Summary: Key Words in the Christian Life - Regeneration (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: John chapter 3 verses 1-9.
The Power of Bible Words:
• In 1924 Adolf Hitler started writing his book Mein Kampf,
• Which means "My Struggle."
• Some people ignored the book, and some laughed at it,
• But for every word in Mein Kampf, 125 people died in World War II.
Never underestimate the power of words:
• A judge speaks, and a man is condemned or set free.
• A physician speaks, and a person has surgery or he goes home from the hospital.
• A government official speaks, and millions of dollars can be spent or withheld.
• A preacher speaks and an individual can move from spiritual death to life!
• In our own personal lives we know the power of words;
• Words that can bless us and build us up and words that can cut us and knock us down.
We should never underestimate the power of words.
• And as Christians it is very important for us to know the meaning of Bible words.
• We need to understand these words and how they apply to our lives.
• Words such as justification, sanctification, propitiation, imputation and mediation;
• These words make up the technical vocabulary of the Christian life & are very important.
• They are like jewels waiting to be discovered;
• And if we take time to dig them up and polish & hone them;
• We can enjoy their immense beauty and their theological value!
The first word we are going to look at in this series is Regeneration:
• The English word "regeneration" simply means;
• ‘New birth, renewal or restoration’.
• Those of you who use the King James Version of the Bible:
• May or may not be surprised to know that the word is used only twice;
• In Titus we read about a personal regeneration:
• In Matthew we read about a universal regeneration.
(a). Personal regeneration (Titus chapter 3
verse 5 (C.E.V.):
“He saved us because
of his mercy,
and not because
of any good things
that we have done.
God washed us by the power
of the Holy Spirit.
He gave us new birth
and a fresh beginning”.
What we have in this verse is a beautiful illustration of the gospel:
• (1). “He saved us”.
• A reminder that salvation was God’s idea and plan not ours.
• While we were still sinners and could not care about God;
• He cared about us and sent a saviour into the world!
• (2). “Because of his mercy”.
• God’s motive for saving us was his merciful character and nature.
• He saved us because he loved us!
• (3). “And not because of any good things we had done”.
• All we had to offer God was our sin!
• In the New Testament God commends unbelievers like Cornelius (Acts chapter 10);
• Noting their good lives and generous giving.
• But that is never enough to save them;
• If they were to lean on that then their righteousness becomes like filthy rags.
• (4). “God washed us by the power of the Holy Spirit”.
• Conversion is a work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of an individual person.
• The expression “Washing” here literally means “bathed all over”.
• What we could never do – wipe the slate clean – the Holy Spirit has done for us!
• (5). “He gave us new birth and a fresh beginning”.
• Salvation is not a new set of beliefs but a new life!
• It really is being born all over again;
• Starting life afresh.
• London businessman Lindsay Clegg told the story of a warehouse property he was selling.
• The building had been empty for months and needed repairs.
• Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows,
• And strewn trash around the interior.
• As he showed a prospective buyer the property,
• Clegg took pains to say that he would replace the broken windows,
• Bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out the garbage.
• The buyer said to him:
“Forget about the repairs, when I buy this place, I’m going to build something completely different. I don’t want the building; I want the site”.
Compared with the renovation God has in mind:
• Our efforts to improve our own lives;
• Are as trivial as sweeping a warehouse slated for the demolition wrecking ball.
• When we become God’s, the old life is over, he wants to make ‘all things new’.
• All he wants is the site and the permission to build.
(b). Universal regeneration (Matthew chapter
19 verse 28).
“Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel”.