YOU SAID you are correct in stating that a dead man can do nothing to save himself.

Well I am glad you agree. Now if you will look at the rest of the Order of Salvation it explains the remainder of your questions on this point and on the point of WORKS (your second question). It explains briefly who is involved and in what capacity.......

Rev 22:19 proves NOTHING for the case of Armianism (or Joshism. It has already been clearly shown to you, if you do not desire to believe the word of God no one here can force you....Now concerning your statement I pointed out in my reply that not only the tree of life, but the holy city would also be taken away if a man violated this final warning in scripture are directed towards men such as in 2 Pet 2:1 and not God's elect. Do a word study on 'any, 'all' and the like.........from a Reformed Perspective to learn the truth further. As explained before-- the saints (who will definitely overcome) inherit a part in the holy city (21:7), the heretic forfeits this inheritance.

YOU SAID If God exercises His complete sovereignty in all things, then how did Lucifer fall into sin? We both know that God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), so how his fall come about if God was still being totally sovereign? Did He cease to be God then according to YOUR theology? For that matter, why don't all Christians abstain from fornication? It is God's will after all (1 Thessalonians 4:3) Why don't all Christians give thanks in everything, it is also God's will (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

God did NOT cease to be God when He allowed did Lucifer fall into sin? In actuality it was part of His overall sovereign plan. Think of it this way: the fall of Satan contributed to the fall of man. Man indeed had to fall for Christ was predestined BEFORE the foundation of the world to die for the sins of His elect, thus it was a part of the will of God, but in no way was or is He the author of sin. And you ask why would He will such a thing? Very simply --though Adam and Eve (our Federal Heads) had a relationship with God prior to the fall they in no way understood the totality of God's love. Christ had to die so God's elect could understand the totality of God's love---greater love hath no man........

For that matter, why don't all Christians abstain from fornication?----could it be because ahhhhhh, because they are sinners or maybe not Christians at all? But, He still reveals His sovereignty in chastising those whom He loves--not the others....

Now as far as REGENERATION maybe this will help you (if it doesn't then it at least ends my arguement, because after you get out of the scripture, I will have nothing else to say):

The work of regeneration we play no active role at all. It is instead totally a work of God. We see this, for example, when John talks about those to whom Christ gave power to become children of God--they "were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:13). Here John specifies that children of God are those who are "born ... of God" and our human will ("the will of man") does not bring about this kind of birth.<br><br> The fact that we are passive in regeneration is also evident when Scripture refers to it as being "born" or being "born again" (James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:3; John 3:3-8). We did not choose to be made physically alive and we did not choose to be born--it is something that happened to us; similarly, these analogies in Scripture suggest that we are entirely passive in regeneration.

This sovereign work of God in regeneration was also predicted in the prophecy of Ezekiel. Through him God promised a time in the future when he would give new spiritual life to his people:<br><br> A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. (Ezek. 36:26-27)

Which member of the Trinity is the one who causes regeneration? When Jesus speaks of being "born of the Spirit" (John 3:8), he indicates that it is especially God the Holy Spirit who produces regeneration. But other verses also indicate the involvement of God the Father in regeneration: Paul specifies that it is God who "made us alive together with Christ" (Eph. 2:5; cf. Col. 2:13). And James says that it is the "Father of lights" who gave us new birth: "Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures" (James 1:17-18).

Finally, Peter says that God "according to his abundant mercy has given us new birth .. . through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3.....). We can conclude that both God the Father and God the Holy Spirit bring about regeneration.

What is the connection between effective calling and regeneration? Scripture indicates that regeneration must come before we can respond to effective calling with saving faith. Therefore we can say that regeneration comes before the result of effective calling (our faith). But it is more difficult to specify the exact relationship in time between regeneration and the human proclamation of the gospel through which God works in effective calling. At least two passages suggest that God regenerates us at the same time as he speaks to us in effective calling: Peter says, "You have been born anew not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.... That word is the good news which was preached to you" (1 Peter 1:23, 25). And James says, "He chose to give us birth through the word of truth" (James 1:18 NIV). As the gospel comes to us, God speaks through it to summon us to himself (effective calling) and to give us new spiritual life (regeneration) so that we are enabled to respond in faith. Effective calling is thus God the Father speaking powerfully to us and regeneration is God the Father and God the Holy Spirit working powerfully in us to make us alive. These two things must have happened simultaneously as Peter was preaching the gospel to the household of Cornelius, for while he was still preaching "the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word" (Acts 10:44).

