edited by John Hendryx
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, the following are Christians in the course of the history of the Church who believed and taught monergistic regeneration: (we will add to this list as more resources are found)
Scripture, Augustine, Council of Orange, Martin Luther (who considered this doctrine the heart of the Reformation), John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, Blaise Pascal, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, John Owen, John Flavel, Thomas Manton, William Gurnall, Thomas Watson, Thomas Boston, Stephen Charnock, Francis Turretin, more Puritans of the 17th century including all the signatories of the Westminster Confession of Faith, and other church creeds and confessions, George Whitefield, Augustus Toplady, John Newton, Charles Hodge, A.A. Hodge, J. C. Ryle, A. W. Pink, John Murray and some contemporary pastors and theologians such as Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, R.C. Sproul, Iain Murray, J.I. Packer, and signatories to the Cambridge Declaration of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and more...
"And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." - Deut 30:6
And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. - Ezek 36:27
"For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will" - John 5:21
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me [i.e. believe in me] unless it is granted him by the Father." - John 6:63-65 [All of God's operations in the economy of salvation proceed from the Father, are through the Son, and are executed by the Spirit. No one believes unless God grants it]
"All that the Father gives to me will come to me" (i.e. believe in me) - John 6:37 [all whom God grants, believes]
"...it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy." - Rom 9:16
"...no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit." - 1 Cor 12:3
"What have you that you did not receive?" - 1 Cor. 4:7
"But by the grace of God I am what I am" - 1 Cor. 15:10
"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." - John 1:13
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."..."Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." - John 3:3-5
"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive [quickened us] with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved." - Ephesians 2:4-5
"The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD has made them both." - Proverbs 20:12
"For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction." 1 Thess 1:4-5
"...the Son gives life to whom he will." - John 5:21
"...Christ Jesus has made me his own" - Philippians 3:12
"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God."- 1 John 5:1
"And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live...Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD." - Ezekiel 37:14
"Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction." - 1 Thessalonians 1:5
Grace is not a reward for obedience; obedience is the result of grace. "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." - 1 Corinthians 1:30
"Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have GIVEN HIM ... I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have GIVEN ME, for they are yours." - John 17:2, 9
At that time Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one... knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. - Matt 11:25-27
"Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners" - 1 Timothy 1:12-17
For them [the Pelagians], grace means the knowledge with which the Lord God helps us, by which we can know what our duty is. The true meaning of grace, however, is the love that God breathes into us, which enables us with a holy delight to carry out the duty that we know.
Augustine - Against Two Letters of the Pelagians, 4:11
Can you say, ‘We will first walk in His righteousness, and will observe His judgments, and will act in a worthy way, so that He will give His grace to us’? But what good would you evil people do? And how would you do those good things, unless you were yourselves good? But Who causes people to be good? Only He Who said, ‘And I will visit them to make them good,’ and, ‘I will put my Spirit within you, and will cause you to walk in my righteousness, and to observe my judgments, and do them’ (Ezek.36:27). Are you asleep? Can’t you hear Him saying, ‘I will cause you to walk, I will make you to observe,’ lastly, ‘I will make you to do’? Really, are you still puffing yourselves up? We walk, true enough, and we observe, and we do; but it is God Who He makes us to walk, to observe, to do. This is the grace of God making us good; this is His mercy going before us.
Augustine - Against Two Letters of the Pelagians, 4:15
"To will is of nature, but to will aright is of grace." - Augustine
"God bids us do what we cannot, that we may know what we ought to seek from him."- Augustine
"Grace alone brings about every good work in us."- Augustine
"Nature is common to all, but not grace."- Augustine
"The grace of God does not find men fit for salvation, but makes them so."- Augustine
"The nature of the Divine goodness is not only to open to those who knock. but also to cause them to knock and ask."- Augustine
"Let God give what he commands, and command what he will."- Augustine
"Grace does not destroy the will but rather restores it."- Augustine
"In some places God requires newness of heart [Ezek 18:31]. But elsewherre he testifies that it is given by him [Ezek. 11:19; 36:26]. But what God promises we ourselves do not do through choice or nature; but he himself does through grace."- Augustine
"Indeed, God requires faith itself of us; yet he does not find something to require unless he has given something to find."- Augustine
'Can we possibly, without utter absurdity, maintain that there first existed in anyone the good virtue of a good will, to entitle him to the removal of his heart of stone? How can we say this, when all the time this heart of stone itself signifies precisely a will of the hardest kind, a will that is absolutely inflexible against God? For if a good will comes first, there is obviously no longer a heart of stone.' - Augustine
"Since these things are so, everything that is commanded to human beings by the Lord in the holy Scriptures, for the sake of testing human free will, is either something we begin to obey by God's goodness, or is demanded in order to show us our need of grace to do it. Indeed, a person does not even begin to be changed from evil to good by the first stirrings of faith, unless the free and gratuitous mercy of God produces this in him…. So, therefore, we should think of God's grace as working from the beginning of a person's changing towards goodness, even to the end of its completion, so that he who glories may glory in the Lord. For just as no-one can bring goodness to perfection without the Lord, so no one can begin it without the Lord."
- Augustine, Against Two Letters of the Pelagians, 2:23
More Quotes by Augustine on Monergistic Regeneration / Effectual grace
Council of Orange 529 AD
If anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). If anyone affirms that we can form any right opinion or make any right choice which relates to the salvation of eternal life, or that we can be saved by assent to the preaching of the gospel through our natural powers without the effectual work of the Holy Spirit, who makes all whom He calls gladly and willingly assent to and believe in the truth, he is led astray from the plain teaching of Scripture by exalting the natural ability of man, and does not understand the voice of God who says in the Gospel, "For apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5), and the word of the Apostle, "Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God" (2 Cor. 3:5).
- Council of Orange 529 AD
Indeed the Word of God is like the sun, shining upon all those to whom it is proclaimed, but with no effect among the blind. Now, all of us are blind by nature in this respect... Accordingly, it cannot penetrate into our minds unless the Spirit, as the inner teacher, through his illumination makes entry for it.
John Calvin from The Institutes of the Christian Religion (3.2.34)
David had the law, comprehending in it all the wisdom that could be desired, and yet not contented with this, he prays, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law," (Ps. 119: 18.) By this expression, he certainly intimates, that it is like sunrise to the earth when the word of God shines forth; but that men do not derive much benefit from it until he himself, who is for this reason called the Father of lights (James 1: 17,) either gives eyes or opens them; because, whatever is not illuminated by his Spirit is wholly darkness.
John Calvin, from But Spiritual Discernment is Wholly Lost Until we are Regenerated
"...Only when God shines in us by the Holy Spirit is there any profit from the Word. Thus the inward calling, which alone is effectual and peculiar to the elect, is distinguished from the outward voice of men."
- John Calvin, Commentary on Romans and Thessalonians on Romans 10:16, p 232
"How can it be said that the weakness of the human will is aided so as to enable it to aspire effectually to the choice of good, when the fact is, that it must be wholly transformed and renewed?" - John Calvin, Institutes II.III
"The whole comes to this, that Christ, when he produces faith in us by the agency of his Spirit, at the same time ingrafts us into his body, that we may become partakers of all spiritual blessings." - John Calvin
"It is entirely the work of grace and a benefit conferred by it that our heart is changed from a stony one to one of flesh, that our will is made new, and that we, created anew in heart and mind, at length will what we ought to will." - John Calvin, The Bondage and Liberation of the Will
"In the elect alone God implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end." - John Calvin
"When we see that the whole sum of our salvation, and every single part of it, are comprehended in Christ, we must beware of deriving even the minutes portion of it from any other quarter." - John Calvin
"Because the will renewed is the Lord's work, it is wrongly attributed to man that he obeys prevenient grace with his will as attendant." - John Calvin
"God works in his elect in two ways: inwardly, by his Spirit; outwardly, by his Word." - John Calvin
"But we have nothing of the Spirit except through regeneration. Everything, therefore, which we have from nature is flesh." - John Calvin
"The gift of faith proceedeth from the free election of the Father in Christ, after which followeth necessarily everlasting life. Therefore faith in Christ Jesus is a sure witness of our election, and therefore of our glorification to come." - John Calvin on John 6:37
"For the Lord has so knit together the certainty of his Word and his Spirit, that our minds are duly imbued with reverence for the Word when the Spirit shining upon it enables us there to behold the face of God.and, on the other hand, we embrace the Spirit with no danger of delusion when we recognise him in his image, that is, in his Word. Thus, indeed, it is. God did not produce his Word before men for the sake of sudden display, intending to abolish it the moment the Spirit should arrive; but he employed the same Spirit, by whose agency he had administered the Word, to complete his work by the efficacious confirmation of the Word." - John Calvin
"The first part of a good work is the will, the second is vigorous effort in the doing of it. God is the author of both. It is, therefore, robbery from God to arrogate anything to ourselves, either in the will or the act." - John Calvin
"Faith does not proceed from ourselves, but is the fruit of spiritual regeneration." - John Calvin
"When God designs to forgive us he changes our hearts and turns us to obedience by His Spirit." - John Calvin
"...nothing good can proceed from our will until it be formed again, and that after it is formed again in so far as it is good, it is of God, and not of us."
