Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God
Trust and Obey – Part 5
JOURNEY OF REGENERATION – From Enmity To Friendship With God
The Gospel of Christ – Journey of Regeneration God’s Provisions & Man’s Acts (A)
While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.
“ Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: , of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” (Ezek. 36:26–27)
“who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13).
In this post we will have a look at: Journey of Regeneration – God’s Provisions & Man’s Acts. We will have a look at the different components of God’s act of providing for our justification; Jesus’ acts of bringing it to pass on the cross at Calvary and our own little contribution of just believing, repenting and getting baptised.
“Every Generation Needs Regeneration” – Charles H. Spurgeon
“The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.” – William Booth
First and foremost – What Regeneration Is Not
Regeneration does not mean that a change takes place in the substance of human nature.
Regeneration does not mean that there is a new physical seed – IT IS NOT PHYSICAL
Regeneration does not mean that there is a complete change in the whole nature of man.
Regeneration does not mean that man becomes divine or that he becomes God.
Regeneration does not mean ADDITION TO or SUBTRACTION FROM the normal faculties of the soul or the essence of the soul.
It is not simply a change in one or more of the faculties of the soul.
Regeneration does not just mean moral reformation or change of will.
Regeneration IS NOT Conversion
Conversion is TURNING AWAY FROM ONE THING TO ANOTHER IN PRACTICE AND IN YOUR LIFE.
Regeneration is THE WORK OF GOD THAT EMPOWERS A MAN TO CONVERT.
Conversion is something that a man does BUT Regeneration is EXCLUSIVELY THE WORK OF GOD.
The outward change in a man is the manifestation that had already taken place inside of him.
Regeneration is PLANTING OF THE SEED OF LIFE.
Just like generation (conception) takes place instantaneously, long time before birth.
What is Regeneration
Regeneration is an Exclusive act of God by which a principle of new life is implanted in man, with the result that the governing disposition of the functions of the soul is made holy.
Regeneration means to be renewed, reformed, or reconstituted; to have a spiritual rebirth (be spiritually reborn) “Born Again”; to cause to be completely reformed or improved and to grow anew (a part to replace one hurt or lost).
“But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7)
In the world we live in today, the result of man’s quest to “go on the road of discovery of OTHER WAYS TO GOD” or “have MY OWN VERSION OF GOD or my own DESIGNER GOD” or to just believe in “SOMETHING UP THERE” or to outright “DO IT MY WAY”. You know – “anything, anyway or anyone other than this omniscient God who I am told is able know all my thoughts even before I think them; who is able to know my acts even before I do them when no one could physically do so” is so glaring.
In a world where it can be seen that the darkness that covers mankind is ever increasing; a world where greed, avarice, self-aggrandizement and outright disregard for the foundational pillars that have held societies together are the order of the day.
A world where the destiny of the human soul; supposedly the main beneficiary of everything that has been made to exist is now at the mercy of corporate profit, a situation that automatically triggers a curse against a nation. The prophet Amos touched on this in his writings:
“Hear this, O you who would swallow up and trample down the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail and come to an end, saying, When will the New Moon festival be past that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath that we may offer wheat for sale, making the ephah [measure] small and the shekel [measure] great and falsifying the scales by deceit, that we may buy [into slavery] the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals; yes, and sell the refuse of the wheat [as if it were good grade]? The Lord has sworn by [Himself Who is] the Glory and Pride of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their [rebellious] deeds. Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who dwells in it? Yes, it shall rise like the river [Nile], all of it, and it shall be tossed about and sink back again to normal level, as does the Nile of Egypt. And in that day, says the Lord God, I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the broad daylight. And I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation, and I will cause sackcloth to be put upon all loins and baldness [for mourning] shall come on every head; and I will make that time as the mourning for an only son, and the end of it as a bitter day.” (Amos 8:4-10). Whenever
In a commentary on the book of Amos – John Blanchard puts it this way:
“A holy, covenant-keeping God was being rejected by an unholy, covenant breaking nation – When this happens there is always a price to pay”.
Let me not be tempted to dwell too much on this.
Outer Darkness in Man
This is darkness that may exist due to the fact that there is nothing to enlighten man about God and godly spirituality.
