The Problem of Regeneration Preceding Faith

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by zrs6v4, Oct 26, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    986
    Likes Received:
    2
    Before I get into what I wanted to discuss, I want to say that I side with the Calvinist on all 5 points so there is no confusion. The topic I am wanting to address is the order by which salvation comes about. For a typical Calvinist approach we believe that men and woman are totally depraved meaning that they will not come to Christ in and of themselves therefore need the Holy Spirit to bring about a miracle to cause them to desire to come to Christ in the right state of heart.

    This miracle that is causes faith to happen in a soul is generally agreed to be called regeneration.

    From a non-Calvinist perspective you get people shaking their heads saying "no.. no.. no.. no one is saved before they are saved.." (I am not trying to limit anyone's views here or cause offense). As a Calvinist I have to hear their disagreement and take it seriously because there may be some validity in what they are saying.

    My definition of Regeneration (rebirth/born again) is this, that one is made completely new. In this definition one has had their sins washed away as part of their newness. So you can see why the non-Calvinist isn't happy. A Calvinist must change the definition of regeneration to- made the soul responsive, alive, or quickened. These are biblical terms and words seen, however in the grand scheme of things it seems that the bible does not separate these terms from the sins being forgiven. If one is regenerated prior to faith happening (and you can't logically take the time element out although it is typically seen by a Calvinist as instantaneous chain of events) you have one born again without justification.

    Where I am at at trying to piece this together:

    I agree with Calvinist and have not surrendered a pedal off of the tulip. Going back to Scripture, Jesus speaks often of people who have a different set of eyes and ears, "He who has ears to hear let him hear" or "for seeing they do not see and hearing they do not hear". Calvinist recognize the effectual call, which in a sense means that their is a call to salvation empowered by the Spirit to bring life (regeneration) to a dead soul so that faith and justification come quickly. In my view, its nearly identical, however I do not put the emphasis on regeneration or rebirth in making one understand, but rather point to the effectual call. The effectual call is the key to "Irresistable Grace" rather than regeneration. The Spirit performs an act on a dead soul starting the salvation process and the overarching process after one latches on to Jesus is regeneration. In this view, regeneration describes what happens to a "believer" as he is led by the Spirit at God's exact time and place to trust Christ (faith and repentance being 2 sides to the same coin) and upon his trust is a simultaneous rebirth and removal of sin.

    In summary I see salvation as a complete work of the Holy Spirit in a human soul, but regeneration as the result of the process because of how regeneration is defined.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. InTheLight

    InTheLight
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    16,225
    Likes Received:
    614
    You might want to try to restate your opinion. Reading your summary sentence you seem to be saying that regeneration is a result of salvation. Is that correct?

    Classic Calvinism says that no one is saved unless they are regenerated first so that they can be enabled to come to Christ (or be saved.)
     
  3. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,629
    Likes Received:
    45
  4. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    986
    Likes Received:
    2

    I understand that. I'm not sure if I am being clear in my explanation above or but one way or another you are not following what I'm saying.
     
  5. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    986
    Likes Received:
    2
    I am aware of the general thrust of the reformed view. What I am suggesting is the view that Millard Erickson proposes in his systematic theology book.
     
  6. steaver

    steaver
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Messages:
    9,005
    Likes Received:
    82
    The Apostle John made it perfectly clear the Comforter/Holy Spirit was not given until Jesus Christ was glorified (chp7). The New Testament is ALL about the New Covenant/New Heart. Regeneration is not found in the OT saints. Calvinism must create the false premise that regeneration must happen first and before faith or else the TULIP wilts very quickly. All of Calvinism rest in this one false premise! Not one not jot or titel is found in the scriptures declaring regeneration was happening since Adam. Not one.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,193
    Likes Received:
    1,315
    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."

    Everyone, from the newest convert to the oldest saint, who believes Jesus is the Christ has been (past tense) born of God.

    As soon as the Arminians grasp that bible fact they will begin to understand the gospel.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. steaver

    steaver
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Messages:
    9,005
    Likes Received:
    82
    So the OT saints believed Jesus is the Christ? Oh boy....
     
  9. steaver

    steaver
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Messages:
    9,005
    Likes Received:
    82
    I believe as soon as Calvinist grasp the bible fact that there is a New Covenant they will begin to understand the gospel. But I sure doubt it unless God removes the blinders of Calvinism for them. It's like the NT is one big parable to them. May God have mercy on them and grant them eyes and ears to see and hear the gospel.
     
  10. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,193
    Likes Received:
    1,315
    Yes, if you believe your bible. Acts 10:43 "To him (Jesus) give all the (Old Testament) prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. steaver

    steaver
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Messages:
    9,005
    Likes Received:
    82
    So the OT saints new His name? Don't see that in my bible. You know when they found out His name? When Jesus went to Paradise to lead captivity captive.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. robustheologian

    robustheologian
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    977
    Likes Received:
    119
    Thing about it is ever since I posted this verse on BB, no one has been willing to meet it head on.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,193
    Likes Received:
    1,315
    And once again you display your complete lack of bible knowledge. When we see the term "In the Name of" or "the name" it is important that we understand what the term is referring to.