- John Calvin
"The grace of God has no charms for men till the Holy Spirit gives them a taste for it."- John Calvin
I say that man, before he is renewed into the new creation of the Spirit's kingdom, does and endeavours nothing to prepare himself for that new creation and kingdom, and when he is re-created has does and endeavors nothing towards his perseverance in that kingdom; but the Spirit alone works both blessings in us, regenerating us, and preserving us when regenerate, without ourselves..."
Martin Luther fromThe Bondage of the Will (pg. 268)
"If any man doth ascribe of salvation, even the very least, to the free will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright."
When God works in us, the will, being changed and sweetly breathed upon by the Spirit of God, desire and acts, not from compulsion, but responsively.
"The will of man without grace is not free, but is enslaved, and that too with its own consent." - Martin Luther
"Let all the 'free-will' in the world do all it can with all its strength; it will never give rise to a single instance of ability to avoid being hardened if God does not give the Spirit, or of meriting mercy if it is left to its own strength." - Martin Luther
"Free will without God's grace is not free will at all, but is the permanent prisoner and bondslave of evil, since it cannot turn itself to good." - Martin Luther
"All the passages in the Holy Scriptures that mention assistance are they that do away with "free-will", and these are countless...For grace is needed, and the help of grace is given, because "free-will" can do nothing." - Martin Luther
"Does it follow from: 'turn ye' that therefore you can turn? Does it follow from "'Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart' (Deut 6.5) that therefore you can love with all your heart? What do arguments of this kind prove, but the 'free-will' does not need the grace of God, but can do all things by its own power....But it does not follow from this that man is converted by his own power, nor do the words say so; they simply say: "if thou wilt turn,telling man what he should do. When he knows it, and sees that he cannot do it, he will ask whence he may find ability to do it..." 164" - Martin Luther
"God has surely promised His grace to the humbled: that is, to those who mourn over and despair of themselves. But a man cannot be thoroughly humbled till he realizes that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, counsels, efforts, will and works, and depends absolutely on the will, counsel, pleasure and work of Another -- God alone. - Martin Luther
"A man who has no part in the grace of God, cannot keep the commandments of God, or prepare himself, either wholly or in part, to receive grace; but he rests of necessity under the power of sin."- Martin Luther
"It is false that the will, left to itself, can do good as well as evil, for it is not free, but in bondage...On the side of man there is nothing that goes before grace, unless it be impotency and even rebellion."- Martin Luther
"As long as a man is persuaded that he can make even the smallest contribution to his salvation, he remains self-confident and does not utterly despair of himself, and so is not humbled before God. Such a man plans out for himself a position, an occasion, a work, which shall bring him final salvation, but which will not."- Martin Luther
"So these truths are published for the sake of the elect, that they may be humbled and brought down to nothing, and so saved. The rest of men resist this humiliation; indeed, they condemn the teaching of self-despair; they want a little something left that they can do for themselves ... and therefore enemies of the grace of God."- Martin Luther
"The saved are singled out not by their own merits, but by the grace of the Mediator."- Martin Luther
"He that will maintain that man's free will is able to do or work anything in spiritual cases, be they never so small, denies Christ." - Martin Luther, Table Talk
"Even like as St. Paul was converted, just so are all others converted; for we all resist God, but the Holy Ghost draws the will of mankind, when he pleases, through preaching."- Martin Luther
"God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, "Free-will" is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces."- Martin Luther
"The Christian, delivered from the law, depends entirely on Jesus Christ. Christ is his reason, his counsel, his righteousness, and his whole salvation. Christ lives and acts in him. Christ alone is his leader, and he needs no other guide." - Ulrich Zwingli
"This calling is an act of the grace of God in Christ by which he calls men dead in sin and lost in Adam through the preaching of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, to union with Christ and to salvation obtained in him." Francis Turretin
The law demands what it cannot give; grace gives all it demands." - Blaise Pascal
"No man ever believes with a true and saving faith unless God inclines his heart; and no man when God does incline his heart can refrain from believing." - Blaise Pascal
Westminster Confession of Faith
Under the terms of the covenant of grace, God "freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life his Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe."
- Westminster Confession of Faith CHAP. VII. - Of God's Covenant with Man III
"... the whole efficiency of the new birth is ascribed to God alone...The natural and carnal means of blood, flesh, and the will of man, are rejected wholly in this matter." (John 1:13), - John Owen
"To say that we are able by our own efforts to think good thoughts or give God spiritual obedience before we are spiritually regenerate is to overthrow the gospel and the faith of the universal church in all ages."- John Owen
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." [this includes faith] - John Owen
"If we believe not with faith divine and supernatural, we believe not at all." - John Owen
"As among all the doctrines of the gospel, there is none opposed with more violence and subtlety than that concerning our regeneration by the immediate, powerful, effectual operation of the Holy Spirit of grace."- John Owen
"There neither is, nor ever was, in the world, nor ever shall be, the least dram of holiness, but what, flowing from Jesus Christ, is communicated by the Spirit, according to the truth and promise of the gospel." - John Owen
"In or towards whomsoever the Holy Spirit puts forth His power, or acts his grace for their regeneration, he removes all obstacles, overcomes all oppositions, and infallibly produces the intended effect." - John Owen
"Where any work of grace is not effectual, God never intended it should be so, nor did put forth that power of grace which was necessary to make it so. Wherefore, in or towards whomsoever the Holy Spirit puts forth his power, or acts his grace for their regeneration, he removes all obstacles, overcomes all oppositions,... and infallibly produceth the effect intended."- John Owen
"A natural man hath no such thing as free-will at all, if you take it for a power of doing that which is good and well-pleasing unto God in things spiritual." - John Owen
"All spiritual acts well-pleasing unto God, as faith, repentance, obedience, are supernatural; flesh and blood revealeth not these things." - John Owen
A spiritual darkness and death came by sin on all mankind… In thi state of things, the Holy Spirit undertook to create a new world… wherein righteousness should dwell. And this, in the first place, was by his effectual communication of a new principle of spiritual life to the souls of God's elect… This he does in their regeneration… All our faith and obedience to God, and all our acceptance with him, depend on regeneration or being born again.
—John Owen, "Discourse on the Holy Spirit"
More from Owen
"All believing motions towards Christ are the effects of the Father's drawing. A glorious and irresistible power goes forth from God to produce it, whence it is called the faith of the operation of God." Colossians 2:12." - John Flavel
"No repentance, obedience, self-denial, prayers, tears, reformation or ordinances, without the new creation, avail any thing to the salvation of thy soul."
- John Flavel
"The opening of your hearts to receive the Lord Jesus Christ is not a work done by any power of your own, but the arm of the Lord is revealed therein."
- John Flavel
"As the blood of Christ is the fountain of all merit, so the Spirit of Christ is the fountain of all spiritual life; and until he quicken us and infuse the principle of the divine life into our souls, we can put forth no hand, or vital act of faith, to lay hold upon Jesus Christ."- John Flavel
"That soul is dead to which the Spirit of Christ is not given in the work of regeneration; and all its works are dead works."- John Flavel
"Let all Arminians know: we have as high an esteem for faith as any men in the world, but yet we will not rob Christ to clothe faith." - John Flavel
"The Spirit must therefore first take hold of us before we can live in Christ, and when he doth so, then we are enabled to exert that vital act of faith, whereby we receive Christ."- John Flavel
"We acknowledge no righteousness but what the obedience and satisfaction of Christ yields us. His blood, not our faith; his satisfaction, not our believing it, is the matter of our justification before God."- John Flavel
"Regeneration expresses those supernatural, divine, new qualities imparted by the Spirit to the soul, which are the principle of all holy action."
