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koreahog writes:

In my belief system the logical order is first repentance/faith and then regeneration.

While you do not deny the necessity of being regenerated, you maintain that the first steps towards the Christian life are ordinarily taken by the human will and that man cooperates with God. Ofcourse then the work of grace called regeneration which the Holy Spirit performs in the new birth follows only later. This view is called Semi-Pelagianism. While it is clear that Semi-Pelagianism has a different view of grace than Calvinists do one major difference is the characteristic called synergism. This view teaches that natural man has the capacity to believe in God, to respond to God, and work with God to turn away from their sin with genuine repentance before regeneration.

Reformed Theology by contrast teaches that the natural men may have common grace, common illuminations, and common affections that are from the Spirit of God. Natural men have sometimes the influences of the Spirit of God in His common operations and gifts, and therefore God's Spirit is said to be striving with them, and they are said to resist the Spirit, (Acts 7:51;) to grieve and vex God's Holy Spirit, (Eph. 4:30; Isaiah 63:10;) While indeed fallen men resist grace every day when the gospel is presented to them, for that is their nature and desire. But it is important to note that God can and does make His grace effectual or irresistible at a time of His sovereign merciful choosing (John 6:37, 39, 44, 63-65; John 3:8; Matt 11:27; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Paul's conversion in Acts 2:39, Acts 9; Rom 8:30 ROM 9:11-24; 1 Cor. 1:9-26; Gal. 1:6-15; 1 Thess. 1:5, 6; 1 Thess. 2:12; 5:24; 2 Thess. 2:14; Eph. 1:18; 4:1-4, 5; 2 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:9; 5:10; 2 Pet. 1:3-10). If this kind of effectual grace can be resisted, then faith is understood as a natural preparation for saving grace, as the fulfillment of a condition for receiving supernatural grace by the performance of something that is within man's natural capacity/desire to do. Man, in this scheme, cooperates with God's prevenient grace according to his native ability. But the Scripture teaches that salvation is not a faith-contribution or a principle standing ultimately independent of God's action of grace. Rather, it does not owe exclusively to man's natural endowment with a free will and does not arise out of an inherent capacity of the natural man. Rather, God acts unilaterally and exclusively, taking the sole initiative in a free act of sovereign grace—grace that is altogether prior to, and productive of, justifying faith.

There are two views of regeneration. You'll note your view which depends on man's free will is contrasted to the view which depends on God's grace alone. I think you'll be able to see where your view leads in contrast to where the monergistic view leads. The response of faith from the sinner is penultimate as it stands next to the ultimate sovereign grace of God in monergism. As the first act of a newborn baby is to breathe, so the act of faith is the first act of the regenerated sinner, in his/her new birth in Christ.


Wes