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skypair
Apr 20th 2007, 03:13 PM
...was subverted at seminary!!

I don't know how many of you "stray off your own plantations" to examine the thoughts of others :laugh: but I've been reading his book The Mystery of the Holy Spirit and I am 1) awed by his salvation testimony and 2) double awed by how he got into Reform Theology. He was saved out of Catholicism and maybe that explains something -- his desire for structure both doctrinally and ecclesiastically. He is very honest in this book and it appears that he just "took the theological ball and ran" without a very good look at the options. Let me quote some of his own words ~

Sproul: "One of the most dramatic moments in my life for the shaping of my theology took place in the seminary classroom. One of my professors went to the blackboard and wrote these words in bold letters.

REGENERATION PRECEDES FAITH

"These words were a shock to my system. I had entered seminary thinking that the key work of man to effect rebirth was faith. I thought we had to first believe in Christ in order to be born again."

We DO! That is how even R.C. himself was saved!! Do we have to be "born again again" if we did believe that??? Did Sproul not just invalidate millions of peoples' salvations and add in another million that passively, "monergistically" did nothing but go to church Sundays??

Sproul: "Perhaps I was confused by traditional teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. ... [Tradition says that] No man has the power to raise himself from spiritual death. Divine assistance is needed and needed absolutely. This grace according to Rome comes in the form of what we call "prevenient grace." ...

"... To be sure, after a person is regenerated, that person cooperates by exercising faith and trust. But the first step, the step of regeneration by which a person is quickened to spiritual life, is the work of God and God alone." ...

"... The reason we do not cooperate in regenerating grace before it acts upon us and in us is because we cannot. We cannot because we are spiritually dead."

Now here I take exception and for the reason that Sproul has not thought this through! Our spirits are our mind, emotions, and will. What Sproul is saying is the we can't cooperate with the Spirit because we are BRAIN DEAD! Of course our souls are dead once transgression has occurred. But the spirit still has it's living capacities! We are not, as he later surmises, "corpses choos[ing] resurrection" like Lazarus!! In fact, it is living spirits with which the Holy Spirit MUST work in order to "draw" us to Christ!!

And here are the key "proofs" for his newfound belief: 1) Sproul: "The key phrase in Pauls letter to the Ephesians is this:
"...even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) " (Ephesians 2:5)"

Folks, this is NOT Paul's exposition of the steps of salvation. If one wants that, one looks at 1Cor 15:1-4. This passage is a cursory glimpse of salvation as it pertains to our former vs. our reborn lives.

2) John 3:3, 5 -- "Except a man be born again, he cannot see [nor enter] the kingdom of God. That's it?? Again, one sees and enters the KoG when one is saved. It is NOT necessary (cf: 1Cor 2:1-5, Rom 10:9-11, etal.) for salvation.
I think Sproul is an honest believer caught up in academia and a structure that he can study and get very good at explaining. But it is still, regretably, the "doctrines of men."

skypair

tHbaGLORY
Apr 20th 2007, 03:44 PM
...was subverted at seminary!!

I don't know how many of you "stray off your own plantations" to examine the thoughts of others :laugh: but I've been reading his book The Mystery of the Holy Spirit and I am 1) awed by his salvation testimony and 2) double awed by how he got into Reform Theology. He was saved out of Catholicism and maybe that explains something -- his desire for structure both doctrinally and ecclesiastically. He is very honest in this book and it appears that he just "took the theological ball and ran" without a very good look at the options. Let me quote some of his own words ~

Sproul: "One of the most dramatic moments in my life for the shaping of my theology took place in the seminary classroom. One of my professors went to the blackboard and wrote these words in bold letters.

REGENERATION PRECEDES FAITH

"These words were a shock to my system. I had entered seminary thinking that the key work of man to effect rebirth was faith. I thought we had to first believe in Christ in order to be born again."

We DO! That is how even R.C. himself was saved!! Do we have to be "born again again" if we did believe that??? Did Sproul not just invalidate millions of peoples' salvations and add in another million that passively, "monergistically" did nothing but go to church Sundays??

Sproul: "Perhaps I was confused by traditional teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. ... [Tradition says that] No man has the power to raise himself from spiritual death. Divine assistance is needed and needed absolutely. This grace according to Rome comes in the form of what we call "prevenient grace." ...

"... To be sure, after a person is regenerated, that person cooperates by exercising faith and trust. But the first step, the step of regeneration by which a person is quickened to spiritual life, is the work of God and God alone." ...

"... The reason we do not cooperate in regenerating grace before it acts upon us and in us is because we cannot. We cannot because we are spiritually dead."

Now here I take exception and for the reason that Sproul has not thought this through! Our spirits are our mind, emotions, and will. What Sproul is saying is the we can't cooperate with the Spirit because we are BRAIN DEAD! Of course our souls are dead once transgression has occurred. But the spirit still has it's living capacities! We are not, as he later surmises, "corpses choos[ing] resurrection" like Lazarus!! In fact, it is living spirits with which the Holy Spirit MUST work in order to "draw" us to Christ!!

And here are the key "proofs" for his newfound belief: 1) Sproul: "The key phrase in Pauls letter to the Ephesians is this:
"...even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) " (Ephesians 2:5)"

Folks, this is NOT Paul's exposition of the steps of salvation. If one wants that, one looks at 1Cor 15:1-4. This passage is a cursory glimpse of salvation as it pertains to our former vs. our reborn lives.

2) John 3:3, 5 -- "Except a man be born again, he cannot see [nor enter] the kingdom of God. That's it?? Again, one sees and enters the KoG when one is saved. It is NOT necessary (cf: 1Cor 2:1-5, Rom 10:9-11, etal.) for salvation.
I think Sproul is an honest believer caught up in academia and a structure that he can study and get very good at explaining. But it is still, regretably, the "doctrines of men."

skypair
1Cr 2:14 (http://cf.blb.org/search/getBible.cfm?b=1Cr&c=2&v=14&version=KJV#14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

Jhn 6:63 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=Jhn&chapter=6&verse=63&version=kjv#63)
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.

Jhn 6:65 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=Jhn&chapter=6&verse=65&version=kjv#65)
And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

macarnett
Apr 21st 2007, 01:10 PM
Sproul apparently left Catholicism over its basic claim that we must accept Christ to be saved.

In what denomination did he find relief from this belief?

judi<>><
Apr 21st 2007, 02:55 PM
REGENERATION PRECEDES FAITH

"I had entered seminary thinking that the key work of man to effect rebirth was faith. I thought we had to first believe in Christ in order to be born again."These seem to be the key to Sproul's conversion from Catholicism. The question is not whether or not we need to believe in Christ, but whether the faith necessary for that belief is an act of man--"the key work of man to effect rebirth was faith" or of God--Regeneration precedes faith.

In both cases, Faith in Christ is still a necessary part of being saved. You will not find a Christian denomination that believes otherwise!

macarnett
Apr 21st 2007, 08:28 PM
That's good to know. When Jesus says in Scripture "your faith has saved you", I believe He is right.

Where does He say "regeneration has saved you?"

pastor_chris
Apr 23rd 2007, 11:56 AM
I think Sproul describes the richness of the conversion experience. It's step A, step B, step C and so on. But all those steps happen so close together that it's spoken of as a conversion event.

Step A: regeneration: God made us alive (eph 2).
Step B: faith -- we place our faith in Christ.
Step C: God's righteousnes imputed to us.
Step D: we are adopted into God's family, grafted into the vine, so to speak.

