The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
+ The imparting of a new life +
“...Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
“... According to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
The miracle of all miracles and the wonder of all wonders is found in the doctrine of the new birth. The new birth is represented in the Scriptures by such terms as regeneration, born again, born of God, born of the Spirit, and begotten of Him, (John 1:13; 3:3-13; I Peter 1:3, 23; James 1:18; I John 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4,18).
The Definition of Regeneration
The word regeneration occurs only twice in the King James Bible (Matthew 19:28; Titus 3:5). This word is a translation of the Greek word “palingenesis” which is from the root word “gennao, to be born, plus the prefix “palin” which means again. So, the word literally means to Be Born Again.
The first time the word regeneration appears in the Bible is in Matthew 19:28. This reference points to a future physical regeneration of the earth, that is, the time when the earth will be born again (Romans 8:21-22). When the Lord Jesus Christ returns to establish His kingdom, there will be a tremendous change that will take place in the earth.
The second time the word regeneration appears in the Bible is in Titus 3:5. In this passage, it speaks of a second birth of an individual, the moment they believe the gospel. This is a spiritual regeneration.
Regeneration is the process whereby God imparts to the believing sinner a new nature through a second birth (II Corinthians 5:17).
Regeneration is the imparting or communicating of life to the dead, human spirit (John 3:6; Ephesians 2:1-3). It is a rebirth, or re-creation, a second birth, a new birth. It is a spiritual birth or quickening that places the believer into God's family.
Regeneration is a term that describes a spiritual change wrought in the believer by the Holy Spirit, whereby he becomes the possessor of a new life or eternal life.
Regeneration is to be distinguished from other terms such as justification, sanctification, and atonement. For example, justification is a judicial term that describes our standing as believers before God, whereas regeneration describes a work of the Holy Spirit inside the believer that imparts to him eternal life.
Regeneration is the act of God the Holy Spirit (John 3:5) through the Word of God (I Peter 1:23), whereby an individual is quickened (made alive) and becomes a child of God (John 1:12-13).
The Necessity of Regeneration
The new birth is necessary for becoming a partaker of eternal life and becoming a member of God's family. A man is born physically alive but spiritually dead, and needs eternal life (Ephesians 2:1; Romans 5:12).
The answer to man's need or problem is found in John chapter 3, where the new birth is clearly defined. According to John 3:7, Jesus said, “ye must be born again,” for in verse six, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh.” The flesh can only produce flesh, it cannot produce spiritual life. Please check the following Scriptures: John 3:3-6; I Corinthians 15:50; Galatians 5:17; Matthew 26:41; Romans 7:18, Galatians 2:20, Genesis 6:5 and 8:21. Remember the Lord stopped a religious discussion in John 3:1-3 and told Nicodemus, a Pharisee of the Jews, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The word verily, mentioned twice, shows the great importance of what is about to be said in verse three.
According to John 2:23-25, Jesus knew what was in man. He knew man had a sinful nature and was in great need of salvation. The heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). According to Ephesians 2:1, all men are dead in trespasses and sins. That is, they are alienated from the life of God (Ephesians 4:17-19). The natural man (lost man) receiveth not the things of God, for they are spiritually discerned (I Corinthians 2:14).
In Genesis 2:6-17, when man sinned, the light went out and he was left in darkness, and on his way to hell. The whole human race is in the same condition according to Romans 5:12.
In John 1:12-13, the new birth is not of blood (one's family lineage), nor of the will of the flesh (physical), nor the will of man (from below), but of God, (from above).
The Effect of Regeneration
The two operating powers to produce the new birth are the Word of truth, (James 1:18; I Peter 1:23) and the Holy Spirit. (John 1:12-13; 3:3-7).
According to John 5:24, the new birth is referred to as passing from death to life, a spiritual resurrection. It is to become a new creature in II Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.” To be born again is to become partakers of the divine nature in I Peter 1:4; Ephesians 2:1, it is to be quickened from the dead, and Romans 6:13 speaks of being alive from the dead. In I Peter 2:9, it is spoken of as being called out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Now, in explaining the operation of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, Jesus used a familiar illustration in John 3:8: the wind, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, but cannot tell whence it, and whether it goeth, so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.” The wind is invisible and man cannot explain it, comprehend it, or control it, but he cannot question the fact that the wind exists. For he sees and experiences its results. The same is true with the new birth. We can see the effects of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, even though we cannot explain the operation of the new birth. The Spirit convicts and draws men to God and places a new nature inside the believer.
When a person believes the gospel and receives Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, believing He died for his sins, he is born again that very moment, (II Corinthians 5:17).
As the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep and there was light in Genesis 1:1-6, so is it in the believer's heart when he received Christ as Savior (II Corinthians 4:3-6). Regeneration (new birth) is the light of the glorious gospel of Christ shining in our hearts.
The Evidence of Regeneration
A. According to I John 5:1, those who are born again believe exactly what the Scriptures say about the person of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That is, they believe he is the virgin born son of God. A born-again believer will never deny fundamental truth about Jesus Christ’s deity. Any person who denies this truth is not born again.
B. According to I John 2:29, the born-again believer experiences a changed life. He is not the same as he was before he was saved, he is a new creature (II Corinthians 5:17).
C. The born-again believer will have a love for the brethren that he never had before (I John 3:14).
D. The born-again believer is an overcomer, because he has Christ in him, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:29, I John 5:4).
E. The born-again believer has a love for God's Word according to (I Peter 2:2).
As a born-again Christian, I have two birth dates. I was born physically into a human family November 16, 1952. I was born spiritually into God's family May 15, 1972. Remember, the second birth is just as real as the first birth, “you must be born again”.
Born once, die twice, Born twice, die once.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523