- John Flavel
"Christ's resurrection is the ground-work of our hope. And the new birth is our title or evidence of our interest in it."
- John Flavel
The gospel is a ministry of the Spirit, 2 Cor. iii. 8. It not only requireth duty, but giveth power to perform it. The letter of the law requireth, but giveth no principle or inclination to do it; that which is from regenerating grace ... John iii. 6, ' is suited, inclined, disposed, fitted for spiritual life."
- Thomas Manton
"It is necessary man should be converted and changed, as well as God satisfied and Satan overcome. Now who can convert himself or change his own heart? That work would cease for ever unless God did undertake it by his all-conquering Spirit." - Thomas Manton
Because the Spirit's revelation is the token of God's special love; and that is not given to every one: God has appointed his special love but for a few. The outward revelation is to leave men without excuse; it is but a token of God's comm...on love: 2 Cor. 4:3, 'If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost'—hidden from their hearts, though it be revealed to their ears. Those that are lost have not the inward discoveries—that is, the effectual discovery and special effect of God's peculiar love: Acts 13:48, 'As many as were ordained to eternal life believed;' such have God's special love. - Thomas Manton
"A Christian is nothing and hath nothing but what God is pleased to work in him by his creating word... we need not only leave to come to God by Christ, but also quickening and encouragement, for we are backward."- Thomas Manton
"We cannot get, nor keep, nor act, nor increase grace of ourselves, if forsaken by the Spirit of grace."- Thomas Manton
"It is one thing to know a truth, and another thing to know it by unction." - William Gurnall
"The glory of the work shall not be crumbled and piece-mealed out, some to God and some to the creature, but all entirely paid in to God, and He acknowledged all in all."- William Gurnall
"As the eye of the body once put out, can never be restored by the creature's art, so neither can the spiritual eye lost by Adam's sin be restored by the teaching of men or angels. It is one of the diseases which Christ came to cure."- William Gurnall
"The regenerating Spirit is compared to the wind. His first attempts on the soul may be so secret that the creature knows not whence they come, or whither they tend; but, before he hath done, the sound will be heard throughout the soul."- William Gurnall
"Indeed all the saints are taught the same lesson - to renounce their own strength, and rely on the power of God; their own policy, and cast themselves on the wisdom of God; their own righteousness, and expect all from the pure mercy of God in Christ, which act of faith is so pleasing to God, that such a soul shall never be ashamed." - William Gurnall
"Faith is the chief work which the Spirit of God works in a man's heart. In making the world God did but speak a word, but in working faith he puts forth his arm." - Thomas Watson
"The greatest of all disorders is to think we are whole and need no help." - Thomas Watson
"The ministry of the Word is the pipe or organ; the Spirit of God blowing in it, effectually changes men's hearts... Ministers knock at the door of men's hearts; the Spirit comes with a key and opens the door."- Thomas Watson
"Believing, repenting, and the like, are the product of the new nature; and can never be produced by the old corrupt nature... as the child cannot be active in his own generation, so a man cannot be active in his own regeneration. The heart is shut against Christ: man cannot open it, only God can do it by his grace." - Thomas Boston
"Persuade yourselves, that the faith of the gospel is beyond the power of nature; that there is a necessity of a power from on high to bring you to believe. This will raze the old foundation, and cause you to look up for it."- Thomas Boston
"The gospel casts out a rope to hale sinners to land; but the sinner has no hands to lay hold on it; his very faith must be wrought in him by the Spirit." - Thomas Boston, Necessity of Divine Power In Order To Faith
"There is no true believing or trusting to the report of the gospel, but what is the effect of the working of a divine power on the soul for that end."
- Thomas Boston, Necessity of Divine Power In Order To Faith
"The natural man cannot but resist the Lord's offering to help him; yet that resistance is infallibly overcome in the elect, by converting grace." -
- Thomas Boston
"We are born spiritually blind, and cannot be restored without a miracle of grace. This is thy case, whoever thou art, who are not born again."
- Thomas Boston
"No work nor deed of ours whatsoever, no not faith itself, can be the condition of the covenant of grace properly so called; but only Christ's fulfilling all righteousness."- Thomas Boston
"Sinners in their natural state lie dead, lifeless, and moveless; they can no more believe in Christ, nor repent, than a dead man can speak or walk: but, in virtue of the promise, the Spirit of life from Christ Jesus, at the time appointed, enters into the dead soul, and quickens it; so that it is no more morally dead, but alive, having new spiritual powers put into it, that were lost by Adam's fall."- Thomas Boston
"Ye are God's building -- All hands of the glorious Trinity are at work in this building. The Father chose the objects of mercy, and gave them to the Son to be redeemed; the Son purchased redemption for them; and the Holy Ghost applies the purchased redemption unto them."- Thomas Boston
"Free grace will fix those, whom free will shook down into a gulph of misery."- Thomas Boston
"Call it no more free-will, but slavish lust; free to evil, but free from good, till regenerating grace loosens the bands of wickedness."- Thomas Boston
"As the corruption of our nature shews the absolute necessity of regeneration, so the absolute necessity of regeneration plainly proves the corruption of our nature; for why should a man need a second birth, if his nature were not quite marred in the first birth?"- Thomas Boston
"Good education is not regeneration. Education may chain up men's lusts, but cannot change their hearts." - Thomas Boston
"If a man be new-born, he will desire the sincere milk of the word."- Thomas Boston
"The believer is sensible of his infirmities, for it is supposed that he is wrestling under them. He sees, he feels, that he is not man enough for his work; that his own hands are not sufficient for him, nor his own back for his burden; this is what drives him out of himself to the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And thus he lies open to the help of the Spirit, while proud nature in unbelievers is left helpless."- Thomas Boston
"The regenerate man's desires are rectified; they are set on God himself, and the things above... Before, he saw no beauty in Christ, for which he was to be desired; but now he is all he desires, he is altogether lovely... regenerating grace sets the affections so firmly on God, that the man is disposed, at God's command, to quit his hold of every thing else, in order to keep his hold of Christ... If the stream of our affections were never thus turned, we are, doubtless, going down the stream into the pit."- Thomas Boston
"There is, in the unrenewed will, an utter inability for what is truly good and acceptable in the sight of God. The natural man's will is in Satan's fetters, hemmed in within the circle of evil, and cannot move beyond it, any more than a dead man can raise himself out of his grave. We deny him not a power to choose, pursue and act what is good, as to the matter; but though he can will what is good and right, he can will nothing aright and well. Christ says -- Without me -- that is, separate from me, as a branch from the stock, as both the word and context will bear -- ye can do nothing -- which means, nothing truly and spiritually good."- Thomas Boston
"In regeneration, the mind is enlightened in the knowledge of spiritual things... The will is renewed... The will is cured of its utter inability to will what is good. While the opening of the prison to them that are bound, is proclaimed in the Gospel, the Spirit of God comes and opens the prison door, goes to the prisoner, and, by the power of his grace, makes his chains fall off; breaks the bonds of iniquity, wherewith he was held in sin, so as he could neither will nor do any thing TRULY good; and brings him forth into a large place."- Thomas Boston
"Saving faith is the faith of God's elect; the special gift of God to them, wrought in them by his Spirit."- Thomas Boston
"All that the Father giveth me SHALL COME... Here, therefore, the Lord Jesus positively determineth to put forth such a sufficiency of all grace as shall effectually perform this promise. They shall come; that is, he will CAUSE them to come, by infusing of an effectual blessing into all the means that shall be used to that end." - John Bunyan
"Run, John, run. The law commands but gives neither feet nor hands. Better news the gospel brings; it bids me fly and gives me wings."- John Bunyan
"Though it be said that faith cometh by hearing, yet it is the Spirit that worketh faith in the heart through hearing, or else they are not profited by hearing."
