Regeneration Precedes Faith Temporally (In Time)?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Alexander, Aug 5, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    No difference-one faith, one gospel

    Gal 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

    The same faith that was proclaimed in Gen 3:15 is the same gospel we have. One cannot be saved if their belief is monotheistic, i.e., Judaism.
     
  2. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    I'm talking about covenant children. They are under the preaching of the word. How God uses that hearing is His prerogative, but we know from examples like John the Baptist that he rejoiced in the presence of Jesus prior to being able to speak or verbally confess.

    Does that clarify? :)
     
  3. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    We're agreeing, right?

    The only thing I would clarify is that, as I understand it, we are monotheistic as are Muslims and Jews. The obvious difference is we are trinitarian and believe the God of the whole Bible. The Muslim god is a different god. Judaism separates the Godhead and denies Christ. This is ultimately not the God of any part of the Bible.
     
  4. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Well, I was responding to this statement:

    Based on what you just wrote-I possibly misunderstood. I agree. Infants can have, as I said, seed faith, but that faith is dormant until the time when the word germinates it and conversion happens under the outward call (preaching).

    Rom 10:17 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
     
  5. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Agreed.
     
  6. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    Agreed.

    "And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak..." (2 Cor. 4:13)

    I'm only trying to say that the faith precedes speaking. In children, the time frame may be longer.
     
  7. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    I guess what you are saying and where I again misunderstood has to do with the faculty of verbalizing. I see now you are referring to the idea that one will not necessarily speak of the gospel and Christ as a true witness until that time when one actually has faith. Agreed.
     
  8. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Tim,
    I just perused the thread again. This was the quote from you that I had issue with-this may help both of us:

    As I said, in my opinion, one can be regenerate as an infant and even have seed faith-however, conversion requires the outward call to which the regenerated respond to by ascending to biblical facts. It is not that these biblical facts save, but it is part and parcel of the gospel call. Could a man be saved without knowledge of his sin and his eternal destiny from them? Or not knowing what Christ did and accomplished? Can an infant ascend to these facts or confess Christ? Can they do the math? I am not saying that information saves. It does not. But the components of the gospel warrant those items that are inherent with salvation.
     
  9. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    Hmm...

    I'm not sure what "seed faith" is for lack of biblical example. The scripture also doesn't give us a minimum requirement of knowledge to which we must assent to be saved. I guess I'd rather stick to the requirements for salvation listed in scripture and leave the working of that out in the life of infants and young children to God.
     
  10. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Here are some excerpts from Turretin on the subject:

     
  11. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    I had dinner tonight with a 15-year-old girl who has never said more than maybe one word. Yet she has sat under sound preaching her whole life. What does she understand? What faith can she assent? Is she potentially more "saved" now than when she was an infant and had "seed faith" (a term that I don't recognise from either the Bible or the cobfessions). Yes, one would expect a believer to confess Jesus is Lord, and that is rightly a requirement for participation in the Lord's table. But to insist that the ability is a requirement for a full and living faith doesn't reflect the Bible's teaching.
     
  12. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    Yes, I've read some of the arguments and agree with Jean that they are speculative. The Bible describes measures of faith, weak faith, etc. It seems prudent to operate on the assumption that infants are saved by genuine faith, though in a lesser measure than adults. The argument for "seed faith" seems to add another faith to the equation that revolves around speculation, not scripture.

    Be that as it may, I would like to not derail this thread, so I won't be speaking any more to infants unless it directly helps the concert of the OP.
     
  13. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    2Ths.1:3 speaks of faith "growing up" exceedingly. The idea of a "seed of faith" is simply that concept of the smallest faith (like as a mustard seed, Mk.4:31; Lk.17:6) with all the potential an actual seed has. Seeds are watered, they germinate, and they are nourished up into maturity. The metaphor is clearly biblical.
     
  14. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Simply put: regeneration precedes faith because spiritually dead people cannot exercise faith for salvation.

    God supplies both the regenerated heart and the faith with which to believe.
     
  15. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    I suggest Googling these terms in relation to what converted men have under their theological belts:

    Assensus
    Fiducia
    Notia
     
  16. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    Scott and Bruce,

    I agree with the idea of "seed faith" when it's understood to be a very small measure of faith. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding Turretin, but when he says "Although infants do not have actual faith, the seed or root of faith cannot be denied to them..." it seems that he's saying "seed faith" is not "actual faith." This is where I take issue.

    Applying it to the OP, it seems that the writer would have a point that salvation can belong to someone without actual faith if we say infants can be saved without actual faith.

    Do you understand my concern?
     
