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#11340 - Wed Mar 24, 2004 6:31 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  
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You have fallen into the mistake of assuming something that is not true. I have never claimed that faith is natural to man. On the contrary I have affirmed in a recent post that faith is the gift of God and not of man.


(Fred) Regardless of how you may wish to qualify your system of theology, either by affirming some aspect of prevenient grace or a neo-Lutheran view of saving faith, the issue comes back to the fact that you insist that faith begets regeneration, or a man being born spiritually. The various texts of scripture are quite clear that it is God who first regenerates the person, including the imparting of a saving faith, then the person believes the gospel. I would further add that God's regeneration always fulfills his purposes. In other words, God doesn't give every single person in the world the gift of faith by the means of a prevenient grace, and then it is left to all of those single individual persons to act upon that gift with their own choice to believe. In all insistence of regeneration taking place in the book of Acts, as well as in all discourses of regeneration by the apostles in their epistles, regeneration always, with out fail, imparts saving faith to a person and each and every person comes to salvation. This fact you cannot escape.

Quote
Nevertheless, you cannot ignore other scriptures which show that receiving life is through faith.


(Fred) Neither I, Pilgrim, nor anyone else who has interacted with you, have ignored those scriptures. We have tried to show you, particularly Pilgrim who has done an admirable job, that you are mistaken that a person first has faith, then is born again. The language of the Bible, both in the original and any reputable translation, has saving faith dependent upon God first regenerating the person or bringing him to spiritual birth, THEN the person believes in faith.

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
#11341 - Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:38 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: grace2U]  

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Hi, I have a brother in Devon. Never been - nearest I got that way was Bournemouth. Nice part of the world.

Anyway, I really don't think having an extended view of regeneration can help with this one.

Quote

I think some of the problems that have arisen on this thread stem from the 'instantaneous' view of regeneration taught by that otherwise great and good man, John Murray. If one takes the view, as I do, that regeneration starts with God's particular call, which leads to awakening and conviction which precede repentance and faith, which itself precedes Justification, which is the final stage of regeneration, then many of the problems aired on this thread are solved.


Even with this view, you still have to accept that new life is given at a point in time. The question is, Does this new life cause faith, or does faith cause new life? The Bible says that we have life through believing in the name of the Son of God, so I am going to go with that!
ZionSeeker

#11342 - Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:09 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  

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Hi Zion Seeker:

You made the statement that:

Quote
The Bible says that we have life through believing in the name of the Son of God, so I am going to go with that!


Acutally, that is not what the Bible says <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

The Bible says, and I respectfully suggest you read this very carefully and very slowly because each word was chosen by God himself:

"by Grace"

"through Faith"

In the more full context the phrases are:

"by Grace"........ are you saved......"through faith".......it is the gift of God

Grace is the agent, the generating, causal power, faith is the resulting means or instrument.

That is, by the impartation of the grace of God, by His Spirit, the gift of new life, spiritual life, just as, to use the analogy of human life, the seed is implanted and a new life is created or begun at conception and begins to function as a new life. That in my view is the point of regeneration, when the Spirit of God makes a person alive to the things of God.

This person has not yet expressed that faith but is now capable of it and indeed has it because he or she is now alive, spiritual things have become real and important for the first time, in a truly spiritual and divinly given sense because that person is spiritually alive for the first time. The person "believes" and therefore has faith, but it is due to grace and grace alone, "the gift of God" that this is so.

The phrase "through faith" is the result of that spiritual life given by the Grace of God in the work of the Spirit of God in Regeneration. A spiritually dead person cannot, and of course will not, believe or possess faith any more than a still born child cries out for air when it leaves the birth canal. There is a wealth of instruction in natural processes and I believe that is why the Lord continually used them to teach. They can, of course, be abused like any figure of speech, but rightly used and understood they are wonderful illustrators of spiritual realities.

I know it has been recommneded here already, but I recommend your reading the excellant article by J. Beeke which can be found here:

http://www.the-highway.com/articleJan98.html

Dr. Beeke makes a clear distinction between the difference in faith in faith, and faith in Christ, and that it seems to me, may be a point of confusion for you. But be that as it may, the article is truly excellant in terms of explaining Justification by Faith alone and what the Reformers meant by that term.

May it be blessed to your spiritual understanding.

As an aside, you may find S. Nichols work, "An Absolute Sort of Certainty" helpful also as he discusses the difference, as understood by Jonathan Edwards and others such as Calvin, between mere notional, or natural, faith or understanding, temporary faith the scriptures call it, and true faith or spiritual understanding.

