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rbanks
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Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Question concerning regeneration

Hello brethren,

I thought maybe I could ask a question here on SI.

There are a lot of preachers in the reformation movement.

I just found out recently that a lot of them believe in regeneration (new birth) preceding faith. They believe a person is born again so they can repent and believe. The Bible teaches whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. I have always understood that we are to repent and believe before we can be saved/born again.

Do all of them including John Piper believe this way. Now this doesn’t make sense because the Bible doesn’t say that we are born again before we believe in Christ. It tells us we must believe in order to be saved.

Any thoughts are appreciated!

Blessings...rbanks

 2018/10/20 21:48Profile
CofG
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Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 501
Cambodia

 Re: Question concerning regeneration

Hi Brother,

Only some in the reformed view believe regeneration precedes faith. They base that position on several Scriptures. For example, 1 John 5 says in the Greek that those who "have been" born again believe. This is consistent with the other statements in 1 John that those who love "have been" born again and those that practice righteousness "have been" born again. Additionally they point to John 3 where Jesus says that you must be born again to "see" the kingdom of heaven where the word for see has the idea of perceiving. This is consistent with the idea that those who have a darkened heart are unable to discern or understand spiritual things and must have a new heart to have that understanding that the glory of God is in Jesus.

Others in the reformed group don't have such a linear view of salvation and believe that regeneration, faith and repentance are all gifts of God and are given at the time the Gospel is preached and the power of the Holy Spirit works to give a new heart, faith and repentance. They don't try to break down the order of those and just accept it all happens at the same time.

I think I've accurately set forth the perspectives but may have left something out. Not trying to defend any of the views, just trying to answer your question.
Blessings.


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Robert

 2018/10/21 5:46Profile
savannah
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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2077


 Re: 2nd



I'd say Robert has summed it up in his brief post!

 2018/10/21 6:29Profile
TrueWitness
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Joined: 2006/8/10
Posts: 536


 Re:

I found this study to be most helpful in answering the question:

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/regenera.htm

-Daniel

 2018/10/21 13:55Profile
rbanks
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Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re:

Thanks Robert!!

Thanks for the article Daniel!!

 2018/10/21 22:45Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2094
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Great brief breakdown by Robert on the different reformed perspectives on this.

Some non-reformed believers point to certain scriptures which seem to teach that repentance and faith precede regeneration in terms of logical order, scriptures such as these:

“Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”-Ezekiel 18:31-32

“When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”-Acts 11:18

"So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”-Acts 16:31

“but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”-John 20:31

“While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.”-John 12:36

"This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?"-Galatians 3:2

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise”-Ephesians 1:13


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Oracio

 2018/10/21 23:40Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2094
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Daniel, I read the article. Although it's Calvinistic and I'm not, I found myself agreeing with a huge percentage of it. I found it to be very refreshing in light of alot of the "hyper type" or extreme type of Calvinism I've been seeing on social media of late. Thanks for sharing.


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Oracio

 2018/10/22 2:02Profile
CofG
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Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 501
Cambodia

 Re:

Brothers, you are focusing too much on process. The reformed faith at its roots believes that God has to do the saving from first to last. The order of the process is ultimately not the primary issue for the reformed believer only that God does that according to His free will and His free mercy and all reformed believers agree with that. They discuss process only as a matter of Scriptural and theological debate. I say all that not to engage a debate, but rather to help those who question the reformed view of salvation from getting caught up in the process. At the end of the day, reformed believers agree that God initiates, grows and completes salvation. It is the new man who grows to spiritual maturity in this life and only the new man who is fully consummated at death that is saved and that is their focus. You must be new, you must become more and more like Christ in this life and you must be glorified into the complete likeness of Christ in order to be with Christ for eternity. To get lost in process is to miss the forest for the trees. I don't say that condescendingly. Only to make sure we don't get lost in the details. At the end of the day, Arminians and Reformist agree, it is God who saves and it is Jesus that is our only hope of being with God. Praise the Lord!


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Robert

 2018/10/22 7:49Profile
TrueWitness
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Joined: 2006/8/10
Posts: 536


 Re:

I just want to say that salvation is a work of God that we receive by faith as a gift. God must prepare our hearts first by drawing us by the Holy Spirit and giving us a recognition of our need and a thirst for change and renewal. While God grants the ability to repent and believe to those He calls, He does not repent or believe for them. They must RESPOND positively to the gospel message to be saved. The response of faith is not a meritorious work that in any way earns even in a minuscule way your salvation. Believing is a simple act of trusting and receiving what God has provided for us through the finished work of Jesus. Don't think that since it is a monergistic work of God that we must be completely passive. God gives us the ability to repent and believe but He doesn't "pull the trigger" for us.

-Daniel

 2018/10/22 10:33Profile
docs
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Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2219


 Re: The effectual calling and regeneration

I read R. C. Sproul's book, "Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification," several years ago and came to the same conclusion as the OP in this thread. The conclusion was that Brother Sproul seemed to be saying that regeneration came before salvation. He describes it along the lines of being dead but then beginning to be awakened by God to the sweetness and excellence of Christ. The Spirit quickens and reveals this to us and whereas our former disposition was hostile to Christ we begin to change and are actually given the ability to consider Christ. Our emotion, disposition, inclination, and volition are changed as Sproul states it. To Sproul this is regeneration which leads to saving faith. This is basically what happened to me in coming to Christ but I never remembered being taught that this was regeneration. I always though regeneration was the act or at least part of the act of being born again. So I greatly enjoyed the book but came away a bit confused. I have wondered about this over the years yet this thread has helped me realize that all of the Reformed faith don't take this view of regeneration.

It made me think of what is termed the effectual calling. Could the effectual calling to Christ really be what some say regeneration is?

(From Gotquestions.org)

What is the effectual calling/call?"

Answer: The term effectual call, as related to salvation, comes from Chapter X of the 1647 Westminster Confession of Faith. The effectual call is understood as God’s sovereign drawing of a sinner to salvation. The effectual call to a sinner so overwhelms his natural inclination to rebel that he willingly places faith in Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul refers to the effectual call when he writes, “It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). The necessity of the effectual call is emphasized in Jesus’ words, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them” (John 6:44).

(From Gotquestions.org)


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David Winter

 2018/10/22 12:05Profile





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