Does regeneration precede faith?

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holyfool33

Puritan Board Freshman
Herman Hanko called me an Arminian for arguing against eternal justification! The question I asked him, which I never got an answer to, was whether we were also glorified now but that the reality of our glorification had just not gotten through to our consciences! After all, he said that when we received faith, all that was occuring was that we became aware of our existing standing of justified that preceded our faith. Kinda evacuates any meaning of time.

Ron

Wow Herman Hanko called yo an arminian :eek: that's a badge of og honor where I come from.:lol:
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Thanks for your response. When I get through the three books I working on simultaneously, I'll do a review of the Westminster Standards. A good idea for me to refresh the Proofs on this topic.
I was hoping you could weave in an anwser to my question about repentance and its place in this topic.

Conversion = repentance & faith, faith & repentance. Conversion has been called a coin with two sides. Each implies and necessitates the other. In the logically determined ordo salutis, or "order of salvation", we find election, effectual calling, regeneration, conversion, justification, adoption, sanctification, glorification. If you note the confessional order of the chapters dealing with these topics, conversion, the repentance and faith chapters, are found following the others in the overall section dealing with most of these salvation topics, chs. 10-15. This is due to the priority always properly given to God's work, rather than our inclusion in his work.
 

servantofmosthigh

Puritan Board Freshman
:lol:

Pastor Shin, I was going to have call you out, until I saw that you were jesting! I was gonna expose you on your not-too-long ago blog post about teetotalism. :D

:lol:

??? You lost me...
I'm sorry, maybe I have you confused. There was this blog here: Should Christians Drink Alcohol (Part 3): Again, No! « Thoughts & Actions and I thought it was yours. I was just pokin' anyway. However, if I confused you for another, then please forgive me! :pilgrim:

Ah, now I get it. Yes, that's my blog. But because your posting was too vague for me, I didn't know what you were talking about.
 

Dawie

Puritan Board Freshman
Without regeneration first I can't think there can be an effectual call, repentance or faith.

God first plants the seed, the new man into someone, then He calls him, and leads him to repent (deny the old man) and believe (receive Christ).
 
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moral necessity

Puritan Board Junior
I think VanMastricht has it right. Regeneration is the implantation of the new principle. Faith is the fruit of such a principle that comes about over time. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God", but regeneration comes by a direct work of the Holy Spirit in which the Word is not necessary. Yet, regeneration imparts the seeds of such fruit, and guarantees their success as to their blossoming at the appropriate time.

Blessings!
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
in my opinion, it's just a novel push by Gaffin, Ferguson, Garcia, Tipton, et al to come up with something to publish and get their name out there as if they have found some great insight into Reformed theology, and does nothing but bring more discord into the Reformed camp. It's fuzzy thinking that attempts to obliterate any discussion of the ordo salutis by stamping "UNION WITH Christ" over the top of the entire discussion. Yet, distinctions still must be made. Scripture makes them, and attempting to find passages in Calvin (which may or may not accurately represent either his full thinking on the matter or even the teaching of Scripture) is no better than any earlier attempts at pitting "Calvin against the Calvinists", which is this approach ultimately works toward.

The idea that faith could ever precede regeneration is nonsensical in light of the Scriptural teaching on total depravity. It is also the position of Arminian theologians (not saying that Lane is one at all by that, but merely making an observation of their arguments by which this one may be compared).
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I think VanMastricht has it right. Regeneration is the implantation of the new principle. Faith is the fruit of such a principle that comes about over time. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God", but regeneration comes by a direct work of the Holy Spirit in which the Word is not necessary. Yet, regeneration imparts the seeds of such fruit, and guarantees their success as to their blossoming at the appropriate time.

Blessings!

I don't understand this, having never read Van Mastricht. Regeneration is "the implantation of the new principle"? Regeneration is not a principle, it's an organic change brought about by the Spirit of God. It results in a change of affection (from the things of the world to the things of the Spirit), not simply a principle change.

Faith is the the fruit of such a principle that comes over time.
What type of faith are you referring to? Saving faith or sanctifying faith (which are both from the same source)? Regeneration and saving faith, while existing in order, nonetheless are so indistinguishable that to attempt to separate them "over time" is futile.

If I have misunderstood terms, please feel free to correct me.
 

moral necessity

Puritan Board Junior
I think VanMastricht has it right. Regeneration is the implantation of the new principle. Faith is the fruit of such a principle that comes about over time. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God", but regeneration comes by a direct work of the Holy Spirit in which the Word is not necessary. Yet, regeneration imparts the seeds of such fruit, and guarantees their success as to their blossoming at the appropriate time.

Blessings!

I don't understand this, having never read Van Mastricht. Regeneration is "the implantation of the new principle"? Regeneration is not a principle, it's an organic change brought about by the Spirit of God. It results in a change of affection (from the things of the world to the things of the Spirit), not simply a principle change.

