Are you seriously suggesting that a human being (using the Lord Christ's analogy when He spoke to Nicodemus) must first receive, believe on Christ in order to be born so that they can become children?

A person must believe/receive in order to be a child of God. "But as many as received him, to them gave he authority to become the children of God." When a person is born, he becomes a child. That one is then born, as a child, from God.

If a person is already born, then they are already children. But they must believe before they are children, and therefore before they are born. As I noted before, it would say "had been born" if your contention were correct.

Anyway, I would be happy to digress onto the Fall, but I would like to deal with a few issues from this one first, if you don't mind.

You said:This quickening is through faith, as seen in Colossians:
Hmmmm, that isn't much of an exegesis of the Ephesians passage is it?

Ephesians speaks of the quickening/being made alive which you agree refers to regeneration. The passage in Ephesians clearly says that this change is a result of grace, which comes in turn through the instrumentality of faith. I thought that might be too many steps of logic for somebody trying to poke holes in it, so I showed that other of Paul's writings agree <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bif.gif" alt="" />

The Colossians passage also speaks of the quickening, which is our being raised to newness of life in Christ. But it specifically mentions that this is through faith. These passages are the reasons I believe regeneration is through faith. You can't seperate the Colossians quickening from the Ephesians one. Maybe you wouldn't mind giving an exegesis of Colossians 2:12?

Really your only argument from Ephesians is that we were "dead in sins." Well yes, and it would be good to look at our different understandings of this, but you cannot get around the fact that the coming alive is through faith.

You claim that when Ephesians says, "by grace are ye saved,", that Paul is referring to something following the quickening. Clearly though, Paul is referring to the act of quickening.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith;

Paul is not saying, "God raised us up. oh and then that caused you to believe and then after that you were saved through faith." No the act of quickening is the cause for the words "by grace are ye saved."

As Christ was raised from the dead in which He suffered for punishment of sins, vicariously and substitutionally, likewise did God raise us up from the dead, through our own trespasses and sins. This is regeneration. In verse 6, Paul uses a similar analogy when he says that we are "raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus", referring to the life lived after that resurrection both actually and positionally.

I agree with the gist of this. Only I believe that the dying corresponds to repentance, or being baptised into Christ's death, and the raising corresponds to being raised up by faith - Colossians 2:12 again. What in your view is the being baptised into Christ's death which precedes being raised again?

Regeneration is that new spiritual life out of which faith comes.

Then how is it that we receive life by believing the the Lord Jesus Christ?

"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