Regeneration does precede Redemption

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by The Archangel, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. The Archangel

    The Archangel
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    I came across a video of John Piper explaining regeneration and redemption (see here).

    Piper quotes 1 John 5:1 and discusses it and he drew my attention so something in the Greek that I had not noticed before--

    1 John 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.

    The key words here are "believes" and "has been born." Believes is a present active participle and in context is better translated "all the ones believing." Has been born is a perfect passive verb.

    The Greek passive means that someone else is doing the action (e.g. the subject is not acting on himself or herself). The perfect tense tells us that this is an action completed in the past with lasting effect into the present.

    So, what John is saying is this: The ones who believe in Christ (e.g. Christians) are [actively] believing because they have been born again--and that being born again is not something we can do to ourselves and it is something that was done in the past.

    This, perhaps, is the most clear argument for regeneration preceding redemption. The grammatical structure seems to be iron-clad.

    What say you?

    (Note: I may not be able to participate in this discussion as much as I'd like. But I do have a free moment now and I thought I'd pose the question.)

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  2. exscentric

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    Thought better of discussing something that is iron-clad.... :)
     
    #2 exscentric, Feb 1, 2010
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  3. OldRegular

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    Excellent post Archangel. Amazing how something so definitive can be overlooked. Wonder what the response of the advocates of Freewillism will be.
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    Reminds me of this:


    [​IMG]
     
  5. Marcia

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    Yes, everyone who believes in Christ has been born again. That is not evidence for regeneration before belief; it's saying the proof is in the pudding.

    I am a believer in Christ; therefore, I have been born again/born of God.
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    Well you do avoid the gymnastics
     
  7. The Archangel

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    Marcia,

    I think this is true. However, the grammar of the Greek is showing the first cause--being born again. That first cause is something that, by the rules of the grammar, we cannot do for ourselves. Therefore, believing in Christ is a result of the work of God in "borning" us again.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  8. exscentric

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    " the grammar of the Greek is showing the first cause"

    How is that, you did not make that clear in your first post, all you said is that it is a done deal, not that the grammar demanded priority. What in the Greek demands that?
     
  9. Allan

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    Well Hello Arch :)

    I have to disagree with your 'iron-clad' premise, yet I do so based upon the very Greek you are citing. You also know that many Greek scholars disagree with this rendering as well, thus I am not alone in disagreeing with said premise. And yes, the wording I used was done specfically to note there are other Greek scholars who disagree with me. But my group is bigger and more right :laugh:

    We know the perfect tense refers to an action with permanent results. Yet to assume being "born" refers chronologically to being born before believing Christ is, I believe, a misunderstanding regarding the emphasis of the perfect tense, most specifically here, since it is used with present force. The perfect tense is not to establish a fixed time in the past (chronology) but establish that something in the past occurred and now has continuous results.

    We have to remember is the primary meaning of the Greek tenses is not time, but type of action (sometimes called aktionsart ). As shown you stated earlier the participle for believe is present and the main verb, "born of," is perfect passive indicative. Thus the main verb represents the action as completed with the results continuing until the present time. The participle, though it is a present participle, doesn't in this case indicate time but condition, "the one who believes." Also, it should be noted that the substantive use of the participle, "the one believing", should be seen as like a noun.

    Going a little furthing, the prefect tense simply focuses on the idea that it is not an ongoing or continuous event but a complete action in the past with present or current results. Therefore to attempt to claim when in the past it occurred using this verse is. I believe, to misunderstand its use, particularly when the present tense "is" establishes its emphasis in "is born of God". The meaning of course being that they were born of God in the past at some time and is now and will be. Yet at no point is the perfect attempting to imply that being born precedes faith in this verse, as I understand the Greek this isn't the purpose of its use here.

    However it should be noted brother that our faith, or believing, is often used in continuous tense without emphasis on a fixed past point and a one time action, or completed action.

    Example of the passage in question:
    "Whoever is one that is believing (there is no emphasis on the past it is referring to the here and now) that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God (which happened sometime in the past)".