    Years ago, probably before most of you were born, there was a film serials know as "The Keystone Cops." They were one reel comedies featuring inept cops chasing crooks. The cops would run after the crooks, waving their billy clubs in the air and shouting "Stop In the Name of the Law."

    Now, nobody with an IQ greater than his hat size would think the cop's name was "Law."

    It was a statement of authority. "With all the authority of the law, I command you to stop!"

    Matthew 28 gives an example of this, "baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

    Nobody in their right mind would think they have to know the personal name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in order to scripturally baptize.

    It is a statement of authority (see verse 18, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 You go, therefore, and . . . ").

    Baptizing "in the Name of Jesus" is baptizing with his commanded authority.

    In Acts 10:43 we see such a statement, "To him (Christ, Christos, Mashiach, Messiah) all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him (believes in Messiah) receives forgiveness of sins through his name (his authority)."

    The error of not understanding what the bible is saying when it says "in the name of" is the error of Oneness Pentecostalism that baptize saying only the name "Jesus" and omitting the baptismal formula as commanded in Matthew 28:19 "in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy spirit."

    They, like you, wrongly think the term "in the name of" or "the name" means the word "Jesus" when in fact it means "with his authority." Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Baptism is performed with the commanded authority of Christ, the Messiah.

    And the Old Testament Prophets preached with God given authority that those who believed in the promise of the Messiah would have their sins forgiven.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  14. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    454
    While this is all absolutely true and correct, it will make no difference to some of the brethren here. To them, 'dead' means 'not very well.' I have posted these verses several times and it has got me absolutely nowhere. :rolleyes:
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  15. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,629
    Likes Received:
    45
  16. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    454
    With respect, I think you have entirely misread what George is saying and what Calvin said. May I suggest that you read the preceding couple of paragraphs? Being placed in Christ certainly follows after faith.

    I'm off on holiday for a couple of weeks from tomorrow so I won't be able to follow this up, but part of the problem is the belief that regeneration is an 'all-in-one' phenomenon. In my understanding, it is an elongated experience which starts with the particular call of the Spirit and moves through conviction of sin before it issues forth in repentance and faith. This was the view of most of the Puritans, but John Murray's book, Redemption, has an all-in-one view
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  17. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,193
    Likes Received:
    1,315
    I think so too. He is saying that "faith (is) its (being in Christ) result." Being in Christ results in our faith, not the other way around. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    986
    Likes Received:
    2

    I think there is no doubt that from Ephesisans 1 through Ephesians 2 Paul reveals that God was the ultimate cause of our destiny and thus our salvation. In this we agree 100%

    Let me offer 2 options in interpreting the passage you brought up. Now, I am not saying you can interpret it in 2 different ways, but rather that to me there are 2 possible interpretations that make sense theologically.

    1. You clearly explained your point and that is one probable way of understanding Paul here. It is possible that he intended us to see that God's method of saving us was first brought about by giving us life to lead us to saving faith. I see what you are saying here so I want to make that clear.

    2. The second possible option would defend my argument in this thread. That is that Paul isn't narrowing this verse down to the order of salvation (other than his statements showing that salvation is God's work in a dead soul). What I mean is that he is talking about the process of regeneration as a whole. To paraphrase how I see it, "While you were dead in your sin, God showed up and brought you to life." He doesnt answer how that process occurs and of course in this thread that is exactly what we are arguing...how it occurs. Do you follow my thinking?
     
  19. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    986
    Likes Received:
    2
    I hear what you are saying, but unfortunately to keep the thread on track I will not respond to your dilemma. I disagree with your logic, but that is ok. I suggest starting a thread on how to deal with the Holy Spirit and regeneration in the Old Testament and we can more clearly debate it without hijacking this thread. I think it is a very good question to raise.
     
  20. percho

    percho
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    37
    that to the nations the blessing of Abraham may come in Christ Jesus, that the promise of the Spirit we may receive through the faith. Gal 3:14 YLT

    Does that verse not state that, "the faith," took place and then, the promise of the Spirit, was given and received?

    and this he said of the Spirit, which those believing in him were about to receive; for not yet was the Holy Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:39 YLT
    'But I tell you the truth; it is better for you that I go away, for if I may not go away, the Comforter will not come unto you, and if I go on, I will send Him unto you; John 16:7 YLT
    'Men, Israelites! hear these words, Jesus the Nazarene, a man approved of God among you by mighty works, and wonders, and signs, that God did through him in the midst of you, according as also ye yourselves have known; this one, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, being given out, having taken by lawless hands, having crucified -- ye did slay;
    'This Jesus did God raise up, of which we are all witnesses; 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; Acts 2:22.23.32.33 YLT

    this only do I wish to learn from you -- by works of law the Spirit did ye receive, or by the hearing of faith?

    Somewhere in that passage from Acts 2 is, "the faith," that was heard of, and the glorification of Jesus the Nazarene by which the Spirit was given and received.

    for by grace ye are having been saved, through (the) faith, and this not of you -- of God the gift, Eph 2:8 YLT. I inserted (the) it being in the TR

    That is how our salvation was wrought. Somewhere in that passage from Acts is, "the faith," and the afterward, " the for grace," by which we are being saved and by which we received the Spirit.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Loading...