I don't think he speaks that regeneration is what "saves you." It's part of the whole experience of conversion. To have faith, he would argue that you have to be regenerate, otherwise you'd be unable to respond to God's grace.

Realize that Sproul is in a Reformed branch of Christianity -- in the group with Christian Reformed Churches, Presbyterian, and others in that stream. I find his theology a clear, and consitent and reasonable exposition of Scripture.

Pastor_Chris

skypair
Apr 23rd 2007, 09:53 PM
Sproul apparently left Catholicism over its basic claim that we must accept Christ to be saved.

In what denomination did he find relief from this belief?
Well, no. RCC doesn't insist that we "accept Christ to be saved." They say it's works. Whatever he got ahold of wasn't Catholicism.

But -- good question. In the book, he goes on to say that he was SO convicted of his own salvation that he decided that if his fiancee didn't receive Christ, he would call off their marriage (the "unequally yoked" thing)! Thankfully, at a prayer meeting some time later, she too received Christ. And his whole point of telling that story was that she said "Now I know who the Holy Spirit is." (book title again, The Mystery of the Holy Spirit.

skypair
Apr 23rd 2007, 09:59 PM
I think Sproul describes the richness of the conversion experience. It's step A, step B, step C and so on. But all those steps happen so close together that it's spoken of as a conversion event.

Step A: regeneration: God made us alive (eph 2).
Step B: faith -- we place our faith in Christ.
Step C: God's righteousnes imputed to us.
Step D: we are adopted into God's family, grafted into the vine, so to speak.

I don't think he speaks that regeneration is what "saves you." It's part of the whole experience of conversion. To have faith, he would argue that you have to be regenerate, otherwise you'd be unable to respond to God's grace.

Realize that Sproul is in a Reformed branch of Christianity -- in the group with Christian Reformed Churches, Presbyterian, and others in that stream. I find his theology a clear, and consitent and reasonable exposition of Scripture.

Pastor_Chris

Pastor Chris -- the whole point is that Sproul was converted BEFORE he knew any Calvinism/Reform Theology!

No. "Regeneration precedes faith" was a "SHOCK TO MY SYSTEM!" And it is NOT clear by which belief he feels he was saved.

But let me ask you --- Why would anyone need to be "saved" AFTER he/she has already experienced the "new birth?"

skypair

aurora77
Apr 23rd 2007, 10:04 PM
Well, no. RCC doesn't insist that we "accept Christ to be saved." They say it's works. Whatever he got ahold of wasn't Catholicism.

Actually, that isn't true.

I don't know much about R.C. Sproul, but from what I've heard of him, I find him to be one of the most educated, intelligent protestant apologists/theologians today.

skypair
Apr 23rd 2007, 10:07 PM
In both cases, Faith in Christ is still a necessary part of being saved. You will not find a Christian denomination that believes otherwise! Oh, contrare' Pierre!

If you believe that regeneration/"born again" comes before faith, then you believe in salvation before faith -- even in the absence of faith (as in infant baptism or salvation of "elect" infants). Of course, this negates the doctrine of "perseverance of the saints" because the supposedly "elect" infants often grow up to disprove their salvation, no?

judi, it just doesn't work that way.

skypair

skypair
Apr 23rd 2007, 10:13 PM
Actually, that isn't true.

I don't know much about R.C. Sproul, but from what I've heard of him, I find him to be one of the most educated, intelligent protestant apologists/theologians today.
AND saved! Brother in Christ!! But distracted by Calvinism!



skypair

threebigrocks
Apr 24th 2007, 12:19 AM
Let's make certain that we do indeed stay on topic and not bring in doctrine not allowed on the open board.

Quickened
Apr 24th 2007, 10:04 PM
Actually, that isn't true.

I don't know much about R.C. Sproul, but from what I've heard of him, I find him to be one of the most educated, intelligent protestant apologists/theologians today.

I find myself agreeing with that post :D

DSK
Apr 24th 2007, 10:33 PM
...was subverted at seminary!!

I don't know how many of you "stray off your own plantations" to examine the thoughts of others :laugh: but I've been reading his book The Mystery of the Holy Spirit and I am 1) awed by his salvation testimony and 2) double awed by how he got into Reform Theology. He was saved out of Catholicism and maybe that explains something -- his desire for structure both doctrinally and ecclesiastically. He is very honest in this book and it appears that he just "took the theological ball and ran" without a very good look at the options. Let me quote some of his own words ~

Sproul: "One of the most dramatic moments in my life for the shaping of my theology took place in the seminary classroom. One of my professors went to the blackboard and wrote these words in bold letters.

REGENERATION PRECEDES FAITH

"These words were a shock to my system. I had entered seminary thinking that the key work of man to effect rebirth was faith. I thought we had to first believe in Christ in order to be born again."

We DO! That is how even R.C. himself was saved!! Do we have to be "born again again" if we did believe that??? Did Sproul not just invalidate millions of peoples' salvations and add in another million that passively, "monergistically" did nothing but go to church Sundays??

Sproul: "Perhaps I was confused by traditional teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. ... [Tradition says that] No man has the power to raise himself from spiritual death. Divine assistance is needed and needed absolutely. This grace according to Rome comes in the form of what we call "prevenient grace." ...

"... To be sure, after a person is regenerated, that person cooperates by exercising faith and trust. But the first step, the step of regeneration by which a person is quickened to spiritual life, is the work of God and God alone." ...

"... The reason we do not cooperate in regenerating grace before it acts upon us and in us is because we cannot. We cannot because we are spiritually dead."

Now here I take exception and for the reason that Sproul has not thought this through! Our spirits are our mind, emotions, and will. What Sproul is saying is the we can't cooperate with the Spirit because we are BRAIN DEAD! Of course our souls are dead once transgression has occurred. But the spirit still has it's living capacities! We are not, as he later surmises, "corpses choos[ing] resurrection" like Lazarus!! In fact, it is living spirits with which the Holy Spirit MUST work in order to "draw" us to Christ!!

And here are the key "proofs" for his newfound belief: 1) Sproul: "The key phrase in Pauls letter to the Ephesians is this:
"...even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) " (Ephesians 2:5)"

Folks, this is NOT Paul's exposition of the steps of salvation. If one wants that, one looks at 1Cor 15:1-4. This passage is a cursory glimpse of salvation as it pertains to our former vs. our reborn lives.

2) John 3:3, 5 -- "Except a man be born again, he cannot see [nor enter] the kingdom of God. That's it?? Again, one sees and enters the KoG when one is saved. It is NOT necessary (cf: 1Cor 2:1-5, Rom 10:9-11, etal.) for salvation.
I think Sproul is an honest believer caught up in academia and a structure that he can study and get very good at explaining. But it is still, regretably, the "doctrines of men."

skypair

I don't agree with everything Sproul says, and I am not even of the Reformed faith, but when Sproul speaks of regeneration, I believe he does so accurately as well as Biblically.

No man can come to Christ Jesus on his own initative, unless or until God first does something to that man. That something God does to enable man to come is regeneration. Some people call it prevenient grace. In my opinion, prevenient grace = regeneration.

John 6:44 No one is able to come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him

DSK
Apr 24th 2007, 10:40 PM
That's good to know. When Jesus says in Scripture "your faith has saved you", I believe He is right.

Where does He say "regeneration has saved you?"

Scripture never says regeneration is salvation. Regeneration merely leads up to salvation.

threebigrocks
Apr 25th 2007, 12:16 AM
This has taken a turn where it will be better suited to Bible Chat, so I'm gonna move this over there for continued discussion. ;) Good subject and discussion!

skypair
Apr 25th 2007, 12:46 PM
I don't agree with everything Sproul says, and I am not even of the Reformed faith, but when Sproul speaks of regeneration, I believe he does so accurately as well as Biblically.

