By Herb Evans

             Under Calvin’s system of belief, there can be no condition other than an unwritten pre-Adamic decree of God (unconditional election). Total depravity, under this cold, dead theological system, means TOTAL INABILITY to do anything for salvation, including repentance and faith. The ABSURD corollary to all this is their insistence that a man is REGENERATED or has LIFE BEFORE he repents or believes. We shall examine this anti-Christian, anti-Bible doctrine and its implications.

                                                     Regeneration Before Faith?

             . . .that BELIEVING YE MIGHT HAVE LIFE through his name.    -- John 20:31

             . . . he that BELIEVETH NOT the Son SHALL NOT SEE LIFE . . .     -- John 3:36

             . . . to them which should hereafter BELIEVE on him TO LIFE everlasting. -- 1 Tim. 1:16

             For ye are all the CHILDREN of God BY FAITH in Christ Jesus.    -- Gal. 3:26

              Regeneration or being born again, most would agree, means that a sinner, dead in trespasses and sins, becomes alive spiritually as a child of God. Our texts DEMAND that faith or belief precedes said life or regeneration. That presents a problem to those, who would have the elect regenerated BEFORE FAITH, unless they are prepared to argue regeneration BEFORE life, regeneration BEFORE becoming a child of God, or regeneration WITHOUT life.

                     Regeneration Before—Repentance, Conversion, Remission of Sins?

             REPENT ye therefore, and BE CONVERTED, THAT YOUR SINS may be blotted out . . . -- Acts 3:19

             . . . through his name whosoever BELIEVETH in him SHALL RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS.    -- Acts 10:43

             . . . they should REPENT and TURN TO GOD, and do works meet for repentance. -- Acts 26:20

             . . . Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance UNTO LIFE . . .   -- Acts 11:18

             Repentance is UNTO LIFE and not life unto repentance, regardless whether God grants it and what the Calvinist spin is on that. Repentance precedes conversion and both precede regeneration and the remission of sins. Since remission of sins and conversion or turning to God all hinge on previous repentance, it follows that they all must precede regeneration or life. Unless a Calvinist is prepared to argue life without the remission of one’s sins because one is of the elect.                                    Regeneration Before Coming to or Having the Son?

             And ye will not COME TO ME, that ye MIGHT HAVE LIFE.    -- John 5:40

             . . . and THIS LIFE IS IN HIS SON. He that HATH the Son HATH LIFE; and he that HATH NOT the Son of God HATH NOT LIFE.    -- 1 John 5:11,12

             The term "coming to Jesus" is repugnant to many of Calvin’s disciples. Still, it remains a Bible condition and is a prerequisite for LIFE or REGENERATION. Life is in the Son of God and not in election or some unwritten, pre-adamic decree. You must come to the Son, and you must POSSESS or HAVE the Son or you do not have LIFE or REGENERATION. If one were already regenerated, having life, it would be totally unnecessary to repent and believe unto salvation or have one’s sins remitted.

                                        Regeneration Before Faith and Righteousness?

             But to him that worketh not, but BELIEVETH on him that justifieth the ungodly, his FAITH is counted for RIGHTEOUSNESS.    -- Rom. 4:5

             To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him WHICH BELIEVETH in Jesus.    -- Rom. 3:26

             . . . I am not come to call the RIGHTEOUS, but sinners TO REPENTANCE. -- Matt. 9:13

             . . . the NEW MAN, which after God is CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS and true holiness.   -- Eph. 4:24

             Faith precedes justification and righteousness and repentance, conversion, and remission of sins precede righteousness and holiness, therefore LIFE or regeneration cannot precede repentance, faith, justification, holiness, nor righteousness. Since the new man is created in righteousness, regeneration cannot precede the new creature, neither righteousness, nor TRUE HOLINESS.

                                                   Regeneration Before Salvation?

             For by grace are ye saved THROUGH FAITH . . . -- Eph. 2:8

             Receiving the END OF YOUR FAITH, even the SALVATION of your souls. -- 1 Pet. 1:9

             . . .WITHOUT FAITH it is IMPOSSIBLE to please him . . .   -- Heb. 11:6

And he said to the woman, THY FAITH HATH SAVED THEE . . .     -- Luke 7:50

             If regeneration or life or the new birth precedes faith, it also must precede salvation of the soul, for salvation is the END OF FAITH—not the beginning of faith. Faith and salvation are not the END of regeneration. We believe in being saved by the CONDITION OF FAITH! We do not regenerate to the saving of the soul. Faith saves, not regeneration. Regeneration Before Holy Spirit Possession?

             He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost SINCE YE BELIEVED?   -- Acts 19:2

             Now if any man HAVE NOT the Spirit of Christ, HE IS NONE OF HIS.   -- Rom. 8:9

             For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye . . . have received the Spirit of adoption . . . The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs . . .     -- Rom. 8:14-17

             Romans 8:9 takes care of both Charismatics and Calvinists. If one is a child of God by faith in Christ Jesus and the Holy Ghost cannot be in anyone but a child of God, then regeneration CANNOT precede having Holy Spirit. Unless the Calvinist is prepared to argue having the Holy Spirit before repentance, conversion, remission of sins, faith, righteousness, holiness, salvation, eternal life, and possessing the Son.


             . . .God from the beginning CHOSEN [ELECTED] you to salvation THROUGH SANCTIFICATION of the Spirit and BELIEF of the truth. — 2 Thess. 2:13

             Thus far, if we are to believe our Sovereign Grace Calvinists, if you care to swallow it, we have the preposterous situation of a regenerated, unrepentant, unholy, unjustified, unrighteous, SON-LESS, unconverted, unturned to God, LIFELESS, unsaved, unbelieving non child of God, who does not have the Holy Spirit witness in himself and whose sins are not yet blotted out nor remitted. Regeneration before these things is an unscriptural, philosophical assumption (as is most of Calvin's followers’ nonsense) to cover up the Calvinist TULIP doctrine. Both regeneration and election are CONDITIONAL! Conditional upon:

             1. Repentance
             2. Belief/Faith
             3. Conversion
             4. Turning to God
             5. Having the Son
             6. Having the remission of sins
             7. True Holiness
             8. Righteousness
             9. Having salvation
             10. Having the Holy Spirit

-- Flaming Torch–April/May/June 2004, P. 1