Regeneration & Conversion Compared
|A creative act of God||A revealed duty of man|
|An instantaneous act||A gradual process, repeated event|
|God is sovereign||Man is responsible|
|Without human means||By many human means|
|Apart from the gospel||By means of the gospel|
|Gives life to sinners||Brings activity from life|
|Necessary for eternal life||Needed for fellowship with God|
|Man is entirely passive||Man is considerably active|
|Can reach even an infant||Cannot influence an infant|
|Can exist without conversion||Cannot exist without regeneration|
|Compared to conception & birth||Compared to walking & growing|
|The condition for conversion||The evidence of regeneration|
|Origination of life||Manifestation of life|
|Irresistible by man||Resistible by man|
|Complete in each child of God||Variously partial in each man|
|No flesh can glory||The flesh gets some credit|
|Guaranteed by grace||Made possible by grace|
|Makes one a child of God||Manifests one as a child of God|
|Involves creation||Involves conviction|
|Unconditional on man’s part||Conditional on man’s part|
|Apart from human consciousness||Based in human consciousness|
|Man cannot influence or direct||Man can labor to bring about|
|Cornelius before meeting Peter||Cornelius after meeting Peter|
The Gospel Is Not Involved In Regeneration
The Condition of Man precludes it.
- The gospel cannot help those who are dead (Gen 2:17; Eph 2:1-3; Col 2:13).
- The gospel cannot help those who cannot see it (John 3:3; II Cor 4:3-4).
- The gospel cannot help those who cannot hear it (John 8:43,47; Acts 7:57).
- The gospel cannot help those who cannot understand it (John 8:43; II Tim 2:25).
- The gospel cannot help those who will not understand it (Rom 3:11; II Pet 3:5).
- The gospel cannot help those who will not seek God (Ps 14:2-3; Rom 3:11).
- The gospel cannot help those who cannot please God (Rom 8:8; 3:12; Is 64:6).
- The gospel cannot help those who cannot be subject to it (Rom 8:7; Jer 13:23).
- The gospel cannot help even if one preached from the dead (Luke 16:31).
- The gospel cannot help those who are beyond any reformation (Isa 26:10).
- The gospel cannot help those beyond the Spirit’s influence (1 Cor 2:14).
- The gospel cannot help those at war with the Spirit (Gal 5:17; Acts 7:51).
- The gospel cannot help those at war with God (Rom 5:8; 8:7; Luke 19:14).
- The gospel cannot help those without any fear of God (Rom 3:18; Ps 36:1).
- The gospel cannot help those that do not have any faith (Heb 11:6; Ps 10:4).
- The gospel cannot help those who think it is foolishness (1 Cor 1:18,23; 2:14).
- The gospel cannot help those whose minds are blinded by Satan (2 Cor 4:3-4).
- The gospel cannot help those without any strength (Rom 5:6; 7:8-9; 8:3).
The Denial of Man’s Involvement precludes it.
- Scripture denies man’s will in regeneration (John 1:13; Rom 9:16).
- Scripture denies man’s ability to please God (Rom 8:8; Phil 2:13).
- Scripture denies any works by man (Rom 9:16; Eph 2:9; Titus 3:5).
- Scripture denies any activity contrary to grace (Rom 4:4; 11:6; Eph 2:5).
- Scripture affirms only God’s will involved in it (John 3:8; 5:21; Rom 9:15).
The Results of Regeneration preclude it.
- Faith results from regeneration (Acts 18:27; Gal 5:22; Eph 1:19; 2 Pet 1:1).
- Any activity toward God is the result of regeneration (Phil 2:13; Ps 110:3).
- We were regenerated for good works, not because of them (Eph 2:10; 4:24).
- Ability to see, hear, or know God is by regeneration (Pro 20:12; John 8:47).
- Faith and works are evidence (Acts 10:34-35; 1 John 2:29; 3:7, 14; 4:7; 5:1, 4).
The Means of Regeneration preclude it.
- Regeneration is ascribed to God (John 1:13; 2 Cor 4:6; 1 Pet 1:3).
- Regeneration is ascribed to the Son (John 5:21, 25-29; 17:2; 1 Pet 1:23).
- Regeneration is ascribed to the Spirit of God (John 3:8; Ecc 11:5).
The Description of Regeneration precludes it.
- It is called a birth (John 1:13; 3:3-8; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18).
- It is called a quickening (Eph 2:1, 5; Col 2:13).
- It is called a regeneration (Titus 3:5; Matt 19:28).
- It is called a creation (Eph 2:10; 4:24; James 1:18).
- It is called a begetting (Jam 1:18; 1 Pet 1:3; 1 John 5:1, 18).
- It is called a resurrection (John 5:25; Rev 20:6; Matt 19:28).
- It is called a renewing (Titus 3:5).
The Purpose of the Gospel precludes it.
- The gospel reveals the power of God to those already saved (1 Cor 1:18, 24).
- The gospel brings life and immortality to light (1 Tim 1:10).
- Paul sought to preach the gospel to saints already with faith (Rom 1:15-17).
- The gospel is to give men assurance of eternal life (1 John 5:13).
- The gospel is to convert men from error to the truth (Jam 5:19-20).
- The gospel is to give men fellowship with God and His Son (1 John 1:1-5).
- The gospel would leave salvation shaky rather than sure (Rom 4:16; 8:29-34).
- The gospel is a savour of death and life, but never death unto life (II Cor 2:14-17).
The Examples of Regeneration preclude it.
- John the Baptist was regenerated before birth (Luke 1:15; Rom 8:14; Gal 5:22).
- Cornelius was regenerated before hearing the gospel (Acts 10:2-4, 34-35).
- Lydia’s heart was opened before rather than by the gospel (Acts 16:14).
- Ministers are to feed sheep (John 21:15-17) and perfect saints (Eph 4:12).
The Glory of God precludes it.
- Regeneration, an integral part of salvation, is all for God’s glory (1 Cor 1:26-31).
- God will not allow men to boast or to obligate Him at all (Rom 4:4; Eph 2:9).
- The future purpose of salvation is God showing His kindness, not ours (Eph 2:7).