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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Christian - Where did your faith come from? | Main | Who is Jesus Anyway? »

    How Can Regeneration Precede Faith in Light of Eph 1:13?

    Visitor:

    If regeneration precedes faith, how can we explain Ephesians 1:13? This verse lists hearing, believing and sealing with the Holy Spirit in that order. If being sealed with the Holy Spirit is the same thing as being indwelled by the Holy Spirit, or if this happens when the heart is changed (ie., with regeneration, as per Ezekiel 36:26-27), doesn't that mean that regeneration follows belief rather than precedes it?


    Response:
    Paul's main point of the first 12 verses in Ephesians is to show that all spiritual blessings we have are because of the sovereign grace of Jesus Christ ALONE, in Whom we are predestined and adopted as sons, thereby making the Spirit's work of grace, by definition, causally prior to our faith. But, if this were not enough, Jesus himself explicitly teaches that regeneration precedes faith in John 6:63-65 & 37. Take the time to meditate on that passage in context. Are you suggesting that Paul is teaching in Ephesians 1:13 that a person can come to faith in Jesus apart from the Holy Spirit? That he can simply rely on his own native resources apart from grace? That the spiritually blind do not need their eyes opened, that the deaf do not need their ears unplugged, that the hard-hearted can make their own heart of stone into a heart of flesh, without God's help? In other words, specifically related to you question about Eph 1:13, are you suggesting that because the Spirit comes to indwell the believer after he believes and is justified, that the Spirit does not also work in people prior to this? That the Spirit is dormant and is waiting for a graceless person to believe first? The Biblical evidence is so overwhelming that the Spirit also works prior to belief that this should not even be a debate in the church. The believer hears only because the Holy Spirit opens his ears. The sinner believes only because the Spirit has worked faith in Him. They "are born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:13). That which is born of flesh is flesh, but that which is born of Spirit is Spirit (John 3:7). "The Spirit gives life the flesh counts for nothing." (6:65). The "flesh"means the person without the Spirit who can neither know nor understand spiritual truth, and faith, therefore is not born of man's will.

    Why do you "thank" God for your conversion? It is because the Bible gives witness that God was entirely responsible for it. You thank God because you know your repenting and believing cannot be ascribed to your own wisdom, sound judgment, or good sense. Jesus Christ gets ALL the glory. Even the very humility you have to believe is a gift of grace, for what do you have that you did not receive.. Or would you rather tell God that you thank him for everything else, but that your faith is something you came up with on your own??? Jesus Christ is the author and perfecter of our faith. Why do some believe and not others? What makes us to differ? Jesus or something else?

    Posted by John on October 20, 2010 05:47 PM

    Comments

    Excellent response to the visitor's question!

    Ironically, the question has an inspiration in it that causes it to be asked!

    Of the many other Scriptures one can build from a sound doctrinal answer to that question, here are some to note with what you have already provided as an answer to the question:


    Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
    Rom 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"
    Rom 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
    Rom 8:17 and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
    Rom 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.


    When you weigh those verses in light of the following three verses, one from chapter one, another from chapter 15 and the last of them from chapter 16, all of them from the Book of Romans, you should be able to understand that there is absolutely nothing being required for one to be "adopted". It takes no faith to be adopted. However, as is pointed too above it does take Faith to understand why all the suffering after one is adopted into Sonship.

    Here's the other three verses mentioned above:

    Rom 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,
    Rom 1:6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
    Rom 1:7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Rom 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.

    Rom 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
    Rom 15:14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.
    Rom 15:15 But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God
    Rom 15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
    Rom 15:17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God.
    Rom 15:18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience--by word and deed,
    Rom 15:19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God--so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ;


    Rom 16:25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages
    Rom 16:26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith--
    Rom 16:27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

    Key in on that word "obedience" and how it is being applied.

    Faith is a "fruit" of the Spirit and is the outcome of adoption. Faith does not produce the Spirit of adoption, rather the Spirit produces obedience to the Faith once delivered to the Saints!

    There are a lot of sinners who hear the Gospel. Yet only those called, elected and chosen to be adopted, Saints from the foundation of the world, will hear the Word of God and come into the obedience of faith in the world.

    Unfortunately, you didn't actually answer the specifics of the person's question. The distinction is between the prevenient, drawing work of the Spirit (which results in faith) and the sealing of the Spirit. The mistake being made by the questioner is to identify the sealing of the Spirit with regeneration.