Faith is the the fruit of such a principle that comes over time.
What type of faith are you referring to? Saving faith or sanctifying faith (which are both from the same source)? Regeneration and saving faith, while existing in order, nonetheless are so indistinguishable that to attempt to separate them "over time" is futile.

If I have misunderstood terms, please feel free to correct me.

Bill,

Right, regeneration is not a new principle, but the act of infusing a new principle, and that of the principle of holiness, or of God, into our souls, whereby we now act according to that principle. This causes what you speak of with regard to a new affection, yet we still retain the old affection at the same time because we still have the old nature or principle of sin within us. With regard to faith, I'm referring to both saving and sanctifying faith, for, in my mind, it all flows, as you say, from the same source. I tend to think that regeneration and saving faith are distinguishable, just as the birth of a child and their first expressions of thoughts and words are distinguishable. The one leads to the other, but the second is the fruit of the first, and happens at a different time for different people. I don't see the necessity to lump them in to something that occurs simultaneously. Why would such a conclusion have to be drawn?

Blessings to you!
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Archlute
Puritanboard Junior
in my opinion, it's just a novel push by Gaffin, Ferguson, Garcia, Tipton, et al to come up with something to publish and get their name out there as if they have found some great insight into Reformed theology, and does nothing but bring more discord into the Reformed camp. It's fuzzy thinking that attempts to obliterate any discussion of the ordo salutis by stamping "UNION WITH Christ" over the top of the entire discussion. Yet, distinctions still must be made. Scripture makes them, and attempting to find passages in Calvin (which may or may not accurately represent either his full thinking on the matter or even the teaching of Scripture) is no better than any earlier attempts at pitting "Calvin against the Calvinists", which is this approach ultimately works toward.


While trying, by God's grace, to attribute good motives toward my fellow man, and particularly those of the household of faith, I am inclined to share your concern.



Quote:

Dr Sproul, supra

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...



Quote:
greenbaggins
Lanesterator Minimus

Quote:
Bruce has me pegged pretty well, I'd say. I am very uncomfortable saying that there is temporal order in the ordo. Logical order is distinct from that. So, as Bruce said, while I do not believe that regeneration happens, and then faith some time later, I still think that regeneration causes faith. Call it an instantaneous causation, if you will. There is no time lapse between regeneration and faith.

So, for the non-theologians among us, do you agree with Dr Sproul's statement above?

Are you saying faith is conditioned on regeneration in a logical order sense but in practice is simultaneous with it?
__________________

I'm stuck in this discussion.

I think Reverend Keister has answered my two questions thoroughly but I am unable to explain it to a layman. It seems to me one cannot think of faith as not flowing, albeit immediately, from regeneration. Logical order.

I am not sure about this "union with Christ" concept. It seems like it has come out of nowhere in terms of being the over-arching way we look at salvation in the Scriptures. The concept's pre-eminance seems, vaguely, at least associated with "Federal Vision," a theology which is serious error.

The idea that faith could ever precede regeneration is nonsensical in light of the Scriptural teaching on total depravity. It is also the position of Arminian theologians (not saying that Lane is one at all by that, but merely making an observation of their arguments by which this one may be compared).

If I am understanding this correctly, Reverend Keister is not saying that faith precedes regeneration in actual time, they are simultaneous. In logical order, however, I think he is saying that regeneration does precede faith.
 
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Jimmy the Greek

Puritan Board Senior
I don't understand this, having never read Van Mastricht. Regeneration is "the implantation of the new principle"? Regeneration is not a principle, it's an organic change brought about by the Spirit of God. It results in a change of affection (from the things of the world to the things of the Spirit), not simply a principle change.

I don't think referring to regeneration as "the implantation of a new principle" takes away from the concept. What VanMastricht is talking about is indeed a fundamental organic change in our nature. Therefore our nature is renewed or changed by the implantation of this divine principle -- from which saving faith issues forth.

Dispensationalists are known for describing regeneration as the implantation of a new nature which co-exists along side (and separate from) the old nature. In my humble opinion, ascribing man with "two natures" can be unorthodox if not handled carefully. Strictly speaking, Christ alone has two natures.
 

Dawie

Puritan Board Freshman
In my humble opinion, ascribing man with "two natures" can be unorthodox if not handled carefully. Strictly speaking, Christ alone has two natures.

Hi Gomarus. This is just my personal opinion on the matter - I'll try to be careful :)

The old man and new man co-exist in a person and are at war:

Gen 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Gal 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Paul's description:

Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Our two natures after regeneration, spirit (new man) and flesh (old man), are a type of Christ's being. And Christ's being is a type of his regenerated child.
 
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Dawie

Puritan Board Freshman
From the PRCA website:

1. What are the steps in the order of salvation?
Regeneration, calling, faith, justification, sanctification, preservation, and glorification.
 
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