It is written:
“For “WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.” 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:13-14)
Here, the Apostle Paul teaches us about the Divine sequence of salvation. He points out that those who are saved (Christians) continue to believe in and confess Jesus to the unbelievers in the world (Romans 10:9-10). Those unbelievers, hearing the Word of God, believe in Him (Romans 10:17), call on His name (ie, are baptized into Christ-see Romans 6:3-4; Acts 22:16), and are saved.
Before a person is saved, he must: hear the Word of God, believe the Word of God, and call on God (submit to God’s plan of salvation).
Nevertheless, some within the religious world maintain that a person must be born again (ie, be saved) BEFORE he can even believe! This confusing system is one of the teachings of Calvinism.
Several months ago, I entered into a gentlemanly public dialogue with a Calvinist preacher. During our exchange, this subject came up. Please notice the following thoughts I shared:
“Notice that “belief” clearly here is shown to come before “new birth” (salvation). The people on Pentecost were believers (Acts 2:36), yet they were not born again until they repented and were baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38). Saul of Tarsus was a believer who repented of his sins and was praying and fasting for three days and nights (Acts 9:9-11), yet his sins were not washed away until he had called on the name of the Lord in being baptized (Acts 22:16). Furthermore, if you are correct that every “believer” is one who has already been born again, then there are some more Scriptural issues for you to consider. For example: John 8:30-31, 44-30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed….You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. Here John identifies many of the Jewish people as “believers” in Jesus. According to Calvinism, they have been born again since they believe in Jesus, correct? Well, then Jesus then calls these same “believers” the seed of the devil! How can they be the offspring of the devil if they are at the same time born again children of God? Yet this is what would have to be the case if regeneration precedes faith. How about later in John? John 12:42-43-42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. According to Calvinistic teaching, these rulers were “born again” since they were believers; yet Jesus said that those who refuse to confess Him will be denied also before the Father (Matthew 10:32-33). How bout thedemons? Have they been born again? James 2:19-You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! I do not see how Calvinism can be true when it so contradicts the Word of God. We are born again by the Word of God when we (having received and believed the Word) are willing to purify our souls in obeying the truth (1 Peter 1:22-23). John himself said it very clearly: John 1:12-But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: Believers (those who “receive” Christ) are given the right (power) to become children of God. This shows the order of faith and regeneration.” (Tabata-Bennett Discussion, 64-66)
My Calvinist friend did not respond to these Scriptures and arguments.
My friends, saving faith (faith that is obedient to God) is made possible because of the faith-creating power of God’s Word (Romans 10:17).
Have you obeyed God’s plan of salvation?