Do you believe regeneration precedes faith?

The “ordo salutis,” the “order of salvation” is part of most theological curriculums. But, apart from accepted systems, what is your viewpoint about the matter?

Feel free to share your thoughts, and how they may have changed over the years.

Do you believe regeneration precedes faith?

Yes, regeneration precedes faith and results in one believing -- and there might be a gap between the two.
7% (1 vote)
Yes, regeneration precedes faith and results in one believing, but only logically (no gap).
33% (5 votes)
The order of regeneration and saving faith may vary.
0% (0 votes)
13% (2 votes)
Faith comes before regeneration in sequence.
27% (4 votes)
20% (3 votes)
Total votes: 15


I voted undecided, because it seems to me that when we are talking about God's work and our responses, we are often often just making semantic distinctions. Now semantic distinctions are important, but the way we use a word like "faith" is often based on our "perception" of what is happening. Our perception can be different than the reality, but the idea of "conviction" is where things get a little sticky for me. According to John 16:8, the Holy Spirit has been sent to convict the world of sin, but can a totally dead, unresponsive person even be convicted of sin? If one logically needs regeneration to have faith, than wouldn't one logically need regeneration to even have conviction? I understand that the Holy Spirit can be convicting me without me perceiving that conviction, but my "perception" of conviction is a step toward my "perception" of faith. Nobody has yet marked the first choice in the poll, but I can understand the logic of that statement if one believes regeneration is needed even for conviction. I also understand the logic of regeneration happening simultaneous with faith and of faith coming before regeneration.

I went with logically precedes, but maybe ‘other’ is a better fit. My view is that “logically” and “chronologically” are barely distinguishable in reality as we know it, so I’m not sure the distinction is useful.

Why can’t they happen at exactly the same time logically and chronologically (per Andy’s view above)? Call it the “logical and chronological concurrence” view… because lots of syllables = more serious and credible. 😏

Edit to add: Maybe I like the agnostic concurrence view. Still a decent number of syllables and it basically says “we don’t know the chronological relationship between regeneration and faith.” A sub-view would be “I don’t even want to know which comes first. I’m OK with it being mysterious.” But only God can save a sinner, so that’s crystal clear. As disciple-makers we get to participate in the process but we don’t cause any of it.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.