Not Welcomed at Pyromaniacs?
So, let me first cite the first part of the writing of Spurgeon and my initial comment upon it.
"I had not long been in the house, that morning when I found the Savior, before one who had been anxious about me, said, "There is a change come over my son;" and a delicate question was put, which soon drew out of me the confession that I had looked to Christ, and that I was lightened.
Why, they could all see in my face the evidence of the change that had been wrought; there was all the difference between bondage and liberty, or between despair and delight; and it was because I had been with Christ that I had, in a moment, leaped out of nature's darkness into his marvellous light."
Now, here is the simple comment I made, one that "disturbed" the Mike, Dan, Frank, and "team pyro."
"Spurgeon knew when he was regenerated and born again. He knew it took place simultaneous with his coming to faith. He was saved by a simple look of faith, what some call "easy believism.""
Mike Riccardi said:
"There's nothing in that blurb about Spurgeon saying he knew when he was regenerated. He says he knew when he "looked to faith," but regeneration only comes in because you put it there. Also, you're hung up on temporal order when you should be worrying about logical order. I don't think there are periods of time where one is regenerated before coming to faith. But logically, one is given eyes to see, and then one sees. He does not see, and by virtue of his seeing gain his sight. One is made alive, and then responds. He does not respond, and then by virtue of his response gain his ability to respond. One is born, and then believes. He does not believe, and gain his ability to be born.And frankly, I'm a little disturbed that that's what you pick out of this post.
Just a clarification, as I re-read something that I wrote and realized it could be easily misunderstood. I don't think there are periods of time where one is regenerated before coming to faith. What I mean is, I don't think one is regenerated, and then becomes Saddleback Sam, just waiting for someone to push him over the edge to faith. I don't think there are regenerated, unsaved people walking around. So I think regeneration and faith are temporally simultaneous, but regeneration logically precedes faith."
"I am sorry that it disturbs you for me to say what Spurgeon himself often said about this experience in the Methodist chapel. He saw this as his look of faith and the time when he was regenerated. That is all I said. So, why are you so disturbed? Do you deny that Spurgeon believed that it was scriptural to reverse the order and say to sinners "repent and live"? You seem to think that faith and repentance are never put before life in the scriptures, when obviously it does in many places. Do you believe the unsaved man has no eyes or that they are blind eyes that simply need to be healed and opened? Did not Lazarus hear the voice of Christ before he came forth? Whose coming forth was it? Was this coming forth not a response to the voice of Christ? We cannot exclude his actual coming forth, i.e. his response, from what it means to be regenerated or born again. Do you equate the terms regenerated and born again? When sinners are told to "repent and be converted," is conversion here regeneration or not?
"Do you believe infants are "regenerated" in infancy? If so, is it without faith, repentance, and conversion?"
"You seem to think I unjustly inserted the concept of regeneration into what Spurgoen said in the citation. When he spoke of the “change” that had been “wrought” in him, was he not referring to his regeneration? When he said - “I had looked to Christ, and that I was lightened,” was he not referring to his regeneration? When he spoke of the “difference between bondage and liberty” and “between despair and delight,” was he not talking about his regeneration? When he speaks of having “been with Christ” and “in a moment, leaped out of nature's darkness into his marvellous light,” was he not referring to his regeneration? How then did I err?
"what Spurgeon himself often said"
"Care to document this?
"Do you deny that Spurgeon believed that it was scriptural to reverse the order and say to sinners "repent and live"?"
"This is almost a technicality. I'm much more comfortable with "Repent and be saved." The only time "Repent and live" is used in the Bible it's in Ezekiel 18, in which "live" is used parallel to "be saved," as it's contrasted with the eternal death of the wicked. It's like saying, repent and don't die eternally. So, if Spurgeon means what you mean by "repent and live" (which, btw, it'd be nice for you to document as well), then I disagree. But he doesn't mean that. (You still have to show that he says that!) So he and I are cool."
"You seem to think that faith and repentance are never put before life in the scriptures, when obviously it does in many places."
"So many statements without evidence. Care to bring one up?"
"Do you believe the unsaved man has no eyes or that they are blind eyes that simply need to be healed and opened?"
"Depends on how you're using words. Does a man lying in a coffin at his funeral have eyes? I'd say so. They're still physically there. But it's foolish to say that all that's needed for him to see is that his eyes be healed and opened. He needs to be resurrected, or born again (regenerated) for his eyes to work."
"Do you equate the terms regenerated and born again?"
Yes. Generate: come into being, to be born. Re-: again.
"Did not Lazarus hear the voice of Christ before he came forth? Was this coming forth not a response to the voice of Christ?"
"Dead men don't hear. If he heard Christ's voice, it was after he was able to hear; i.e., after he had life. His coming forth was indeed a response, something that is the consequence of being able to hear."
"Whose coming forth was it?"
"It was Lazarus's. He was the one who actually got up and came out of the tomb. But he couldn't do that unless Jesus resurrected him."
"We cannot exclude his actual coming forth, i.e. his response, from what it means to be regenerated or born again."
"You're right, in the sense that one is the consequence of the other. You're wrong if you mean they're the same thing. He was resurrected, and then came forth. He was given life, and then started moving. Coming forth and moving is the evidence of resurrection and life, but is not life itself."
"Do you believe infants are "regenerated" in infancy? If so, is it without faith, repentance, and conversion?"
"I'm not sure where I stand on the issue of whether infants who die go to heaven or not. With where I'm at in my study, I tend to lean towards the notion that they don't, as a result of judgment of our total depravity. But, given David's announcement, I'm open to the idea that they do. If they do go to heaven, then I would say it's not apart from regeneration and faith. People say that babies have no capacity to repent and believe. But to think that adults are any different is also silly."