In Him,

Gerry

#11343 - Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:23 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  

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Hi, you covered alot of ground in that one reply!!!!

I wrote,
"The Bible says that we have life through believing in the name of the Son of God, so I am going to go with that!"
In response,

Quote

Acutally, that is not what the Bible says


But there are many scriptures which say this. ie

Quote

"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." John 20:31



We are to come to the Lord that we might have life, not vice versa. This is the gospel:

Quote

"And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." John 5:40


Quote

by Grace"........ are you saved......"through faith".......it is the gift of God
Grace is the agent, the generating, causal power, faith is the resulting means or instrument.


I can't see why it has to be the resulting instrument. It is the instrument through which salvation comes. It is by grace, through faith, but not "by grace, resulting in faith." The grace which saves in this passage of Ephesians, is I believe, a reference to the quickening - "ye have he quickenned who were dead in trespasses and sins." Would you agree?

The article is mainly concerned with imputation - and I don't hold to the reformed view. But i will look into the word "eis" and ask a friend about it who is an expert in ancient Greek (masters degree in Greek and Greek philosophy). I also consulted his knowledge after reading Pilgrim's claims from the Greek, and my thoughts were very much confirmed.
ZionSeeker

#11344 - Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:56 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  

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The grace which saves in this passage of Ephesians, is I believe, a reference to the quickening - "ye have he quickenned who were dead in trespasses and sins." Would you agree?


Yes, exactly, quickening is an old english term which means to "be made alive". In other words, they were, as the passage says, "dead", spiritually dead, and thus unable to believe, "in their tresspasses and sins". It is really very simple. A dead person can't believe, he must be made alive by grace. He then believes through faith.

Here is the essence of it all. Your view, unfortunately, subtly denies God some of the glory in the process, but it is all His. ALL His.

God does all of the essential things, is the first cause of all things, we believe because He makes us able to believe, by giving us spiritual life. He then gives us faith to believe. We do the believing, but He gets the Glory, ALL of it, because He alone deserves it.

We are "nothing" without Him. This humbles our pride, which is exactly what we need, we need to see that we are nothing. This is really what all of the theological debate is about. Is man something, or "nothing" without God? This is why the Doctrine of the Total Depravity is so important, without a right understanding of it we cannot, notice I said cannot, as in are unable to, understand it.

Quote
But there are many scriptures which say this. ie


Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." John 20:31


It is true that there are scriptures which say that belief is essential as you have rightly pointed out. No one is arguing that point. What we are arguing is order of belief, and more importantly cause of belief.

The hermeutical error your are making in pointing out the above passage in contradistinction to the Ephesians passage is dealt with by strict adherence to what is called the Analogy of the Faith. That hermeneutical principle states that no doctrine, or Scriptural Truth, is rightly understood until ALL the pertinant passages with which it concerns itself are considered and integrated into the expression, or statement, of that doctrine.

Scripture interprets scripture, we must put it all together to arrive at truth. Psalm 119:160 says it as explicitly as it is stated in the Bible: "The sum of Thy Word is truth". Another version has it "The entirety of thy Word is truth". Not part, not some, but all of it together is Truth. Failure to observe and hold to this is the source of nearly all error and heresy, which is why, when Paul said fair well, in one of the most moving scenes in the whole Bible, to the Ephesian Edlers, his claim to the integrity of his ministry, and his freedom "from the blood of all men" was that he "did not shrink back from declaring the whole counsel of the Word of God" to them. Acts 20:27.

Thus, you will never rightly understand Jn 20:31 unless you do so in the light of the Ephesians passage, and all the other passages in the Bible that make God the soul source of mans belief, one of which is "Ps 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power". Who is made willing here, "thy people" or all people, and whose power is responsible, man's or God's? How is that power exercised? In God giving spiritual life, by Grace, and faith, "it is the gift of God".

Quote
I don't hold to the reformed view


The view you hold to is unimportant, ulitmately, because the statement implies that you are depending on men rather than on God, and God's power, to teach you these things, as does the following statement:

Quote
But i will look into the word "eis" and ask a friend about it who is an expert in ancient Greek (masters degree in Greek and Greek philosophy). I also consulted his knowledge after reading Pilgrim's claims from the Greek, and my thoughts were very much confirmed.


