Does regeneration precede faith?

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Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Lane Keister says no:

Regeneration happens simultaneously with justification, not before it. I have excellent antecedents in the Reformed faith for thinking so: John Calvin, Richard Gaffin, Sinclair Ferguson, and the entire WTS faculty. Calvin believes that union with Christ is the basic soteric category in which all other things are comprehended. Within that broad category, there are justification type benefits and sanctification type benefits that occur simultaneously with God’s gift of faith to the believer. On this basis, I reject utterly the view that justification depends on a prior infusion of grace in regeneration. The infusion and the imputation occur simultaneously, neither one dependent on the other, neither one separated from the other in any way, including time. The mechanism of justification differs radically from the mechanism of sanctification. This simultaneity is at the very least hinted at in WLC 77. I realize that some Reformed authors place regeneration before faith in time. I do not see any biblical passages that teach this. On the contrary, when regeneration happens, faith is present. Similarly, when faith is present, justification has also happened. Hence, faith lays hold passively (because the righteousness is extra nos, although ours by right of union) of Christ’s righteousness in justification, and actively (because it includes a real, actual righteousness in the believer) lays hold of Christ in sanctification by the power of the Spirit.

While I haven't done a lot of study in this area lately, I have been thinking a little about this issue and tend to agree with Lane here at this point.

Thoughts?
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Well, and just off the top of my head, from God's side, the elect are justified from all eternity in His mind. From the human side, a person must be regenerated so that he can exercise faith in Christ (also a gift from God [Ephesians 2]). Once he believes, justification is his - God pronounces Him justified.

So, it seems to me that regeneration must precede justification - since no person can do anything of spiritual worth until his heart of stone has been replaced with a heart of flesh.

This is looking at it from the human side, of course.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Whether it happens simultaneously or not, the event transpires so quickly as to make the passing of the components without separate distinction. I don't believe there are regenerate individuals who have waited days, months or years before they have exercised saving faith.
 
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Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Lane Keister says no:

Regeneration happens simultaneously with justification, not before it. I have excellent antecedents in the Reformed faith for thinking so: John Calvin, Richard Gaffin, Sinclair Ferguson, and the entire WTS faculty. Calvin believes that union with Christ is the basic soteric category in which all other things are comprehended. Within that broad category, there are justification type benefits and sanctification type benefits that occur simultaneously with God’s gift of faith to the believer. On this basis, I reject utterly the view that justification depends on a prior infusion of grace in regeneration. The infusion and the imputation occur simultaneously, neither one dependent on the other, neither one separated from the other in any way, including time. The mechanism of justification differs radically from the mechanism of sanctification. This simultaneity is at the very least hinted at in WLC 77. I realize that some Reformed authors place regeneration before faith in time. I do not see any biblical passages that teach this. On the contrary, when regeneration happens, faith is present. Similarly, when faith is present, justification has also happened. Hence, faith lays hold passively (because the righteousness is extra nos, although ours by right of union) of Christ’s righteousness in justification, and actively (because it includes a real, actual righteousness in the believer) lays hold of Christ in sanctification by the power of the Spirit.

While I haven't done a lot of study in this area lately, I have been thinking a little about this issue and tend to agree with Lane here at this point.

Thoughts?

Hi Chris, Board :graduate:
I couldn't resist this one..........

If Lane is referring to conversion, I agree; If he literally means regeneration, I disagree.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Lane Keister says no:

Regeneration happens simultaneously with justification, not before it. I have excellent antecedents in the Reformed faith for thinking so: John Calvin, Richard Gaffin, Sinclair Ferguson, and the entire WTS faculty. Calvin believes that union with Christ is the basic soteric category in which all other things are comprehended. Within that broad category, there are justification type benefits and sanctification type benefits that occur simultaneously with God’s gift of faith to the believer. On this basis, I reject utterly the view that justification depends on a prior infusion of grace in regeneration. The infusion and the imputation occur simultaneously, neither one dependent on the other, neither one separated from the other in any way, including time. The mechanism of justification differs radically from the mechanism of sanctification. This simultaneity is at the very least hinted at in WLC 77. I realize that some Reformed authors place regeneration before faith in time. I do not see any biblical passages that teach this. On the contrary, when regeneration happens, faith is present. Similarly, when faith is present, justification has also happened. Hence, faith lays hold passively (because the righteousness is extra nos, although ours by right of union) of Christ’s righteousness in justification, and actively (because it includes a real, actual righteousness in the believer) lays hold of Christ in sanctification by the power of the Spirit.
While I haven't done a lot of study in this area lately, I have been thinking a little about this issue and tend to agree with Lane here at this point.

