Infant baptism, certainly, is not efficacious in effecting regeneration, and the Reformed position is in contrast to the Lutheran on this point. This person says this, that person says that and we are simply to take them at their word. I have to disagree with this statement. Why would Jesus tell us to ask and keep on asking for the Holy Spirit if we recieve it the moment we believe. All the problems cannot be solved, but the difficulty lies in our lack of knowledge of the supernatural work of grace which results in salvation and our faulty comprehension of the working of our own wills rather than in any disharmony with revealed truth. ... by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, Romans 10:9 ESV / 600 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful. but Tanya, I think what they mean by “not necessary” is that it is not necessary for you to be water baptized in order to be saved. While the nature of efficacious grace in its operation is inscrutable, it is clear from Scripture that it is an act of God dependent solely upon God for its execution. Regeneration is a cause; conversion is an effect. Reformed theology in keeping with its doctrine of efficacious grace has held that the human will in itself is ineffectual in bringing about any of the changes incident to salvation of the soul. While the regenerated soul may become immediately conscious of new life, the act of regeneration itself is not subject to experience or analysis, being the supernatural instantaneous act of God. All other means are likewise excluded in the work of regeneration. Even Calvin failed to make a proper distinction between regeneration and conversion. The Scriptures in presenting the impartation of eternal life use three figures to describe it. (Continued from the July-September Number, 1941) [Author’s Note: This article presents the second half of the discussion of the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation. It is manifest that the calling herein mentioned is the efficacious call. If I may refer to some scriptures to meditate on. From a practical standpoint, there are few subjects more worthy of careful study than that of the work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of the believer. II, p. 683. Thanks for the article Brother. The case of those who die before reaching the age of responsibility is a different problem. A man spiritually dead cannot do a spiritual work. The nature of the work of regeneration forbids any possible human assistance. Like the work of efficacious grace, regeneration is often ascribed to God without distinction as to Persons, and in several instances is ascribed to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit severally. Charles Hodge writes on this point, “All who hold that original sin involves spiritual death and consequent utter inability to any spiritual good, do also hold that his recovery from that state is not effected by any process of moral suasion, human or divine, but by the immediate exercise of God’s almighty power.”6 If one accepts the Biblical revelation of man’s state of spiritual death and total inability, he must accept the doctrine of efficacious grace as the solution to the problem. On the subject of infant regeneration, the Lutheran theologian Valentine writes: “May the child be said to be regenerated by the act of Baptism? Jesus himself knew this when he promised the thief entry into paradise. The new nature which is a part of regeneration should not be confused with the sinless nature of Adam before the fall. The presence of the new nature constitutes a fundamental change in the person which is denominated “creation” (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15) and “new man” (Eph 4:24). From a practical standpoint, there are few subjects more worthy of careful study than that of the work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of the believer. As in the resurrection of the human body from physical death, the body in no way assists the work of resurrection, so in the work of regeneration, the human will is entirely passive. Even the disciples of Jesus needed the Spirit of God in them to truly understand His words. Protestant theologians have been more cautious in extending the meaning of regeneration. That includes water baptism. Christians are definitely told that before they accepted Christ they were “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1). “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. With all due respect I think you need to study those scripture more deeply. The rest of the verses will then show you that we now have the Holy Spirit literally living on the inside of us as a result of our conversions to the Lord, along with being sealed with His actual presence. Please read the book of Acts and see the examples laid forth – don’t get your “conversion” doctrine from Paul later on in his letters, he is writing to already converted believers. We are to obey everything Jesus has commanded.

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