These statements are very telling, for they, taken together with the other things you have said, suggest to me that you are depending, at least in part, on the opinions of men to save you. Men's words are indeed essential, for God has appointed the "foolishness of preaching" and uses means in salvation. But ultimately each man who is saved conforms to the scripture, to Christs words in Jn 6:45 "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."

Christ is making the point blank statement here in the midst of all who "heard" that only some really "heard". The context here is most instructive and I again gently encourage you to read and consider these things carefully.

John Bunyan's pastor, Mr. Gifford, sternly warned him in this regard, "Let no man tell you that you are a child of God". He was telling Bunyan to settle for nothing less that what the scriptures speak of in many places, such as in Romans 8:16 "The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God".

In my own case, I believed the doctrines of grace before I had any idea what they were or could articulate them at all, because God had taught me these things. When, years later in some cases, I read of them I instantly knew them to be His truth. I don't mean to imply that God works this way, or in this order with everyone for He is sovereign in all things. I only am saying that unless He teaches you by His Spirit you do not yet have a right understanding of spiritual things.

Try reading the Nichols book and see if that doesn't help, because as I said, until you understand the difference between natural understanding and belief and spiritual understanding and belief, these things will not make sense to you. Rather, they will just be intellectual exercises that will ultimately fail you in the "great day".

In Him,

Gerry

Last edited by acts2027; Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:07 PM.
#11345 - Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:13 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  

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1 Corinthians 2 v.10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. [3]

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.


How does the natural man become a spiritual man?
How can a natural man have faith to believe since spiritual things are folly to him?

#11346 - Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:56 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  

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Susan:

Thanks for posting that scripture Susan.

It is one of the key passages that the Lord used (I had no idea at the time because of false teaching that the Lord was doing it) to cause me to seek a spiritual understanding. I read it and it seemed "sweet" to me, wonderful somehow, "taste and see that the Lord is good" and I wanted to know what it really meant.

I was taking a seminary course at the time and had to memorize scriptures as a part of the course requirements so it is one of the ones I chose. I would wonder what it meant and turn it over in my mind again and again. Eventually He showed me what it meant, or a little of what it meant, and it was indeed worth the wait.

In Him,

Gerry

#11347 - Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:15 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: Pilgrim]  

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Since "regeneration" is just another word for "new birth" does it not make sense that one is born again after one has died with Christ and is justified? (Rom 6:3-5).

Christ died for our justification and rose again to life. And we are justified by sharing in his death that we might walk a new life. Yet you seem to be teaching that we are raised to life (new birth/regeneration) before we die with Christ and are justified by his blood.

Paul seems to emphatically say we follow the same pattern as Christ.... death... resurrection... we die with him and are justified.... we are raised with him new creations.

But you put the cart before the horse.

Passion Player

Last edited by PassionPlayer; Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:21 PM.
#11348 - Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:19 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  
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No, it does not make sense. Death came as a result of the fall and we are all dead in our sins and our trespasses. We don't become dead in Christ and then reborn when justified.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
#11349 - Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:26 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: gotribe]  

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I am not sure what sense to make out of your comments.

The Bible indicates we are to die with Christ and then God will raise us up with him to walk a new life (Rom 6:3-5).

How can a dead man die? Is Paul talking nonsense? Perhaps a review of Ephesians 2:1-3 and what "dead" really means there would be helpful.

We DIE with Christ and his cross in our conversion events. There is no way you can get around that except to nullify the Scriptures. Therefore, it seems that the next thing that should happen is that we are raised up new creations with him, that is, new birth, regeneration.

PP

#11350 - Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:30 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  
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Since "regeneration" is just another word for "new birth" does it not make sense that one is born again after one has died with Christ and is justified? (Rom 6:3-5).

Christ died for our justification and rose again to life. And we are justified by sharing in his death that we might walk a new life. Yet you seem to be teaching that we are raised to life (new birth/regeneration) before we die with Christ.


(fred) The Bible would separate the work of justification done on the cross, from the actual work of the spirit's regeneration. In other words, Christ's death was a one time event that redeemed his people. Regeneration, and the whole of salvation, is the application of that justifying work. We died with Christ on the cross judicially, legally; however, the individual application of that finished work is applied by God when one is brought to new birth by the work of the Holy Spirit. In fact, this is Paul's argumentation in Romans. Note that all of justification is said to be accomplished in Romans 3. This work is further developed in Chapters 4 and 5. Romans 6 begins the subject of sanctification. We are identified with Christ because we have been baptized into Him, and as a result, Paul argues that we are not to continue in sin. We have been set free from the bondage of sin (its hold and tyranny upon the individual). Before, identified with the old man, Adam, we had no ability to do anything, including believing savingly, to please the Lord. Yet, due to Christ's work, God can bring those people for whom Christ died to salvation and to a position of newness of life in the new man Christ, by the act of regeneration.