Thoughts?

Hi Chris, Board :graduate:
I couldn't resist this one..........

If Lane is referring to conversion, I agree; If he literally means regeneration, I disagree.

Who is this stranger amongst us? :eek:
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
It should be noted that the reason I am stressing the simultaneity of regeneration and faith is that we cannot say that infusion precedes imputation. Of course, it is not strictly necessary to conclude that imputation is dependent on infusion even if infusion came first (which would commit the post hoc, ergo proper hoc ("after this, there because of this") fallacy). However, the dangers are evident in Wilson's position, in my opinion.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Well, and just off the top of my head, from God's side, the elect are justified from all eternity in His mind. From the human side, a person must be regenerated so that he can exercise faith in Christ (also a gift from God [Ephesians 2]). Once he believes, justification is his - God pronounces Him justified.

So, it seems to me that regeneration must precede justification - since no person can do anything of spiritual worth until his heart of stone has been replaced with a heart of flesh.

This is looking at it from the human side, of course.

Richard, you have a human side? :lol:
 

Greg

Puritan Board Sophomore
Lane Keister says no:

While I haven't done a lot of study in this area lately, I have been thinking a little about this issue and tend to agree with Lane here at this point.

Thoughts?

Hi Chris, Board :graduate:
I couldn't resist this one..........

If Lane is referring to conversion, I agree; If he literally means regeneration, I disagree.

Who is this stranger amongst us? :eek:

Could it be? Doth mine eyes deceiveth me?
 

danmpem

Puritan Board Junior
In regards to the original post, there have been disagreements with the very definition of regeneration within the Reformed and Augustinian circles. I also believe that supra's and infra's will reason it out differently as well.
 

Greg

Puritan Board Sophomore
Whether it happens simultaneously or not, the event transpires so quickly as to make the passing of the components without separate distinction. I don't believe there are regenerate individuals who have waited days, months or years before they have exercised saving faith.

So could it be said that it is more of a logical order of salvation?
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Chris, Board :graduate:
I couldn't resist this one..........

If Lane is referring to conversion, I agree; If he literally means regeneration, I disagree.

Hmm, could you unpack this one a bit? Are you drawing a distinction in time between the time of conversion and the time of regeneration?
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Whether it happens simultaneously or not, the event transpires so quickly as to make the passing of the components without separate distinction. I don't believe there are regenerate individuals who have waited days, months or years before they have exercised saving faith.

So could it be said that it is more of a logical order of salvation?

Greg, you can say that about the ordo salutis. But as I said previously, "... the event transpires so quickly as to make the passing of the components without separate distinction."
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
Hubub hubub hubub scottbushey hubub hubub hubub scottbushey hubub hubub hubub............... SCOTT BUSHEY!!!!!!!!! (Somebody pinch me.)
 

Ron

Puritan Board Freshman
Certainly there is no temporal delay between regeneration and justification. Notwithstanding, regeneration must precede justification in logical order because as was the case with Christ as the second Adam, the declaration of our righteousness is predicated upon our being raised in Christ from the dead. Accordingly, we are justifed because we have been raised in Christ; yet we are not raised in Christ because we are justified. The logical order must, therefore, be first regeneration, then, justification.

Ron
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Hi Chris, Board :graduate:
I couldn't resist this one..........

If Lane is referring to conversion, I agree; If he literally means regeneration, I disagree.

Hmm, could you unpack this one a bit? Are you drawing a distinction in time between the time of conversion and the time of regeneration?

Hi Lane,
I am. In your quote, was the term 'regeneration' being used interchangeably w/ conversion?

Thanks in advance,

SPB

Todd, Bob, Josh, Greg, Meg. Missed you guys. I'll try to not say anything utterly ridiculous. :oops:
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Hi Rich,
Things look 5 x 5 here; Kudos. I don't expect to be posting anywhere near what I used to but I will try and add a few synapses from time to time; Hopefully they will not resemble brain farts. Thanks for the welcome everyone.

