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What precedes what - faith regeneration

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by nhoj, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. nhoj

    nhoj A work in progress

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    To avoid derailing another thread even more than it has already been.

    Do these two verses show that belief or faith precede the new birth?


    (John 1:12) But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

    (John 1:13) who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (ESV)
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
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  2. Brother Chris

    Brother Chris Newbie

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    Man is spiritually dead in his sins. Now ask him to believe in Christ. He can't, but because he won't. God illuminates the mind and changes the heart so the sinner will repent and will believe. The sinner must be made alive first, and then he comes to Christ. Dead people can't come.
     
  3. nhoj

    nhoj A work in progress

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    God can draw man, God can give man Faith. We can't tell God when to give it.
     
  4. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    Chris,

    This statement doesn't line up with John 1:12-13 that was quoted by the OP.
     
  5. nobdysfool

    nobdysfool The original! Accept no substitutes!

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    It really helps if one has a grasp of sentence structure , and English idioms.

    The two verses can be combined, as follows, with no loss of meaning, or skewing of the meaning:

    "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God, he gave the right to become children of God."

    Clearly, the reference to being born indicates that the birth happened prior to the believing in and receiving of Christ, and it is that birth, followed by faith and receiving Christ, that is the basis for them becoming children of God.
     
  6. nhoj

    nhoj A work in progress

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    If you rearrange the words and end up with a different understanding of the text, there is clearly a loss of meaning.
     
  7. Hammster

    Hammster Who has believed our report? Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    God does give faith. Faith is believing, not just some ability to decide to believe.
     
  8. nhoj

    nhoj A work in progress

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    I understand that completely.
    (Ephesians 2:8) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
     
  9. RisingSpirit

    RisingSpirit :-)

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    God will draw man, God will give man Faith. We can't tell God whom to give it.

    Come on Folks, Think of it like telling the source of a single thought what to think when thinking, itself, is the result of that single thought. In other Words, the source of a single human thought is God and the Holy Spirit. What good does it do to tell Them what to do when what you do is the result of what they do.

    You can't do anything about the black hole sucking in your Free Will.

    You're in Captive mode.
     
  10. nobdysfool

    nobdysfool The original! Accept no substitutes!

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    No, what is lost is a preconceived notion that the text does not support, rightly understood.

    Keep in mind that Scripture was not written in today's modes of expression, or sentence structure. This is where you have to read carefully, and understand what is being said.

    This passage clearly shows that birth precedes faith and receiving, which precedes being a child of God. the progression is clearly Birth > faith > receive Christ > become a child of God.

    The New Birth is the starting point, not a result.
     
  11. nobdysfool

    nobdysfool The original! Accept no substitutes!

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    No one is telling God when to give it. He's telling us when He does give it. He birthed us, gave us faith, we believed on and received Christ, and He made us children of God.

    That is crystal clear from the passage.
     
  12. nobdysfool

    nobdysfool The original! Accept no substitutes!

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    God DOES draw man, God DOES give that man faith, and He tells us in what order He does it. It's not speculation, it's FACT.
     
  13. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    Before you jump on that bandwagon, you might want to check out the Greek and context (Eph. 2:9 because we know people have and do try to work and earn salvation, but who and how would you work to earn faith)?
    Few if any modern day (those that have more referances) scholars support the idea that the "gift" is faith in Eph.2:8.
     
  14. nhoj

    nhoj A work in progress

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    Clearly we don't have a clear agreement on the meaning of the word "clearly".
     
  15. Hammster

    Hammster Who has believed our report? Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Are you saying that everyone has saving faith inherently?
     
  16. Skala

    Skala I'm a Saint. Not because of me, but because of Him

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    The fact is, faith is not the gift that the pronoun is pointing to. But neither is grace. And neither is salvation.

    Greek scholars will tell you that the collective phrase is the "gift" in Ephesians 2. The pronoun is a neuter demonstrative pronoun and thus it cannot refer any individual antecedent, because Greek grammar won't allow it.

    "and that is not your doing, but is a gift from God" ("and that" is the neuter demonstrative pronoun. Notice, it is neuter, not male or female.)

    In Greek, pronouns must match their antecedents in both gender and number.

    There's 3 antecedents, so the number doesn't match.

    The pronoun is neuter
    "faith" is feminine
    "Grace" is feminine
    "Salvation" is masculine

    The genders don't match

    Thus, the pronoun cannot be referring to any of these individually (such as faith, but nor can it be referring to grace alone or salvation alone)

    There is a rule in Greek grammar that any time you find this kind of construction the author did it on purpose because he wasn't pointing to any singular/individual pronoun, but rather, the collective phrase.

    So the gift from God is literally "being saved by grace through faith"

    This absolutely destroys any Arminian/synergistic/semi-pelagian/free-will salvation soteriology.
     
  17. heymikey80

    heymikey80 Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum viditur

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    If that's true, then you can discard the text as-quoted.

    Keeping in mind that Greek words do have more referential information, and Greek order doesn't operate the same as in English, the order of words goes ...

    But as many as received Him, he gave them the right -- children of God to become, those believing in His name who not of blood, nor of the will of flesh nor of the will of man but out-of God were born.

    Of course there's also 1 John 5:1a:

    Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God
     
  18. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    Everyone has faith in something or someone to some extent. We have to channel that little faith toward God's Love.
     
  19. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    We have been in this discussion with you before and agree fully with your research, which also agrees with my research on the subject, but your conclusion “ This absolutely destroys any Arminian/synergistic/semi-pelagian/free-will salvation soteriology.” Does not logically follow.

    The gift is the “gracious salvation that comes through faith”, since the gift is not plural meaning: “God’s grace and salvation and faith”. The context is not emphasizing “faith”, but is talking about salvation.
     
  20. Skala

    Skala I'm a Saint. Not because of me, but because of Him

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    I never said it was plural gifts. I said "being saved by grace through faith" is the gift from God, and is not our doing.

    In your soteriology, "faith" is your doing.

    It's amazing that you contradicted yourself in the same post.

    First you said that you agree that the gift is the phrase collectively. Then you turn around and tell us that the author is stressing that "salvation" specifically is the what is being referred to, by implication, as the gift.

    Tsk tsk.

    What the author is stressing is the gift is "being saved by grace through faith". The entire process is God's doing, not ours. Do you have faith in Christ? Then that's God's doing, not yours.

    Give God the credit for your faith Bling. He's glorified by it. Drop the synergistic nonsense.

     
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