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
#11351 - Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:34 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: fredman]  

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Fred, is that your way of saying that no one dies with Christ in their conversion events?

#11352 - Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:57 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  

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Hi again,
I wrote: "The grace which saves in this passage of Ephesians, is I believe, a reference to the quickening - "ye have he quickenned who were dead in trespasses and sins." Would you agree?"
You replied:

Quote

Yes, exactly, quickening is an old english term which means to "be made alive". In other words, they were, as the passage says, "dead", spiritually dead, and thus unable to believe, "in their tresspasses and sins". It is really very simple. A dead person can't believe, he must be made alive by grace. He then believes through faith.


Right, the passage says they were dead. But it does not say that therefore they were unable to believe. It says dead in trespasses and sins. I believe that this means that without Christ man cannot experience the life of God through Jesus Christ, or know sins forgiven. I do not believe that this means that the person cannot believe. The passage never actually says that a dead man cannot believe, for they are dead in trespasses and sins. It doesn't say that they are incapable of believing the gospel. Faith does not come from man's dead sinful nature. It comes from God, it is a gift of God, and to be saved one has to believe from the heart the message of the gospel. We must "come to Christ that we might have life."

Let me look at your statement again. Basically it says "man is dead, therefore he cannot believe." But look at a biblical picture:

Quote

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself. John 5:24-26


Using your reasoning with the verses in Ephesians, the dead CANNOT hear the voice of the Son of God UNTIL they are first given life. This is the direct opposite of what Jesus said here in this passage.

Quote

A dead person can't believe, he must be made alive by grace. He then believes through faith.


I don't understand everything about the process of becoming a new creature, but this I know, "an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live."

Quote

This humbles our pride, which is exactly what we need, we need to see that we are nothing.


No offence against you personally (quite the contrary) humility is not a characteristic I would use to describe most Calvinists!!!! I believe humility does indeed come from knowing our utter need of Christ and his power. I think "calvinism" generally speaking, because it is a sytem of logic, encourages people who want to glory in their intelligence and learning. That is not of God. The apostle said that the minister of God is to "hold fast the form of sound words," and not teach words of "man's wisdom," or of man's philosophy, but to teach wholesome words. Humility is obeying this. Words carry concepts, and I believe in using the form of sound words. "Total depravity" for example, even if it could be argued that this is a biblical doctrine, is nonetheless not part of the pattern of sound speech delivered as part of the faith once and for all to the saints. But this is an aside.


I quoted:

Quote

"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." John 20:31


Your response:

Quote

It is true that there are scriptures which say that belief is essential as you have rightly pointed out. No one is arguing that point. What we are arguing is order of belief, and more importantly cause of belief.



But don't you see? this verse is not merely speaking of the necessity of faith, it is actually saying that life come FROM believing. Therefore it speaks directly of a causative relationship between faith and life.

Quote

The hermeutical error your are making in pointing out the above passage in contradistinction to the Ephesians passage is dealt with by strict adherence to what is called the Analogy of the Faith. That hermeneutical principle states that no doctrine, or Scriptural Truth, is rightly understood until ALL the pertinant passages with which it concerns itself are considered and integrated into the expression, or statement, of that doctrine.


I disagree. Remember, Ephesians never said that "dead in trespasses and sins" means unable to believe. Since this verse says point blank that life is a result of believing, then you need to include this verse in your understanding. One verse cannot deny another.

You have agreed that the quickening - the being made alive in Christ - is speaking of regeneration. It says that God made us alive with Christ, and raised us up with him to sit in heavenly places. Colossians chapter 2 uses similar language, and this simply cannot be ignored. It says we were buried with Christ, and raised with him:

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"In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses" Colossians 2:12.


There is a twofold process - dying with Christ and being risen with him (quickened) through faith. This is, I believe, regeneration.

Quote

If God's grace is dispensed on the basis of one's antecedent faith, then it is no longer of grace but of works."


