Summary: What is regeneration?
John 3:1-8 THE REQUIREMENT OF A FRESH BEGINNING
Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, "I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?" Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or.... I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life. "Yeah, right, it’s not that easy," I protested.
"Yes, it is," Michael said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live your life." I reflected on what Michael said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon to be born daughter, "Michael replied.”Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live." "Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. Michael continued, "...the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read "he’s a dead man. I knew I needed to take action." "What did you do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me. Said Michael. "She asked if I was allergic to anything.”Yes, I replied." The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, "Gravity." Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead." Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that everyday we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:34 After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. Are you like Michael?
There are three things that as person must do:
1. He must die. 2 Sam. 14:14, “We must needs die” “It is appointed unto men once to die.”
2. He must meet God. RM 14:12, “Every one of us shall give an account of himself to God.”
3. He must be born again. Without a new birth there is no hope at all for eternal blessedness.
Yet today there are many in the church not alone outside the church that are religious but unregenerated. They find this message about the new birth beyond their thinking or considering. So let us take time to look at the terms used. Regeneration occurs only two times in the Bible. In each case it has to do with the act of a new birth. Titus 3:5 “he saved us, but not because of anything we had done to gain his approval. Instead, because of his mercy he saved us through the washing in which the Holy Spirit gives us new birth and renewal.” Besides a natural birth the believer has a spiritual birthday in life. 1 Peter 1:3 “Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! God has given us a new birth because of his great mercy. We have been born into a new life that has a confidence which is alive because Jesus Christ has come back to life. 23 You have been born again, not from a seed that can be destroyed, but through God’s everlasting word that can’t be destroyed.” 1 John 2:29 “If you know that Christ has God’s approval, you also know that everyone who does what God approves of has been born from God. 3:9 those who have been born from God don’t live sinful lives. What God has said lives in them, and they can’t live sinful lives. They have been born from God. 4:7, Dear friends, we must love each other because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God. 5:1, everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born from God. Everyone who loves the Father also loves his children. 5:18, we know that those who have been born from God don’t go on sinning. Rather, the Son of God protects them, and the evil one can’t harm them.”