    I agree with the previous comment. Regeneration ( giving of spiritual life ) can precede the indwelling of the Spirit. Many have believed wrongly I think that there is no rebirth without indwelling. I don't see that in Scripture. What I see is that we are made a new creature/ spirit is born by the Spirit/. The Spirit of Christ indwells the beliver/ not the unbeliever. However, regeneration precedes faith, ergo, regeneration precedes indwelling.

    Wow, this is very enlightening! The first two answers are very appealing and teach me much toward kindness and drawing. Very loving response to this question which gives hope of salvation!
    Regarding Jacks comment I would like to know if this they are what Wesley meant be prevenient grace? That like the disciples who first were given to know Christ in the beginning, had later received the indwelling of the Holy spirit at Pentecost after some years had passed in following Christ? That God draws us and than leads us as followers toward this time when we are sealed and filled with the holy spirit?
    Or if he (Wesley) means prevenient grace to be that all who believe have been drawn so to believe and so if they believe than they are saved?
    Confusing to me in this great debate of Armenian vs. calvinist!
    Really would appreciate some more light here!
    The answer of Jack gives me something to chew on though it seems technical to me not knowing these things so well!

    I would agree with Michael in that John doesn't seem to address the question.

    John's response doesn't seem to include a Biblically-expounded response. It seems to be more like a reaction than a response.

    However, I would like to thank John for all his work he does. I appreciate it!!

    I'm sorry, I was mistaken. It was Jack's response who I agreed with. My fault.

    Jack & Brad,

    Well, the response contained two very clear reasons why wesleyan prevenient grace is not possible. 1) a biblical reason and 2) reason in light of Scripture.

    Biblically, Jesus explicitly teaches that regenertion is monergistic, not synergistic in John 6:63-65 & 37 a passage I have done extensive exegesis on this blog many times. see the essay called "The Jesus Syllogism" as one example: http://www.reformationtheology.com/2005/11/the_jesus_syllogism.php

    Second, reasonably, if two persons have prevenient grace (which is no where found in the Bible, but for arguments' sake) if two were to hear the gospel and only one of them ultimately believes, why does one believe and not the other? what makes them to differ? Jesus Christ or something else?

    In the response above that is why I ask, "Why do you "thank" God for your conversion? It is because the Bible gives witness that God was entirely responsible for it. You thank God because you know your repenting and believing cannot be ascribed to your own wisdom, sound judgment, or good sense."

    The answer to this question does away with prevenient grace altogether. Yes, wesleyans believe that Jesus is necessary for salvation, but not sufficient to save us to the uttermost. For the new heart that believes is not something they can thank God for. Faith is their contribution apart from grace. You will say "they did have prevenient grace." yes but if two people both have prevenient grace what makes them to differ in their responses. Jesus says "my sheep hear my voice" and to the unbelieving Jews he said, "you do not believe because you are not my sheep." (see John 10) and in John 8, Jesus says to them, "Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God."

    Here are two articles on prevenient grace which which Paul denies in Eph 1:3-5 and Jesus denies in John 6. It has no biblical basis, but is logically deduced from a system. But all our statements about the Bible should be backed with Scripture

    http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/prevenient.html

    http://www.reformationfiles.com/files/displaytext.php?file=schreiner_prevenient.html

    Salvation is wholly of Christ.

    This is because sinners are wholly helpless in their sin, so Christ is to be thought of as saving us by His unconditional, invincible grace, not only justifying us for Christ's sake we come to faith, but also raising us from the death of sin by His quickening Spirit in order to bring us to faith.

    The love of God as understood by the wesleyan is conditional because it requires faith if God is to love Him, but the God of the Bible teaches that God loves his people unconditionally, providing what they could not provide for themselves.

    An example from every day life. Two parents see their child run out in the street and a car is coming. The first parent stays on the curb and calls out to the child hoping he will get out of the way but does nothing more. The second parent runs out into the street at the risk of his life and scoops up the child to make certain he is safe.

    Moral of the story? True love gets the job done. The Arminian idea of God is like the first parent. We would not think this to be love in every day life so why do we think it would from God. It is conditional, weak willed and does not reflect the Biblical witness.

