Peter writes to a congregation and tells them about their faith–
2Pet 1:1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
The Greek word for obtained is pretty interesting. It basically refers to obtaining something through a lot. The Greek lexical form λαγχάνω (lagchano, G2975) is defined as “1. to lot, i.e. determine (by implication, receive) especially by lot”. The word, in its different forms, is also used in Luke 1:9; John 19:24; Acts 1:17, which obviously refers to casting lots. The basic idea conveyed by Peter through his use of this particular word is, I believe, that the faith which we have did not originate with us. It was as it were by lot–outside of our influence. It was given to us. We obtained it. It is the kind of faith which is the same as the Apostles’ and it was obtained by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus. Who but God in the Bible controls the results of the lot (Prov 16:33)? One commentary says–
obtained—by grace. Applied by Peter to the receiving of the apostleship, literally, "by allotment": as the Greek is, Luke 1:9 John 19:24. They did not acquire it for themselves; the divine election is as independent of man's control, as the lot which is east forth.
There is indeed biblical warrant and evidence for the doctrine that faith is indeed a divine gift given to those who are elect, like repentance (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2Tim. 2:26). Our case is further strengthened when we consider the Scriptural teaching on the inability of fallen man to believe (see here).
While this is not directly addressed by the Confession in this section, it is related to the point addressed above, namely, that faith is a gift. The question that I want to answer here is: Do we believe to be born again, or are we born again to believe? I will try to argue that the latter is the answer.
Before starting to argue for Reformed and Calvinistic belief that regeneration precedes faith, it must be noted that here we are speaking about “preceding” not necessarily in time, but logically. If we look at it in the sense of time, then both regeneration and faith happen at the same moment. But, the question that we are concerned with is to find which is the cause and which is the effect. Is regeneration the cause of faith, or is faith the cause of regeneration. I found that Matt Slick had a very nice analogy to explain the relationship between regeneration and faith –
In a light bulb, electricity must be in place in order for light to occur. But, it is not true that light must in place for electricity to occur. The light is dependent on the electricity, not the electricity on the light. Therefore, the el...