- John Bunyan
"Faith is a fruit, work, or gift of the Spirit of God, whereby a poor soul is enabled through the mighty operation of God, in a sense of its sins and wretched estate to lay hold on the righteousness, blood, death, resurrection, ascension, intercession, and coming again of the Son of God which was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem, for eternal life."- John Bunyan
"Without the Spirit man is so infirm that he cannot, with all other means whatsoever, be enabled to think one right saving thought of God, of Christ, or of his blessed things."- John Bunyan
"God, as I may say, is forced to break men's hearts, before he can make them willing to cry to him, or be willing that he should have any concerns with them; the rest shut their eyes, stop their ears, withdraw their hearts, or say unto God, Be gone."- John Bunyan
"What comes from this throne of grace is pure grace, and nothing else; clear grace, free grace; grace that is not mixed, nor need be mixed with works of righteousness that we have done. It is of itself sufficient to answer all our wants, to heal all our diseases and to help us at a time of need. It is grace that chooses, it is grace that calleth, it is grace that preserveth, and it is grace that brings to glory; even the grace that like a river of water of life proceedeth from this throne. And hence it is, that from first to last, we must cry, Grace, grace unto it!"- John Bunyan
"It is the Spirit that showeth us our sins, and the Spirit that showeth us a Saviour, and the Spirit that stirreth up in our hearts desires to come to God."
- John Bunyan
"Men, even the elect, have too many infirmities to come to Christ without help from heaven; inviting will not do."- John Bunyan
"God beareth with his own elect, for Christ's sake, all the time of their unregeneracy, until the time comes which he hath appointed for their conversion."
- John Bunyan
"Beware of resting in the word of the kingdom, without the spirit and power of the kingdom of that gospel, for the gospel coming in word only saves nobody, for the kingdom of God or the gospel, where it comes to salvation, is not in word but in power."- John Bunyan
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. By this one word, down goes all carnal privilege of being born of flesh and blood, and of the will of man. Canst thou produce the birthright?"- John Bunyan
"There can be but one will the master in our salvation, but that shall never be the will of man, but of God; therefore man must be saved by grace." - John Bunyan
"To lay hold of and receive the gospel by a true and saving faith is an act of the soul that has been made a new creature, which is the workmanship of God... Wherefore whoever receiveth the grace that is tendered in the gospel, they must be quickened by the power of God, their eyes must be opened, their understandings illuminated, their ears unstopped, their hearts circumcised, their wills also rectified, and the Son of God revealed in them."- John Bunyan
"Since we are dead in sin, a spiritual light and flame in the heart suitable to the nature of the object of our worship, cannot be raised in us without the operation of supernatural grace... such a worship God must have, whereby he is acknowledged to be the true sanctifier and quickener of the soul."
- Stephen Charnock
Man, in all his capacities, is too weak to produce the work of regeneration in himself. This is not the birth of a darkened wisdom and an enslaved will. We affect a kind of divinity, and would centre ourselves in our own strength; therefore it is good to be sensible of our own impotency, that God may have the glory of his own grace, and we the comfort of it in a higher principle and higher power than our own...God challenges this work as his own, excluding the creature from any share as a cause: Ezek. xxxvi. 25-27, 'I will sprinkle clean water upon you, I will cleanse you, I will give you a new heart, I will put a new spirit into you, I will take away the heart of stone, 1 will give you a heart of flesh, I will put my Spirit into you.' Here I will no less than seven times. Nothing is allowed to man in the production of this work in the least; all that is done by him is the walking in God's statutes by virtue of this principle. The sanctifying principle, the actual sanctification, the reception of it by the creature, the removal of all the obstructions of it, the principle maintaining it, are not in the least here attributed to the will of man. God appropriates all to himself. He does not say he would be man's assistant, as many men do, who tell us only of the assistance of the gospel, as if God in the gospel expected the first motions of the will of man to give him a rise for the acting of his grace. You see here he gives not an inch to the creature. To ascribe the first work, in any part, to the will of man, is to deprive God of half his due, to make him but a partner with his creature. - Stephen Charnock from A Discourse of the Efficient of Regeneration
"Regeneration is a spiritual change; conversion is a spiritual motion." - Stephen Charnock
"What God requires of us he himself works in us, or it is not done. He that commands faith, holiness, and love, creates them by the power of his grace ..."
- Matthew Henry
The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ implants the principle of [repentance] at regeneration, and converts this principle into a habit in sanctification. True repentance is not the work of nature but of grace; not of man's own spirit but of the Spirit of Christ..." - John Colquhoun
"The passive receiving of Christ is the process by which a spiritual principle of grace is generated in the will of man." - William Ames
"The inward offer is a kind of spiritual enlightenment, whereby the promises are presented to the hearts of men, as it were, by an inward word."
- William Ames
"God works with power, and can make the unwilling willing; if He undertakes the conversion of a soul, it will be converted. All the pious workings of our heart towards God are the fruit and consequence of the powerful working of His grace in us."
- Thomas Goodwin
"Christ quickens none but the dead. Why do not the papists attain to this grace of justification? They never see themselves wholly dead, but join some life to the natural estate of man. Therefore Christ quickens them not." - Richard Sibbes
"God knoweth we have nothing of ourselves, therefore in the covenant of grace he requireth no more than he giveth, and giveth what he requireth, and accepteth what he giveth." - Richard Sibbes
"Saving faith, by which alone a man can heartily close with God in Christ, is above our power and is the gift of God... The Lord commanding this thing, which is above our power, willeth us to be sensible of our inability to do the thing, and would have us to put it on him to work it in us." - William Guthrie
"True faith in the lowest degree is the gift of God, and above the power of flesh and blood; for God must draw men to Christ." - William Guthrie
"True faith is not a mere passive impression, or an inoperative notion. It is a holy principle wrought in the soul by the Spirit of God, producing gracious habits, holy affections, filial reverence, and obedience." -- Thomas Reade
"Conversion is a work above man's power... Never think you can convert yourself. If ever you would be savingly converted, you must despair of doing it in your own strength. It is a resurrection from the dead, a new creation, a work of absolute omnipotence... This is a supernatural work."
- Joseph Alleine, An Alarm To The Unconverted
"None are drawn to Christ by their calling, nor come to him by believing, but only his sheep, those whom the Father has given him,. Effectual calling runs parallel with eternal election." - Joseph Alleine
"Conversion is not a repairing of the old building, but it takes all down, and erects a new structure... The sincere Christian is quite a new fabric, from the foundation to the top-stone. He is a new man, a new creature; all things are become new. Conversion is a deep work, a heart work. It makes a new man in a new world. It extends to the whole man, to the mind, to the members, to the motions of the whole life." - Joseph Alleine
"When Christ comes with regenerating grace, he finds no man sitting still, but all posting to eternal ruin, and making haste toward hell; till, by conviction, he first brings them to a stand, and then, by conversion, turn first their hearts, and then their lives, sincerely to himself." - Richard Baxter
"To be the people of God without regeneration, is as impossible as to be the children of men without generation." - Richard Baxter
The regenerate are such as sons both by receiving a new nature in their regeneration, and a new title in their adoption…. Because they are sons, therefore, God sends the Spirit of His Son into their hearts (Gal. 4:6), and he is styled the Spirit of adoption (Rom. 8:14-15). Receiving the Son…. and believing in his Name, they have authority or right to become the sons of God (John 1:12), being also regenerate, born not of flesh and blood—but of God. And thus, by faith, receiving him, by faith they retain him, or have him abiding in them, as they abide in him. Their union is intimate and mutual. What was lately a ruinous heap is become an animated temple, inhabited by the Divine presence. Where one person of the Godhead is present, there the whole Trinity is present. Amazing thing! The Old and New Testament evince the right which believers—they who are God’s own people—have to the abiding indwelling presence of his Spirit as the inhabitant of that temple which they are now become. [All this is through] Emmanuel, the founder and restorer of this temple.
"Adoption gives us the privilege of sons, regeneration the nature of sons." - Stephen Charnock
"The internal call is when the Spirit of God accompanies the outward administration of the Word to call a man from ignorance to knowledge, and a state of nature to a state of grace." - Christopher Love
"Faith is a fruit of the Spirit, and not the cause of a spiritual experience." - Jonathan Edwards
"It is from mean thoughts of God, that you contend with him, because he bestows grace on some, and not on others....Therefore consider what you do in quarrelling with God, and opposing his sovereignty. Consider with whom it is you contend."- Jonathan Edwards
"Those who are in a state of salvation are to attribute it to sovereign grace alone, and to give all the praise to him, who maketh them to differ from others."
