Saturday, June 17, 2017

ASK TETH Episode 02 - Regeneration and Salvation

Lately, I've heard a Calvinist argue that “regeneration is not salvation” and that Primitive Baptists are wrong in how they refer to regeneration as salvation. What say you, TETH?  

I've heard this line of reasoning as well. First off, we should recognize that the term "salvation" is used in both very narrow and very broad ways in scripture and the validity of their line of reasoning is entirely based on whether one has a broad or narrow view of “salvation” in mind.  Let me spell that out more explicitly. If by "regeneration is not salvation" one intends that "regeneration is not ALL that is involved in the broad body of works that make up one's eternal salvation" then this is certainly true. (Romans 8:29-30). It is important to note that Primitive Baptists totally agree with that statement. If, on the other hand "regeneration is not salvation" is intended to assert that, “regeneration is not the moment wherein eternal life is vitally imparted to a chosen child of God,” or that “the bible never equates regeneration with salvation,” then this statement is categorically false.
I’ve heard some people say that, “the bible NEVER refers to regeneration as salvation” and in so doing imply that Primitive Baptists are creating a novel and unscriptural definition of the term when they use it in that way. Is that right?
Over the years, I have had many professing Christians tell me that, “the bible NEVER refers to regeneration as salvation.” I’m always taken aback by that statement because it is so completely and demonstrably false. Paul said that God “saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5) That verse plainly states that we are saved by regeneration, proves that the bible does refer to regeneration as salvation, and sustains the Primitive Baptist practice of referring to regeneration as salvation by which we intend that it is the moment wherein eternal life is imparted to one of God’s children and from which they have eternal life and shall never perish.

The questions I would ask of those who object to referring to regeneration as salvation are…

1. Does regeneration impart eternal life to God's people? Yes. Regeneration imparts eternal life to God’s people. (Ephesians 2:1)

2. Does it precede the exercise of faith in time? Yes. The verb tenses employed in scripture to describe the relationship in time between two events which occur in time indisputably place regeneration before the exercise of faith, even as is logically required since faith is a fruit of regeneration which preceded it. (I John 5:1, John 5:24)

3. Can the regenerate ever have their eternal life revoked? No. A regenerate man has been given eternal life and as such he shall NEVER perish. (John 10:28)

Once these points are established, one has a much more profitable understanding of why the bible refers to regeneration as “salvation” because it is the moment wherein eternal life is imparted to one of God’s chosen people. Those who understand this point clearly are also well equipped to begin exploring the ramifications of this truth as it relates to the broader topic of “salvation” in the bible.

Or so it seems to me,

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