Weekly Devotional 9-6-21 WHAT IS REGENERATION?
WHY IS REGENERATION NECESSARY FOR SALVATION?
To understand the biblical significance of the word “regeneration” it is necessary to understand the magnitude of the Genesis 3 event when the sin of man first entered into this world after Adam and Eve’s temptation and fall. There in that original rebellious rejection of God and His word, Adam and Eve severed themselves from their Creator. Unless we understand what happened here, and how according to the Bible, this original sin has impacted all of Adam’s descendants, you and I; our understanding and appreciation of the salvation God gives us in His Son, Jesus Christ, will be minimal.
According to Webster’s dictionary, the verb regenerate is defined as to build, make or start anew. It also defines the word as restored or renewed. According to the Bible another word for regeneration is rebirth or born from above from which we get the phrase “born again.” Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).” To be born again is opposed to, and distinguished from, our first birth, when we were conceived in sin. The new birth is a spiritual, holy, and heavenly birth signified by a being made alive in a spiritual sense. Our first birth, on the other hand, was one of spiritual death because of inherited sin. Man in his natural state is “dead in transgressions and sins” until we are “made alive” (regenerated) by Christ when we place our faith in Him (Eph. 2:1).
Salvation is the exclusive work of God from beginning to end. Rebirth is the result of the operation of the Holy Spirit. No man can come alive to God apart from the Spirit’s work. To be “born again” is to experience a second Genesis 3 event. It is a new beginning, a fresh start in life. When something is started, we say that it is generated. If it is started again, it is regenerated. To be regenerated is to be supernaturally re-created in the image of Jesus Christ.
To be regenerated does not mean that we are changed from a human being into a divine being. It does mean that we are changed from spiritually dead human beings into spiritually alive human beings. Spiritually dead persons are incapable of seeing the kingdom of God. It is invisible to them, not because the kingdom itself is invisible, but because the spiritually dead are also spiritually blind.
In the jargon of Christianity, we hear people speak of “born again Christians.” Technically speaking, this phrase is redundant. If a person is not born again, if he is not regenerate, then he is not a Christian. He may be a member of a Christian church. He may profess to be a Christian. But unless a person is regenerated, he is not in Christ, and Christ is not in him. No regeneration, no eternal life. Without regeneration a person can neither see the kingdom nor enter the kingdom of God.
Simply put, regeneration is God making a person spiritually alive, a new creation, as a result of faith in Jesus Christ. The reason regeneration is necessary is that prior to salvation we are not God’s children (John 1:12-13); rather, we are children of wrath (Eph. 2:3; Rom. 5:18-20). Before salvation, we are degenerate. After salvation we are regenerated. The result of regeneration is peace with God (Rom. 5:1), new life (Titus 3:5: 2 Cor. 5:17), and eternal sonship (John 1:12-13; Gal. 3:26). This regeneration is eternal and begins the process of sanctification wherein we become the people God intended for us to be (Romans 8:28-30).
The Lord literally allows His Holy Spirit to enter into our human spirit at the exact moment of our conversion to Him, so that we can have His divine life and power starting to flow and operate through us for ministry and sanctification. When I really stop and think about what is really involved in this process, in this regenerative work by the Holy Spirit, I find it truly amazing. As a result of being truly “born again,” our spiritual relationship with the Lord has now been fully restored.
In conclusion, if you do not have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of you, then you are not truly born again in the Lord and you are not saved from God’s wrath.
It is only when the Holy Spirit comes and enters into your human spirit that you are truly born again. The only way to be able to get the Holy Spirit to enter into your human spirit is to be willing to accept by faith Christ Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. There is no other way into the kingdom of God. We either come through Jesus and the blood that He has personally shed for us on the cross or we do not come through at all. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6).”
Jesus gives us a personal invitation. Jesus is a perfect gentleman, and He will not force His way in. The door to your heart must be opened from within as He respects the rights of His creatures. Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door (to their heart), I will come in to him, and dine with him, and he with Me (fellowship with Him – Rev. 3:20).” Please invite Jesus in to be the Lord of your life and your life will be changed forever. You will become a new creature, indwelt by the Spirit of God. God becomes your Father, and we become His children. You become a joint heir with Jesus Christ.
– No Salvation Without Regeneration.
– No Spiritual Life Without a New Birth.
– No Heaven Without a New Heart.
We all are born into this world spiritually dead, but God is spirit, in which case we can have no fellowship with God. We are separated from God. We have physical life, but no spiritual life. Our soul understands physical things, but we have no spirit to understand spiritual things. We need regeneration. We read in 1 Corinthians 2:14: “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolish to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
But there is hope. We read in 1 Corinthians 15:22: “For as in Adam all die (separated from God), so in Christ all will be made alive.” Whoever believes in Jesus Christ shall have eternal life by being made alive through the spiritual rebirth of regeneration. Regeneration is the sovereign work of God whereby He supernaturally intervenes in a person’s life, creates a new heart, gives new life, and enables one to come to Christ. Salvation is the exclusive work of God from beginning to end.
Signs of Our Times
Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man