    God's love for us is unconditional however, he gets the job done. Yes God summons us to repent and believe, but this imperative is met with the indicative of grace. A gives us a new heart that believes. The Ezekiel passage quoted above says that the He grants us this that we might obey him. He makes sure his chosen are saved. Read Eph 1 again. It utterly does away with the possibility of prevenient grace.

    "but the God of the Bible teaches that God loves his people unconditionally, providing what they could not provide for themselves."

    And not only that, prior to regeneration they do not want to provide it for themselves, nor would they if they could, they do not seek God, instead, he is found by a people who do not seek him:

    “I was sought by those who did not ask; a I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said: Here I am, here I am, to a nation that was not called by My name. I spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people who walk in the wrong path, following their own thoughts."

    So how does someone then turn when they follow their own thoughts and do not seek God? Paul's answer is found in 1 Cor 2.

    1. It is not found in persausive words.

    2. It is founded soley upon the power of God.

    3. It is revealed only by the Spirit.

    4. We receive the Spirit so that we might understand.

    5. The natural man without the Spirit cannot understand.

    6. We are given the mind of Christ, the natural man has only his own mind, cf Isaiah, his own thoughts which cannot lead to God, but only produces people continually provoking him to his face.

    The distinction that is being made in the sealing of the Holy Spirit is a distinction between a vital life giving union which is accomplished monergistically in regeneration and what is often known as the conversion experience which necessarily includes an synergism of sorts, where, when the Word is preached, it being heard by those with ears to hear, understand and by faith, believe and then are sealed. The first is unknown to man, John 3, a work done in secret by the Spirit, the second cannot exist except the man knows and sees and hears and it therefore necessarily is called the act of faith by which we are sealed, some times called conversion, that is, man exerimentally is confirmed in his faith. Or as Jesus describes, we only know the Spirit's work, as the wind, by what fruit he has produced. Faith cannot exist without knowledge, but knowledge comes from hearing, the faculty of hearing, must come, as Paul has said, by the Spirit's prior work in making what is natually dead in sin and having its mind fixed on the flesh, alive by the Spirit's regeneration, creating a new spiritual man able to understand the things freely given to those predestined to faith by fixing their minds on Christ:

    "On the contrary, we speak God’s hidden wisdom in a mystery, which God predestined before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age knew it, for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: What no eye has seen and no ear has heard, and what has never come into a man’s heart, is what God has prepared for those who love Him.

    The Spirit of God in us testifies to Word heard. Without the inward testimony of the Spirit, without first being regenerated, the Scripture falls upon deaf ears. As Jesus said, the Jews heard him, and even knew the Scriptures and even thought they had eternal life, but they did not know who he was and so refused to come to him.

    This is so good! Your comments, Thomas, illustrate what happened to me in my life so accurately! I did not do it!! It happened to me!! I did not even know the gospel until I heard it later! Than I knew I had faith and was so exceedingly glad to be able to see for the first time in my life!
    This is the best confirmation of anything I have ever read! And it is the single reason for all my life and all my hope toward death! Even in death along the way of self and sin!
    To Johns statement, "why does one believe and not the other? what makes them to differ? Jesus Christ or something else?" I can tell you personally that nothing made me to differ for I had nothing to be claimed of myself! Nothing but sin and lostness covering me in great darkness! Nothing could have been done of myself for i had tried everything and it all failed! I had hit the end of the road of me, so I thought, until I seen, I must die along the way and be made new by the Holy Spirit - Jesus, not any other!
    Why than does Wesley teach what he teaches? Does it provoke God or exalt Christ or man? I don't know as his teaching seems but a justification of man to say man can save himself!!! Maybe God raised him to bring many into the church for some reason only God knows? For he seems to tear down all which man builds up throughout history!
    Thanks so much for these great comments! Thank God for Him crucified for sin! May Christ always be exalted above all things! He is on the throne this very hour and he rules this very day! He alone is LORD! Thank God greatly for this precious gift to such a sinner as!!!!! It certainly seems unjust to me that he would save me and not all the good men who have no sin like I had! Praise Him to death!

    Thanks John. Yet, I think one can look at Scripture, as I have, and say, "Okay it's obvious from John 6 that I cannot come to God unless he permits it. Got that. Yet, some passages (like Eph 1:13 and Gal 3:2, 5) make it seem that the indwelling of the Spirit comes through faith, not prior to it."