    You are born again or born of God once or it might be said that regeneration occurs once. And while saving faith occurs only once the expression of our saving faith is continuous. The idea here is not establishing a chronology between "whoever believes" and "born of God" but is establishing the reality that at some point he was born of God and is now born of God evidenced by their confession.
     
    #9 Allan, Feb 1, 2010
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  10. The Archangel

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    Allan,

    Very well argued...but wrong. I appreciate your Greek skills and you are correct about the present tense participle and the perfect main verb. Your being wrong is probably base more in my un-clearness in the OP than in yourself. For that, I am sorry.

    The "one believing" being present tense is, likely, showing a current condition. Yes, the participle is substantive, but it points to the main verb, which you have correctly identified as "has been born."

    You mention the "is" as far as "is born of God." I'm not sure where you are getting the "is."

    The wooden translation is: All the one(s) trusting that Jesus is the Christ from the God has been born.

    This is the only place I can find any "is." Now, this is weird--We have a substantive participle, being nominative, acting as subject. We also have Jesus Christ, being nominative. So, the substantive is the entire clause--"the one believing that Jesus is the Christ" So, the "is" cannot refer to "born."

    The substantive clause, for lack of a better term, is in the present tense and it is stating a current situation. The juxtaposition of this present tense to the perfect tense of "has been born" is the major issue of interpretation. The clause with the main verb (has been born) is modified by the participle/substantive clause and, therefore, qualifies the main verb clause identifying the ones believing that Jesus is the Christ have been (sometime in the past) born of God.

    Now, you add to this that "has been born" is a passive verb too.... This shows God doing the action of "borning" people again (some time in the past) and the effect of that action on His part is the "borned" again people are currently believing that Jesus is the Christ.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  11. Allan

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    Because it is not 'so definitive'.
     
  12. Allan

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    Again, I respectfully disagree but hopefully I will make it more clear as to why by the end of this post.

    So are you agreeing here it 'is' showing a condition (the one who is still believing) and not the 'act of believing'?

    I'm not sure either, I'll have to look over it again but I think I was writting something else, deleted it, and didn't look back over it see if all that I wanted gone was.

    Exactly, and this is why it is not so 'definitive'.
    Yet the emphasis is on the 'continuation of believing' and not the 'act of believing', and it is in this where we find the disagreement.

    The the grammer reflects the continuing action being derived from the past action. This should not be, and I believe grammatically can not be, taken to assume it refers to the intial action (of faith) preceding from the past event (being born) when the grammer places the emphasis on the type of action (continuing to..) reflecting back the past event.

    Agreed, but again, the emphasis is not on the faith itself/alone, nor is it on 'having believed' (which would definitively give us a chronolocal order), but the emphasis is on the present continuing action of believing or this is why they are still believing - they have been born again. IOW- Those who claimed to have believed and left would be shown to have never actaully been born again because only those who are presently continuing in faith are born again.

    Amen, no one can make themselves born again. It is the act of God upon a man and I don't believe you will find anyone on the BB who disagrees with this. (now watch someone come along and prove me wrong :laugh:)

    In conclusion, there is no real distinction between what you and I have given, per-se except in the interpretation, specifically with respect to where the emphasis lies, not on being born (we both agree here as to when -time- and how) but one whether the passage speaks regarding the continued condition, or the initial condition.

    Does this help clarify myself a little better to you?
    Or what I am saying overly simplified and is making it clear as mud :)
     
  13. The Archangel

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    I see and understand what you are saying. But, you state:

    This is where you lose me. I don't think believing is considered to be "continuing" action. Grammatically, it is a statement of fact (of sorts), not a continuing process/action, etc.

    But the clause "All the one(s) believing Jesus is the Christ" is a dependent clause--dependent on the following clause "from God have been born." Because of the substantive nature of the participle it may be proper to call these two clauses co-dependent (although, to my knowledge, that is not a proper grammatical or linguistic term).