The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:16)
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Rom 10:15)
But then there is no excuse because:
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun ……… The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. (Psalm 19:1-4, 8)
But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.” (Romans 10:18)
Inner Darkness in Man
Inward darkness is one that is borne of natural rot and depravity in man’s mind. This is corruption in things pertaining to normal everyday living such as social, political, economic, moral or even spiritual or heavenly things; it may even come in the form of ‘churchianity’. The full blown effect of this rot or depravity is often held back by the common grace of the Holy Spirit.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. (Ephesians 4:17-18)
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
He has sent us the Holy Spirit.
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever ….. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:16;26)
John Barnett in “The Miracle of Salvation: Uninhabitable to Inhabited by God” wrote:
God has made provision for us to be born again, and regenerated through the new birth – in order to give us His life living within. But why would we – the greatest and highest and most wonderful of all earth’s creatures – why would we need regeneration? Because a disaster that has stricken each of us, has rendered us uninhabitable by God.
You and I are by nature from birth uninhabitable to God. We were born with a heart that was emitting a deadly radiant far worse than the gamma rays of that exploded reactor; we were producers of the element most hated by God in the Universe, which is called sin.
The presence of sin within each of us made us completely uninhabitable to God. He could never live within us because He is holy, and we are sinful.
The restraining grace is the unmerited favour God bestows on both the regenerate man and the unregenerate man so as to be often withheld from committing sins. This is done by God’s gracious control of circumstances.
Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20-21)
As the unregenerate man has only the conscience function of his spirit active and the body and soul also (his heart) exposed to the elements of the first and second heavens; he will definitely be at odds with God.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men; who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20)
So, how is it possible TO RESPOND TO RIGHEOSNESS if THE un-regenerate man (in his sinful state) is dead to God?
Regeneration – An Exclusive act of God by which a principle of new life is implanted in man, with the result that the governing dispositions (or nature) of the soul are made holy.
At any point in time, a man can either be regenerate or unregenerate: But all men are born unregenerate:
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:3-8)
Every man from birth is in spiritual darkness until God through the Holy Spirit, shines light into his heart. This spiritual darkness in man is borne out of a lack of intuition and a communion with God; and until God shines light into a man’s heart by the work of the Holy Spirit, this darkness remains. It could be outer or but definitely inner.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
Regeneration is when God comes down to the site of the worst disaster in the universe – us sinners – and completely removes the deadly, toxic elements at the core of our being.
Regeneration is a “supernatural work of the Holy Spirit” by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5). Regeneration occurs when God sovereignly acknowledges a person’s belief of the gospel. Regeneration is the most dramatic change in a new believer; when we are “born again” we enter the family of God.
The gift of salvation is about Jesus who died to take us who are dead in our sins, bring us to life; and welcome us as family members, full of endless life and brand new – that’s regeneration!
Regeneration is what brings together; Propitiation (by God); Salvation (by Christ though The Holy Spirit): and Repentance (by man).
Propitiation Points to what God has received from the death of Christ, whether or not a sinner trusts Christ. While:
Salvation Focuses primarily on the blessing the one who trusts Christ receives.
Repentance What man has to do (by faith) on his own part.
Just as it is what nature of internet flows into and from the wireless access port that GOVERNS what NATURE of internet service (3G, 4G, 5G) you get in all the devices: SO DOES THE DISPOSITION OF A MAN GOVERN THE NATURE OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE SOUL OF THAT MAN
In addition to the faculties of the soul, there is something that governs them all which is the disposition. Dispositions determine what we do and what or who we are.
For example, there are two men with the same faculties as per their abilities; when it comes to their faculties and their abilities it is impossible to choose between the two of them, one lives a good life and the other a bad life.
To become a Christian means to have a new heart. In the scriptures the heart stands for the centre of the personality; the very core of a man’s being; the spring of his life.
When a man becomes a Christian there must be a profound change of his disposition.
In our next post we will be looking at the
SUPERNATURAL CHANGE OF DISPOSITION – THE ONLY REMEDY FOR THE DECADENCE OF OUR TIME
We pray O Lord, that You will saturate the whole earth with Your restraining grace like never before.
You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Father you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.
Admit your spiritual need.
We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.
What is the result of sin?
In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.
Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.
What must a person do to accept this gift?
Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.
Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.
If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:
Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.