Monday, March 12, 2007

Regeneration does not precede faith…

Regeneration does not precede faith…

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. -Titus 3:5-7


How can it?

Once one actually notices the context of Titus 3:5-7 one should notice that one must be saved first to be regenerated… notice the first three words of the paragraph.



“He saved us.”

This is written to those who are already saved, not to those who need to get saved.
To say one must have a regenerate mind to receive the salvation gets things so out of whack… it is saying one must somehow get saved… before getting saved!

This is a teaching widely spread and is accepted. Yet, if one bothered to read the passage one might actually see the great salvation of our Great God!

We are saved by Grace…

By Faith…

Not of works…

It is Faith that is a gift… given to us that enables us to turn, we still must come to Christ and be regenerated as we must first receive the Holy Spirit to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. If one has not yet been filled by the Holy Spirit then how can they be regenerated? Only after one come to Christ Jesus will they be regenerated and renewed by the Holy Spirit.

Note also these same people often teach of the wrath of God at the expense of God’s great grace… yet in the verses just before Titus 3:5-7 it is stated in verses 1 -4:

“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,”

We are to be ready to do good works… to speak evil of no man… and to live after the kindness and love of God our Saviour. It is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance… not His wrath nor regeneration.

We cannot be regenerated of our spirit if one has not yet received the Holy Spirit Who does the work or regeneration. That is why man must acknowledge his sin nature and turn to God for salvation. Until that takes place and pride is removed… only when man humbly bends his knee and cries out “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” The God will now act upon the faith He gave for one to cry out for deliverance… only then will He deliver and give New Life… only then can man enter in through the Kindness of God’s Merciful Grace… only then will man be given the Spirit of Life that is the regeneration of our Spirit, only then by Grace do we then mover forward to conform to the Image of Jesus… only then do we be transformed by the renewing of our mind…


To say one is regenerate before salvation is heresy upon heresy as it negates the Blood of Jesus. For what value then is it if man is regenerate with out the washing of the Blood of our sins?

Again, some appeal to Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin all mighty men of God in their way… but even men of great knowledge fall prey to prove their doctrine at the expense of what the bible actually teaches. Salvation is a process and it seems some teach that regeneration can come before the process even begins.


Pray we do not fall victim this error… and lead someone to receiving the Holy Spirit before they have even turned to God. That would be just foolishness. The Spirit woos but has yet to indwell… and then we are regenerated by Him.

Faith is the gift to see in a moment our sin, and to also see the kindness of God in Christ Jesus... it is then at that moment we receive the gift of Faith by Grace... It is trusting at that moment that even though we cannot see who we are to be, we still trust that God will be faithful to do it, and after that regeneration begins. Regeneration is coming into New Life in Christ... one cannot come into that Life before they come into His Life... It is again nonsensical.

Faith is more about God's faithfulness to us than what some call our own faith. Salvation is offered by Grace. In that we respond to knowledge that God has done all for us at the Cross by His Blood... and in His death and Resurrection. We must accept that we do nothing except fall at His feet to be saved. For, just as Jesus must be our very Life... He is our only Salvation. The just shall live by faith... we are justified at the Cross and saved by His Blood, and Live by His Life giving Spirit.

So, again, all one needs to do is read three little words that sum up the issue... "He saved us".

Blessings,
iggy












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2 comments:

Bruce said...

Iggy,

You would never make a good calvinist :)

Good post

Bruce

iggy said...

I tried to be one... but kept seeing things that did not make sense...

The biggest issue for me is, for all the teaching so of God's sovereignty, Calvinism is a system of theology and without realizing it Calvinist fit God into the system... and negate God's sovereignty by making God submit to the very system of Calvinism...

So the Calvinist system becomes sovereign over God Himself.

BTW I am not a very good Armenian either... I have never seen either as having the right approach... which is the real issue both are man made... and are religious systems to approach God from a human point of view... God wants us to approach Him from His point of view.

Blessings,
iggy