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Dormant, presumptive, and covenantal regenerational views deny the scriptural truth that we may only speak of persons as regenerated or saved when they evidence the scriptural marks and fruits of regeneration and conversion. These are the inward-working graces of misery (repentance), deliverance (faith), and thankfulness (obedience), and the outward-working graces of love toward God and others.


Being born into an outward covenant and church relationship to God may never be the grounds for presuming or believing a person's regeneration or salvation. The line of distinction concerning whether one is regenerated or yet unregenerated, saved or unsaved, is to be made personally between God and one's own soul, based solely upon Scripture. The church's duty, in this respect, is to preach and teach the distinguishing scriptural marks and fruits of God's regenerating grace. We may never subtract from, nor add to, the God-given scriptural marks. Instead, we are to study these marks and to examine ourselves by them.


How do the following texts testify against the teachings of dormant, presumptive, and covenantal regeneration? (For additional information regarding these teachings, refer to Chapter 9 regarding the Covenant of Grace.)

 

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

- Matthew 7:15-20

 


SCRIPTURAL TESTIMONY AGAINST
DORMANT, PRESUMPTIVE, AND COVENANTAL REGENERATION

Then said He to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of Him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin 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: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

- Luke 3:7-9

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

- John 3:3

For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

- Romans 9:6b-8

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 3:9-10

But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

- James 1:22

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 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.

- Romans2:28-29


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