Robert Reymond

Regeneration

by Jason Moore on July 20, 2010

by Robert Reymond
from A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith 2nd Edition

Why do some people repent and respond by faith in Christ to the divine summons to faith while others do not? Concerning those who believe in Christ’s name John immediately says in John 1:13: “[These are they] who have been begotten [egennēthēsan], not by blood, nor by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of a husband, but by God.” By this particular reference to God’s “begetting” activity John refers to regeneration, and clearly suggests by his statement that, while faith is the instrumental precondition to justification and adoption, regeneration is the necessary precondition and efficient cause of faith in Jesus Christ. In short, regeneration causally precedes faith.

This sequential order of “regeneration as the cause, faith in Jesus Christ as the effect” is supported by Jesus’ statements in John 3:3, 5. When Jesus teaches that only those who have been “begotten from above” (anōthen) can “see” and “enter” the kingdom of God (figurative expressions for “faith activities”), he surely intends that regeneration is essential to faith as the latter’s causal prius.
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