Friday, June 30

Regeneration has to do something or it isn't needed.....

Having a correct understanding of the timing, necessity, power, and results of regeneration is important in understanding eternal life. I would make the following comparison with free grace theology and reformed theology on regeneration:

The free grace advocates see saving faith as preceding regeneration which means it really is not needed for salvation although they claim it is necessary. I believe regeneration comes first, which makes it 100 % necessary to salvation. I believe the power of regeneration is required prior to salvation, while they believe salvation can be achieved by human decision with the unaided free will. I believe salvation comes from a free will that flows from a new creation brought about by the awesome power of regeneration. I believe that this power of regeneration will always produce some fruit while they believe it is possible that a saved person will not show any love or obedience to Christ. Their guru, Zane Hodges has even said in a sermon that a preacher friend of his, that has denounced Christ, left the ministry and now openly expresses unbelief, is a saved person and will remain so even if he is never restored to faith. Hodges has also said that a person that has sincerely professed faith in Christ at one time can later deny the deity of Christ and still have eternal life.

In summary they believe regeneration is necessary but that it may show no results. This is pure nonsense. If a person can be saved without regeneration and regeneration in some saved people may accomplish nothing, then in those cases it would not be necessary. However, Jesus in John 3:3 says that that regeneration is necessary, so they have a huge problem to reconcile their theology to the doctrine of regeneration. I would submit that they must either give up saving faith preceding regeneration or the position that regeneration may possibly show no results.

Is it little wonder that advocates of the F.G. movement are at odds with orthodox Christianity. Amazingly, they call the Calvinism view of repentance a work but human generated faith not a work. However, they do affirm selfish works for heavenly rewards as a Biblical concept. They seem to have made a ‘Joseph Smith’ out of Zane Hodges and they expect to be taken seriously.

12 comments:

bluecollar said...

I saw you post this on Doulogos.

What twisted logic they use, though I am yet to figure out their angle. The Lord Jesus commanded that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations.Isn't it just a little interesting that man has figured a way to disobey the Lord in presenting the Gospel the way that HE wants it done; or are the origins of this mthod somewhat more diabolical?!!!

Regeneration? Na! Conversion? Na! A changed life? Na! Christ-likeness? Na! Can't have these things get in the way of intellectual assent, can we?

jazzycat said...

Mr. Bluecollar
Thanks, I do want to support Calvinists as much as possible with comments. I believe more and more that we should encourage sound doctrine. BTW that was a great point you made about the great commission calling on making disciples and teaching them to obey Jesus's commands.

Isn't it interesting the way they jump from chapter to chapter and through all kinds of hoops to explain away passages they don't like, but accept one verse or even one half verse passages when their view seems to be validated.

Jazzy

bluecollar said...

"Isn't it interesting the way they jump from chapter to chapter and through all kinds of hoops to explain away passages they don't like, but accept one verse or even one half verse passages when their view seems to be validated."

Yes, that is interesting, and perverse. May the Lord show them their folly; and may they repent.

Rose~ said...

Jazzy and bluecollar,
Can't you see that those with the opposing points of view see themselves perhaps the same way as you see yourself? They think they are right and that YOU are explaining away verses and jumping through hoops.

We should all be careful not to become pompous ... and not to start judging other people's motives - by saying things equivolent to: "they are deliberately misrepresenting and skewing the truth." You cannot judge the motives of the heart.

The sarcasm in these comments is biting!!! and dissapointing. :~(

Rose~ said...

And by the way Jazzy,
Your statement that if one says faith precedes regeneration, then regeneration becomes unecessary could easily be turned around on its head, as I showed you on bluecollar blog.

If you are made alive and given the life of God within - eternal life - without faith, then why is faith necessary for justification and salvation? Have you thought about that question?

There is biblical reason to think that it begins with faith. I haven't pulled it out of thin air ... and I thought that way before I ever heard of Zane Hodges (last fall) - as did most of the Christians in my church think it begins with faith - who probably have not heard of Zane Hodges or Antonio da Rosa either.

John 1:12
But as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name ...

jazzycat said...

Rose,
I appreciate your bluntness, boldness, and courage in these two comments. It is always better to air objections and concerns. I am aware that I not only err, but that it is sometimes on the side of being too agressive and not being sensitive enough. However, if the Free grace view is as seriously wrong as I believe, then perhaps emphatic dissent is in order. If not then, I have been out of order.

I will try to answer your several points perhaps in either a post or another comment. However, I will get to the following one about faith and regeneration immediately:

I thoroughly answered your question that you raised on the Bluecollar blog and requested your answer a second time to my question. This post was partly a result of your not answering the question after my second request. I will now ask it a third time. If faith produces salvation apart from regeneration and regeneration in some cases may produce no results, then why is regeneration necessary at all? Since Jesus said a person must be born again, this is an important point. Regeneration is either necessary as Jesus said or it is something that only should produce results, but may not. Which is it?

Jazzycat

jazzycat said...

Rose asked........
(If you are made alive and given the life of God within - eternal life - without faith, then why is faith necessary for justification and salvation? Have you thought about that question?)

Justification is by faith alone as you say and we agree totally on this point. Faith is the point that a sinner reaches out to God for salvation. "Help Lord, I am a sinner, I need a savior." Regeneration enables a sinner to willing come to faith who would be unable apart from the power of regeneration. (John 3:3, 6:37, 6:44, 6:65, Eph 2:4-5)

I know you do not agree with this view, but surely you understand what we are saying and keep saying over and over again.