As Rich said, 'carry on'.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Dr Sproul, What is Reformed Theology, says, p. 195

When speaking of the order of salvation (ordo salutis), Reformed theology always and everywhere inisists that regeneration precedes fiath. Regeneration precedes faith because it is a necessary condition for faith...It is important to understand, however, that the order of salvation refers to logical order, not necessarily a temporal order...We believe that at the very moment faith is present, justification occurs. There is no time lapse between faith and justification...
Similarly when Reformed theology says regeneration precedes faith, it is speaking in terms of logical priority, not temporal priority...Hodges and all semi-Pelagians argue that regeneration is a result of faith and dependent on it. This assumes that the not-yet-regenerate person can exercise saving faith." [emphasis in the original]

Reverend Keister, are you differing with this understanding, agreeing with it or "nuancing" it?
 

Amazing Grace

Puritan Board Junior
Lane Keister says no:

when faith is present, justification has also happened. Hence, faith lays hold passively (because the righteousness is extra nos, although ours by right of union) of Christ’s righteousness in justification, and actively (because it includes a real, actual righteousness in the believer) lays hold of Christ in sanctification by the power of the Spirit.



Hi Chris, Board :graduate:
I couldn't resist this one..........

If Lane is referring to conversion, I agree; If he literally means regeneration, I disagree.

18For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous,

But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,


How do these scriptures relate to the subject? Can a regenerated person with faith still be consdiered ungodly or unrighteous? These are whom it says He justifies.

I have struggled with these verses.
 

Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
Lane Keister says no:

when faith is present, justification has also happened. Hence, faith lays hold passively (because the righteousness is extra nos, although ours by right of union) of Christ’s righteousness in justification, and actively (because it includes a real, actual righteousness in the believer) lays hold of Christ in sanctification by the power of the Spirit.



Hi Chris, Board :graduate:
I couldn't resist this one..........

If Lane is referring to conversion, I agree; If he literally means regeneration, I disagree.

18For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous,

But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,


How do these scriptures relate to the subject? Can a regenerated person with faith still be consdiered ungodly or unrighteous? These are whom it says He justifies.

I have struggled with these verses.

(What I originally wrote wasn't making sense as I read it. I know what I'm trying to say in my head, but I'm struggling to articulate it.)

All I know is that I wouldn't have been ABLE to believe in Him who justifies the ungodly if He had not brought me out of darkness into light. That's why Jesus said unless you are born again you can't even SEE the Kingdom of God.
 
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Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
Besides the fact that Eph. 2:8-9 tells us faith is a gift of God. How can an unrighteous, dead man have faith unless he has been brought to life? If that's the case then it's actually faith and not the object (Christ) that saves us.
 
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Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Hi Rich,
Things look 5 x 5 here; Kudos. I don't expect to be posting anywhere near what I used to but I will try and add a few synapses from time to time; Hopefully they will not resemble brain farts. Thanks for the welcome everyone.

As Rich said, 'carry on'.

Welcome back, brother.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
How many people does anyone here know of who are regenerated and born again but not yet converted?
 

Ron

Puritan Board Freshman
Sproul is correct in his conclusion but he's wrong in his defense. He argues that regeneration must precede faith because regeneration is a necessary condition for faith. What it means that regeneration is a necessary condition for faith is that whenever faith exists, it is necessary that regeneration exist. Yet that doesn’t imply that regeneration precedes faith in logical order. After all, it is also true that faith is a necessary condition for regeneration since whenever regeneration exists it is necessary that faith exist too. Necessary conditions do not inform us about logical order.

I put this up on my site a long time ago because of some confusion coming out of Westminster-west having to do with conditions and causes.

1. If I'm regenerate, then I'm united to the risen Christ.
2. If I'm united to the risen Christ, then I'm regenerate.

Both 1 & 2 are true, yet neither proposition implies the logical order of union with Christ and regeneration. Nonetheless, in both cases the consequent is a necessary condition for the antecedent; so in 1 what is indexed to the necessary condition, namely union with Christ, is that which logically follows its sufficient condition, regeneration. Most Reformed Christians do not have a conceptual problem thinking in terms of regeneration as being a "condition" for union with Christ (since they appreciate that regeneration is logically prior to union with Christ, or the means by which one becomes united to Christ). In 1, what type of "condition" is regeneration? Well, it's a sufficient condition in 1. Accordingly, if in 1 regeneration is a sufficient condition for union with Christ, then that which follows in the proposition, namely union with Christ, must be a necessary condition for regeneration - since the state of affairs of regeneration cannot exist without union with Christ. It is necessary, in other words, that union with Christ exist if regeneration exists. Causality and logical order is not even in view.

If I'm justified, then I have good works. Which is to say, good works are a necessary condition for one who is in a state of justification. Such a statement, although true, would be rather uninteresting to one who is inquiring as to whether another believes that good works are the cause or grounds of his justification.
 
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