    The second clause shows a previous action on God's part--"borning" people. The result of God's past action which carries on into the present is that people currently believe that Jesus is the Christ. So, believing is not what stretches into the past (or, better, happens in the past and stretches into the present). Being born of God is what happens in the past and stretches into the present, manifesting itself in those who have been "borned" of God are now believing.

    In other words, The ones God has "borned" in the past are now, as a result of God's action, believing.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  14. Allan

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    I have to step away for a bit due to some duties I have to preform (job) but will come back a little later and post again in about an hour or 2.

    May our Lord richly bless you,
    Allan
     
  15. The Archangel

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    Step away well and work well (and, hopefully, enjoyably). My batteries are almost gone and I have to go to bed (0322 here in the east).

    May you be richly blessed, as well, by our beautiful Savior.

    The Archangel
     
  16. Jerome

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    Really?

    Geneva
    VVhosoeuer beleeueth that Iesus is that Christ, is borne of God

    KJB
    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God

    ERV
    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God

    ASV
    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God

    RSV
    Every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God

    NAS
    Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God

    NIV
    Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God

    NKJ
    Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God

    NLT
    Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God.

    TNIV
    Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah is born of God

    German Luther
    Wer da glaubet, daß Jesus sei der Christus, der ist von Gott geboren

    Spanish Reina-Valera
    Todo aquel que cree que Jesús es el Cristo, es nacido de Dios

    Dutch Staten Vertaling
    Een iegelijk, die gelooft, dat Jezus is de Christus, die is uit God geboren

    Italian Diodati
    Ognuno che crede che Gesù è il Cristo è nato da Dio

    French Martin
    Quiconque croit que Jésus est le Christ, est né de Dieu
     
  17. Winman

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    I did not find that convincing whatsoever. What does the scripture mention first, believing, or being born again?

    1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

    God knows what he is saying in the scriptures, if God had wanted to teach that regeneration precedes faith he could have said, "Whosoever is born of God believeth the Jesus is the Christ". That would have made it plain and clear.

    But God did not do that. He said whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Once again Calvinism reverses the order of scripture.
     
  18. The Archangel

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    You have no clue, not even a little one.

    In Greek, the word order is different and typically the word the author intends to emphasize comes at the end of the clause. "Has been born" is the final word in this clause, putting it in the emphasized position. So, because of the Greek God is exactly saying "Whoever is born of God believes Jesus is the Christ."

    The Archangel
     
  19. The Archangel

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    Really!

    The "is" is added. It is not in the Greek text.

    Πας ὁ πιστεύων ὅτι Ἰησους ἐστιν ὁ Χριστόσ ἐκ του θεου γεγέννηται

    See...no "is" before "has been born. Let me do it this way:

    Πας [all] ὁ πιστεύων [the one(s) believing] ὅτι [that] Ἰησους [Jesus] ἐστιν [is] ὁ Χριστός [the Christ] ἐκ [out of (or from)] του θεου [God] γεγέννηται [has been born]

    The only "is" in the sentence is in the phrase "Jesus is the Christ."

    The "is" before "has been born" is typically added by translators to make the reading more fluid. But, it isn't there in the original.

    Furthermore, the verb γεγέννηται doesn't need what we would consider a "helping verb." The meaning of γεγέννηται is plain on its own and to add "is" to it is to obfuscate the perfect and passive form of the original.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  20. Winman

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    John 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:

    To whom does God give the "power" to become the sons of God? To those who receive Christ and believe on his name. So regeneration follows faith. This is clearly shown in Ephesians 1:13.

    Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

    Paul said a man cannot believe on Christ unless he has heard of him.

    Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

    People are not walking around hating God and then are suddenly regenerated to have a desire to hear the word of God and then enabled to believe it. The scriptures ALWAYS teach that a man hears the word of God, believes it, and then receives the Holy Spirit. ALWAYS.

    Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

    Here was Paul (who I am sure knew Greek better than you), asking disciples if they had received the Holy Ghost "since" they believed.

    It is not me that doesn't have a clue.
     

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