No man can come to Christ Jesus on his own initative, unless or until God first does something to that man. That something God does to enable man to come is regeneration. Some people call it prevenient grace. In my opinion, prevenient grace = regeneration.

John 6:44 No one is able to come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him
DSK --- Let's see how regeneration "plays out," shall we? What is it in man that needs to be "reborn," DSK? It is the SOUL. "The SOUL that sinneth, it shall surely die." Ezek 18:4 "In the moment you eat thereof you shall die." Gen 2:27

But the spirit is NOT dead. Man's spirit is God's access to revive man's SOUL -- to "rebirth" it.

Yes, the Spirit communes with man's spirit. He even comes to indwell the spirit of the believer when he/she has received Christ.

But your concern is that man cannot hear the gospel, isn't it? Read 1Cor 2:1-5. Paul taught them the gospel and they, believing were (2:6) made "perfect" so that he could tell them the "hidden wisdom of God." That is to say that the Holy Spirit helps the unregenerate spirit to understand the gospel unto salvation. The human spirit, accepting the truth, makes an act of commitment through repentance and trusting God whereupon God gives the soul faith, rebirth, and eternal life.

The keys are 1) it is the soul alone that is "dead" to God (it is alive to only what self wants). 2) The soul is reborn of God through the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the appropriation of the gospel to one's own personal life.

skypair

DSK
Apr 25th 2007, 05:00 PM
the Holy Spirit helps the unregenerate spirit to understand the gospel

What means does the Holy Spirit use to help the unregenerate to understand the gospel?

In the verse below "natural man" refers to unregenerate man

1 Cor 2:14 Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged.

StevenC
Apr 26th 2007, 05:48 AM
Pastor Chris -- the whole point is that Sproul was converted BEFORE he knew any Calvinism/Reform Theology!

No. "Regeneration precedes faith" was a "SHOCK TO MY SYSTEM!" And it is NOT clear by which belief he feels he was saved.

But let me ask you --- Why would anyone need to be "saved" AFTER he/she has already experienced the "new birth?"

skypair

Which came first, the Chicken or the egg? :D Regeneration or Faith... Why not both at the same time? After all though we become a new creation we do not immediately know how to stop sinning. We seek God and learn this over time. It may be what we call faith or trust in God could very well be imparted by the Spirit.

When I think back on my own experience I remember that after reading of Christ I realized what he was teaching and that I was a sinner in need of salvation. Can this realization come about by a human's natural understanding or is this revelation by God alone?

I find it difficult to accept that a man can be reborn without Faith. It is for me equally difficult to believe that a man could have Faith without atleast a small measure of understanding imparted by the Holy Spirit.

It may be that Faith though is not what leads us to God, but perhaps he has given us a desire to seek him, so that we might approach him and learn to live by His understanding. It is revealed in scripture God has chosen us not the other way around...

-Steven

skypair
Apr 26th 2007, 11:33 AM
What means does the Holy Spirit use to help the unregenerate to understand the gospel?

In the verse below "natural man" refers to unregenerate man

1 Cor 2:14 Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged.
DSK -- the scripture you cite refers to the "things" that Paul calls "hidden wisdom" back in 2:7. Who does have access to this wisdom? [b]Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are PERFECT..." --- BELIEVERS.

Do you see it? The natural man CAN receive the gospel Paul preached when he first came to them. The natural man CANNOT receive the "things" of the "hidden wisdom" (that's why it is called hidden) such as the mysteries and parables -- "But God hath revealed them to us by His Spirit... Now WE [believers] have received the Spirit which is of God that we might know the things that are freely given of God." (2:10, 12)

Therefore, the Spirit has man's sin by which He convicts the world (all men); He has the wages of sin is death; He has God on the cross bearing that sin for us; and He has the open invitation of "whosoever will" of salvation in Christ. Basically, He has the gospel (1Cor 15:1-4, Rom 10:9-10, etal.)

skypair

skypair
Apr 26th 2007, 11:57 AM
Which came first, the Chicken or the egg? :D Regeneration or Faith... Why not both at the same time? After all though we become a new creation we do not immediately know how to stop sinning. We seek God and learn this over time. It may be what we call faith or trust in God could very well be imparted by the Spirit. Absoluely!


When I think back on my own experience I remember that after reading of Christ I realized what he was teaching and that I was a sinner in need of salvation. Can this realization come about by a human's natural understanding or is this revelation by God alone? That is a common experience among believers. The Holy Spirit is actually teaching anytime the name of Jesus is heard (IMO). We even hear the convicting Spirit when we use Christ's name blasphemously, right? Believe me, in God's desire to draw EVERYONE to Christ, there are all manner of revelation now and in history which attest that the natural man is sensitive to God's calling.


I find it difficult to accept that a man can be reborn without Faith. It is for me equally difficult to believe that a man could have Faith without atleast a small measure of understanding imparted by the Holy Spirit. Faith and rebirth are simultaneous -- seemless" as we say for things that go without a hitch at FedEx. Your concern about "a small measure of understanding" is warranted. Since our soul is "dead to God" in sin, we rely on our spirit (mind, emotions, and will) to detect God. And it works the same way from God's side. He comes "drawing" us through our spirits. So initially, it is an intellectual exercise that, hopefully, results in that "small measure of understanding" that we call "belief."

If we truly believe, we obediently act upon the "call" by repenting and receiving salvation. Basically, this is where belief on our part becomes faith and regeneration of our soul given from God. It is like entering into covenant with God -- the new covenant. There was something for us to do (believe and reiceive) and there was something for God to do (give faith, regenerate, send the Holy Spirit indwelling into us, promise eternal life, give spiritual gifts, gives us a new family, etc.)!

One verse that might help you with your "faith" understanding is this interpretation of Heb 11:1 by Dr. Ed Young, "Faith is the evidence of things hoped for [believed[/b]..." Do you see that? You believed hoping for salvation. God gave evidence when He sent His Spirit to live in you. The Spirit is like an "engagement ring" - "the earnest of our inheritance" Eph 1:14. See, we don't get the earnest BEFORE we believe and have faith, do we. The "earnest" in any transaction is the proof of the agreement. If it came before the agreement, why then believe?


It is revealed in scripture God has chosen us not the other way around... Yes, Steven -- God has chosen ALL of us. Did you know that everyone's name was written in His "book of life" before the foundation of the earth? At death, if you have not received salvation, your name is "blotted out!"

skypair

DSK
Apr 26th 2007, 01:25 PM
"But God hath revealed them to us by His Spirit... Now WE [believers] have received the Spirit which is of God that we might know the things that are freely given of God." (2:10, 12)


The unregenerate have not received the Spirit in order that they might know the things of God. The verese above you posted says "we believers" and the unregenerate are not believers.

Rom.*3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

1 Cor 2:14 But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

"The natural man may be learned, gentle, eloquent, fascinating, but the spiritual content of Scripture is absolutely hidden from him." - C. I. Scofield Reference Notes on 1 Corinthians 2:14

The gospel is hidden from those who are lost.
2 Cor 4:3 But even if our Gospel has been hidden, it has been hidden among the ones perishing,

RogerW
Apr 27th 2007, 05:32 PM
Scripture says: Ro*10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Why is it that two unregenerate people can hear the same exact gospel message and to one it penetrates the heart and brings life, but to the other it brings condemnation and death? What is this thing called 'faith'? From whence cometh this faith, and is it the instrument of regeneration? Is not faith a work? If it is a work could it be our own work of faith that brings us to salvation?

