The Grace of Regeneration

Next Doctrine Return to Menu

Titus 3:3-7  For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and 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, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

“We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be Regener­ated or born again (John 3:3,5); that Regeneration consists in a holy disposition to the mind (II Corinthians 5:17); that it is effected, in a manner above our comprehension, by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth (James 1:18), so as to secure our obedience to the gospel (I Peter 1:22-25); and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life (Ephesians 5:8-10).”

The sinner’s first and great need is. to be saved.  The Bible way of saving the sinner is by making him into a new creature  (II Cor. 5:17); that is, the Holy Spirit changes the natural man into a spir­itual man. We have natural, or physical life, but, until God does a work of grace within, we are “dead in trespasses and sins”  (Ephesians 2:1) .  Regeneration, or the new birth, is a change from the state of nature to the state of grace by the Holy Spirit.  His instrument is the word of God.  The channel, which is the gift of God, is faith, through which the Holy Spirit brings the Grace of Regeneration into the human heart (Romans 6:17; 10:10).

Because the work of Regeneration is altogether the work of the Holy Spirit we cannot explain the how, or even the when of the wash­ing of Regeneration and Renewing of the Holy Ghost  (John 3:8; Titus 3:5). We can only witness the outward change that follows.  After a person is saved, or born again, there are outward indications that a change has taken place, and we glorify God  (Galatians 1:23,24; I Thessalonians 1:9).

Our LORD taught Nicodemus about the new birth in John 3.  By the use of “water” and “the Spirit,” He taught the meaning of the water of separation  (Numbers 19; Ezekiel 36:25).  Twice, in the New Testa­ment (Hebrews 9:12-14; Titus 3:4-7), we are taught the Grace of Regeneration in which the Holy Spirit both cleanses and gives new life in Christ Jesus.

Regenerate ones have not only new life within, but a new dispo­sition, direction and devotion.  The Regenerate is made fit for new activity  (Ephesians 2:10).  By Regeneration a person is fitted for, and enabled to be a saint.  By the new birth the old disposition of rebellion against God is replaced with a disposition of submission to the holy will of God.  Regeneration makes one a child of God (I John 3:1-3), who seeks the things that are above  (Colossians 3:lf).  When one has been born from above by the Holy Spirit, he shows God’s love by his Christian charity toward other children of God  (I John 5:1).

The Grace of Regeneration can never be lost.  Once a person is newborn in a Biblical sense, he cannot be unborn again.  Eternal life cannot die a spiritual death!  Because the Regenerate are “kept by the power of God”  (I Peter 1:3-5), and God hath claimed them for His own, no power in heaven, earth or hell can take them from Him   (John 10:28; Romans 8:3lff; I Corinthians 1:9; Philippians 1:6)!

- - - - The Scriptures below are referenced in the doctrinal statement - - - -

John 3:3,5  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

2 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.

James 1:18  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

1 Peter 1:22-25  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: (23) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (24) For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: (25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Ephesians 5:8-10  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (9) (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) (10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Next Doctrine Return to Menu