God’s Begetting Causes Our Believing
John says this plainly in 1 John 5:1. This is the clearest text in the New Testament on the relationship between faith and the new birth. Watch the verbs closely as I read 1 John 5:1, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.”
Here is what John Stott says on this verse, and I agree totally:
- The combination of present tense (believes) and perfect tense [has been born] is important. It shows clearly that believing is the consequence, not the cause, of the new birth. Our present, continuing activity of believing is the result, and therefore, the evidence, of our past experience of new birth by which we became and remain God’s children. (The Letters of John, 175)
The Divine Power of God in and through the preaching/teaching of the Gospel when connected with the spiritual deadness of man’s heart and at that moment is awakened to the reality of Jesus Christ. Believing happens; faith is activated when the New Birth occurs.