    Thus, one might drawn the conclusion that ultimately they don't know all the inner workings of God in bringing them to faith in Christ, but they know that He did it, not them. Yet, it might seem to them from the Scriptures I noted above that the Spirit was given through their faith, not prior to it, even though their faith is indeed somehow from God.

    Make sense? This is something I have struggled through. Maybe some of the comments after yours above will help clear this up for me.

    Blessings!

    Hi Brad,

    Thank you for your comments. I have a couple of things to say in response which I actually think I said in the post, but perhaps not as well as I could have:

    1) I assume we all affirm that the Bible has absolute authority and that it is equally inspired in all its parts. These parts all work together. So where one part is silent, and where there is more clarity on that subject in other parts, this is what we believe. The argument presented above that because believers receive the Holy Spirit (to indwell them) after faith, therefore automatically excludes any of God's work in unbelievers prior to faith assumes way too much. The Ephesians and Galatians verse is mute on what the work of the Spirit might be in an person prior to their belief so it is an argument from silence to conclude, therefore, that God, the Holy Spirit, does not effectually bring His people to saving faith behind the scenes through regeneration, especially since this is the testimony of so many other texts of scripture. Doctrinal error usually occurs, I have found, when we take isolated verses, such as these, without consulting the whole counsel of Scripture to draw our conclusions. As you might guess, therefore, it is natural to assume that I do not believe the Spirit's work of regeneration is exactly the same concept as what is discussed in these above verses. Regeneration and indwelling may be organically related but they are distinct actions of God the Holy Spirit. There is no exegetical warrant for equating regeneration and indwelling and are entirely different ministries of the Spirit. What takes place behind the scenes (the Spirit's work) is not always discussed in every verse when it shows someone trusting Christ. But when we look at the whole counsel of Scripture it is abundantly evident. Sometimes God opens a spiritual window so we can catch a glimpse of what is taking place when a spiritually dead person is brought to life. Acts 13:48 is such an example of God working behind the scenes when the gospel is preached: "When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed."

    2) As I also pointed out in my post, The above Ephesians 1:13 passage is being read in isolation. It says, "Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit." Indeed, we affirm, but again, what about context?. There are other verses in the same passage which seem to qualify this one. Ironically in the context of the same passage two verses earlier it reads, "... also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will." (Eph 1: 11) Verse five says, "In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved...." You see, these verses, in the same context, teach that the grace of God preceded our faith. Freely bestowed means "without conditions" or not because of something He was responding to in us like foreknowledge of our choice ... rather the text says that it was according to God's good pleasure alone. You would have thought Paul was clear enough in this passage leading up to belief, but God's free grace seems to be casually overlooked by many when verse 13 is not read in the context of these verses.

    3) Galatians 3:2

    “I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Gal 3:2 Again, the context of this whole passage speaks of whether we are saved by law or through faith. It is of interest to note that Paul uses Abraham's children as an example. Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. The son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. God unilaterally and monergistically promised that Abraham would have a son through Sarah. Allegorically speaking, these women represent two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Abraham tried to circumvent God's promise by having the promised son through Hagar, his slave, rather than believe God's promise that He alone will bring it about. On Abraham's part this represents an attempt to synergistically bring about God's promise. But God's promise was monergistic and He would bring about Isaac after Sarah was beyond childbearing age so that they would get the message that salvation is of the Lord.

    "Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son." Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman. Gal 4:28-31

    So to summarize, reading Eph 1:13 as a prooftext to exclude any possibility of the Spirit's work in regeneration prior to faith is an argument from silence. and Eph 1:3-5 clearly indicates that God chooses us freely in Christ according to his sovereign good pleasure. This is a much stronger argument that God does do something that we might come to him. This allows for none other than divine monergism ....the Spirit opening our eyes before we see. We don't see first then have the Spirit open our eyes. If God freely elects us in Christ he is not constrained by looking to see who had the wisdom to believe. The point of the first few verse is to exclude human involvement to show all is of God's grace in Christ.

    P.S. For further serious exegesis showing that indwelling and regeneration are separate ministries, here is a good book which includes a lot on this subject
    http://www.monergismbooks.com/Gods-Indwelling-Presence-The-Holy-Spirit-in-the-Old-New-Testaments-p-17714.html

    Great discussion. I agree with the original response by John on matters but not on method, as many above have said. However, what the 'Visitor' poses is a legitimate concern, not that he by implication denies that regeneration precedes faith but the consequence of the logical truth that one exception to an absolute requires a redefinition of the absolute.