- Jonathan Edwards
"...whatever scheme is inconsistent with our entire dependence on God for all, and of having all of him, through him, and in him, it is repugnant to the design and tenor of the gospel, and robs it of that which God accounts its luster and glory." - Jonathan Edwards, God Glorified In Man's Dependence
Without ... VITAL UNION there is, there can be, no faith. This being the case, a VITAL UNION is formed before faith can have any ground of existence; and consequently a justification which is a necessary result of this union takes place. - Jonathan Edwards
"The notion that there is a Christ, and that Christ is holy and gracious, is conveyed to the mind by the Word of God, but the sense of the excellency of Christ by reason of that holiness and grace, is nevertheless immediately the work of the Holy Spirit."- Jonathan Edwards
"God insists that his sovereignty be acknowledged by us, even in this great matter, a matter which so nearly and infinitely concerns us, as our own eternal salvation. This is the stumbling-block on which thousands fall and perish; and if they go on contending with God about his sovereignty, it will be their eternal ruin. It is absolutely necessary that we should submit to God as our absolute sovereign, and the sovereign over our souls, as one who may have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and harden whom he will." - Jonathan Edwards, God's Sovereignty In The Salvation Of Men
"A person therefore may have affecting views of the things of religion, and yet be very destitute of spiritual light. Flesh and blood may be the author of this; one man may give another an affecting view of divine things with but common assistance; but God alone can give a spiritual discovery of them."
- Jonathan Edwards
"There is a discovery of the divine superlative glory and excellency of God and Christ peculiar to the saints; and this is as immediately from God as light from the sun, and it is the immediate effect of his power and will."- Jonathan Edwards
"Hath any man hope that he is converted? ...that his sins are forgiven, and he received into God's favor, and exalted to the honor and blessedness of being his child, and an heir of eternal life? let him give God all the glory; who alone makes him to differ from the worst of men in this... world, or the most miserable of the damned in hell."- Jonathan Edwards
"We are dependent on God's power through every step of our redemption. We are dependent on the power of God to convert us, and give faith in Jesus Christ, and the new nature. It is a work of creation."- Jonathan Edwards
"We are dependent on God, not only for redemption itself but for our faith in the Redeemer; not only for the gift of His Son but for the Holy Ghost for our conversion." - Jonathan Edwards in a public lecture in Boston July 8, 1731
"...the first effect of the power of God in the heart in regeneration is to give the heart a Divine taste or sense; to cause it to have a relish of the loveliness and sweetness of the supreme excellency of the Divine nature ... The word of God is no proper cause of this effect: it does not operate by any natural force in it. The word of God is only made use of to convey to the mind the subject matter of this saving instruction: and this indeed it doth convey to us by natural force or influence. It conveys to our minds these and those doctrines; it is the cause of the notion of them in our heads, but not of the sense of the divine excellency of them in our hearts. Indeed a person cannot have spiritual light without the word. But that does not argue, that the word properly causes that light. The mind cannot see the excellency of any doctrine, unless that doctrine be first in the mind; but the seeing of the excellency of the doctrine may be immediately from the Spirit of God; though the conveying of the doctrine or proposition itself may be by the word. So that the notions that are the subject matter of this light, are conveyed to the mind by the word of God; but that due sense of the heart, wherein this light formally consists, is immediately by the Spirit of God. As for instance, that notion that there is a Christ, and that Christ is holy and gracious, is conveyed to the mind by the word of God: but the sense of the excellency of Christ by reason of that holiness and grace, is nevertheless immediately the work of the Holy Spirit."
- Jonathan Edwards - A Divine and Supernatural Light
Jonathan Edwards even said of Peter Van Mastricht's "A Treatise of Regeneration" "This book is much better than any other book in the world, excepting the Bible, in my opinion." From beginning to end this book was a defence for monergistic regeneration.
"If we are not inwardly wrought upon, and changed by the powerful operations of the Holy Spirit, and our moral actions proceed from a principle of a new nature, however we may call ourselves Christians, we shall be found naked at the great day." - George Whitefield
C. H. Spurgeon
Faith in the living God and his Son Jesus Christ is always the result of the new birth, and can never exist except in the regenerate. Whoever has faith is a saved man.
- C.H. Spurgeon from "Faith and Regeneration"
"A man's conversion is nothing, his believing is nothing, his profession is nothing unless he is made to be a new creature in Christ Jesus... If our faith has not brought with it the Holy Spirit, if, indeed, it is not the fruit of the Spirit...then our faith is presumption, and our profession is a lie."
- C. H. Spurgeon Quote Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol XXX, Receiving The Holy Ghost
"No sooner is the soul quickened, than it at once discovers its lost estate, is horrified thereat, looks for a refuge, and believing Christ to be a suitable one, flies to him and reposes in him." - C.H. Spurgeon
"God the Holy Ghost must illuminate us, or all the suns in the milky way never will."- C.H. Spurgeon
"The new creation is as much and entirely the work of God as the old creation"- C.H. Spurgeon
"To fear God and to walk uprightly is a higher nobility than blood or birth can bestow."- C.H. Spurgeon
"We are chosen of God, according to the good pleasure of his will, and this alone is blessedness. Then, since we cannot and will not come to God of ourselves, he works graciously in us, and attracts us powerfully; he subdues our unwillingness, and removes our inability by the almighty workings of his transforming grace."- C.H. Spurgeon
"Conversion is as divine a work as creation." - C.H. Spurgeon on Psalm LXXX
"If there is to be in our celestial garment but one stitch of our own making we are all of us lost."- C.H. Spurgeon
"It is not your hold of Christ that saves, but his hold of you!"- C.H. Spurgeon
"...none take Jehovah to be their God till he takes them to be his people."- C.H. Spurgeon
"You may be quite certain that if you love God it is a fruit, not a root."- C.H. Spurgeon
"We are chosen of God, according to the good pleasure of his will, and this alone is blessedness. Then, since we cannot and will not come to God of ourselves, he works graciously in us, and attracts us powerfully; he subdues our unwillingness, and removes our inability by the almighty workings of his transforming grace."- C.H. Spurgeon
"The Spirit of God must come, and make the letter alive to you, transfer it to your heart, set it on fire and make it burn within you, or else its divine force and majesty will be hid from your eyes."- C.H. Spurgeon
Without the Spirit of God, we are like a ship stranded on the beach when the tide has receded-there is no moving her until the flood shall once again lift her from the sands. Until the Spirit of God shall thaw the chilly coldness of our natural estate, and bid the life-floods of our heart flow forth, there we must be- ...cold, cheerless, lifeless, and powerless. - C.H. Spurgeon
"All that the Father gives me shall come to me."- John 6:37 ... Oh! the power and majesty which rest in the words "shall come." He does not say they have power to come, nor they may come if they will, but they "shall come" ... subdued by sovereign love!"- C.H. Spurgeon
"A man is opposed to Christ, he hates his gospel, does not understand it and will not receive it-- the Holy Spirit comes, puts light into his darkened understanding, takes the chain from his bondaged will, gives liberty to his conscience, gives life to his dead soul, ... and the man becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus." - C.H. Spurgeon
Preach the necessity for the Holy Ghost's divine operations. ... 'Men must be told that they are dead, and that only the Holy Spirit can quicken them; that the Spirit works according to his own good pleasure, and that no man can claim his visitations or deserve his aid. This is thought to be very discouraging teaching, and so it is, but men need to be discouraged when they are seeking salvation in a wrong manner. To put them out of conceit of their own abilities is a great help toward bringing them to look out of self to another, even the Lord Jesus. The doctrine of election and other great truths which declare salvation to be all of grace, and to be, not the right of the creature, but the gift of the Sovereign Lord, are all calculated to hide pride from man, and so prepare him to receive the mercy of God.' - C.H. Spurgeon (from Lectures to My Students)
"Only God himself can satisfy the craving of a soul really aroused by the Holy Spirit."- C.H. Spurgeon
"You think that if you had a long hand you could reach the grace of God. No, but if you have a withered hand, that grace can reach you."- C.H. Spurgeon
"Do not think Christians are made by education; they are made by creation... The vital spark must come from above! Regeneration is not of the will of man, nor of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, but by the power and energy of the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God alone!"
- C.H. Spurgeon, "Light, Natural and Spiritual" No. 660.
