Does Faith Precede Regeneration
Does Faith Precede Regeneration In Salvation?
Saying that faith precedes regeneration – as many professing Christians believe – is like saying birth precedes conception. In contrast, regeneration prior to faith is not only a possibility, it is a necessity, although a case could be made for faith being simultaneous with regeneration, since it is regeneration that brings with it true faith (a gift from God – Ephesians 2:8), along with true repentance (also a gift from God – Acts 11:18). Here is another analogy in this regard… Would you have faith in a doctor prescribing you medicine to cure you of cancer when you don’t even know you have cancer yet and you don’t even know if the guy trying to give you the medicine is a doctor? Likewise, you can’t trust (have faith in) a Savior who you don’t know yet, and you won’t WANT TO trust Him yet either if He hasn’t put His Spirit in you yet, that Spirit who testifies with your spirit that you are indeed a child of God (Romans 8:16). If you want to keep patting yourself on the back for having the faith in Christ that most other people don’t have, a faith that you believe you conjured up to get yourself saved – while yet unregenerated – well then go right ahead and take credit for what you did. I want nothing to do with that kind of man-glorifying gospel. I’ll take the Gospel of the Bible any day over that “other” gospel. Matthew 1:21 in my Bible says:
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save HIS PEOPLE from their sins.”
If the free-will gospel was true, then Matthew 1:21 would say:
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save all the people who choose to have faith in Him and he is going to pay the complete penalty for everybody’s sins including all the people who end up in Hell who will still have to pay for their sins themselves for all eternity, even though Jesus paid for their sins too.”
As kooky as the above revised Matthew 1:21 sounds, that is the gist of Arminianism, also known as semi-pelagianism, also known as free-willism, also known as HERESY. The reason that people think that faith precedes regeneration is because they think that it is THEIR faith that CAUSES themselves to be saved, when in reality, true faith is RECEIVED by a sinner AS A GIFT FROM GOD at the point of salvation – at the point of regeneration, which is what Ephesians 2:8 is saying: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”. It is the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ that saves a soul, not the sinner’s faith!!! The reason so many Christians don’t know this, is probably due to bad teaching AND due to the fact that so many Christians are using MODERN bibles that are based on corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts. The King James Bible is translated properly. It still says “faith OF Christ” where the modern bibles say “faith IN Christ”:
Galatians 2:16 (KJV) – “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
“Philippians 3:9 (KJV) – “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”
However, the New International Version (NIV), New American Standard Bible (NASB) and English Standard Version (ESV) all say “faith in Christ” and are worded in a way that makes it seem like the sinner gets themselves saved by exercising their own faith, which is impossible since you can’t exercise a faith that you have not yet received from God, if you have not yet been regenerated by God (have not yet become born from above by the Holy Spirit).
So we can see that the regeneration COMES BEFORE faith, or in other words, the EGG (the new birth) comes before the CHICKEN (the one possessing truth faith in a Savior whom they truly know and truly trust in for their salvation)! There is a vast difference between hearing that someone laid down their life for you, and actually knowing that as a fact experientially as you stand at their grave in the cemetery. And so it is with faith in Christ.
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Christ Died For The Ungodly
by Horatius Bonar
The divine testimony concerning man is, that he is a sinner. God bears witness against him, not for him; and testifies that "there is none righteous, no, not one"; that there is "none that doeth good"; none "that understandeth"; none that even seeks after God, and, still more, none that loves Him (Psa. 14:1-3; Rom. 3:10-12). God speaks of man kindly, but severely; as one yearning over a lost child, yet as one who will make no terms with sin, and will "by no means clear the guilty." <continued>