Sunday, June 11

Does regeneration precede faith? part 2

Bud's post...........

It's good to hear from you again. I am sorry that it took me so long to get this post together.

I am glad to see that there is broad agreement between us on what is going on in this passage (Eph. 2:1-5). Paul is indeed describing the former spiritual condition of the Ephesian Chrisitans, who were believers by the time Paul wrote his epistle. And it is clear that any action that was taken, any work that was performed to bring about their salvation was performed only by God.

But I think you've missed the crux of our disagreement.

It is contained in the following two quotes from your reply: "... spiritual death has rendered sinners incapable of responding to the gospel message without God taking action" and "... making them spiritually alive was done so they could respond to the gospel and come to faith ...

"This may be what you believe, but you have not yet produced any exegetical evidence to support that belief. You are assuming that spiritual death means inability and reading it back in to the passage.

None of us are entitled to our own definitions of the words used in the Bible. That is the privilege of the authors who had benefit of the Holy Spirit's guidance as they wrote. Our job is to evaluate the lexicography, the context (at all levels) and the grammar and syntax of the passage under consideration to determine what the human author willed the word(s) under consideration - "death" in this case - to mean.

I've presented evidence that in this passage Paul used the term "death" to signal a lifestyle marked by alienation from and hostility toward God." You are still asserting that "death" means "incapable of responding."

Let' see your evidence.

Just to make the point clear, what I'm specifically interested in is solid exegetical evidence that in this context "death" means "unable to believe.

"We'll get to the grammar of Ephesians 2:8 later, so hold off on that. If you need to mention that as a passing reference in your exposition of the meaning of "death", go ahead, but don't hang your whole case on that for now. We'll get to that passage.

No comments: