CONVERSION AND PREPARATORY OPERATIONS
§ 144. Regeneration or Conversion in the stricter sense, being essentially the procreation of true and saving faith,1 is an instantaneous act or process,2 but is in adults preceded by preparatory operations, whereby the sinner is convicted of his sinful state and helpless condition under divine wrath by means of the Law 3 and led to a logical or historical understanding of the contents of the Gospel,4 and which, with the outward use of the means of grace, in a measure, lie within the power and reach of irregenerate man.5
1.Regeneration or Conversion in the stricter sense, being essentially the procreation of true and saving faith,…
John 1:12–13 But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
I John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of Him.
John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.
Colossians 2:12 Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.
2. … is an instantaneous act or process,
Ephesians 2:5–6 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
3. …but is in adults preceded by preparatory operations, whereby the sinner is convicted of his sinful state and helpless condition under divine wrath by means of the Law
Romans 5:13 For until the Law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no Law.
Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the Law is the knowledge of sin.
Jeremiah 13:18 Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory.
4. … and led to a logical or historical understanding of the contents of the Gospel,
Matthew 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the Word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
John 4:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
5. … and which, with the outward use of the means of grace, in a measure, lie within the power and reach of irregenerate man.
James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Acts 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
Luke 4:16, 22 And he came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. (22) And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?
Acts 13:44 And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the Word of God.
Acts 26:26ff. For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner, etc.