SGBC Modesto

The Chicken or the Egg?

March 13, 2024 by

William Heinrich

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

It is obvious that the chicken did, in fact two chickens came before an egg. If this is not so, who would have fertilized the egg and who would Adam have named on the 6th day of creation?

What came first in salvation, regeneration or faith? This too is obvious for their must be good soil (heart) for the seed (Word of God) to fall upon in order for it to root and bring fruit (compare Matthew 13:18 -23). It is also obvious from John 3:3-5 which states no one can see the kingdom or enter the kingdom until he is first born again (from above). This is further explained in 3:7-8 that being born again (regeneration) is like the wind. The wind is not controlled by man, but by God. It does not blow when we decide it to blow or will it to blow. Regeneration does not come then by man’s decision or free will, but by God’s sovereign free will and decision. When the seed of the word is planted in a regenerated heart, repentance and faith spring forth with its fruit, some 30 and some 100 fold. “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Matthew 7:18 ).

All men are corrupt in nature, until they are born again and they cannot produce the good fruit of faith. “The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14 ). Before new birth, man is a natural man and unable to receive spiritual things. One must have the spirit to receive or produce the things of the Spirit such as faith. In fact, the natural (fleshly) mind cannot be subject to God and His law (Romans 8:7). Instead he loves darkness rather than light (John 3:19) and will not come to the light that he might have life. This is called total depravity and means total inability. It may seem we have free will, but man will respond only to his nature . Natural man’s nature is corrupt in its entirety and “cannot please God” (Romans 8:8).

Most evangelicals today deny total depravity, by teaching that the effects of the fall left man sickly but not dead. They teach all men have free will and can exercise it if they want to, whenever they want to. They teach that for the Gospel to be offered to whosoever will requires that all have a free will. They teach that salvation has been provided for all but applied only to those who make a decision for Christ of their own volition. Therefore they not only deny total depravity but the unconditional election of God as well (Ephesians 1, 4; Mark 13:20; Acts 9:15; John 13:18 and 15:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Acts 13:48 ). They change foreknowledge to omniscience and predestination to a few people or events in history.

Perhaps all these changes and new definitions of doctrines made over the last 200 years can be traced back to the chicken or the egg. Free will is logical to man and fair by our standards. Therefore, since we
want our God to be fair, we see through this grid and do not truly believe God’s Word. Moses and Aaron did this when they smote the rock after they were told to speak to it. God says to them, “You did not believe me, to hallow me in the eyes of the children of Israel .” When Moses and Aaron came to Mt. Hor , God told Moses, Aaron was to be gathered to his people and not enter Canaan “because he rebelled against His word at the waters of Meribah”. It is very serious to not believe “all” God has said to us in His
Word. Faith is God’s gift (Ephesians 2:8-9) and the fruit of regeneration. (John 1:12-13; Acts 11:18, 16:14; 2¬†Timothy 2:25-26; Philippians 1:29; John 6:45-65; Matthew 16:17.

To close, I want to state three principles with verses that teach each of them.

  1. Christ is to be freely preached to all (Matthew 28:19a; Acts 8:4; John 3:16, 4:14; Romans 10:13; Revelation 22:17 .
  2. Forgiveness is freely promised to all who repent and believe (Acts 13;38-39; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 16:30-31).
  3. Those who repent and believe are those whom God has chosen, predestined, foreknown, drawn, and regenerated (Ephesians 1:4, 6:37, 44, 64-65, 10:26, Matthew 11:25-30; Romans 8:30).