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Regeneration

 

Regeneration

Many unregenerate men consider themselves to be God’s children, or “sons of God.” But being a product of God’s handiwork does not qualify one for a sonship relationship.

A cabinetmaker constructs a cabinet. But this does not make the cabinet a “child of the cabinetmaker. A birth process would be necessary for this. The unregenerate man who claims sonship with God “because he made me” is basing his claim merely on the fact that he is a product of God’s handiwork. Like the cabinet, he lacks the new birth necessary for a sonship relationship. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Regeneration

We may sweep the world clean of militarism, we may scrub the world white of autocracy, we may carpet it with democracy and drape it with the flag of republicanism. We may hang on the walls the thrilling pictures of freedom: here, the signing of America’s Independence; there, the thrilling portrait of Joan of Arc; yonder, the Magna Carta; and on this side, the inspiring of Garibaldi. We may spend energy and effort to make the world a paradise itself where the lion of capitalism can lie down with the proletarian lamb. But if we turn into that splendid room mankind with the same old heart, deceitful and desperately wicked, we may expect to clean house again not many days hence. What we need is a peace conference with the Prince of Peace.— Arthur Brisbane

 

Regeneration

        Many unregenerate men consider themselves to be God’s children, or “sons of God.” But being a product of God’s handiwork does not qualify one for a sonship relationship.

        A cabinetmaker constructs a cabinet. But this does not make the cabinet a “child of the cabinetmaker. A birth process would be necessary for this. The unregenerate man who claims sonship with God “because he made me” is basing his claim merely on the fact that he is a product of God’s handiwork. Like the cabinet, he lacks the new birth necessary for a sonship relationship.

 

Regeneration

        We may sweep the world clean of militarism, we may scrub the world white of autocracy, we may carpet it with democracy and drape it with the flag of republicanism. We may hang on the walls the thrilling pictures of freedom: here, the signing of America’s Independence; there, the thrilling portrait of Joan of Arc; yonder, the Magna Carta; and on this side, the inspiring of Garibaldi. We may spend energy and effort to make the world a paradise itself where the lion of capitalism can lie down with the proletarian lamb. But if we turn into that splendid room mankind with the same old heart, deceitful and desperately wicked, we may expect to clean house again not many days hence. What we need is a peace conference with the Prince of Peace.—Arthur Brisbane

 

BORN AGAIN

In his book, An Anthropologist on Mars, neurologist Oliver Sacks tells about Virgil, a man who had been blind from early childhood. When he was 50, Virgil underwent surgery and was given the gift of sight. But as he and Dr. Sacks found out, having the physical capacity for sight is not the same as seeing.

Virgil's first experiences with sight were confusing. He was able to make out colors and movements, but arranging them into a coherent picture was more difficult. Over time he learned to identify various objects, but his habits--his behaviors--were still those of a blind man. Dr. Sacks asserts, "One must die as a blind person to be born again as a seeing person. It is the interim, the limbo . . . that is so terrible."

To truly see Jesus and his truth means more than observing what he did or said, it means a change of identity.

Terry Seufferlein Norman, Oklahoma.   


Nineteenth century Scottish preacher Horatius Bonar asked 253 Christian friends at what ages they were converted. Here's what he discovered:

Under 20 years of age - 138
Between 20 and 30 - 85
Between 30 and 40 - 22
Between 40 and 50 - 4
Between 50 and 60 - 3
Between 60 and 70 - 1
Over 70 - 0                             

Daily Bread.

 

REGENERATION

The new birth or regeneration is an inner recreating of fallen human nature by the Holy Spirit. It changes the disposition from lawless, godless self-seeking into one of trust and love, of repentance for past rebelliousness and unbelief, and loving compliance with God's law henceforth. It enlightens the blinded mind to discern spiritual realities and liberates and energizes the enslaved will for free obedience to God.

The use of the figure of new birth to describe this change emphasizes two facts about it. The first is its decisiveness. The regenerate man has forever ceased to be the man he was; his old life is over and a new life has begun; he is a new creature in Christ, buried with him out of reach of condemnation and raised with him into a new life of righteousness.

The second fact emphasized is that regeneration is due to the free, and to us, mysterious, exercise of divine power. Infants do not induce or cooperate in their own procreation and birth; no more can those who are dead in trespasses and sins prompt the quickening operation of God's Spirit within them.

James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.


If I had a car with the engine that was ready for the grave, I'd have a new engine put in. I'd take the car into a mechanic who would put it in for me. If when I got that car back, it ran just as poorly, I'd begin to wonder if the old really had been replaced or just cleaned up. It is not different with our new lives in Christ.

Henry Eerdmans, Christian Personal Ethics, 1957, p. 383ff.


Rebirth or regeneration is monergistic, not synergistic. It is done by God and by God alone. A dead man cannot cooperate with his resurrection. Lazarus did not cooperate in his resurrection. Regeneration is a sovereign act of God in which man plays no role. After God brings us to life, of course, we certainly are involved in "cooperating" with Him. We are to believe, trust, obey, and work for him. But unless God acts first, we will never be reborn in the first place. We must also realize it is not as if dead people have faith, and because of their faith God agrees to regenerate them. Rather, it is because God has regenerated us and given us new life that we have faith. 

R.C. Sproul, Tabletalk, 1989.


Once there was a brier growing in a ditch and there came along a gardener with his spade. As he dug around it and lifted it up the brier said to itself, "What is he doing? Doesn't he know I am a worthless brier?" But the gardener took it into his garden and planted it amid his flowers, while the brier said, "What a mistake he has made planting me among these beautiful roses." Then the gardener came once more and made a slit in the brier with his sharp knife. He grafted it with a rose and when summer came lovely roses were blooming on that old brier. Then the gardener said, "Your beauty is not due to what came out but to what I put in."

Source Unknown.

 

BORN OF GOD.

What is the evidence that we are born of God? We have the question answered in John’s first Epistle. Seven times we find the words “ Born of God ” occurring.

. Righteousness of life. “ Every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him” (2:29).

. Not practicing sin. “ Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin” (3:9).

. New nature implanted. “ He cannot sin, because he is born of God” (3:9).

. Loving one another. “ Every one that loveth is born of God” (4:7).

. Faith in Christ. “ Whatsoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God” (5:1).

. Victory over the world. “ Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world( 5:4).

.  Kept by Christ. “ Whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but He that was begotten of God keepeth him” ( 5:18,R.V.).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings