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Using the previously quoted biblical references, how does Scripture contradict the teachings of dormant, presumptive, and covenantal regeneration? Only upon what grounds does Scripture permit us to view ourselves or others as saved, elect, or included in an eternal covenant relationship with God? Why does the Word of God forbid the separation of regeneration from conversion, the presuming of regeneration and conversion, and the believing of God's promise for salvation without the personal experiencing of the inward-working graces of the Holy Spirit?

How do the following articles of the Canons of Dordt define the personal experience of the Holy Spirit's work of regeneration in the hearts of those that are saved? How does this description contradict the teachings of dormant, presumptive, and covenantal regeneration?

But when God accomplishes His good pleasure in the elect, or works in them true conversion, He not only causes the gospel to be eternally preached to them and powerfully illuminates their minds by His Holy Spirit, that they may rightly understand and descern the things of the Spirit of God; but by the efficacy of the same regenerating Spirit, pervades the inmost recesses of the man; He opens the closed, and softens the hardened heart, and circumcises that which was uncircumcised, infuses new qualities into the will, which though heretofore dead, He quickens; from being evil, disobedient, and refractory, He renders it good, obedient, and pliable; actuates and strengthens it, that like a good tree, it may bring forth the fruits of good actions.

And this is the regeneration so highly celebrated in Scripture, and denominated a new creation: a resurrection from the dead, a making alive, which God works in us

without our aid. But this is no wise effected merely by the external preaching of the gospel, by moral suasion, or such a mode of operation, that after God has performed His part, it still remains in the power of man to be regenerated or not, to be converted, or to continue unconverted; but it is evidently a supernatural work, most powerful, and at the same time most delightful, astonishing, mysterious, and ineffable; not inferior in efficacy to creation, or the resurrection from the dead, as the Scripture inspired by the author of this work declares; so that all in whose heart God works in this marvelous manner, are certainly, infallibly, and effectually regenerated and do actually believe. -- Whereupon the will thus renewed, is not only actuated and influenced by God, but in consequence of this influence, becomes itself active. Wherefore also, man is himself rightly said to believe and repent, by virtue of that grace received.

- Articles I I and 12 of the III and IV Heads of Doctrine

The different denominational beliefs regarding: the number of covenants, covenant presentations, persons that are included in covenant relationships, and regenerational views, are shown in the chart on the following pages.

How and why does Scripture emphasize a clear distinction between the natural/baptized seed and the spiritual/saved seed in the church?

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

- Matthew 3:8-10

They answered and said unto Him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

- John 8:39

For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

- Romans 2:28-29


Describe the truths that are being proclaimed in I Thessalonians 5:21 - "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good," and in Matthew 7:1 - "Judge not, that ye be not judged."

Which verse speaks about judging teachings and which refers to judging persons? Why are both of these truths important to remember when contrasting the different Reformed views concerning the Covenant of Grace and its members?


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