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Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: Pilgrim] #11310
Sat Mar 20, 2004 3:37 PM
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Hi to you also!
I didn't realise that this one has been hammered out before. I understand your arguments for your side, and they sound convincing. But, are they what the Bible actually says? If the bible says we receive new life through believing, than who am i to question it? Maybe if that is what it says, we need to re-examine arguments that sound good, but don't agree?

ZS

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav #11311
Sat Mar 20, 2004 4:18 PM
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The scripture says that believing in the Son of God gives life (regeneration):

"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 regenerated, so that we might believe in Christ unto eternal life. It seems to me that this verse is talking about eternal life, not regeneration.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav #11312
Sat Mar 20, 2004 4:32 PM
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ZionSeeker said:
Hi to you also!
I didn't realise that this one has been hammered out before. I understand your arguments for your side, and they sound convincing. But, are they what the Bible actually says? If the bible says we receive new life through believing, than who am i to question it? Maybe if that is what it says, we need to re-examine arguments that sound good, but don't agree?

ZS

ZionSeeker,

I will agree that IF the Bible taught that regeneration is a result of one believing, then we are obligated to embrace that teaching. However, I can't find anywhere in Scripture where that doctrine is to be found?

Take for example these two passages alone, which are clear that faith follows regeneration:

John 1:12-13 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."


I don't know how the Holy Spirit could have put it more clearly that those who believed on Christ HAD BEEN . . . "born of God". And then there is Paul's statement here:

Ephesians 2:1-9 "And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 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; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."


All are "dead" in trespasses and sins. And it was grace which "quickened" those who were dead. If God's grace is dispensed on the basis of one's antecedent faith, then it is no longer of grace but of works. But in this passage, those who were dead were "made alive" by grace unto salvation.

Would you like to take these 2 passages of Scripture and exegete them for us please?

Quote
Acts 13:48 "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."


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Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: CovenantInBlood] #11313
Sat Mar 20, 2004 6:46 PM
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Hi,
I thought the whole idea was that until regeneration, we are "dead ins sins". But you seem to be saying that receiving new life (so that we are no longer dead in sins) is something different to regeneration. You are saying that we can be regenerated, but still dead in our sins?
ZS

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav #11314
Sat Mar 20, 2004 7:27 PM
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Ok, let me make an attempt at an exegesis here:

John 1:12-13 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power [authority] to become the sons [children] of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

This verse teaches that those who receive him or believe on his name have the authority to be the children of God. I don't really think I need to add anymore than to say that.

He did not give that right until they believed on his name.

Paul says the same thing elsewhere:

"For ye are all the sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:26

That is, those who believe have the authority to be the children of God.

Some maintain that not being born of the flesh or the will of man means that we are not born again by ‘making a decision.’ Well yes, true, it is not a ‘decision’ that has any power, but believing from the heart the word of the truth of the gospel.

What is clear here is that the receiving is what precedes becoming a child, and thus being born of God.

But what of ‘who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man’? Being born of God is put in distinction to Jewish natural birth and becoming a Jew through proselytisation. Allow me to quote from John Lightfoot:

"Of the will of man, in that sense wherein they coveted so many proselytes, to admit them into the religion of the Jews, and so into covenant and sonship with God." A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica John Lightfoot.


Second,
Ephesians 2:1-9 "And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 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; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

This quickening is through faith, as seen in Colossians:

"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 2:2.

You write that "All are "dead" in trespasses and sins. And it was grace which "quickened" those who were dead. If God's grace is dispensed on the basis of one's antecedent faith, then it is no longer of grace but of works."

But look, it says God quickened us (made us alive), by grace, and then later it adds, "by grace through faith." it tells us that this grace is received through faith.

Let's look again:

"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;) [...] For by grace are ye saved through faith."

Colossians tells us we are raised up (quickened) through faith. The gospel of John says we receive new life (quickening) through believing.

Your objection was that this cannot be because "If God's grace is dispensed on the basis of one's antecedent faith, then it is no longer of grace but of works." But it says it is - "by grace are ye saved through faith!"

