/changed as he was at his coming.

    This is the same concept.
    But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

    This is speaking of his death and resurrection, is it not? What does he tell them.

    And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with:

    In both the regeneration and this baptism it was a question of ruling with him.

    One more question. Speaking of inheriting the promises.
    In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

    If this promise was made when it is said that it was. Who was promising who what and why?
    Just who became the author of eternal salvation (LIFE) and how?
     
    #15 percho, May 3, 2011
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  16. JesusFan

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    have to understand, some hold that there can be a large time period between being regernated by god and saved...
    They would say God works even in infants to regernate them, and than they exercise/act upon it while older, but I don't find that in the Bible myself!
     
  17. allinall

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    By regeneration and saved, do you also mean regeneration and being born again?

    Being born again and being saved are simultaneous, right?

    To me, when I read Eph. 2: 1-10, which seperates spiritual death from spiritual life, standing out, seperating the two is vs. 5-6a "even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together," Emphasis on 6a "and raised us up together". This is the same raised up together that I see in Romans 6:3-11, the same resurrection spoken about in 1 Peter, 3:21, Colossians 2:11-14, Galatians 3:26-29, etc.

    If those passages are speaking of "born again", which I believe that they are, a spiritual death to spiritual life, then this transformation in us was not available to OT saints, and is always the result of being placed into the Body (the spiritual baptism), thus identifying us with Christs death and resurrection in such a way that we die spiritually and are raised up with Him. This could only be possible by being placed into the Body of Christ (baptism with the Holy Spirit), which is the result of a genuine saving faith in Christ.

    ...then, if OT saints could not be born again, yet they had to be regenerated to some degree to come to faith, to know and proclaim the truth, to perform miracles, etc.. So there are some difference in the relationship between the Holy Spirit and man from before Pentecost and after. I won't get into that now, but we have regeneration absent "born again" in the OT. This is aside from what we would call "sanctification" today, which, as I have said, is a necessary distinction, but I believe should still be called regeneration.

    Was the OT relationship with the Holy Spirit similar to our pre faith relationship with the Holy Spirit today? Their relationship had to be limited because they could not be born again. But still, they had to have some kind of work done in them by the Holy Spirit. I would call that regeneration.

    And still today, is the drawing of a pre faith saint not regeneration of some degree? How about His being perfected, which is by the Holy Spirit? This perfect, if sanctification, is our filling, or better, or yealing our control over to the Holy Spirit. This is regeneration, no?

    There's a lot to go over to paint a better picture. I'm trying...I hope my thoughts are not too confusing.

    BTW, I was told that Calvin believed that regeneration was a process. And that it was only after his death that the word sanctification was used to make the distinction beween the one time act of being born again, and the other work of the Holy Spirit in us, that being both pre-faith, and after our initial faith (growth) regeneration. Can anyopne offer some historical insight?

    peace.
     
    #17 allinall, May 3, 2011
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  18. Allan

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    With all due respect, I'm not answering 50 questions, and then 50 questions more (so-to-speak). Please get the point, address your thought, and I'll comment. :)
    However, I will state there is no distinction between eternal salvation and timely salvation (though I'm not sure if that is what you are getting at)
     
    #18 Allan, May 3, 2011
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  19. DHK

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    The phrase "born again" can be properly rendered "born from above."
    There is nothing to indicate that it has anything to do with a physical birth. That is just an assumption, perhaps a traditional one, but there is no necessary correlation.
     
  20. kyredneck

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    Ps 87; Gal 4:22-31; Isa 54 and a whole slough of OT passages concerning the heavenly Zion.

    Born of God, born of the Spirit, born from above, circumcision made made not with hands, law written in our hearts, etc., all referring to the same event.

    Where in the NT does it say literally born (as in a birth) 'again'?
     
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