    As such, if we agree, as said often above, that this verse is taken outside of its context, then why not respond to it with context? Why would Ephesians 1 be inadequate or insufficient to stand on its own ground? This is in response to John H. above who said, "Doctrinal error usually occurs, I have found, when we take isolated verses, such as these, without consulting the whole counsel of Scripture to draw our conclusions."

    Yes, no doubt. But that is not the point. What is the correct interpretation of Ephesians 1:13, then? Do we not eisegete Scripture when we do not allow it to speak in this regard?

    I do not think that anyone can claim that Ephesians 1:13 is Paul's attempt at an ordo solutus. Certainly, this is assumed, but not spelled out as if this was Paul's ultimate purpose in Ephesians. Paul is, in verses 13-14, speaking primarily of the Spirit, reminding his hearers that (upon hearing and believing the Gospel) they were sealed with the Spirit who is a "pledge" of the inheritance we will receive in glory. His instruction is pneumetological.

    However, even with that said, there is nothing in this passage that teaches faith prior to regeneration. Having the seal of the Spirit is a different ministry or work of the Spirit apart from regeneration (cf. Pentecost).

    So, in sum, let us approach these questions in context as we also desire our audience to ask them in context.

    Just to add a little more fuel to this fire started by JH, I can see as much with Peter and his words as I see with John's article as I can with the Apostle Paul's words at Ephesians 1:13.

    Here's Peter's words:

    1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
    1Pe 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,
    in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

    Here we see Peter puts forth an order, 1] God's foreknowledge, 2] the Holy Spirit's sanctification work, 3] our obedience to the Faith following the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. He is Lord and Christ, our confession and our cleaning comes upon us by being washed with His blood and drenched in His Grace and Peace!

    Coming back to Paul, I note again my early response above about that word "obedience".

    There simply is nothing one does to be adopted. The message of adoption to Sonship is a clear message of one being excised out of the world and brought into the community of the Saints where we are taught obedience to a new Federal Head.

    In Adam, all die. In Christ, one is made alive.

    Certainly you will agree that our flesh, this world and the devils do not subject themselves one bit to the Word of God, won't you? If you are one of those who do agree, then you certainly are in agreement with these Words of Truth about you:::>

    Rom 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.
    Rom 8:8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
    Rom 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
    Rom 8:10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
    Rom 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
    Rom 8:12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
    Rom 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
    Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
    Rom 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"
    Rom 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
    Rom 8:17 and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.


    I am new at this and probably shouldn't even be posting. I was converted six years ago and have recently accepted the doctrines of grace, though I kicked and screamed the whole way. Could someone trained in the Greek address my thoughts?

    Why isn't our belief the criteria for knowing we have been sealed? Couldn't we read the verse in this way?

    In whom also you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, having believed.

    @Daniel,

    Thanks for your participation. There is no exegetical warrant in any scripture to conclude that indwelling and regeneration are the same ministry of the Holy Spirit. This has been said in discussion.

    The whole point of the above post is that it is, therefore, an argument from silence to conclude that because sealing and indwelling comes after faith that regeneration must also. This is a non-sequitor i.e. it does not follow.

    Further, in the immediate context (Eph 1:1-11) God freely chooses us in Christ according to his sovereign good pleasure to adopt us as his sons precludes the possibility of faith preceding the work of the Spirit in regeneration, even in this passage. While regeneration is not explicitly mentioned. The word "freely" means that there are no conditions placed on God for the certainty of our adoption through faith in Christ to take place.

    Dr. Paul Reiter, has clearly and simply summarized the Scriptural teaching on this issue. FOR WHOM DID CHRIST DIE?
    HE DIED . . .

    1. For all (1 Tim. 2:6; Isa. 53:6).
    2. For every man (Heb. 2:9).
    3. For the world (John 3:16).
    4. For the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).
    5. For the ungodly (Rom. 5:6).
    6. For false teachers (2 Peter 2:1).
    7. For many (Matt. 20:28).
    8. For Israel (John 11:50–51).
    9. For the Church (Eph. 5:25).
    10. For "me" (Gal. 2:20).
    I just wanted to know what would be my stand pertaining this verses..im a reformed theology believer a solid one for the Five solas of Christianity..
    Please help me to understand..

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