From: Pilgrimpub@aol.com
Sent: Saturday, March 04, 2006 4:15 PM
Subject: MORE FROM A. W. PINK ON REGENERATION [03/04--2006]
A. W. PINK ON REGENERATION BY THE WORD AND SPIRIT
IN CONTRAST TO HARDSHELLISM, HYPER-CALVINISM, ETC. [03/04--2006]


From Arthur W. Pink's booklet THE NEW BIRTH, [Bible Truth Depot, Swengel, PA, 1955 editionpages 22-24] --

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THE NEW BIRTH IS EFFECTED BY THE WORD OF GOD APPLIED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.

"For in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel" (1 Corinthians 4:15).

The apostle went from place to place preaching the Gospel of God's grace and as it found lodgment in hearts which had been prepared by the Holy Spirit brought them from death unto life.

In Philippians 2:16 the Scriptures are termed "The Word of Life," because they alone are capable of quickening those who are dead in trespasses and sins. Said our Lord Jesus Christ, "The words that I speak unto you they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63).

An illustration of this was furnished in the resurrection of Lazarus. As our Lord stood before the tomb, He cried, "Lazarus, come forth," and His words were demonstrated to be spirit and life. Jesus Christ is still performing the same miracle in the spiritual realm:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead (in trespasses and sins) shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live" (John 5:25).

It is not by persuasive words of man's wisdom, nor by touching anecdotes which appeal to emotions, that dead souls are born again, but by the Word of the living God.

"Of His own will begat He us, with the Word of Truth" (James 1:18).

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever" (1 Peter 1:23).

Oh, that more of our preachers would follow the example of Ezekiel, and say unto the dead bones all around them, "Hear ye the Word of the Lord" (Ezekiel 37), then should we see the miracle of spiritual resurrection occurring oftener than we now do. Believe and preach the Word of God, for by it, and it alone, are dead souls born again."
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BOB'S COMMENT:

This is the same teaching I have set forth since the 1950s. It is the basis of my critiques of the theories of some of the modern professed "Calvinists" who are teaching other ideas on the new birth, especially the theory taught by James White, R. C. Sproul, Louis Berkhof's theology book, and their disciples, which does not represent Confessional Calvinism.

A couple of my recent critics who have been disturbed by some of my articles have suggested that I am not teaching what I have always taught on this matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have taught this view and opposed Hardshellism, Hyper-Calvinism, and Hybrid Calvinism all thru these many years. For example --

When I taught in the Bible College we had here in Pasadena in the 1960s and early 1970s, I taught this same view, and here is an excerpt from my class notes on Effectual Calling which was covered in the study of the Philadelphia Confession of Faith:

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BIBLE DOCTRINE -- As Arranged in the Philadelphia Confession of Faith

CHAPTER TEN: OF EFFECTUAL CALLING

   Reading assignment:  Chapter Ten of the PHILADELPHIA  CONFESSION; Strong's SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, pages 660-664 (on infant salvation), 790-793 (on Calling).
. . . .

    Calling is actually the same thing as what most Christians mean by the expression "saved."  Although the term "saved" is used often of a wider, more comprehensive doctrine, yet the conversion experience (calling) is rightly referred to by this term.

   Calling comprehends conviction, repentance, faith, conversion, regeneration, justification and related doctrines.

   The term "effectual" simply means this call produces, or accomplishes, the intended purpose.  It is not merely the "general" call which men receive by means of God's "four lights" (nature, conscience, Law, Gospel -- Rom. 1-3), but it is the powerful call of God's Holy Spirit, as He blesses His Word:

   For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost (I Thess. 1:5).

   "Many are called" with the general call, but "few are chosen," or called, with the effectual call (mt. 20:16).  The general call is sometimes referred to as the "outward call," while the effectual call is referred to as the "inward call."

   THOMAS WATSON:

   The outward call brings men to a profession of Christ, the inward to a possession of Christ (Body of Divinity, page 153).

I.  The Means of This Call and the Parts of Man to which it is Addressed

   The term "means" is used to refer to instrumentality.  The Word of God is the means (instrument), and the Holy Spirit is the efficient Agent.  The "word only" theory is the Campbellite view, while the "Spirit only" view is the Hardshell view The Gospel coming in power and in the Holy Ghost is the Pauline view (I Thess. 1:5).  Paul taught that men are begotten 'through the gospel" (as the instrument), but the renewing is "of the Holy Ghost" (I Cor. 4:15; Titus 3:5).

   ABRAHAM BOOTH:

   In performing this work of heavenly mercy, the eternal Spirit is the grand agent, and evangelical truth the honored instrument (Reign of Grace, page 98).

   THOMAS MANTON:

   It is true, the Divine grace doth all, He begetteth us; but remember it is by the Word of truth (Exposition of James, page 100).

   ROBERT HALDANE:

   No man is made a Christian by any power less than God's, and by no other means than God's word.  Christ wrought the obedience of the Gentiles through Paul, but the instrumentality belongs to God's Word, as well as the agency to Himself (Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans, page 621).

   THOMAS WATSON:

   The ministry of the Word is the pipe or organ; the Spirit of God blowing in it, effectually changes men's hearts (Body of Divinity, page 154).

   Those who separate calling by the Spirit from the instrumentality of the Word object to the view of regeneration always being in conjunction with the "preached Word" and cite a case such as Saul of Tarsus who was called to Christ by a vision.  Our view, however, does not mean that it must be the truth in the form of the "preached" Word; our view does mean that the truth in some form must be present when the Holy Spirit effectually works regeneration.  What Paul saw in the vision -- the Lord Jesus Christ -- is what others see in the preached Gospel.  Others may see by a hymn.  The fact is, God uses a medium of revelation in calling men into a saving relationship to Jesus Christ.

   And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent (John 17:3).

   But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name (John 20:31).
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