Summary: A message designed to cut to the heart of the nature of salvation.
The Doctrine of Regeneration
John 3: 1-21
Quote: “As to its nature and source it is a supernatural, creative act of the Holy Spirit, not reforming our old nature, but giving us a new one alongside of the old.”
James M. Gray
Intro: Last week we looked at the truth of the matter about man’s depravity, so tonight we look at the means the enable man to come to Christ, “The New Birth” spiritual regeneration from above.
I. The Necessity of Regeneration
1. Man’s spiritual bondage to sin
2. Man’s inability to change on his own
3. Man’s desperateness requires it
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
A. Jesus speaks to Nicodemus concerning this matter
Verse 7, “Ye must be born again” i.e.… from above
II. The source of Regeneration
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
1. The Source is centered around the “Will of God”
2. The source is an outworking of the Holy Spirit
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Comparison of physical birth with spiritual
1. Both physical and spiritual birth require three components
A. Seed giver
a. Physical birth requires the male to offer his seed
b. Spiritual birth requires God seed of truth
a. Physical birth requires the woman to receive
b. Spiritual birth requires the soul of man to receive “The engrafted Word of God”
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Note: The only source of Regeneration is in the hands of God.
III. The Characteristics of Regeneration
1. A new nature
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
A. The Holy Spirit imparts a “New Nature”
Only on this prompting of the Holy Spirit is one able to understand the scripture in a spiritual fashion that would lead one to “Choose Christ.”
It is a new birth of the individual himself, and not of something in him. The nature is never changed, but the person is—relatively, not absolutely.
A. W. Pink
B. Two natures battle in the soul
The sinful nature of man has not been removed from him or her and will not be until the time of the resurrection, therefore Paul concludes that the:
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
2. A Godly Nature
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
A. We have been enabled to resist temptation
Prior to the Regeneration of the soul, man was and is incapable of resisting sin, because of the lack of spiritual knowledge that can only come through the venue of the Holy Spirit.
IV. The Effects of Regeneration
1. The Illumination of the understanding
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
A. The spiritual mind is enlightened to real truth
2. The surrendering of the Heart to Christ
6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
Note: Only through the effectual call of the Holy Spirit can or will one surrender their heart to Christ.
3. The Emancipation of the will
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
A. Christ has freed or will to do wrong
B. Christ has enabled us to have a free will
Note: Man has only one free will prior to regeneration and that is the will to sin, there is no ability in fallen man to choose God or righteousness, he must be emancipated by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit to make the choice for Christ.