1Th*1:3 Remembering without ceasing your WORK OF FAITH, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

2Th*1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the WORK OF FAITH with power:

RW

SIG
Apr 27th 2007, 05:57 PM
Rom 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!

DSK
Apr 28th 2007, 12:14 AM
Scripture says: Ro*10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

True, but at the same time there is not a single verse of Scripture that specifically says, that regeneration comes by hearing.


Why is it that two unregenerate people can hear the same exact gospel message and to one it penetrates the heart and brings life, but to the other it brings condemnation and death?

"men are not illuminated before regeneration; but they are first regenerated, in order to introduce light into the mind." - Samuel Hopkins - http://www.the-highway.com/regcon_Hopkins.html

Your question begins with a false assumption. Unregenerate people cannot savingly understand or know the gospel message. Anytime someone hears the gospel, it is only because God has first regenerated him, and given him the ability to understand and know.
It was only after Jesus opened the mind of certain individuals that they were able to comprehend the scriptures.
Luke 24:45 Then opened he their mind, that they might understand the scriptures;
And we see that Lydia first need to have the Lord open her heart before she could give attention to the words Paul spoke.
Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple of the city of Thyatira, one that worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened to give heed unto the things which were spoken by Paul.

Below are a few basic concepts to understand about regeneration:
1. Unregenerate man is merely inabilitated to hear and respond to the gospel call until God gives illumination to the heart.
2. The effects of regeneration are perceived by conversion
3. Regeneration makes conversion possible.
4. Regeneration is purley a Sovereign Divine act of God in which man is passive (man is being acted upon by God)
5. Regeneration occurs in the subconscious level
6.Regeneration is not conversion
7. Faith, is, the evidence of regeneration having taken place, and not a condition in order to bring about regeneration.
8. Faith and repentance are the evidences and not the cause of regeneration.
9. Regeneration restores us back to a state of being able to respond to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit and become converted to Christ by faith.


What is this thing called 'faith'? From whence cometh this faith, and is it the instrument of regeneration?

Faith is the evidence that regeneration which may also be called illumination has already taken place.


Is not faith a work? If it is a work could it be our own work of faith that brings us to salvation?

No faith cannot be classified as a work, because we are not saved by works (Eph 2:8-9) But at the same time no one can be saved until he exercises that faith in a response of belief.

Yodas_Prodigy
Apr 28th 2007, 03:28 AM
Pastor Chris -- the whole point is that Sproul was converted BEFORE he knew any Calvinism/Reform Theology!

No. "Regeneration precedes faith" was a "SHOCK TO MY SYSTEM!" And it is NOT clear by which belief he feels he was saved.

But let me ask you --- Why would anyone need to be "saved" AFTER he/she has already experienced the "new birth?"

skypair

SP,

Their are two perspectives when it comes to reconciliation between a man and God.


Man's perspective is that he came to a knowledge of Christ, then believed, and then conversion is completed.
God's perspective is that he elected, called, made alive, and then gave man faith.
So often, most believers only look at their side of the equation and either don't know or understand God's part. RCP came to this knowledge of the second half and it changed his understanding drastically.

Blessing,

YP

RogerW
Apr 28th 2007, 07:57 PM
True, but at the same time there is not a single verse of Scripture that specifically says, that regeneration comes by hearing.

"men are not illuminated before regeneration; but they are first regenerated, in order to introduce light into the mind." - Samuel Hopkins - http://www.the-highway.com/regcon_Hopkins.html

Your question begins with a false assumption. Unregenerate people cannot savingly understand or know the gospel message. Anytime someone hears the gospel, it is only because God has first regenerated him, and given him the ability to understand and know.
It was only after Jesus opened the mind of certain individuals that they were able to comprehend the scriptures.
Luke 24:45 Then opened he their mind, that they might understand the scriptures;
And we see that Lydia first need to have the Lord open her heart before she could give attention to the words Paul spoke.
Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple of the city of Thyatira, one that worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened to give heed unto the things which were spoken by Paul.

Faith is the evidence that regeneration which may also be called illumination has already taken place.

No faith cannot be classified as a work, because we are not saved by works (Eph 2:8-9) But at the same time no one can be saved until he exercises that faith in a response of belief.

DSK,

Interesting topic. You have a very good understanding of the Sovereign grace of God in redemption. I look forward to how you will respond to this short study of faith.

Ga 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Quote:

Originally Posted by RogerW Scripture says: Ro*10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


“True, but at the same time there is not a single verse of Scripture that specifically says, that regeneration comes by hearing.”

The verse tells us faith, not regeneration comes by hearing the Word of God. Faith is absolutely necessary in order to believe. Believing is absolutely necessary for salvation. Which is why I ask the question, “from where does this faith come?”

I fully agree with you that regeneration is purely a Sovereign act of God in which man is passive, and altogether without ability to assist God in the regeneration of the soul. It is through hearing the words of Scripture that the Lord opens our heart in the same way He opened Lydia’s heart to heed the things which were spoken, and the words which He spoke to His disciples He used to open their minds that they might understand the words of the scriptures.

Ac 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

Lu 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Luke 24:45 Then opened he their mind, that they might understand the scriptures;

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Joh 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

“Faith is the evidence that regeneration which may also be called illumination has already taken place.”

This is true. But it does not answer the question, “from where does this faith come?” Maybe I should re-phrase the question, “from where does SAVING faith come?“ We are in almost perfect agreement about the Sovereign grace of God in salvation. However, I wanted to look more carefully at our understanding of faith because faith is absolutely a necessary (((WORK))) for salvation. You don’t agree that faith is a work even though I showed verses that say it is? The point I wanted to make is that since Scripture shows us faith is a work, then faith cannot originate from us, because we cannot believe without faith, and faith must be imputed to us. I think you would agree that saving faith is not something we can muster up ourselves. The faith that saves us is Christ‘s faith, His WORK, not our own. We’ve been given life through the faith of Christ, and now we live by that faith graciously imputed to us. The faith we live by is actively working and alive demonstrating hearts that have been changed through the faith (work; righteousness, pure life, and the cross) of Christ. It is His faithful obedience to the Father and the cross, His WORK, that saves His elect.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Joh 5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

Joh 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

The work of redemption was given the Son from the Father. It is His redeeming WORK of faith that saves.

Ro 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

Ro 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Ga 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Ga 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Eph 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Col 2:12 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.

Jas 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

Re 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Ga 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Ga 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
Ga 2:18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
Ga 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

RW

Saved7
Apr 28th 2007, 08:29 PM
You know what i think? I think that if we TRUELY beleive that Jesus Christ is LORD, then why do we have to worry about and pick apart all the details of the bible to the point that we create and and destroy doctrines that none of us can fully comprehend.
I'm not defending Sproul's stance, but seriously, why did he or any other go to such lengths to explain something as simple as "faith in Christ". We over complicate things and try to build doctrines that we can't fully understand, when all we really need to understand is "faith in Christ = salvation".
Anything else can really just lead to debate and strife and division, where there should be none.
I suppose I am only commenting on this because I can see where this topic will lead if we aren't careful enough to realize that each of us is saved, regardless of how we think we got there.:hug: ;)

skypair
Apr 28th 2007, 09:26 PM
What means does the Holy Spirit use to help the unregenerate to understand the gospel?

