Weekly Devotional 5-9-22 / Spiritual Regeneration and Sanctification
Spiritual Regeneration is defined as the bringing to life from the state of being dead toward God. God confided to Adam that on the day of his disobedience he would die in his spiritual nature toward God (Genesis 2:16-17). Jesus said to Nicodemus that for a person to see or enter the kingdom of God he (or she) must be born again, that is, born from above (John 3:3,5). The apostle Paul reminding the Ephesian believers of their way of life before spiritual rebirth wrote, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Ephesus 2:1-5).
Sanctification is the commencement of spiritual growth at the time of regeneration and will continue throughout our lives. Regeneration and sanctification are the work of the Holy Spirit accomplished in us. Neither is initiated by us. The apostle Paul affirms this truth in his letter to Roman Christians of his day, “28And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” Romans 8:28-30). We note this work was of God. He called, justified, and glorified the predestined persons. What a wonder and because God’s word was/is transcending those same words are applicable to us.
The Regenerated life will be evidenced by sanctification. From the time any person is regenerated he (or she) is being changed in his relationship with his Creator, his thought processes, and his conduct of life. Sanctification is the result of regeneration. If regeneration has occurred in one’s life, some amount of sanctification will follow. God the Holy Spirit cannot fail in either commission. To those whom He is sent He will regenerate, and those He regenerates He will sanctify, that is, He will bring about conformity to the image of God the Son.
Regeneration is instant, but sanctification is ongoing. It is a continuation of the work of the Holy Spirit that commenced when He regenerated the predestined person. This should cause every person to consider: Have I truly been regenerated? Have I been made spiritually alive? Is there evidence in my life that my consideration of God is different? Are my thought processes different? Is my conduct of life different from my conduct of last year, last month, last week, or yesterday? If regeneration has truly occurred in my life, I should be different? I no longer will love the things that I used to love. My consideration of God will be changed. I will think differently than I used to think. I will view things from a heavenly viewpoint rather than from the world view I once held. I should realize if there is no change, regeneration has not occurred.
Regeneration and Sanctification of the human soul is a work of the Holy Spirit, but we who have been called, have a part in both. We will, in and by faith, work toward greater maturity. In regeneration, God efficaciously called us to Himself. In that calling, the Holy Spirit convicted us of sin, made us aware of our need of forgiveness, caused us to have a repentant heart, and directed us toward the only means of being made right with God, trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ. In sanctification, He set us apart from the world. He continues to work in us, giving us the understanding of what is required for a godly walk. He illuminates His written word for us, convicts us of sin, and encourages us toward a godly path. However, to be spiritually healthy we (the born-again Christian) must feed on the Word of God, communicate with Him “in prayer,” fellowship with mature brothers and sisters (other Christians), and be actively engaged in the building of the Kingdom of God. This may take different forms, but the point is we are not to sit idly by but be engaged.
The Christians of the church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-19) were rebuked and chastised because of their lack of sanctification (maturity), but the Christians of the church of Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) were blessed and rewarded for their faithfulness. Which definition identifies you? Which definition identifies me?
Stevelampman.com / Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man