TOPIC:“This Revolutionary Word - Regeneration”
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5)
There are many precious words in the Bible that describe theologically what takes place when a person becomes a Christian. When we are born into God's family some wonderful things happen to the believer. Let me mention a few of those things. We are justified. We are redeemed. We are forgiven. We are adopted. We are sanctified. In this message I want us to look at this revolutionary word regeneration.
To begin with, let us look at the OBSERVATION of regeneration. Note the words of Paul in verse 5: “the washing of regeneration.”
There are many misconceptions which people have regarding regeneration. In order to clear up any misunderstanding of this word, let me explain in clear language what regeneration means. Regeneration is not reformation. It is not the improvement of the old nature. And get this, according to the Bible there is no such thing as baptismal regeneration. Baptism must follow and never come before regeneration. The correct order is “believe and then be baptized” as in Acts 8:12. Regeneration is the inward experience while baptism is the outward expression.
The word “regeneration” is found only two times in the entire Word of God. When used in relation to believers as in our text, it means an impartation of the divine life of God into the believer's soul. As someone has put it: “Through the new birth the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature and of the life of Christ Himself.” The several different words and phrases used in the Bible to express the meaning of regeneration are “made alive” (Ephesians 2:5); “new creation” (II Corinthians 5:17); “alive from the dead” (Romans 6:13); “born of God” (I John 4:7); “putting on the new man” (Colossians 3:10) and “sons of God” (John 1:12).
When Christ spoke to Nicodemus about being “born again” (John 3:3) or better still “born from above,” He was speaking about entering a new realm of living, a new existence of life. This revolution that Nicodemus needed to experience was so remarkable that it could only be described by Christ as being born all over again. It was a spiritual rebirth. He had to be reborn spiritually. Nicodemus had already been created in the flesh, but now he had to be recreated by the Spirit.
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