In the verse below "natural man" refers to unregenerate man

1 Cor 2:14 Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged.
DSK -- INTELLECT. The spiritual "battlefield" is the mind, emotions, and will! The spirit is not "dead" as Calvies insist. Not even dead to God.

The scripture you quote speaks specifically of "advanced" wisdom of God which ONLY believers can understand, 1Cor 2:6. The gospel that Paul preached "in weakness... fear and ...trembling" is NOT "hidden!"

skypair

skypair
Apr 28th 2007, 09:35 PM
You know what i think? I think that if we TRUELY beleive that Jesus Christ is LORD, then why do we have to worry about and pick apart all the details of the bible to the point that we create and and destroy doctrines that none of us can fully comprehend.
I'm not defending Sproul's stance, but seriously, why did he or any other go to such lengths to explain something as simple as "faith in Christ". We over complicate things and try to build doctrines that we can't fully understand, when all we really need to understand is "faith in Christ = salvation".
Anything else can really just lead to debate and strife and division, where there should be none.
I suppose I am only commenting on this because I can see where this topic will lead if we aren't careful enough to realize that each of us is saved, regardless of how we think we got there.:hug: ;)

Saved7 -- good point. EXCEPT God wants us to worship Him in spirit and in truth. If one is truth, the other is untruth.

I think I will do a thread on "isms" because I truly believe that "isms" are human perspectives of God and are wrong in some points else they wouldn't have been "isms" to begin with!

Example: Yes, Calvinists glorify God but not in truth in that they worship a God who loves only them -- the "elect." Is that right or wrong, saved??

skypair

Fallenbrooke
Apr 28th 2007, 10:10 PM
No man can come to Christ Jesus on his own initative, unless or until God first does something to that man.

Wow. After pouring through this thread this line sums it all up. Amazing how that works. Now I can go do my gardening.

Saved7
Apr 29th 2007, 01:35 AM
Saved7 -- good point. EXCEPT God wants us to worship Him in spirit and in truth. If one is truth, the other is untruth.

I think I will do a thread on "isms" because I truly believe that "isms" are human perspectives of God and are wrong in some points else they wouldn't have been "isms" to begin with!

Example: Yes, Calvinists glorify God but not in truth in that they worship a God who loves only them -- the "elect." Is that right or wrong, saved??

skypair

And this is my point exactly, why do we try so hard to prove how wrong the other guy is, when all we have to do is point it out and leave it alone. And let Jesus be the teacher of our hearts, we can do only so much.
Do you suppose that Calvanists don't try to win souls to Christ? I know of many who do, because they don't know who is the "elect" that you speak of. And they do believe that God loves 'everyone', maybe your just too concerned with the walk of others, when you should be concerned with your own.

DSK
Apr 29th 2007, 02:22 AM
where does this faith come?”

Rom 12:3 God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith.


I wanted to look more carefully at our understanding of faith because faith is absolutely a necessary (((WORK))) for salvation.

Faith is a verb, and therefore we are not passive when it comes to exercising our God given faith. Faith is actually synergistic in nature. But faith unto salvation differs from a work of faith after having been saved. We don't work to become saved, we do works of faith because we have been saved.



The faith that saves us is Christ‘s faith, His WORK, not our own.

It's actually our exercise of faith which God has apportioned to us (Rom 12:3) which saves us. God can't believe for us. It's not His faith that saves us. Each of us much personally respond in faith in order to be saved. To believe is our responsibility.

Many of the verses you posted towards the end of your reply come from the KJV, and those verses you posted which use the phrase "the faith of Jesus" have been reworded more accurately in newer translations like the NKJV and NASB. The newer translations have corrected the wording to read "faith in Christ" rather than "faith of Christ."

DSK
Apr 29th 2007, 02:48 AM
The spirit is not "dead" as Calvies insist.

I'm not a "Calvie" but Scripture says we were (past tense dead) and then God made us alive. So what part of us does Scripture refer to when it says; we were dead, but God made us alive?

Eph 2:1 And you did he make alive, when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins,
Eph 2:4 but God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life


The scripture you quote speaks specifically of "advanced" wisdom of God which ONLY believers can understand, 1Cor 2:6. The gospel that Paul preached "in weakness... fear and ...trembling" is NOT "hidden!"

skypair

You ignored the Scripture I gave you which says: The gospel is hidden from those who are lost.
2 Cor 4:3 But even if our Gospel has been hidden, it has been hidden among the ones perishing,

The word "advanced" isn't found in that verse, you have to insert it without warrant or authority

reformedman
Apr 29th 2007, 04:30 AM
Just to ease everyone's mind. Whether regeneration precedes faith or the other way around you have not understood what RC. Sproul actually meant. I come from the same circles as he so I can speak very clearly for him.

1. Where does regeneration come from? from you or from God?

2. Where does faith come from? from you or from God?

Look for one verse in the bible that says that you originate faith.
you can't.
you can only excercise faith.
Most people don't know this---faith is originated by God, it is a free gift by God to his elect. It is totally from God, lest any man should boast.

There are about 9 verses in N.T. that speak of faith being originated exclusively by God alone.
There are 2 verses that speaks of repentance being originated by God exclusively alone.
There is no question by anyone that regeneration is originated by God alone.
There are still some out there that are offering for people to get themselves born-agained, they are born-againizers, but the bible shows that you cannot be saved unless you are born-again, who creates a new creature? the new man? who makes you alive and a new believer in Him? God alone.

So the reformed faith is thus:
the work of salvation is by God alone.
although fundamentalist groups will claim that line, they don't actually practice nor believe it when they say that they had to have faith first because without their faith, God's hands were tied and couldn't save them.

God couldn't do a single thing to help unless man would initiate the salvation work. None of this icky poo is Biblical.

Soli deo Gloria

Fallenbrooke
Apr 29th 2007, 05:58 AM
Just to ease everyone's mind. Whether regeneration precedes faith or the other way around you have not understood what RC. Sproul actually meant. I come from the same circles as he so I can speak very clearly for him.

1. Where does regeneration come from? from you or from God?

2. Where does faith come from? from you or from God?

Look for one verse in the bible that says that you originate faith.
you can't.
you can only excercise faith.
Most people don't know this---faith is originated by God, it is a free gift by God to his elect. It is totally from God, lest any man should boast.

There are about 9 verses in N.T. that speak of faith being originated exclusively by God alone.
There are 2 verses that speaks of repentance being originated by God exclusively alone.
There is no question by anyone that regeneration is originated by God alone.
There are still some out there that are offering for people to get themselves born-agained, they are born-againizers, but the bible shows that you cannot be saved unless you are born-again, who creates a new creature? the new man? who makes you alive and a new believer in Him? God alone.

So the reformed faith is thus:
the work of salvation is by God alone.
although fundamentalist groups will claim that line, they don't actually practice nor believe it when they say that they had to have faith first because without their faith, God's hands were tied and couldn't save them.

God couldn't do a single thing to help unless man would initiate the salvation work. None of this icky poo is Biblical.

Soli deo Gloria

It seems I can't PM you yet since you're new. I'd like to hear a bit more about reformed theology. I did a bit of research as I am discovering some of these posts more frequently on the board. What I can gather so far is that it is a form of what some call Calvinism (had I been an alien who had fallen to Earth recently I should think Calvinism might be a swear word).

Anyway once you get your Micky Mouse ears...let me know so I can PM you. Thanks.

John

skypair
Apr 29th 2007, 11:06 AM
I'm not a "Calvie" but Scripture says we were (past tense dead) and then God made us alive. So what part of us does Scripture refer to when it says; we were dead, but God made us alive?

