Jan 12, 2009

Faith is the "Receiver"

Those who, like the Hardshells and "Reformed" Calvinists, promote the "born again before faith" error are often heard to say that "God in regeneration (new birth) gives ability to believe," and "God in regeneration gives one a 'receiver' to receive the gospel."

One cannot "receive" the news of the gospel, it is argued by the Hyperist, without first being given this spiritual "receiver," no more than a radio cannot "receive" the "sound waves" without a radio "receiver."

What is wrong with this argumentation?

First, it fails to see that faith itself is the "receiver." It fails to see faith itself as the "ability" to please God.

I have often had Hyperists ask me about Romans 8: 6-8 and about the statement of Paul that "they who are in the flesh cannot please God." The argument is made to prove that one must be regenerated before he can believe. But, I then rebut this argumentation with a question, which is this - "is regeneration alone sufficient to please God?" And, - "can one please God with regeneration and without faith?"

The writer of Hebrews says - "without faith it is impossible to please God." (Hebrews 11: 6) Paul says in Romans 8 - "they who are in the flesh cannot please God." Thus, regeneration alone, if it does not include faith, is not sufficient to please God.

For regeneration to make a man capable of "pleasing God," he must be given faith when he is given new birth.

If a man is regenerated "before" faith, and regeneration is supposed to make it possible to have faith, then one is able to please God by regeneration alone, and faith then becomes unnecessary in the goal of "pleasing God." Do you see?

Faith is indeed the "ability" and the "receiver" that is given to sinners when they are called, drawn, and converted. From this point on, with a regenerated heart, and with the gift of faith, he is able to please God.

A "regenerated unbeliever" cannot please God for he lacks faith, the ability and the receiver that he has been given by God.

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