"God wrought our deliverance alone, and he alone shall have the praise."- C.H. Spurgeon
"No Christian man will ever say that faith came of itself without the gift and without the working of the Holy Spirit."- C.H. Spurgeon
"When a man is converted to God, it is done in a moment. Regeneration is an instantaneous work. Conversion to God, the fruit of regeneration, occupies all our life, but regeneration itself is effected in an instant. A man hates God-- the Holy Spirit makes him love God. A man is opposed to Christ, he hates his gospel, does not understand it and will not receive it-- the Holy Spirit comes, puts light into his darkened understanding, takes the chain from his bondaged will, gives liberty to his conscience, gives life to his dead soul, so that the voice of conscience is heard, and the man becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus.And all this is done, mark you, by the instantaneous supernatural influence of God the Holy Spirit working as he wills among the sons of men."
From C.H. Spurgeon's, "THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT"
Regeneration and the Holy Spirit by C. H. Spurgeon
"Grace alone makes the elect gracious; grace alone keeps them gracious; and the same grace alone will render them everlastingly glorious in the heaven of heavens." - Augustus Toplady
"Faith, repentance, and holiness are no less the free gifts of God than eternal life."- Augustus Toplady
"Ask almost any man, “Whether he hopes to be saved eternally?” He will answer in the affirmative. But enquire again, “On what foundation he rests his hope?” Here too many are sadly divided
...The Pelagian hopes to get to heaven by a moral life and a good use of his natural powers.
The Arminian by a jumble of grace and free-will, human works, and the merits of Christ.
The Deist by an interested observance of the social virtues.
Thus merit-mongers, of every denomination, agree in making any thing the basis of their hope, rather than that foundation which God’s own hand hath laid in Zion.
But what saith Scripture? It avers, again and again, that Jesus alone is our hope: to the exclusion of all others, and to the utter annihilation of human deservings.Beware, therefore, of resting your dependence partly on Christ, and partly on some other basis. As surely as you bottom your reliance partly on the rock, and partly on the sand; so certainly, unless God give you an immediate repentance to your acknowledgment of the truth, will your supposed house of defence fall and bury you in its ruins, no less than if you had raised it on the sand alone.Christ is the hope of glory." - Augustus Montague Toplady
"Though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be--I can truly say that I am not what I once was--a slave to sin and Satan. And I can heartily join with the apostle and say that "by the grace of God I am what I am!" 1 Corinthians 15:10 - John Newton
J. C. Ryle
"On the one hand stand salvation by free grace for Christ's sake; but on the other stands renewal of the carnal heart by the Spirit. We must be changed as well as forgiven; we must be renewed as well as redeemed." - J. C. Ryle
"Without the blessing of the Lord, your best endeavors will do no good. He has the hearts of all men in His hands, and except He touch the hearts of your children by His Spirit, you will weary yourself to no purpose. Water, therefore, the seed you sow on their minds with unceasing prayer."- J. C. Ryle
"Let it be a settled principle ...that men's salvation, if saved, is wholly of God; and that man's ruin, if lost, is wholly of himself."- J. C. Ryle
See essay by J. C. Ryle on Regeneration
"No more soul-destroying doctrine could well be devised than the doctrine that sinners can regenerate themselves, and repent and believe just when they please...As it is a truth both of Scripture and of experience that the unrenewed man can do nothing of himself to secure his salvation, it is essential that he should be brought to practical conviction of that truth. When thus convinced, and not before, he seeks help from the only source whence it can be obtained."- Charles Hodge
"Sanctification is not a work of nature, but a work of grace. It is a transformation of character effected not by moral influences, but supernaturally by the Holy Spirit." - Charles Hodge
A. A. Hodge
"Whatever man may do after regeneration, the first quickening of the dead must originate with God."
- A.A. Hodge
A. W. Pink
"It is supposed that the Holy Spirit quickens only those who believe. But this is to put the cart before the horse. Faith is not the cause of the new birth, but the consequence of it." - A. W. Pink
"We are born spiritually blind, and cannot be restored without a miracle of grace...No sinner ever comes to Christ until the Holy Spirit first comes to him! And no sinner will savingly believe on Christ until the Spirit has communicated faith to him."- A. W. Pink
"Saving faith is not a native product of the human heart, but is a spiritual grace communicated from on High."- A. W. Pink
"The mission of the Holy Spirit in the world today is to apply the benefits of Christ's redemptive sacrifice."- A. W. Pink
"The demands of Christ are too humbling to our natural pride, too searching for the callous conscience, too exacting for our fleshly desires. And a miracle of grace has to be wrought within us before this awful depravity of our nature, this dreadful state of affairs, is changed."- A. W. Pink
"Regeneration is that miracle of Divine grace wrought in the soul which enlists the affections Godward, which brings the human will into subjection to the Divine, and which produces a real and radical change in the life...from worldliness to godliness, from disobedience to obedience." (1 John 2:3, 3:9, 4:7, 5:18) - A. W. Pink
"We are born spiritually blind, and cannot be restored without a miracle of grace. This is thy case, whoever thou art, that art not born again."- A. W. Pink
"In every instance where God has decreed an end, He has also decreed every means to that end. The One who decreed the salvation of His elect also decreed to work faith in them."- A. W. Pink
"Of himself the fallen sinner can no more repent evangelically than he can create a world. "With men it is impossible" rules out of court all special pleading for the power of man's will. Nothing but a miracle of grace can lead to the saving of any sinner. - A. W. Pink
"A natural faith is sufficient for trusting a human object; but a supernatural faith is required to savingly trust in a Divine object."- A. W. Pink
"To declare that God helps those who help themselves, is to repudiate one of the most precious truths taught in the Bible, and in the Bible alone; namely, that God helps those who are unable to help themselves, who have tried again and again only to fail."- A. W. Pink
"Christ...is supernaturally revealed and applied to the heirs of salvation by the Holy Spirit, when, where, and as He pleases, and not when, where, and how men please."- A. W. Pink
"to mortify the lusts of the flesh, to be crucified unto the world, to overcome the Devil, to die daily unto sin and live unto righteousness, to be meek and lowly in heart, trustful and obedient, pious and patient, loving and gentle is a task far, far beyond the poor resources of fallen human nature."- A. W. Pink
D. M. Lloyd-Jones
"Grace is in no sense contingent upon or dependent upon what man does." - D. M. Lloyd Jones
"God, through the gospel and by the Holy Spirit, sends out this general call to the whole world, but He calls certain people in particular, and no man is a Christian unless he is called in this special sense. They are people in whom the Word of God has been made effective; it has come to them in power, it has come as a command which they find to be irresistible, and they readily respond to it with the whole of their being."" Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"A Christian is the result of the operation of God, nothing less, nothing else. No man can make himself a Christian; God alone makes Christians... A Christian is one who has been created anew; and there is only One who can create, namely, God. It takes the power of God to make a Christian."
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"In every view of salvation the place given in it to the glory of God provides the ultimate test. The proof that it is truly scriptural is that it gives ALL the glory to God."- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"The extent of man's fall is so great and extensive that no man by the exercise of his own will or understanding can ever save himself or become a Christian." - Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Exposition of Ephesians
"If God did not make this call effectual for the people whom He has marked out they would not believe. This is the way in which God guarantees their full salavtion and glorification. He calls them in such an effectual manner by the Spirit that this is what they now desire above everything else."
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"Why is it that some have believed? It is because the Spirit has sanctified them, has set them apart, has called them out. It is the call of the Spirit; it is the work of the Spirit in conviction, and calling out, and giving power to believe."- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"Our Lord did not come to tell us what we have to do in order to save ourselves; He came to save us... The Christian doctrine of salvation and redemption is this - that Christ Himself is the salvation."- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"If a man is saved it is because God saves him; if he is lost it is because he has not believed. Paul teaches both and we must not try to get rid of either."
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"No man can believe the gospel in and of himself; the power of the Spirit alone can lead anyone to belief; without it we are spiritually dead and lost and ruined, and under the wrath of God."- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"A Christian is the result of the operation of God, nothing less, nothing else. No man can make himself a Christian; God alone makes Christians... A Christian is one who has been created anew; and there is only One who can create, namely, God. It takes the power of God to make a Christian."
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"God causes the word of the gospel, which is preached to all creatures, to come to these people whom He has foreknown, with power, the power of the Holy Ghost."- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"Our very believing is the result of the power of God... There is a strong tendency to talk in a superficial manner about believing, as if it were an easy thing which any man can do if he feels disposed to it. - Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"If you are clear in your theology and in your doctrine you will know that no natural man can believe the gospel... So if you expect a natural man to believe the gospel simply because you are putting it to him, you are denying the gospel; you have not understood it yourself."- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"There has been so much emphasis upon decision, receiving, yielding, being willing, and giving ourselves that salvation is regarded almost exclusively in terms of our activity... [But] We do not give birth to ourselves, we are not reborn because we believe. We believe be...cause we are reborn."