Eph 2:1 And you did he make alive, when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins,
Eph 2:4 but God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life
DSK -- Yes, we are "dead" in our soul -- our conscience and headed for hell. We have turned our own consciences away from God and have no relationship with Him anymore. We are on the throne of our own lives taking no concern for what God commands.

Still, oft times we "do by nature those things contained in the law," Rom 3. That is because to our spirits (mind, emotions, and will) those things seem beneficial, even "good." We are not "out of touch" and "dead" so far as our spirit is concerned, DSK.


You ignored the Scripture I gave you which says: The gospel is hidden from those who are lost.
2 Cor 4:3 But even if our Gospel has been hidden, it has been hidden among the ones perishing,... You left out all the "good parts," DSK. Like the fact that they have been "blinded by the god of this world" because of their unbelief/rejection already of the gospel, 4:4! You left out the good part that says Paul preached truth commending himself to every man's CONSCIENCE wherein (in the soul/conscience) salvation is achieved, 4:2!


The word "advanced" isn't found in that verse, you have to insert it without warrant or authority I thought it would be helpful to show it as Christianity 201, not Christianity 101 wherein one is initiated. Read the text and see. I've not had anyone reject this insight about being able to see the gospel but not the hidden wisdom once they read and digested the entire chapter.

skypair

skypair
Apr 29th 2007, 11:28 AM
Just to ease everyone's mind. Whether regeneration precedes faith or the other way around you have not understood what RC. Sproul actually meant. I come from the same circles as he so I can speak very clearly for him.

1. Where does regeneration come from? from you or from God?

2. Where does faith come from? from you or from God?

Look for one verse in the bible that says that you originate faith.
you can't.
you can only excercise faith.
Most people don't know this---faith is originated by God, it is a free gift by God to his elect. It is totally from God, lest any man should boast. Absolutely right! It is BELIEF that "originates in man" unto his own salvation. Calvinism fails to distinguish between faith and belief and has thus failed to advance the truth. That's the flaw-y in their healing ointment! :laugh:


There are about 9 verses in N.T. that speak of faith being originated exclusively by God alone.
There are 2 verses that speaks of repentance being originated by God exclusively alone.
There is no question by anyone that regeneration is originated by God alone. Great ain't it! Faith is a spiritual gift that saves and to the saved, 1Cor 12:8! Born again just like it and at the same time so that regeneration is the "evidence" of belief --- just like it says in Heb 11:1! And so is faith!


There are still some out there that are offering for people to get themselves born-agained, they are born-againizers, but the bible shows that you cannot be saved unless you are born-again,... No --- in fact, scripture says we cannot "see" or "enter" the kingdom unless we are born again. But we "see" and "enter" the kingdom only AFTER we are already saved/justified. God actually translates us into the kingdom of His dear Son" when WE believe, repent, and receive, Col 1:13.

The Reform option looks like this -- man "hears" the gospel, believes it intellectually thereby knowing that he is "elect"/"saved. He goes on and lives like a Christian even repenting of sin from time to time. But you know what is missing? He never made God his Father -- never turned from self to God (conscience still operates on what "I" wants) -- never accepted Christ's marriage "proposal" -- never received the Holy Ghost but doesn't miss Him, just can't seem to understand the mysteries and parables, the "hidden wisdom of God" -- disparages the testimony of others who actually believe they "did" something to effectuate their own salvation -- has absolutely no idea what God has prophecied for the end times -- can't see his church (Sardis) and its faults in Rev 3.

You can see this all the time in the liberal church. They're only going cause they to help establish that they are "elect." Their next best evidence is reciting the "Apostle's Creed" every Sunday. Certainly believing all that it says they are among the saved, right?


who creates a new creature? the new man? who makes you alive and a new believer in Him? God alone. 1Cor 15:34-38 says exactly what I am telling you right now!
34 "Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
36 Thou fool, that which THOU sowest is not quickened, except it die:
37 And that which THOU sowest, THOU sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. "

Do you see what I am saying??? YOU must sow the body that is quickened, born again. Not God! YOU die to self and turn to God. YOU receive the gifts of faith, eternal life, the Holy Spirit, etc. God then GIVES you a body (believe it or not, you get a glorified body at the rebirth! --- "terrestrial glory" Paul calls it). [b]Does this knowledge not put Calvinism's sotierology to shame much as Paul did the Corinthians??

skypair

RogerW
Apr 29th 2007, 05:51 PM
Rom 12:3 God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith.

Faith is a verb, and therefore we are not passive when it comes to exercising our God given faith. Faith is actually synergistic in nature. But faith unto salvation differs from a work of faith after having been saved. We don't work to become saved, we do works of faith because we have been saved.

I agree faith is given by God, and our faith is active. Our active faith, as you have said, is in fact evidence that we have been saved. In that we fully agree.



It's actually our exercise of faith which God has apportioned to us (Rom 12:3) which saves us. God can't believe for us. It's not His faith that saves us. Each of us much personally respond in faith in order to be saved. To believe is our responsibility.


I read this as putting faith before regeneration. How can we exercise faith, which we do not have prior to salvation? When does God deal to every man the measure of faith, and what is the purpose? According to the context of the passage Paul is addressing brethren, by the mercies of God telling them not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. These believers are dealt a measure of faith for the purpose of edifying the whole body. This measure of faith has been given for the administration of gifts which differ according to the gracious gifts that are given each of us. We can now use the gifts God has given us according to proportion or measure of faith we have received for building up the body in Christ. This measure of faith is not given us prior to salvation, or to bring us to salvation.

Ro 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Ro 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Ro 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Ro 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
Ro 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Ro 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;



Many of the verses you posted towards the end of your reply come from the KJV, and those verses you posted which use the phrase "the faith of Jesus" have been reworded more accurately in newer translations like the NKJV and NASB. The newer translations have corrected the wording to read "faith in Christ" rather than "faith of Christ."

Yes "the faith OF" Jesus has been re-worded in most modern translations of Scripture. You may see this as being more accurate, but after much research I find greater accuracy in the KJV. Which is why when doing in-depth study I prefer KJV over the modern translations. Take for instance Eph 3:12 which could read and has sometimes been translated, "In Whom we have boldness and access with confidence, through His faith." Or Ph 3:9 which could read and has sometimes been translated, "and may be found in Him, not having my righteousness, which is of law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is from God for faith." Look at the index of articles in your Strong's Concordance for "of" and "in" and you'll find for Eph 3:12 the article is "of" and also in Ph 3:9 the article is "of". I look at this little insignificant change of a simple article as changing doctrine, and while I can accept some small scribal errors in translating, I find I cannot tolerate a change that takes "faith" which belongs to the Lord alone, and gives it to man. So I've grown to depend on the greater faithfulness of the KJV.

RW

RogerW
Apr 29th 2007, 05:55 PM
Just to ease everyone's mind. Whether regeneration precedes faith or the other way around you have not understood what RC. Sproul actually meant. I come from the same circles as he so I can speak very clearly for him.

1. Where does regeneration come from? from you or from God?

2. Where does faith come from? from you or from God?

Look for one verse in the bible that says that you originate faith.
you can't.
you can only excercise faith.
Most people don't know this---faith is originated by God, it is a free gift by God to his elect. It is totally from God, lest any man should boast.

