Summary: A Sermon on Salvation
Have you chosen life or death?
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! Deut. 30:19 (NLT)
I. What regeneration is not:
A. Church attendance or Church membership is not
These people left our churches because they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left us, it proved that they do not belong with us. 1 John 2:19 (NLT)
B. Good Education is not regeneration
They decided to abandon the Temple of the LORD, the God of their ancestors, and they worshiped Asherah poles and idols instead! Then the anger of God burned against Judah and Jerusalem because of their sin. The LORD sent prophets to bring them back to him, but the people would not listen.2 Chr. 24:18-19 (NLT)
C. Turning from profanity and sobriety to civility falls
short of regeneration.
He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit.Titus 3:5 (NLT)
D. Engaging in the outward duties of religion is not
For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 2 Pet. 2:20 (NKJV)
For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Pet. 2:21-22 (NKJV)
E. Advancing in the strictness of one’s own religion is
though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. Phil. 3:4-6 (NKJV)
They knew me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
Acts 26:5 (NKJV)
II. What regeneration is:
A. It is a supernatural change.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:3 (NKJV)
B. It is a change into the likeness of God
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor. 3:18 (NKJV)
C. It is a universal change
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.2 Cor. 5:17 (NKJV)
D. It is a change of qualities or dispositions
that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, Eph. 4:22-23 (NKJV)