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"We can do nothing, it is all of God... If God had not quickened us we should still be dead. A dead man cannot give himself life. God quickened us, and because God has put new life into us we are alive in Christ Jesus, and in the realm of the Spirit."- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"If we hold that we become regenerate because we have already believed, then we have to show why we need to be regenerated at all... The doctrine of regeneration has a great deal to say about election and this doctrine of divine choice... The natural man hates this doctrine more than any other."
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
J. I. Packer
"Infants do not induce, or cooperate in, their own procreation and birth; no more can those who are 'dead in trespapasses and sins' prompt the quickening operation of God's Spirit within them."
- J I Packer
"...sinners cannot obey the gospel, any more than the law, without renewal of heart."- J I Packer
"As grace led me to faith in the first place, so grace will keep me believing to the end. Faith, both in its origin and continuance, is a gift of grace."- J I Packer
"You thank God [for your salvation] because "you do not attribute your repenting and believing to your own wisdom, or prudence, or sound judgment, or good sense."- J I Packer
"The saving power of the cross does not depend on faith being addded to it; its saving power is such that faith flows from it"- J I Packer
"The gift of sonship to God becomes ours not through being born, but through being born again."- J I Packer
"God is triune; there are within the Godhead three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; and the work of salvation is one in which all three act together, the Father purposing redemption, the Son securing it and the Spirit applying it."- J I Packer
"We do not make friends with God; God makes friends with us, bringing us to know him by making his love known to us...The word know, when used of God in this way, is a sovereign-grace word, pointing to God's initiative in loving, choosing, redeeming, calling and preserving."- J I Packer
"It cannot be over-emphasised that we have not seen the full meaning of the Cross till we have seen it as the divines of Dort display it—as the centre of the gospel, flanked on the one hand by total inability and unconditional election, and on the other by irresistible grace and final preservation. - J I Packer
J. I. Packer was recently asked, "which theological issues he would commend young Christian leaders to study in order to be prepared for the next fifty years.?" His number one answer was Regeneration — He said that the doctrine of regeneration has not been fully appreciated by many who do not understand that to be born again with a new heart and new nature means that we have at our deepest level a new identity and new passionate desires for God’s Word and ways. He commended to all young Christian leaders a thorough study on the doctrine of regeneration.
Regeneration is a secret act of God in which he imparts new spiritual life to us. As the gospel comes to us, God speaks through it to summon us to himself (effective calling) and to give us new spiritual life (regeneration) so that we are enabled to respond in faith. Effective calling is thus God that Father speaking powerfully to us, and regeneration is God that Father and God the Holy Spirit working powerfully in us, to make us alive. Sometimes the term irresistible grace is used in this connection. It refers to the fact that God effectively calls people and also gives them regeneration, and both actions guarantee that we will respond in saving faith. The term irresistible grace is subject to misunderstanding, however, since it seems to imply that people do not make a voluntary choice in responding to the gospel - a wrong idea, and a wrong understanding of the term irresistible grace. The term does preserve something valuable, however, because it indicates that God's work reaches into our hearts to bring about a response that is absolutely certain - even tough we respond voluntarily. - Wayne Grudem from Systematic Theology (pg. 699)
See Grudem's Essay from his ST
"Faith is the evidence of new birth, not the cause of it."- JOHN PIPER
"Regeneration is inseperable from its effects and one of its effects is faith." - John Murray
"We are not born again by repentance or faith or conversion: we repent and believe because we have been born again." - John Murray
"The embrace of Christ in faith is the first evidence of regeneration and only thus may we know that we have been regenerated." - John Murray
R. C. Sproul
"Regeneration Precedes Faith" - R. C. Sproul
"No sinner has the right to say with impunity, 'God you owe me grace.' If grace is owed, it is not grace. The very essence of grace is its voluntary character. God reserves to himself the sovereign, absolute right to give grace to some and withhold that grace from others." - R.C. Sproul
"Non-Christians are in a condition of blindness and bondage. They are under a power greater than the will of man and from which only Christ can set them free." - Iain Murray
"The error of Arminianism is not that it holds the Biblical doctrine of responsibility, but that it equates this doctrine with an un-Biblical doctrine of 'free-will' and preaches the two things as if they were synonymous." - Iain Murray, The Forgotten Spurgeon
"To make human action the cause of divine blessing is to overturn the whole nature of salvation." - Iain Murray
"To cut off the sinner from all reliance upon himself, his merits and his powers; and throw him, naked and helpless, into the hands of the Holy Spirit to lead him to Christ in faith; should be the one great aim of the ministry." - Ichabod Spencer
The new life is not imparted because man perceives the truth, but he perceives the truth because the new life is imparted. A man is not regenerated because he has first believed in Christ, but he believes in Christ because he has been regenerated." - W. T. Shedd
"...though man by his sin has lost his power to obey the will of God in a right manner, yet God has not lost his authority to command; which he may use without obliging himself to find man sufficient strength to act in obedience to it." - John Gill
Even though the Holy Spirit could accomplish this without means, it pleases Him to use the Word as a means. Nevertheless He immediately (that is, without means) touches the soul in a manner not known to us, exerting a creative power similar as at the time of creation when He moved upon the face of the waters. The Hebrew uses the word מְרַחֶפֶת (Merachepheth), which is indicative of motion that forms and brings forth. As I stated, the Spirit uses the Word in regeneration. “Of His own will begat He us with the Word of truth” (James 1:18); “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Pet. 1:23).
—Wilhelmus â Brakel “The Christian’s Reasonable Service”
"Before faith and obedience become acts of man they are gifts of God." - R.B. Kuyper
"Whatever contribution men make to their salvation they make by the grace of God. And that makes salvation the work of grace a hundred percent."
- R. B. Kuiper
"Regeneration, however it is described, is a divine activity in us, in which we are not the actors but the recipients." - Sinclair Ferguson
If salvation is the implantation of a new, infinite life in the soul, it must be a work of God. Self-caused effects can never rise above the characer or qualities of their cause. "Flesh gives birth to flesh but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit," Jesus told Nicodemus. This saving grace cannot be caused by the creature, it can only come from God. - John Hannah from To God be the Glory (pg. 34-5)
The fruit of regeneration is faith." - Steven Lawson
"All that is necessary for salvation is accomplished in Christ's work, even the guarantee of its application." - Ernest Reisinger
"Grace is not a reward for faith; faith is the result of grace." - John Blanchard
"Regeneration is the fountain, sanctification is the river." - J Sidlow Baxter
"God does not expect any good in us but what He has wrought in us." - Anon
"Whatever the details and steps of the work of redemption, all must be traced up to this original fountain, the sovereign grace and mercy of our God... The eternal, free, unchangeable, inexhaustible mercy of our God revealed through his dear Son Jesus Christ." - Edward Bickersteth
Grace is not like a box of candy that you can send back if you don't want it. Grace is divine favor, an attitude of God's own heart. We cannot stop him from loving us, if he chooses to do so. Nor can we stop him from giving us blessings of salvation: regeneration, justification, adoption, sanctification, glorification. His purpose in us will certainly be fulfilled, Phil. 1:6, Eph. 1:11. - John Frame
If salvation is the implantation of a new, infinite life in the soul, it must be a work of God. Self-caused effects can never rise above the character or qualities of their cause. "Flesh gives birth to flesh but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit," Jesus told Nicodemus. This saving grace cannot be caused by the creature, it can only come from God.