There are about 9 verses in N.T. that speak of faith being originated exclusively by God alone.
There are 2 verses that speaks of repentance being originated by God exclusively alone.
There is no question by anyone that regeneration is originated by God alone.
There are still some out there that are offering for people to get themselves born-agained, they are born-againizers, but the bible shows that you cannot be saved unless you are born-again, who creates a new creature? the new man? who makes you alive and a new believer in Him? God alone.

So the reformed faith is thus:
the work of salvation is by God alone.
although fundamentalist groups will claim that line, they don't actually practice nor believe it when they say that they had to have faith first because without their faith, God's hands were tied and couldn't save them.

God couldn't do a single thing to help unless man would initiate the salvation work. None of this icky poo is Biblical.

Soli deo Gloria

Very well said! Ironically I was called a Calvinist before I ever knew what a Calvinist believed.

RW

reformedman
Apr 29th 2007, 06:01 PM
Although I said that faith is originated by God, you assumed that I meant that we are then robots not contributing any part. Belief comes after faith. Belief is the product of faith. Belief is the product of regeneration. Unless a man is born-again, he can't believe, there is no capacity in him or ability, he is totally dead as far as his desire for the spiritual things are concerned.

Although faith is originated in us by God, that does not neglect the fact that we are to strive in this world, that we are exhorted in every preface of Paul's epistles to continue, to maintain, to grow, and to win the race.
God gave us faith to use it. That's why I like to distinguish faith from belief. I typically use faith as that thing that God gives in order for us to start believing.

DSK
Apr 29th 2007, 06:51 PM
Calvinism fails to distinguish between faith and belief

Both words are the same Greek word pistis.

DSK
Apr 29th 2007, 07:10 PM
Yes "the faith OF" Jesus has been re-worded in most modern translations of Scripture.

Let me see if I understand you.
You belive we are saved by Christ's faith.
Is that correct?
If you say yes, then would you say we don't need faith to be saved?

RogerW
Apr 29th 2007, 08:22 PM
Let me see if I understand you.
You belive we are saved by Christ's faith.
Is that correct?
If you say yes, then would you say we don't need faith to be saved?

I believe it is Christ's faith imputed to His elect that gives us the ability to believe unto salvation (by grace are ye saved through faith). Without His imputed faith we cannot believe, unless we believe we cannot be saved; therefore faith is absolutely necessary to become saved. That faith given us is His faith working through us to both will and to do of His good pleasure. But we are the ones who do the works of faith after salvation for we were created in Christ Jesus for this purpose.

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

RW

tHbaGLORY
Apr 30th 2007, 12:58 PM
The Reform option looks like this -- man "hears" the gospel, believes it intellectually thereby knowing that he is "elect"/"saved. He goes on and lives like a Christian even repenting of sin from time to time. But you know what is missing? He never made God his Father -- never turned from self to God (conscience still operates on what "I" wants) -- never accepted Christ's marriage "proposal" -- never received the Holy Ghost but doesn't miss Him, just can't seem to understand the mysteries and parables, the "hidden wisdom of God" -- disparages the testimony of others who actually believe they "did" something to effectuate their own salvation -- has absolutely no idea what God has prophecied for the end times -- can't see his church (Sardis) and its faults in Rev 3.Respectfully brother I must say that this strawman is 100% wrong...I don't know what Reformed peoples you have been talking with, but this is totally incorrect and is no form of theology supported by my reformed Church...

I hold to a Calvinistic theology and I am a born-again Christian by the Grace of God alone. I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit and have inherited eternal life being an adopted son of God. I was brought to repentance by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, after that same Spirit revealed to me the Truth of the Gospel of Grace. Never by my own will did I or can I understand the spiritual truths of God. The faith given to me by God is the only way I knew him, and the Holy Spirit guides and teaches me more about him everyday. I had nothing to do with any of this--I am only a once damned vessel that received the Grace of God through the blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ...

to HIM be all GLORY...

1Cr 2:14 (http://cf.blb.org/search/getBible.cfm?b=1Cr&c=2&v=14&version=KJV#14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

Jhn 6:63 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=Jhn&chapter=6&verse=63&version=kjv#63)
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.

Jhn 6:65 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=Jhn&chapter=6&verse=65&version=kjv#65)
And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

skypair
Apr 30th 2007, 01:42 PM
And this is my point exactly, why do we try so hard to prove how wrong the other guy is, when all we have to do is point it out and leave it alone. And let Jesus be the teacher of our hearts, we can do only so much. Soooo tempting, saved ;) But "worship Him in truth" does mean "in truth," doesn't it? Does untruth bring men to Christ?


Do you suppose that Calvanists don't try to win souls to Christ? Or demons win souls to Satan?


And they do believe that God loves 'everyone',... Yes, many of them, despite claiming to be Calvinists neither were saved the Calvinist way nor believe all that Calvin taught. And for them I feel sorry because they label themselves with a name that does not describe how they came to Christ nor what their heart truly believes.


...when you should be concerned with your own. I am concerned about my own life, for sure. You can even pray for me as it is no fun to be a "stickler" for the truth. But would to God we didn't have so many dead churches, too.

skypair

skypair
Apr 30th 2007, 01:51 PM
Both words are the same Greek word pistis.
True -- but the translators apparently thought they were worth giving different meanings to according to the contexts. I go with that so as to make sense of sotierology. So that verses like Rom 3:22 and Gal 3:22 make sense.

"Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:"

" Butthe scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe."

Or Heb 11:1 -- "For faith is the evidence of things hoped for [believed]."

Conceivably, the translators weren't Calvinists. Your response??

skypair

skypair
Apr 30th 2007, 02:02 PM
I believe it is Christ's faith imputed to His elect..." This is a very interesting thought. I was reading a Bible doctrines book the other night about imputation. In it, the author suggested there can be imputation of sin upon every infant on the pretest that righteousness is also imputed to believers.

[b]Unfortunately, the places where imputation of righteousness is mentioned, there was some act on the part of the person to whom righteousness was then imputed to him. There are other cases of imputation but they all follow some act on the "imputee's" part by the "imputee." NEVER do I see (correct me if I am wrong) imputation without corresponding, personal cause.

skypair

skypair
Apr 30th 2007, 02:06 PM
Respectfully brother I must say that this strawman is 100% wrong...I don't know what Reformed peoples you have been talking with, but this is totally incorrect and is no form of theology supported by my reformed Church...

I hold to a Calvinistic theology and I am a born-again Christian by the Grace of God alone. I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit and have inherited eternal life being an adopted son of God. I was brought to repentance by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, after that same Spirit revealed to me the Truth of the Gospel of Grace. Never by my own will did I or can I understand the spiritual truths of God. The faith given to me by God is the only way I knew him, and the Holy Spirit guides and teaches me more about him everyday. I had nothing to do with any of this--I am only a once damned vessel that received the Grace of God through the blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ...

to HIM be all GLORY...

1Cr 2:14 (http://cf.blb.org/search/getBible.cfm?b=1Cr&c=2&v=14&version=KJV#14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

Jhn 6:63 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=Jhn&chapter=6&verse=63&version=kjv#63)
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.

Jhn 6:65 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=Jhn&chapter=6&verse=65&version=kjv#65)
And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
That's a lovely testimony, glory -- except if not by your own will, then YOU really have made no commitment of yourSELF to Christ, have you? I mean -- if this whole thing was against your will, you were forced. You are like a slave, not like a son, right? You've not been adopted; you've been captured.