Paul holds faith and works in contrast. We are saved by grace, through faith, and not of works. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." You are making faith a work, and this is contrary to the apostle's mindset here. To Paul, faith and works are completely seperate things. By grace you are saved THROUGH faith. Faith is not a result, it is the instrumentality, of grace.

ZS

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav #11315
Sat Mar 20, 2004 7:32 PM
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Hi,
I thought the whole idea was that until regeneration, we are "dead ins sins". But you seem to be saying that receiving new life (so that we are no longer dead in sins) is something different to regeneration. You are saying that we can be regenerated, but still dead in our sins?
ZS


No, I said that salvation (unto eternal life) is something different from regeneration (the new birth). Salvation follows faith follows regeneration.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav #11316
Sat Mar 20, 2004 7:40 PM
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ZionSeeker,

It's really amazing how Jesus spoke to unbelieving Pharisees about God's electing freedom. He speaks in such a way to prevent them from boasting that they can overrule the ultimate purposes of God. For example, in John 10:25-26 Jesus responded to the skeptics who demanded more and more proof by saying, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name they bear witness to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep." Think about this for a moment. Think about what it means, and think about the fact that Jesus would dare to say it to unbelievers.

Believing is dependent on being a sheep. Belonging to the sheep enables a person to believe, not the other way around. So Jesus says, "The reason you don't believe is that you don't belong to my sheep." What Jesus means by "my sheep" is that the Father has given the sheep to him. That is what makes them his. We see this in John 10:27-29, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."

I hope that helps you see how God works in those He chooses not the other way around. The work of regeneration preceeds faith. For it is God who is at work within us both to will and to do His pleasure.


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: Wes] #11317
Sat Mar 20, 2004 7:58 PM
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I'm not sure how to create these quote boxes.
Kyle, when I asked, "You are saying that we can be regenerated, but still dead in our sins?"

You replied:
"No, I said that salvation (unto eternal life) is something different from regeneration (the new birth). Salvation follows faith follows regeneration."

But in order to uphold this, you must believe that receiving new life, and regeneration, are different, since receiving new life comes by believing. You say that faith brings "salvation unto eternal life." But the gospel says that new life is received by believing. If so, and if regeneration is antecedent to believing, than it seems to me that you are in fact saying that we are regenerated, and than have eternal life as a result of faith which is a result of regeneration. I do not believe that this fits with scripture:


"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

If God made us alive (quickened us) by grace, and if prior to that we were dead in tresspasses and sins, then we did not stop being dead until we were made alive, and this being made alive was when we received new life, which was through believing in his name. "by grace are ye saved, through faith."

you wrote:

"We are regenerated, so that we might believe in Christ unto eternal life. It seems to me that this verse is talking about eternal life, not regeneration."

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav #11318
Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:25 PM
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But in order to uphold this, you must believe that receiving new life, and regeneration, are different, since receiving new life comes by believing.


No; but I am saying that receiving new life is different from receiving eternal life. We are first regenerated, i.e., born again, so that we might believe and thereby receive eternal life, i.e., salvation. This is a neat logical separation, but anyone who has been regenerated WILL believe and WILL be saved, and it is not going to come about in a long, step-by-step process. Upon regeneration, the sinner immediately believes, is made aware of his sin, repents and is saved.

The Effects of Regeneration, by A.W. Pink.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: CovenantInBlood] #11319
Sat Mar 20, 2004 9:43 PM
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Kyle, thanks for clarifying. I personally cannot accept this distinction as I believe it is an artificial one necessitated by your beliefs. But I appreciate your being willing to clarify your belief. I will just add, the passage especially used by many (Eph 2:1-9) is in the language of being made alive. John 20:31 only speaks of receiving "life" through his name. Nothing of "eternal life" as such. Just life. Compare this with Paul's words concerning being "made alive" (AV quickened). The simple truth is we receive life through believing the gospel, and in no other way or sense.

Besides this, we are said to have "new life" when we are baptised into the Lord's death and raised with him to walk "in newness of life" Romans 6:4. As we have seen from Colossians 2:12, this raising (for it is speaking of the same one) is by "through faith in the working of God" (NKJV).

