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Phil Johnson of Grace to You and Pyromaniacs was in town this weekend.  Our family was only able to attend the Saturday morning sessions in which Phil was exegeting in a most blessed way the rich and full doctrine contained in Ephesians 2:1-10.  (One of the things that came to mind while listening to this editor/writer turned speaker open the text for us was that a grammarian must necessarily love the framing of the language of a text like this… and that this grammarian wants to take on a project of classifying and diagramming key doctrinal passages of Scripture… maybe a special section of this blog can be set aside for the illustrations of these word pictures.) The question of the ordo salutis came up and an outstanding exposition of Regeneration, Faith and Repentance ensued. Until the audio is uploaded (the hosting church was Christ Bible Church in Cranberry, PA) and can be linked here… please find below an outstanding articulation of the “order” of Regeneration and Faith as explained in Scripture, a free article at Monergism written by John Hendryx.

Jesus Teaches that Regeneration Precedes Faith

by John Hendryx


“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” (John 6:37)

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:44)

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But there are some of you who do not believe
…And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” (John 6:63, 65)


According to Scripture, all people are born dead in sin (Eph 2:1). This simply means that, as a result of the Fall, people are born without the Holy Spirit and therefore, (left to themselves and being spiritually dead) are hostile to Christ (Rom. 8:7) and unable to understand to spiritual things (1 Cor 1:21). It does not mean they can do (or think) nothing in their fallen state, but it means they can do nothing spiritual or redemptive … that they will always think God’s word is foolish (1 Cor 2:14) until the Holy Spirit, who comes from the outside, works grace in their hearts (Ezek 11:19-20). The natural man may be alive to carnal things, but he is dead to spiritual things. So to the question: can any person come to faith in Christ apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, both the Arminian and the Calvinist would definitively answer “no”.

The Arminian asserts that this work of the Holy Spirit (this “prevenient grace” that temporarily gives the power of free choice) is ultimately resistible by the fallen sinner. Arminians affirm that man, apart from grace, hates the light and will not come into the light. And because of this, the Spirit grants them a kind of post-regenerate – pre-conversion state where he is, for a time, lifted out of his moral depravity and given the opportunity to receive or reject the free offer of Christ in the gospel. To be a just God, most Arminians reason, God must give all people an equal opportunity to choose whether to believe or not. And this opportunity is granted, they claim, through prevenient grace. As most Arminians will admit, however, this “semi-regenerate” state is logically, rather than exegetically deduced. On the other hand, the Calvinist is convinced that the Bible teaches that regenerative grace itself opens our blind eyes, unplugs our deaf ears and gives us a new heart (Ezek 36:26, John 6:63) making God’s call effectual, infallibly bringing the sinner to faith in Jesus Christ.

Arminian synergists assert that prevenient grace resolves the problem of human boasting since God initiates with grace. But in reality this sleight of hand does not resolve the problem at all and only begs the question. For if God gives this prevenient grace to everybody, we must ask: why do some respond positively to Christ and not others? What makes them to differ? Jesus Christ or something else? The problem of boasting is not removed, for if God gives grace to everybody and only some believe, then the heart that believes still thinks that it made the wiser decision by improving on grace while others did not. The person affirming prevenient grace still must ultimately attribute his repenting and believing to his own wisdom, prudence, sound judgment, or good sense. So in the Arminian belief system, they are not willing to confront the obvious question of why some believe and not others? The only answer I have ever heard to this question in all my years debating this was “because some believed”. But, this avoids the question, because I did not ask them what they did, but why they did it? And the “why” seems to be a question that Jesus goes out of his way to answer. (John 8:46-47 & John 10:26) …..

….Read more here.

2 Timothy 1:12


Written by mrsdkmiller

October 16, 2011 at 6:04 pm

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