Page 18 - January 2022 - Truth & Tidings
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egeneration! The word breathes   the sinner before they can believe. The
              power and potential! It is one of   phrase “dead in our sins” (Eph 2:1) is
        Rthe many wonderful “salvation”       explained to mean not just our total de-
        words in the Bible and gives us a marvel-  pravity but complete inability to respond
        ous look at the role of the Holy Spirit es-  in faith. R.C. Sproul put it this way: “God
        pecially, in the mighty work that occurs at   just doesn’t throw a life preserver to a
        the moment of conversion and continues   drowning person. He goes to the bottom
        for a lifetime.                       of the sea and pulls up a corpse … takes
        The Meaning & Miracle of Regeneration  him up on the bank, breathes into him
          Regeneration only appears twice in   the breath of life and makes him alive.”
        the NT, with the reference in Titus 3:5,   Make no mistake, to be spiritually “dead”
        “the washing of regeneration,” referring   could not be a more serious and helpless
        to personal salvation. The original com-  condition. It describes our separation
        pound Greek word is “again” and “birth,”   from God and utter helplessness to save
        and is similar to other biblical terms like   ourselves. However, it is beyond what
        “born again,” “made alive,” and “new   Scripture teaches to say that an unsaved
        creation.” Regeneration is the once-for-all   person is completely devoid of any ability
        cleansing from sin through new life, and   to even believe and that they must first be
                                              regenerated. Watch the Lord Jesus mas-
        seems to focus on the whole new state of   terfully and graciously interacting with
        life and being into which the believer is
        brought (2Co 5:17). The Bible informs us   unbelieving individuals like Nicodemus,
        that two divine powers accomplish this   the Samaritan woman, and others in the
        tremendous miracle: “the Word of God”   Gospels.  Before  their  conversions,  He
        (Eph 5:26; 1Pe 1:23) and the Holy Spirit   draws upon their capacity to recognize
                                              the spiritual aspects of His teaching and
        (Joh 3:5-8). Regeneration is something   works, even challenging them to use their
        that God alone does by His Spirit and His   moral judgment (Joh 10:37-38).
        Word, and it will never be undone!
                                                Thankfully, the Lord always takes the
        The Uniqueness & Effect of            initiative in salvation, but as well, each
        Regeneration                          person has the responsibility and capabili-
          No mere church ritual, personal im-  ty to believe. The rest of Scripture confirms
        provement or moral reform, regeneration   this consistently. To the bitten Israelites,
        is uniquely a divine work in the heart (Joh   the message was not “Live and look!” but
        1:12-13). It is the implantation of life that   “Look and live!” (Num 21:8). Isaiah said,
        brings a true and lasting change. Not only   “Hear, that your soul may live,” not “Live,
        is regeneration the immediate impartation   that your soul may hear” (55:3). The Lord
        of divine life but it is the sanctifying and   Jesus “cried out,” and Lazarus “came out,”
        renewing power of the indwelling Holy   not vice versa! (Joh 11:43-44).
        Spirit in our lives each day (Col 3:10).  Unsaved people can hear God’s voice
        The Necessity & Order of Regeneration  and, by responding in faith, come to enjoy
          Many hold that regeneration precedes   in all its fullness God’s great regeneration
        faith, and that God must first regenerate   imparted by the Holy Spirit!

        18   TRUTH kTidings   January  2022
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