  17. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    The way I would explain this is that this child is regenerated w/ a capacity for faith-that is that the seed of faith is present and that seed of faith will germinate when the external call makes it effectual.

    Seeds that farmers purchase resemble dead seeds until the time when they are watered...is a tobacco seed, tobacco?
     
  18. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Scott,
    It's probably taking it a step further than you should, to say that such divine "implanting" of a seed of faith is just the same as "regeneration." Regeneration is that seed germinating. You could extend the metaphor a bit, to include the means of effectual calling: i.e. the "watering" of the seed so to stimulate it's growth.

    But it seems patent to say that the life of regeneration is never the potential life in the seed, but the seed come alive. As you say yourself, the seed before its germination is indistinguishable from a lifeless seed, one that will never grow into anything, for whatever reason.
     
  19. KGP

    KGP Puritan Board Freshman

    Honest truth, I read this thread from the start, and on the post before this i began to think about Lazarus and how regeneration is in essence a resurrection in a persons life commanded by God through his Word, and how that relates to the discussion up to that point. I formulated my thought just in time to start reading this post of yours; it was like having my mind read to me almost.

    You said it better than I would have of course, which was an additional bonus. Good response.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Sorry if I sent that message-I don't believe that regeneration and the S of F are one and the same-they are entirely different.

    I see the S of F 'germinating' upon the watering from the word, i.e. the external call of God. Regeneration happens and then those that are not able to rationalize that which regeneration brings are left with S of F that will germinate soon after upon the preaching of the word.

    I believe I had in previous posts. :)

    Regeneration guarantees that the seed will germinate, eventually. I agree that it is not 'the potential life in the seed', but is surely is the guarantee of it. One cannot have faith without regeneration and one cannot be regenerated without the capacity for faith in seed form or one that has germinated under the preached word.
     
  21. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Would not the regeneration that comes from God by necessity then cause the person to exercise saving faith into Jesus at same time then? Like 2 sides of the same coin? As regeneration proceeds saving faith, but to us would appear to have been done at the same time?
     
  22. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    I have seen these two as being flip side of the same coin, as God grants to His chosen ones in Christ to have a new heart towards Jesus, and right then saving faith is exercised towards Jesus to complete salvation process.
     
  23. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Senior

    Essentially, yes. To follow the Lazarus theme, imagine God granting new life to him while he was dead (regeneration) and then calling to him, "Come forth!" Is there any conceivable scenario where Lazarus would choose to stay bound in burial clothes in a dank, dark tomb for a while, rather than urgently and determinedly hopping out (that's always how I envision the bound Lazarus emerging from the tomb!) in response (faith) to the call of his Lord?
    Yes, regeneration precedes faith - but faith will always follow instantaneously (if we can even, in fact, assign even a momentary temporal sequence).
     
  24. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Yes and no. It depends. it could be a seed of faith; as mentioned, when one has faith, they have to have faith in something-which depends on the light coming on as information is revealed (john 3).

    Google these terms:
    Assensus
    Fiducia
    Notia
     
  25. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Consider an infant in the womb-how do u apply this rationale practically to an infant in the womb or in it's infancy?
    It has to be as i have shown.
     
  26. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    This would fall under John 3 (as I have mentioned). Not everyone who is regenerated is converted as conversion is dependent upon a man knowing the gospel, i.e. sin and it's affect, repentance, belief in Christ, acceptance, to receive, etc.

    Surely a man can be regenerated under a condition of having no absolute knowledge-thats what regeneration is for-to open the mind and heart to truth. But conversion takes the external call from the preacher and the person ascending to the truths of scripture in regard to the good news-he needs to rationalize what is 'good' about the good news and ascend to these facts.
     
  27. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    *knowledge does not save. But the person who is saved, will have the minimum onboard of these truths.
     
  28. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Senior

    I believe that the elect infant, regenerated, has saving faith. Why would we say that he/she cannot have faith? Without faith, it is impossible (not merely more difficult) to please God. If the infant is saved, God is pleased. If God is pleased, there must be faith. We must take care not to superimpose material "rules" for faith/trust/belief onto supernatural categories. No one - no one is saved without faith in Christ (though how that is accomplished in elect infants and those incapable of hearing the Word preached is a mystery).
     
  29. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Senior

    Now, that is something I have never heard before - certainly not from someone claiming to subscribe to Reformed theology!
     
  30. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Scott,

    I am not sure what you are trying to say here, given Eze. 36:26. Are you saying that all elect are regenerated but not all regenerated are converted? What then is the eternal destiny of the latter? Are they among the elect? Or are you referring to the progress of the elect's walk of faith?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page