Sometimes the term irresistible grace is used in this connection. It refers to the fact that God effectively calls people and also gives them regeneration, and both actions guarantee that we will respond in saving faith. The term irresistible grace is subject to misunderstanding, however, since it seems to imply that people do not make a voluntary, willing choice in responding to the gospel--a wrong idea, and a wrong understanding of the term irresistible grace. The term does preserve something valuable, however, because it indicates that God's work reaches into our hearts to bring about a response that is absolutely certain--even though we respond voluntarily.

Exactly what happens in regeneration is mysterious to us. We know that somehow we who were spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1) have been made alive to God and in a very real sense we have been "born again" (John 3:3, 7; Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13). But we don't understand how this happens or what exactly God does to us to give us this new spiritual life. Jesus says, "The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8).

Scripture views regeneration as something that affects us as whole persons. Of course, our "spirits are alive" to God after regeneration (Rom. 8:10), but that is simply because we as whole persons are affected by regeneration. It is not just that our spirits were dead before-- we were dead to God in trespasses and sins (see Eph. 2:1). And it is not correct to say that the only thing that happens in regeneration is that our spirits are made alive (as some would teach), for every part of us is affected by regeneration: "If any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come" (2 Cor. 5:17).

Because regeneration is a work of God within us in which he gives us new life it is right to conclude that it is an instantaneous event. It happens only once. At one moment we are spiritually dead, and then at the next moment we have new spiritual life from God.

Several passages that tell us that this secret, hidden work of God in our spirits does in fact come before we respond to God in saving faith \When talking about regeneration with Nicodemus, Jesus said, "Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). Now we enter the kingdom of God when we become Christians at conversion. But Jesus says that we have to be born "of the Spirit" before we can do that. Our inability to come to Christ on our own, without an initial work of God within us, is also emphasized when Jesus says, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him" (John 6:44), and "No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father" (John 6:65). This inward act of regeneration is described beautifully when Luke says of Lydia, "The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul" (Acts 16:14). First the Lord opened her heart, then she was able to give heed to Paul's preaching and to respond in faith.

By contrast, Paul tells us, "The man without the Spirit (literally, the "natural man") does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14 NIV). He also says of people apart from Christ, "no one understands, No one seeks for God" (Rom. 3:11).

The solution to this spiritual deadness and inability to respond only comes when God gives us new life within. "But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses made us alive together with Christ" (Eph. 2:4-5). Paul also says, "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ" (Col. 2:13 ).

The idea that regeneration comes before saving faith is not always understood by evangelicals today. Sometimes people will even say something like, "If you believe in Christ as your Savior, then (after you believe) you will be born again." But Scripture itself never says anything like that. This new birth is viewed by Scripture as something that God does within us in order to enable us to believe.

The reason that evangelicals often think that regeneration comes after saving faith is that they see the results (love for God and his Word, and turning from sin) after people come to faith, and they think that regeneration must therefore have come after saving faith. Yet here we must decide on the basis of what Scripture tells us, because regeneration itself is not something we see or know about directly: "The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8). Fruit always comes after a good root .....

Because Christians often tend to focus on the results of regeneration, rather than the hidden spiritual act of God itself, some evangelical statements of faith have contained wording that suggests that regeneration comes after saving faith. So, for example, the statement of faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America (which has been adapted by a number of other evangelical organizations) says,

We believe that the true Church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the Head. (paragraph 8)

Here the word "regeneration" apparently means the outward evidence of regeneration that is seen in a changed life, evidence that certainly does come after saving faith. Thus "being born again" is thought of not in terms of the initial impartation of new life, but in terms of the total life change that results from that impartation. If the term "regeneration" is understood in this way, then it would be true that regeneration comes after saving faith.

Nevertheless, if we are to use language that closely conforms to the actual wording of Scripture, it would be better to restrict the word "regeneration" to the instantaneous, initial work of God in which he imparts spiritual life to us. Then we can emphasize that we do not see regeneration itself but only the results of it in our lives, and that faith in Christ for salvation is the first result that we see. In fact, we can never know that we have been regenerated until we come to faith in Christ, for that is the outward evidence of this hidden, inward work of God. Once we do come to saving faith in Christ, we know that we have been born again.

By way of application, we should realize that the explanation of the gospel message in Scripture does not take the form of a command, "Be born again and you will be saved," but rather, "Believe in Jesus Christ and you will be saved." This is the consistent pattern in the preaching of the gospel throughout the book of Acts, and also in the descriptions of the gospel given in the Epistles.<br>

Reformed and Always Reforming,