May I suggest that you did the right thing and just have the wrong thinking about it now?

skypair

DSK
Apr 30th 2007, 04:01 PM
Conceivably, the translators weren't Calvinists. Your response??

skypair

Actually the KJV translation is a product of Calvinist's. Theodore Beza, who was Calvin's successor was the most prominent individual in bringing about the KJV.

skypair
May 1st 2007, 11:14 AM
Actually the KJV translation is a product of Calvinist's. Theodore Beza, who was Calvin's successor was the most prominent individual in bringing about the KJV.
Ah, I do seem to remember something like that. Did he maybe read Tyndale or did he translate from the Vulgate or directly from the Greek? See, somewhere those 2 words were logically separated in meaning enough to use to different words.

skypair

DSK
May 1st 2007, 11:59 AM
Ah, I do seem to remember something like that. Did he maybe read Tyndale or did he translate from the Vulgate or directly from the Greek? See, somewhere those 2 words were logically separated in meaning enough to use to different words.

skypair

They translated using the Textus Receptus, and then altered several texts in order to make them agree with their Calvinist doctrine. An example of this is the KJV addition of the little word "if" in Heb 6:6. The word "if" is not found in the original Greek text. From what I understand the word "if" was inserted into the King James Translation by a person named Theodore Beza who was the successor of John Calvin. Adam Clarke commented: "Beza, who without any authority from ancient MSS. has inserted in his version the word ‘if,’ have rendered this clause, IF they fall away, that this text might not appear to contradict the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints." In earlier translations vs. 6 reads: And having fallen away which was restored back to original meaning in the NASB as well as other translations.

macarnett
May 2nd 2007, 04:29 AM
Where does it say "regeneration leads up to salvation?"

Jesus certain didn't say it. He told the woman who touched his garment that her faith had saved her. (Luke 7:50)

It seems that He thought so, or He wouldn't have said it.

reformedman
May 2nd 2007, 02:36 PM
That's a lovely testimony, glory -- except if not by your own will, then YOU really have made no commitment of yourSELF to Christ, have you? I mean -- if this whole thing was against your will, you were forced. You are like a slave, not like a son, right? You've not been adopted; you've been captured.

May I suggest that you did the right thing and just have the wrong thinking about it now?
I believe he is absolutely right in his soteriology. You suggest that he was captured because it seems that God forced him. But think for a moment of what it is that truly happened. The man was dying and was headed toward inevitable darkness and eternal suffering. God pulled him away from that. It might be said that he was forced, or as you say 'captured' but your response seems to give the impression that this is a bad thing. This is great! that God forced him out of his eternal death. Isn't it?

May I suggest that although you may think that you initiated salvation of yourself through the idea that you decided to believe in God and then he thereafter did His part, that in fact, God, commended his love toward you, in that, while you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you?
:)

DSK
May 2nd 2007, 11:44 PM
Where does it say "regeneration leads up to salvation?"

Jesus certain didn't say it. He told the woman who touched his garment that her faith had saved her. (Luke 7:50)

It seems that He thought so, or He wouldn't have said it.

First of all: All the confusion concerning regeneration is caused by a general misunderstanding of what regeneration is.
Here are some facts aout regeneration:
1. Regeneration isn't salvation
2. Regeneration is not conversion
3. Regeneration isn't brought about by faith
4. Regeneration is a new birth. People cannot be born by faith, or assist in any birth.
5. We are passive in regeneration
6. God alone is active in regeneration

John Murray writes: "Without regeneration it is morally and spiritually impossible for a person to believe in Christ"

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. The new birth is viewed by Scripture as something that God does within us in order to enable us to believe.... (Wayne A. Grudem)

Regeneration is the spiritual change wrought in the heart of man by the Holy Spirit in which his/her inherently sinful nature is changed so that he/she can respond to God in Faith (J. I. Packer)

"the Bible never exhorts the sinner, "Believe and thou shalt be born again." (William W. Sasser)

SemperReformanda
May 3rd 2007, 03:43 AM
Amen, DSK and reformedman. DSK, do you have the source about Beza working on the AV? I'd like to hear about where you got it, as the AV came out 6 years after he died ;)


Back to the OP, Jesus says in John 3:

Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
(John 3:3)

What does this verse mean?

SemperReformanda
May 3rd 2007, 03:46 AM
Where does it say "regeneration leads up to salvation?"

Jesus certain didn't say it. He told the woman who touched his garment that her faith had saved her. (Luke 7:50)

It seems that He thought so, or He wouldn't have said it.
Why was she willing to touch His garment in the first place?

skypair
May 3rd 2007, 03:06 PM
May I suggest that although you may think that you initiated salvation of yourself through the idea that you decided to believe in God and then he thereafter did His part, that in fact, God, commended his love toward you, in that, while you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you?
:)
Oh, I believe that. It is only that salvation wasn't appropriated to me until I believed. And I hate to have people thinking that they do nothing and are saved, don't you? say, by infant baptism? or going to church and agreeing with all you hear?

skypair

skypair
May 3rd 2007, 03:08 PM
Why was she willing to touch His garment in the first place? Good point! Because she believed! She, not Christ, believed that she would be healed. Jesus knew it all along but it was doing her not good.

skypair

DSK
May 3rd 2007, 06:23 PM
Amen, DSK and reformedman. DSK, do you have the source about Beza working on the AV? I'd like to hear about where you got it, as the AV came out 6 years after he died ;)


Thank you for bringing this to my attention. What I actually should have said was, The KJV translators made the largest use of Beza's editions of 1588-89 and 1598 of the Textus Recptus, therefore Beza's editions of the TR greatly influenced what the translators of the KJV wrote. (see - http://valleybible.net/resources/PositionPapers/KJV.shtml

SemperReformanda
May 3rd 2007, 09:27 PM
Good point! Because she believed! She, not Christ, believed that she would be healed. Jesus knew it all along but it was doing her not good.

skypair
But, why was she willing to believe? If nobody can see the kingdom of God without being born again, how does one believe in it?

SemperReformanda
May 3rd 2007, 09:31 PM
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. What I actually should have said was, The KJV translators made the largest use of Beza's editions of 1588-89 and 1598 of the Textus Recptus, therefore Beza's editions of the TR greatly influenced what the translators of the KJV wrote. (see - http://valleybible.net/resources/PositionPapers/KJV.shtml
Thanks DSK. I should add that the KJV was an attempt by King James to distance the English Church from the Geneva translation, because the notes in the Geneva translation were anti-homosexual ;)

DSK
May 3rd 2007, 09:59 PM
But, why was she willing to believe? If nobody can see the kingdom of God without being born again, how does one believe in it?

And isn't it true that light must precede sight!

reformedman
May 8th 2007, 02:11 AM
I'll tell you guys, it's so old. Everytime I have a discussion with a person who insists he wants to have his Christianity his way, he demands that he be the one to believe first before God works in him, it always makes me chuckle inside.

Personally, if all of his soteriology is satisfactory, and he is still dwindling on this point, and he won't listen to another word I say, I just let him be. The way I see it, if he's ok with everything else, that means God is working in him, and his mistake will soon enough be corrected.

But yeah, the point that's beyond their understanding is just that last post. Whenever I say something like, Belief is the motorcycle and Faith is the key in the hand of God. You can't move in the motorcycle without God giving you that key first, it makes temporary sense. But then they always come back with, "but how about so and so, he was able to believe!!!!!"

ugh, it's like they have a blindness forced on them because any child can figure it out. Faith is of God, because of that Faith which is a gift of God, you are able to believe. YES!!! YOU BELIEVE!!! BUT HOW!!!! BECAUSE OF FAITH!!!! FAITH IS NOT OF YOUR SELF LEST YOU BOAST!!!

lol
:pp