Thursday, May 11

Were believers regenerated before Pentecost

I your humble Jazzycat have gotten myself in a bit of a pickle over the Cuffy in the drawer incident. Therefore, in an attempt to insure my happiness and continued enjoyment of my 401K I am going to let W.H. post on my blog from time to time.

Were believers before Pentecost regenerated........
By W.H.
The answer to this depends on what the Bible teaches concerning the need, power, and source of regeneration. The view by non-Calvinists and Arminians is that faith in Christ can be achieved by man before being regenerated. This view would mean that regeneration is not needed to come to faith and that the source of regeneration is ultimately from man’s decision, since he must first come to faith before God grants regeneration. Regeneration does not have power for salvation if one has already been saved before regeneration occurs. Therefore, this view holds that man must do something before regeneration occurs, that regeneration is not necessary for salvation, and thus has no power in salvation. I do not understand exactly what regeneration accomplishes in this view. It seems that it would be like taking medicine for an illness after one had been cured.

The reformed view, that I believe the Bible teaches, holds that God through the Holy Spirit regenerates a sinner with power before he has any faith whatsoever and in fact this regeneration is necessary before faith can occur. Therefore, regeneration is needed, comes with power, and God is the only source.

I believe the Bible teaches that man’s condition changed one time at the fall, and that O.T. people were no different than N.T. people. Therefore, men in O.T. times needed the same regeneration that is needed today. Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about this necessity. The encounter that Jesus had with Nicodemus in John 3 happened well before Pentecost and Jesus does not speak of it like a future event. In fact, it sounds like it not only includes the present but the past well…. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN! There is no qualification such as ‘starting now’, ‘in a short while’, ‘the day is coming when’. No Jesus says, “You must be born again to see the kingdom of God” period. In the O.T. God many times said, “I will reserve a remnant.” (example:1 Kings 19:18) This obviously meant that most of Israel was not saved as the remnant was small. If God were relying on the free will of the creature to come to faith without divine intervention, then how could he be sure there would be a remnant? The answer of course is that without divine intervention he would not know for sure and the passage would have said, “I hope there will be a remnant.” The book of Ester shows how God providentially preserved Israel from physical destruction. In this same way he intervened in spiritual matters to ensure a spiritual remnant. This was done through quickening by the Holy Spirit.


bluecollar said...

Jazzycat: I agree with your premise about the need for OT people to be regenerated just like we need it.

How do you see Romans 2:29? Don't you think that that circumcission of the heart also applied to OT israel also?

jazzycat said...

Mr. Bluecollar,
I appreciate your comments. I have trouble understanding all the covenant theology my PCA denomination teaches, not that I necessarily disagree. I think this passage indicates that saved people in O.T. and N.T. have to have circumcision of the heart (regeneration). I think it points to the fact that physcial circumcision does not necessarily mean one is saved just as baptism does not necessarily mean one is saved. Also, I think this passage is a strong argument for there being one entity of believers in old and new testament times. I don't know if church would be the correct name in O.T. times but I think there are only two groups of people saved and unsaved.

What do you think?


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