Luther, Regeneration, and Faith
This might have surprised the Lutheran evangelists of my youth: Luther believed that regeneration precedes faith.
The truth is that no sinner can believe and embrace the Scriptures without the Holy Spirit’s divine enabling. As Martin Luther observed, “In spiritual and divine things, which pertain to the salvation of the soul, man is like a pillar of salt, like Lot’s wife, yea, like a log and a stone, like a lifeless statue, which uses neither eyes nor mouth, neither sense nor heart. . . . All teaching and preaching is lost upon him, until he is enlightened, converted, and regenerated by the Holy Ghost.”
—John MacArthur, Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship (Thomas Nelson, 2014), 225.