There is no newness of life until we are first baptised into his death Romans 6:3,4.

ZS

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav #11320
Sat Mar 20, 2004 9:54 PM
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There is no newness of life until we are first baptised into his death Romans 6:3,4.


Do you suggest we must be water baptized to be saved?


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: CovenantInBlood] #11321
Sat Mar 20, 2004 10:19 PM
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That is a whole different discussion. No, I am not suggesting that, though I do believe that baptism is very important. No, I was referring to Romans 6:3,4, as it pertains to this question of newness of life. Here, I believe, it is speaking of the spiritual baptism, which is to die with Christ and be raised up with him through faith - conversion. But my point is that the newness of life follows our crucifiction with Christ. It is not antecedent to it. And, it is through faith.
ZS

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav #11322
Sun Mar 21, 2004 7:10 AM
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Some maintain that not being born of the flesh or the will of man means that we are not born again by ‘making a decision.’ Well yes, true, it is not a ‘decision’ that has any power, but believing from the heart the word of the truth of the gospel.

What is clear here is that the receiving is what precedes becoming a child, and thus being born of God.

But what of ‘who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man’? Being born of God is put in distinction to Jewish natural birth and becoming a Jew through proselytisation. Allow me to quote from John Lightfoot:

"Of the will of man, in that sense wherein they coveted so many proselytes, to admit them into the religion of the Jews, and so into covenant and sonship with God." A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica John Lightfoot.

Well, thanks for the effort to exegete the text (Jh 1:12, 13). But let's not throw out Greek/English grammar nor common sense when doing exegesis. Let's take a closer look at this passage with these things included. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

"who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." In both English and Greek grammar, "who" (English)/"hos" (Greek) is a relative pronoun; it refers back to something that preceded it and qualifies that item. In this passage, the "who" refers back to "But as many as received him" and "even to them that believe on his name". Thus, grammatically, the sentence must read, "Those who were born of God received Him or believed on His name to whom was given the right/power to become children of God. Again, it is clear that the "born of God" was antecedent and the proximate cause of the receiving/believing. This is the "new birth" which the Lord Christ spoke to Nicodemus about (Jh 3:3, 5) and without which a person cannot even see the kingdom of God. It is also that "birth" which is produced by the sovereign and secret work of the Holy Spirit (Jh 3:7, 8) which man has no part nor does a man experience.

If it would help, I can illustrate this fact into another situation for you? "All who came to the gate and sought entrance into the stadium were allowed through, who had not begged, tried to bribe the security guard or threatened force, but had been issued free passes." Those who were allowed through had previously received free passes before their requesting entry.

However, logic alone should be sufficient to correctly understand the truth that this text teaches, i.e., one is regenerated antecedently to faith. If one makes faith antecedent to regeneration, then the text would have to read, "All who received Him did not become born by inheritance, one's own choosing or by a pronouncement of another, but of God." This is nothing more than "non-sense". <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Lightfoot's comments are irrelevant to the issue at hand.

Moving on to Eph 2:1-10:

Quote
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? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" /> What should be noted first is that the subject and predicate of this long sentence actually doesn't appear until verse 5. Evidently for the sake of the reader, the translators in near every version include them in the first verse, but most always with a notation and/or in italic. The plain reading of the text, verse 5, says: "even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive". Paul didn't write, "when we were critically ill, we took the medicine which God gave us and therefore we got well." He wrote, while we were dead, God recreated us. He didn't write, "when we were drowning and going down for the 3rd time, we grabbed the life-ring God tossed us, and thus we saved ourselves with God's help". And this is why, no doubt, Paul kept the subject and predicate of the sentence until last. For in the first four verses he compounds the deplorable and helpless condition of the human soul and the hopelessness which it is found by nature. It is the Triune God who looked upon helpless sinners and saved them on a three-fold basis; love, mercy and grace. I won't pontificate on this incredible statement here, however. But what is to be seen is that Paul reflects back on the believer's condition, including Paul himself here, (cf. "we" hemas), which was totally alien to God and all that was good; especially the Lord Christ. It was while they were hating God, being spiritually dead (cf. Eph 4:17-19; Rom 3:10-18; et al) that God "made us alive together with" Christ,(Gk: suzoopoieo).