Maybe that is part of our frustration. Bluecollar mentions baptism as part of the great commission and Matthew starts trying to trap him into saying baptism is required for salvation. The gospel is more than just justification. Baptism happens to be part of the gospel as does repentance, prayer, sanctification, love, obedience, etc.

However, when we even mention these things, we are accused of espousing faith plus works. Daniel gave a definition of faith that Antonio didn't like and he is immediately accused of adding works to faith. Check out my analogy of faith in 'what is saving faith' post. Frankly, I get offended by these constant distortions.

I made two straight comments on the UOG site citing two positions that Zane Hodges has taken and immediately after that Matthew said, "I do not like the way you talk about Zane Hodges without ever actually referring to his writings or arguments." Excuse me, I had just cited two positions Hodges has taken one of which would have meant that had Hitler professed sincere mental assent faith at 18 or so then he would now be in heaven today. BTW no one has denied Hodges has made such statements or defended such positions. Maybe you would like to do a post on your site about these positions.

Jazzycat

jazzycat said...

Rose said....
(Can't you see that those with the opposing points of view see themselves perhaps the same way as you see yourself? They think they are right and that YOU are explaining away verses and jumping through hoops.)

Well, this is a good point that I should consider and be more careful about. However, the free grace hoop jumping in explaining away James 2:14-26 is quite striking. I don't think I have come close to that. I couldn't jump that high.

Jazzycat

jazzycat said...

Rose said from a comment on another site......

(Did someone pet the cat backwards?)

Yea, I guess they did. However, today W.H. got me up in his lap and in front of his sister (who hates cats) started playing patty cake, patty cake, bakers man....

So all is well with Jazzy.

Jazzycat

Rose~ said...

If faith produces salvation apart from regeneration and regeneration in some cases may produce no results, then why is regeneration necessary at all?

I think it is kind of a weird question from my point of view. Regeneration is the end, it is salvation. You are given new life - the life of God within you - you are made a new creature who is free from the stain of sin and has a righteous standing before God.

I believe this new creature co-exisits with the old (I know this is not held among many in the covenental persuasion) and that he cannot sin.

1 John 3:9
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.


To be such a new creature is salvation. This result will be thoroughly realised when the "old man" dies with the flesh.

...in some cases may produce no results...

What I will say here I have said several times to you before. Regeneration is the result. The one who has faith in the promise of Christ is given the life of God, he is given the standing before God, his name is in the book of life, he shall never perish, he is righteous before God - how can you say this is no result? The result that you are looking for is a changed life that can be seen by others. I believe this is important, but secondary to the real result of regeneration - which is the justification before God. That is the big happening - the big result that those in the Mosaic system were trying to achieve with sacrifices etc... that we have been told is by simple faith now - this is a big deal! Of course, if the convert continues in the Word, we will all SEE the visible results of his new life, but these are not the be-all, end-all of the regeneration of the person. Even if he does not grow, he still has expereineced the result - he is regenerated.

I hope I have now answered your question.

Who is W. H.?

jazzycat said...

Rose,
Your view is certainly interesting and 1 John 3:9 has always been a difficult one for me. I have read several commentaries that give two possibilities. One that can be discarded is that the verse means perfection in this life is obtainable. The second one is that it is talking about continually sinning. You have now given a new possible meaning that works along with a new definition of regeneration or new birth.

I think this verse and the concept of regeneration that you draw from it is a case where one must look to other Scripture to interpret this verse. I believe Romans 7 and 8 go into more detail about the old man and new man. Romans 8 especially v. 9 shuts the door on any possibility that regeneration will accomplish nothing and is simply an end in and of itself. I think you are describing justification and glorification not regeneration. Yes, salvation is justification by faith alone and perfection is in glorification at death, but regeneration has power and produces results in this life as we see from Romans 8….. from the sermon on the mount…. from the fruit of the spirit….. from First John…. from Peter… from James…. From nearly every page of the N.T.

W.H. is my intials (Jazzycat's humble servant. She has allowed me to do some posting as long as I sign her name)

I know, I know as my sister tells me I am not all there.

Jazzycat

bluecollar said...

Rose, you are operating from the presupposition that a divide can be made between Justification and Sanctification. Yes, they are distinct, but when the WHOLE of scripture is considered, they are inseparably linked. Nowhere in scripture do we see taught otherwise. As Jazzy has pointed out, Romans 7 and 8, along with Galatians 5 and 1 John describe the new life within. And, as I pointed out to you on my blog, a few posts back, forgiveness of sins is PART of the whole. See Jeremiah 31:31-34 coupled together with Ezekial 36:25-27. In these verses dealing with the new covenant we see the sin issue dealt with as well as the description of the new life that results from regeneration. See Jer. 31:33 and Ezek. 36:26-27. In your version of dispensationalism, you are taught to look at these verses as pertaining to another dispensation. I am sorry for that. Perhaps the commentaries that you consult treat these passages that same way, while the rest of christendom does not do so. It is from that presupposition that you operate, wherein no consideration is given the New Covenant giving of the new heart and God puting His Spirit within to move us to walk in His ways. The New Covenant/new life is what is described in Romans chapter 6- chapter 8, and 1 John.

Any way you cut it, new life will show itself. The awarness of one's sinfullness and the need to run to Christ for refuge are the beginnings are where it starts to show itself. See John 1:11-12.