Regeneration is what causes the dead, carnal, unbeliever to respond to the gospel with repentance and saving faith which is (Conversion). In Ezekiel 36, notice God has to change our heart and put his spirit in us first. In the "Ordo Salutis" regeneration comes before conversion.
5. Conversion (Repentance and Saving Faith)
Some argue the order I know, but Romans 8:29-30 is clear although it doesn't offer all of the elements. And remember the spirit pricked the hearts of those who heard Peter's sermon, and then he admonishes them to repent.
A wonderful illustration of regeneration is in Acts 16:14 when God opened the heart of Lydia to hear what Paul was speaking. Then she was baptized.
Let me better explain my position on "regeneration". According to the "Strongs" Lexicon, regeneration ( paliggenesia) is defined this way......
1) new birth, reproduction, renewal, recreation, regeneration
a) hence renovation, regeneration, the production of a new life consecrated to God, a radical change of mind for the better. The word often used to denote the restoration of a thing to its pristine state, its renovation, as a renewal or restoration of life after death.
I believe the initial step to being born again "regeneration" starts in the mind/heart, during "Effectual Calling". Notice Paul was speaking to "women" in Acts 16, but only Lydia's heart was opened to attend to the things spoken by Paul. Maybe another example of "Election" as well! We'll talk about that later. There was a general call (External), to all. But then there was an (Internal) call or drawing of God's elect it seems to me. As Jesus proclaimed that no man can come to him unless the father draw him (John 6:44). Notice her "heart" or "mind" was opened, and notice in the definition of regeneration, there is a radical change of "mind". Now if man is passive in regeneration, does God deal with the heart/mind after man deals with his own heart first? In Ezekiel 36 God says he has to deal with man's heart before man can respond to spiritual things. So I believe regeneration of the heart/mind comes first. I don't think man is able to respond to the gospel without God dealing with the heart first through the gospel call. (Romans 1:16) I'm not dogmatic on this.... It's just what I believe at this point in my studies.
Yes my brother, I'm enjoying this debate too. I'm not a Calvinist or Arminianist, I just believe God deals with the hard, sinful heart of man before they can respond to what they hear (Gospel, etc...). e.g. Acts 16. And maybe I shouldn't use the word regeneration to explain that position. But as I've shown, the Greek translation contains the radical changing of the mind/heart. In Acts 2:37, after Peter preached the bible says they were pricked in their hearts and then asked, "What shall we do?". Peter said repent and be baptized. As you see, the heart was dealt with first. Ezekiel revealed that God would deal with man's heart before they could walk in his statues and keep his judgments. As far as regeneration/being born again, Jesus said we must be born of or out of water and of his spirit (John 3:5). And 1 Peter 1:23 says we were born again of incorruptible seed. So I understand that this has to occur after repentance and saving faith. I just see in the scriptures I've provided, that God deals with man's heart first in the salvation process.
I struggle with the doctrine of election from the Calvinistic point of view, and I don't totally agree with free will from the Arminianistic point of view either. But let me deal with the issue of regeneration once and for all as I thought I did in my last post. I did recant and agree that using the term regeneration in the context of being totally born again before conversion is wrong. But I established that according to Ezekiel 36, Acts 2:37 and Acts 16:14, man's heart has to be opened, pricked, etc.... before man can repent or respond in saving faith. Notice the people didn't even know what to do after Peter preached. So he had to instruct them to repent and be baptized. But first their heart was "pricked". And it is the Word that begins the regeneration before repentance and saving faith according to Ephesians 5:26, Titus 3:5, and 1 Peter 1:23. So the new man in Christ 2 Corinthians 5:17 is definitely one who has repented and has put his/her faith in Christ.
And by the way..... I study on my own, no professor to go to....... Only the Holy Spirit!
Elder Edwards, can you please post some more trivia questions? God allowed me to see your originality and I love when the Spirit of God leads...
Yes, I sure will my sister!
Thanks so much...