"As to your third consecutive post, you err simply by blurring the lines, and understanding things as temporal rather than logical. Anyway, you've effectively made this post about you and your issues with regeneration in faith, as you have done in other posts, by making statements and not supporting them. Without a change there, I won't be commenting further."
Frank Turk wrote:
"If I can point you to resources in which Spurgeon talks about the ordo salutis, and he says something different than you have said here, will you admit you are wrong?"
All other readers:
"Dan and I are in agreement that Stephen Garrett is simply trying to grind an axe here, and I'd appreciate it that, until I'm done 'splainin' to him his mistake, if you would withdraw or simply take a breather that would help immensely."
Now, before I cite Spurgeon, let me say that the reason why I did not cite him in the comments section was because 1) it is a comments section and should not be used for giving lengthy citations, and 2) I thought Mike would be familiar enough with Spurgeon for me not to have to give the citations. But, since he challenged me, I will give a sampling here in my blog, rather than leaving unwanted comments at the "gentlemen" at teampyro.
I would like to take time to respond more particularly to what these brethren have written, but forbear to do so at this time. For one reason, I have already addressed most of this in previous articles. Also, I was once a Hardshell Baptist. My father still is one. I know what is Hardshellism. These folks who are calling themselves "reformed Baptists" and who hold to the regeneration before faith idea are nothing in the world but Hardshells, or at least a twin.
Certainly my short comment did not deserve the kind of response I got from these brethren. Anyone who knows anything about Spurgeon knows that he believed that he went into that Methodist Chapel dead in sins and came out born again and that he was born again when he looked to Christ.Anyway, Mike, Dan, Frank and teampyro, if you are reading, here is what Spurgeon said about life following faith and repentance.
"An equally remarkable thing is that the gospel calls upon men to do what they cannot do, for Jesus Christ said to this paralyzed man, “I say unto thee, Arise, take up thy bed and walk.” He could not rise, could not take up his bed, and could not walk, and yet he was bidden to do it. And it is one of the strange things of the way of salvation that --“The gospel bids the dead revive; Sinners obey the voice and live. Dry bones are raised and clothed afresh, And hearts of stone are turned to flesh.”
Listen to him as he makes solemn proclamation. “Thus saith the Lord, Ye dry bones live!” “Ridiculous, Ezekiel! they cannot live, why speak to them?” He knows they cannot live of themselves, but he also knows that his Master bids him tell them to live, and he does what his Master bids him. So, in the gospel, the minister is to bid men believe, and he is to say, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” For this reason alone do we say, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” The gospel bids you believe, albeit that you are dead in trespasses and sins. “I cannot understand it,” says somebody. No, and you never will till God reveals it to you; but, when the Lord comes and dwells with you, you will perfectly understand, and see how the exercise of faith on the part of the preacher of the gospel is a part of the divine operation by which dead souls are raised...The man, though he cannot take up his bed and walk, yet believes that he who told him to do it will give him power to do it, and he does take up his bed and walk: there is the whole of it in a nutshell. He believes, and acts on that belief; and he is restored. And that is the whole plan of salvation. You believe the gospel, and act upon the truth of it, and you are saved—saved the moment you accept the witness of God concerning his Son Jesus Christ.
[Excerpts from Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 21, Year 1875, Sermon #1269, pages 703-706]
"If I am to preach faith in Christ to a man who is regenerated, then the man, being regenerated, is saved already, and it is an unnecessary and ridiculous thing for me to preach Christ to him, and bid him to believe in order to be saved when he is saved already, being regenerate."
(Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Warrant of Faith, #531, page 532)
"You are to look to Jesus Christ upon the cross just as the poor serpent-bitten Israelites looked to the brazen serpent and lived. Your prayings will not do you a farthing’s worth of good if you refuse to trust Jesus Christ...It is depending upon the Lord Jesus Christ alone which is the true vital act by which the soul is quickened into spiritual life."
(MTP, Volume 12, Year 1866, page 163).
"But while I remark upon these things, let me also say that to obey the precept “Believe and live” is certainly a great deal more effectual to the soul’s salvation than all the sacrifice and all the fat of rams which you can offer...I would not give a penny for a wagon-load of them. The whole of them are just what Paul calls them --”refuse.” He says, “I count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found in him.” All your best works are but so much rubbish to be carted out of the way, and if you trust in them they will be your ruin, and all we say to you is, “BELIEVE AND LIVE.”
“Believe and live,” oh! that is too simple! What! just trust Christ and be saved on the spot? Why, it cannot be, you think. If we bade you do some great thing you would do it, but you refuse to do so simple a thing as to believe.
(MTP, Volume 12, Year 1866, pages 224, 225, 226).
By "Repentance unto life," I think we are to understand that repentance which is accompanied by spiritual life in the soul, and ensures eternal life to every one who possesses it. "Repentance unto life," I say, brings with it spiritual life, or rather, is the first consequent thereof. There are repentances which are not signs of life, except of natural life, because they are only effected by the power of the conscience and the voice of nature speaking in men; but the repentance here spoken of is produced by the Author of life, and when it comes, it begets such life in the soul, that he who was "dead in trespasses and sins," is quickened together with Christ; he who had no spiritual susceptibilities, now "receives with meekness the engrafted word;" he who slumbered in the very center of corruption, receives power to become one of the sons of God, and to be near his throne. This I think is "repentance unto life,"—that which gives life unto a dead spirit."
"Repentance unto life "is the act of salvation of the soul, the germ which contains all the essentials of salvation, which secures them to us, and prepares us for them."
"Then beloved, if you would have "repentance," this is my best advice to you—look to Jesus. And may the blessed Giver of all "repentance unto salvation" guard you from the false repentances which I have described, and give you that "repentance," which existeth unto life."
Repentance Unto Life - A Sermon (No. 44)