The word in the Greek for "made alive" is suzoopoieo; i.e., to bring to life conjointly with. The reference is unmistakable. 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.

"by grace have ye been saved" needs little comment, IMHO. It is by God's grace that the sinner is delivered from the power, presence and penalty of sin, i.e., judgment, condemnation which Paul already mentioned in v. 3. And, additionally, grace bestows immeasurable blessings, both presently and for the eternal age to come. This salvation is by grace; the proximate cause and through faith; the instrumental cause. The "making alive" was antecedent to the salvation. Regeneration has no power to save; it is through/by faith that salvation is secured. One is justified by faith not regenerated by faith. Regeneration is that new spiritual life out of which faith comes. Dead men don't believe. Lazarus didn't first ask Christ to make him alive before He said, "Lazarus! come forth!". He was dead 4 days before the Lord arrived and surely his body had already begun decomposing. It is the life-giving call of God that brings dead sinners to life and who then, having the ability to do so, repent and believe.

Thus the ordo solutis is: predestination, election, calling, regeneration, faith, justification, sanctification and final glorification. [color:"purple"]Sola Gratia[/color]

In His Grace,


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Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: Pilgrim] #11323
Sun Mar 21, 2004 10:34 AM
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"who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." In both English and Greek grammar, "who" (English)/"hos" (Greek) is a relative pronoun; it refers back to something that preceded it and qualifies that item.

Yes, but it refers back to those who had received authority to become children of God. They became children of God, and now, John is telling us, they were born not of man but of God. According to your way of looking at this, they were born, than they received, than they became children. This is absurd. Well more later

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav #11324
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ZionSeeker lamented:
Yes, but it refers back to those who had received authority to become children of God. They became children of God, and now, John is telling us, they were born not of man but of God.

What is absurd? Is following proper English and Greek grammar absurd? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" /> The relative clause indeed refers back to "those who received him . . .those who believed on his name . . . who were given the right/authority to become children of God" and being a relative clause it modifies those phrases so that grammatically, the text must read, "Those who were born of God, received him, believed upon his name and were thus given the right to be come children of God." [Linked Image]

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According to your way of looking at this, they were born, than they received, than they became children. This is absurd. Well more later

Yes, exactly.. an individual is first born. It is impossible for a person to receive/believe and then to become a child until it is first born. Is this absurd? 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? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" /> Jesus told him that it was necessary that he be born from above (again) before he could even see the kingdom of God. The Lord even explained that this new birth was something totally alien to man. It is the silent, secret and sovereign work of the Holy Spirit Who does this as He will. Thus man does not initiate the process by first repenting and/or exercising faith.

As I said in my very first reply to you, this matter of the order of regeneration and faith is immutably joined with and dependent upon the doctrine of the Fall and its consequences. If one holds that man did not "die" as God had threatened and promised Adam upon his disobedience, but only became terminally ill, sick or something other than experiencing "death", the I suppose you could postulate most anything. And all such postulating involves a "works" salvation, where man initiates the first move and God responds. Thus is what you are proposing, that man brings his own faith to the table, and God responds by making him alive. Rome is smiling upon you if this is what you are proposing, and it surely seems like you are.

Thus, we need to digress it seems and discuss the noetic effects of the Fall. If this is agreeable to you, then would you please start a new thread as this one is getting rather long. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> If you aren't sure how to do that, post the question in the HELP Forum below or just send me or one of the other Administrators/Moderators a PM.

As an aside, I believe you were wondering how to do the "quote" thing too, right? That's more than simple. When you click on either "Post", "Reply" or "Edit" and the new window opens, just below the textbox where you type in your message, there are two tables: "Graemlins" and "Advanced UBBT Code". In the latter, just click on the little arrow to the right of "Quote/Code" and click on "Quote". A small textbox will popup where you can either type or paste whatever you want to quote. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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