ZionSeeker said:
I can't consider the Fall unless those clear texts have been dealt with which clearly show that receiving life (being quickened) is a result of believing.
But there are no texts which show that regeneration is a result of believing! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" /> Dead men can't believe. It's really simple; so simple that even a child can comprehend that.

You continue with,
[my absurdity]. . .those being spoken of do not become children until they first believe. [and your reply] If they are not children before they believe (or "receive him"), than they cannot be born. Then the order would have to be believe, become children. if you're view was right, it would read, "who had been born," not "who were born." You become a child when you are born. Therefore when it says "who were born," it must be speaking of their becoming children, not their receiving. They received, they became children. AS CHILDREN, they were born of God and not man.
FYI, "who were born" in the Greek is genesthai, which is an aorist infinitive which denotes a past action, i.e., "who had been born". [Linked Image] Further, you don't have the right to change the order which the inspired John wrote in this text. The apostle in v. 12 gives us what takes place from the perspective of man; i.e., he receives or believes on Christ and consequently, God bestows the right/authority to become a son of God. There are two important things we must not slight: 1) The consequence of believing/receiving is that God bestows the "right or authority" to become His child. The emphasis here is upon a change of status for John; relational as opposed to physical change, (cf. Jh 8:44) although it is certainly true that those who have been adopted into the family of God will be progressively changed through sanctification. 2) The text incontrovertibly states that this right/authority is given subsequent to the believing, "But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God". So, thus far we have the order as being, a) believing/receiving, results in b) being given the right/authority to become children.

Now let's move on to v. 13 once again. I must press this matter of the grammar as it is so fundamental and cannot be obviated in the manner which you have tried to do. Verse 13 is a "relative clause" which qualifies that which is antecedent to it, v. 12. It's clearly John's intention to focus now upon the origination of the believing/receiving from the divine perspective. It is here that John cuts off all attempts to make the receiving/believing and consequent giving of right to become children of God to originate with man, which is what you are arguing for. The ones who received/believed on Christ were those who did not come by way of familial connection, e.g., heredity; e.g., "we are Abraham's seed; his children by birth", nor through any effort of the flesh, nor yet by a man's determinative choice. And it is at this place that we find the fatal blow delivered to any notion that the believing/receiving or having the right to become a child of God and more particularly to be "regenerated", aka: born again is the result of one's believing. It is self-contradictory and illogical prima facie. For immediately after this tri-negation, John says the origin of the believing/receiving was due to one having been "born of God". (cf. Jh 3:3-8) Again, verse 13 is dealing with origin and not result. And the grammar, if nothing else will not allow anything but this understanding.

Let me also quote a short section from Calvin's Commentary on the Gospel of John in support of this order which is: 1) regeneration, produces 2) faith, which results in 3) being given the right to become sons of God.

Calvin writes:
Though he refers directly to the Jews, who gloried in the flesh, yet from this passage a general doctrine may be obtained: that our being reckoned the sons of God does not belong to our nature, and does not proceed from us, but because God begat us WILLINGLY, (James i. 18,) that is, from undeserved love. Hence it follows, first, that faith does not proceed from ourselves, but is the fruit of spiritual regeneration; for the Evangelist affirms that no man can believe, unless he be begotten of God; and therefore faith is a heavenly gift. It follows, secondly, that faith is not bare or cold knowledge, since no man can believe who has not been renewed by the Spirit of God.
And lastly, I must insist also, once again, that one must come to a right understanding of the Fall and Original Sin if one is to rightly comprehend the doctrine of salvation by grace. To go astray here will invariably lead to untold errors in other areas of the faith and end in one embracing synergism.

In His Grace,

[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]