John Hannah from To God be the Glory (pg. 34-5)
"All men's hearts are fully set in them to do evil, and would certainly continue impenitent did not God, out of His gracious purpose, efficaciously persuade some to come to Him." - R.L. Dabney
"The [Roman Catholic] Council of Trent anathematizes anyone who says you can be saved without the grace of God. The Reformers, however, never claimed Rome believed you can be saved apart from grace. That wasn't the debate. The debate of the Reformation was never, ever about the necessity of grace, it was always about the sufficiency of grace. That remains the issue today in so many contexts." - James White
"It is wrong to suppose that the doctrine of justification by faith alone, that storm center of the Reformation, was the crucial question in the minds of such theologians as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, Martin Bucer, and John Calvin. This doctrine was important to the Reformers because it helped to express and to safeguard their answer to another, more vital, question, namely, whether sinners are wholly helpless in their sin, and whether God is to be thought of as saving them by free, unconditional, invincible grace, not only justifying them for Christ's sake when they come to faith, but also raising them from the death of sin by His quickening Spirit in order to bring them to faith." - Michael Haykin
"Yet, after all, faith is not our righteousness. It is accounted to us in order to righteousness (Rom 4:5, GREEK), but not as righteousness; for in that case it would be a work like any other doing of man, and as such would be incompatible with the righteousness of the Son of God; the righteousness which is by faith. Faith connects us with the righteousness, and is therefore totally distinct from it. To confound the one with the other is to subvert the whole gospel of the grace of God. Our act of faith must ever be a separate thing from that which we believe." - Horatius Bonar
"Faith is not our physician; it only brings us to the Physician. It is not even our medicine; it only administers the medicine, divinely prepared by Him who healeth all our diseases. In all our believing, let us remember God's word to Israel: I am Jehovah, that healeth thee (Exod. 14:26). Our faith is but our touching Jesus; and what is even this, in reality, but His touching us?" - Horatius Bonar
"Faith is not our saviour. It was not faith that was born at Bethlehem and died on Golgotha for us. It was not faith that loved us, and gave itself for us; that bore our sins in its own body on the tree; that died and rose again for our sins. Faith is one thing, the Saviour is another. Faith is one thing, and the cross is another. Let us not confound them, nor ascribe to a poor, imperfect act of man, that which belongs exclusively to the Son of the Living God." - Horatius Bonar
"...the cross saves completely, or not at all. Our faith does not divide the work of salvation between itself and the cross. It is the acknowledgment that the cross alone saves, and that it saves alone. Faith adds nothing to the cross, nor to its healing virtue." - Horatius Bonar
"Faith is the acknowledgment of the entire absence of all goodness in us, and the recognition of the cross as the substitute for all the want on our part. Faith saves, because it owns the complete salvation of another, and not because it contributes anything to that salvation. There is no dividing or sharing the work between our own belief and Him in whom we believe. The whole work is His, not ours, from the first to last." - Horatius Bonar
"God's grace in Christ is not merely necessary but is the sole efficient cause of salvation... We deny that salvation is in any sense a human work. Human methods, techniques or strategies by themselves cannot accomplish this transformation. Faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature."
- Cambridge Declaration
More Historical Church Councils and And Documents Which Teach the Doctrine of Monergistic Regeneration
This early council was a rigorous defense of monergistic regeneration, which Rome later abandoned wholesale.
Related Concepts in The Canons of the Council of Orange (529 AD) The Council of Orange was an outgrowth of the controversy between Augustine and Pelagius. This controversy had to do with degree to which a human being is responsible for his or her own salvation, and the role of the grace of God in bringing about salvation. Particularly have a look at Canon's 3-8.
Related concepts in The Canons of Dordt of 1618-19 teaching monergistic regeneration
Article 11: The Holy Spirit's Work in Conversion
Moreover, when God carries out this good pleasure in his chosen ones, or works true conversion in them, he not only sees to it that the gospel is proclaimed to them outwardly, and enlightens their minds powerfully by the Holy Spirit so that they may rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit of God, but, by the effective operation of the same regenerating Spirit, he also penetrates into the inmost being of man, opens the closed heart, softens the hard heart, and circumcises the heart that is uncircumcised. He infuses new qualities into the will, making the dead will alive, the evil one good, the unwilling one willing, and the stubborn one compliant; he activates and strengthens the will so that, like a good tree, it may be enabled to produce the fruits of good deeds.
Article 12: Regeneration a Supernatural Work
And this is the regeneration, the new creation, the raising from the dead, and the making alive so clearly proclaimed in the Scriptures, which God works in us without our help. But this certainly does not happen only by outward teaching, by moral persuasion, or by such a way of working that, after God has done his work, it remains in man's power whether or not to be reborn or converted. Rather, it is an entirely supernatural work, one that is at the same time most powerful and most pleasing, a marvelous, hidden, and inexpressible work, which is not lesser than or inferior in power to that of creation or of raising the dead, as Scripture (inspired by the author of this work) teaches. As a result, all those in whose hearts God works in this marvelous way are certainly, unfailingly, and effectively reborn and do actually believe. And then the will, now renewed, is not only activated and motivated by God but in being activated by God is also itself active. For this reason, man himself, by that grace which he has received, is also rightly said to believe and to repent.
Article 14: The Way God Gives Faith
In this way, therefore, faith is a gift of God, not in the sense that it is offered by God for man to choose, but that it is in actual fact bestowed on man, breathed and infused into him. Nor is it a gift in the sense that God bestows only the potential to believe, but then awaits assent--the act of believing--from man's choice; rather, it is a gift in the sense that he who works both willing and acting and, indeed, works all things in all people produces in man both the will to believe and the belief itself.
Article 16: Regeneration's Effect
However, just as by the fall man did not cease to be man, endowed with intellect and will, and just as sin, which has spread through the whole human race, did not abolish the nature of the human race but distorted and spiritually killed it, so also this divine grace of regeneration does not act in people as if they were blocks and stones; nor does it abolish the will and its properties or coerce a reluctant will by force, but spiritually revives, heals, reforms, and--in a manner at once pleasing and powerful--bends it back. As a result, a ready and sincere obedience of the Spirit now begins to prevail where before the rebellion and resistance of the flesh were completely dominant. It is in this that the true and spiritual restoration and freedom of our will consists. Thus, if the marvelous Maker of every good thing were not dealing with us, man would have no hope of getting up from his fall by his free choice, by which he plunged himself into ruin when still standing upright.
Article 17: God's Use of Means in Regeneration
Just as the almighty work of God by which he brings forth and sustains our natural life does not rule out but requires the use of means, by which God, according to his infinite wisdom and goodness, has wished to exercise his power, so also the aforementioned supernatural work of God by which he regenerates us in no way rules out or cancels the use of the gospel, which God in his great wisdom has appointed to be the seed of regeneration and the food of the soul. For this reason, the apostles and the teachers who followed them taught the people in a godly manner about this grace of God, to give him the glory and to humble all pride, and yet did not neglect meanwhile to keep the people, by means of the holy admonitions of the gospel, under the administration of the Word, the sacraments, and discipline. So even today it is out of the question that the teachers or those taught in the church should presume to test God by separating what he in his good pleasure has wished to be closely joined together. For grace is bestowed through admonitions, and the more readily we perform our duty, the more lustrous the benefit of God working in us usually is and the better his work advances. To him alone, both for the means and for their saving fruit and effectiveness, all glory is owed forever. Amen.
The Lutheran Formula of Concord states that "man of himself, or from his natural powers, cannot contribute anything or help to his conversion, and that conversion is not only in part, but altogether an operation, gift and present and work of the Holy Ghost alone, who accomplishes and effects it, by his virtue and power, through the Word, in the understanding, heart and will of man."
1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith
Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling
1._____ Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.
( Romans 8:30; Romans 11:7; Ephesians 1:10, 11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14; Ephesians 2:1-6; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 1:17, 18; Ezekiel 36:26; Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 36:27; Ephesians 1:19; Psalm 110:3; Song of Solomon 1:4 )
2._____ This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature, being wholly passive therein, being dead in sins and trespasses, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit; he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, and that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead.
( 2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 2:8; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:5; John 5:25; Ephesians 1:19, 20 )
Some Confessions of Faith or Historic Creeds that Teach Monergism
Canons of the Council of Orange (529)
The Baptist Confession of Faith (1689)
The Belgic Confession
The Canons of Dordt of 1618-19
The Heidelberg Catechism
Scottish Confession of Faith 1560
The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion of the Anglican Church
The Westminster Confession of Faith
Doctrinal Position of the Lutheran Missouri Synod (1932)
For the record, these are some of the historical persons who opposed monergism:
Semi-Pelagians as led by John Cassian (440); Then later there were clear denunciations from the Council of Trent (1563) Justification Canons, which is the standard of the Roman Catholic Church, Arminius and his followers in the Remonstrance of 1610 also disapproved; Finally, this list also includes individuals such as John Wesley, Charles Finney and a high percentage of evangelicals from 20th century America.
Some Reflections on the Debate Between Monergism & Synergism in Church History
by Cushing Biggs Hassell