If we look at Ephesians 2 again, Paul says that it is not of works, it is of faith. Yet you are saying that if it is of faith it is of works, as though faith were a work. You must understand, faith causing new life is not of works, because faith is not a work of man or a work of the flesh. it is a gift of God, so that no one can boast. God saves by grace, and he does that THROUGH faith. Faith is not the basis of grace, as you also noted - it is the cause of new life which is given by grace through faith:

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But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, [...] For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.


Quote

The view you hold to is unimportant, ulitmately, because the statement implies that you are depending on men rather than on God, and God's power, to teach you these things, as does the following statement:
But i will look into the word "eis" and ask a friend about it who is an expert in ancient Greek (masters degree in Greek and Greek philosophy). I also consulted his knowledge after reading Pilgrim's claims from the Greek, and my thoughts were very much confirmed.


I totally believe in the need to ask God to open our eyes, and to pray for the spirit of wisdom and revelation, which I do, and to remain humble and teachable. I do not believe that reading learned books or trusting in the Protestant Reformers or going to seminary, or even knowing Greek and Hebrew, is a substitute for revelation. At the most some of these things can help facilitate greater understanding. The article refered to the Greek. I don't have an expert knowledge of Greek, and so I cannot evaluate his argument. I am working on trying to get an expert knowledge of Greek, but until then the best I can do is ask other, learned, men, concerning what the article said about the use of the Greek word eis. This should not imply that I am looking to others for understanding, only that I am forced to defer somewhat when I do not have the technical knowledge to evaluate something myself.

Quote

John Bunyan's pastor, Mr. Gifford, sternly warned him in this regard, "Let no man tell you that you are a child of God". He was telling Bunyan to settle for nothing less that what the scriptures speak of in many places, such as in Romans 8:16 "The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God".


I thoroughly agree with the need of an experimental knowledge of the Holy Spirit. I can testify to this experience also. I wonder if you are Strict Baptist, since most Calvinists do not speek on these things as you do?

Lastly, faith is from the heart. It is not from the natural man - nor is it from the spiritual man, but from the heart, resulting in life. Our hearts are purified by faith. This purification is the same as the washing of regeneration. There are not two cleansings of the heart - one before and one right after or at the point of faith. Faith from the heart is a powerful doctrine (as John Wesley and others have discovered). I cannot swap it for a belief which takes away the life chaning and new life bringing power of faith as taught in the scriptures, which say that through believing we have life.
Regards

Zion Seeker

#11353 - Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:57 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  
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Zionseeker,
Where you are going wrong is that you are seeing regeneration as identical to justification. Very briefly (I don't have much time):-
The Lord opens our heart,
We repent and trust in Christ,
We are justified by God.

We are not 'saved' until we are justified, hence all those texts you have found saying that salvation is by faith. We all know that. But no one believes for salvation until the Lord gives him life (John 6:44).

I do assure you that dead men can't believe. Listen; Lazarus is dead, right? Now it's no use you or me telling Lazarus how bad it is to be dead, and the serious consequences that flow from being dead. Nor is it any use telling him how much better it would be if he were alive. He can't hear us because he's dead. And actually, it's even worse than that; Lazarus, quite frankly, is a stinker (John 11:39, KJV). He's not just dead, he's dead in trespasses and sins; he has no ability in himself, nor any right to come to life.

What hope, then, for Lazarus? None in himself, he's dead; and none in us, we can't bring him to life. But when the Son of God calls, 'Lazarus, come forth!', then, and only then will he come to life (cf. John 5:21), then he will believe on Christ and be saved.

You can see this very clearly in Acts 16. First Lydia has her heart opened by the Lord, then she believes. The same is true of the Philippian jailor. First the Lord opens his heart giving him spiritual life, then, 'He fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.....and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"'(Acts 16:29-30). Do you see? Although he was under conviction, he wasn't yet saved, so Paul says, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.' He did and he was (v34). First regeneration, then repentance and faith; the justification and eternal life.

I hope that's helpful; sorry it's a bit short.

Every blessing,
Steve


Itinerant Preacher & Bible Teacher in Merrie England.
1689er.
Blogging at
http://marprelate.wordpress.com
#11354 - Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:12 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  

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Christ died for our justification and rose again to life. And we are justified by sharing in his death that we might walk a new life. Yet you seem to be teaching that we are raised to life (new birth/regeneration) before we die with Christ and are justified by his blood.


Yes precisely! It is simple enough that a child could understand, but so profound that it stumbles the wisest of minds.

ZionSeeker

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