GRACE IN REGENERATION
Ephesians 2:8,9 – "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast."
WE BELIEVE THAT IN ORDER TO BE SAVED, SINNERS MUST BE REGENERATED OR BORN AGAIN, THAT REGENERATION CONSISTS IN GIVING A HOLY DISPOSITION TO THE MIND; THAT IT IS EFFECTED IN A MANNER ABOVE OUR COMPREHENSION BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN CONNECTION WITH DIVINE TRUTH, SO AS TO SECURE OUR VOLUNTARY OBEDIENCE TO THE GOSPEL; AND THAT ITS PROPER EVIDENCE APPEARS IN THE HOLY FRUITS OF REPENTANCE, AND FAITH, AND NEWNESS OF LIFE.
I. "WE BELIEVE THAT IN ORDER TO BE SAVED, SINNERS MUST BE REGENERATED OR BORN AGAIN."
A. John 3:3 – "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."
1. Jesus in speaking to the religious but lost Nicodemus said that a person cannot see or understand the things of God except they be born the second time. This birth is known as the new birth, which is from above of God.
2. Being born again is something that people cannot do for themselves.
3. There is no way possible for a person or persons to make another person, nor themselves, spiritual. It must be done by the power of God.
B. Other scriptures that teach this to be true are:
1. John 3:6-7 - Jesus repeats that Nicodemus must be born again.
2. I Cor. 1:14 - Paul stating to the Corinthian church that he baptized very few of them. This statement shows that Paul didn't intend to make the people followers of him, rather he intended they become followers of Christ.
3. Rev. 21:27 - The only people that will enter into the New Jerusalem are those that have their names written in the Lamb's Book of Life (those that have been "born again").
II. "THAT REGENERATION CONSISTS IN GIVING A HOLY DISPOSITION TO THE MIND."
A. This does not mean that we are saved in our mind, and there is no salvation of the spirit.
1. Receiving a holy disposition to the mind is not all that regeneration is.
2. We are saved in our spirits, but salvation changes everything about us.
3. We no longer think the way we formerly thought.
4. We are now able to think like Christ, if we will only use what he has given us.
5. Now we have a new mind, so we can understand spiritual things.
B. II 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."
1. To be "in Christ" is to be born again and to be born again is to be a new creature or creation of God.
2. Believing by faith is an act of the newly given holy disposition to the mind.
3. Acts 19:26 – Paul persuaded people that Jesus is the Christ.
a. Paul worked on their minds and the Holy Spirit worked on their spirits.
b. The evidence of regeneration (and the new mind) is seen in the works of the body.
4. God puts His divine nature within us according to II Peter 1:3, which states, "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:"
C. Other scriptures that teach this to be true are:
1. Ezekiel 36:26-27 – "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."
2. Deuteronomy 30:6 – "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."
3. Romans 2:28-29 – "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."
4. Romans 5:5 – "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
5. I John 4:7 – "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."
III. "THAT IT IS EFFECTED IN A MANNER ABOVE OUR COMPREHENSION BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN CONNECTION WITH DIVINE TRUTH."
A. John 3:8 – "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."
1. We do not see the Spirit of God when He does His work in bringing about the new birth, but we see the effects of it.
2. The Spirit of God is likened to the wind by Jesus in this verse in that He is not seen, but the results of His power in the salvation of lost sinners is evidence that He is present.
B. John 1:11-13 – "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
1. John says in verse 12 and 13 that every one of those who receive Him do so by the Spirit of God and not by mere man.
C. James 1:16-18 – "Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 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. All perfect gifts such as salvation and eternal life come from above and not from the will of man here on earth according to verse 17.
2. Verse 18 - Those who are saved are so because God willed it to be so and He does it by the power of His Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Word of God.
3. No one ever gets saved without hearing the gospel.
D. Other scriptures that teach this to be true are:
1. I Corinthians 1:30 – "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:"
2. Phil. 2:13- "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
a. How God does this is impossible to comprehend in the physical mind.
b. Saved people know within themselves it is true, because God speaks to them through the word of God and gives them proof.
IV. "SO AS TO SECURE OUR VOLUNTARY OBEDIENCE TO THE GOSPEL."
A. I 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.’
1. No one is ever saved against their will, for faith is being willing to trust completely in Jesus and Him alone.
2. Those who are saved are willing to be saved.
3. God in His wisdom and great love for us woos and draws us to Himself by His Spirit and Word.
4. God breaks our own stubborn will that is depraved and contrary to his will in such a way as to cause us to willingly turn from our own ways to His and to love doing it.
B. Other scriptures that teach this to be true are:
1. I John 5:1 – "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him."
2. Ephesians 4:20-24 – "But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
3. Col. 3:9-11 – "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."
V. "AND THAT ITS PROPER EVIDENCE APPEARS IN THE HOLY FRUITS OF REPENTANCE, AND FAITH, AND NEWNESS OF LIFE."
A. Ephesians 5:8-9 – "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;)"
1. The fruit or evidence of regeneration or the new birth is seen in the life it produces.
2. Ephesians 2:10 – Saved people are the workmanship of God.
3. The things that you once loved are passed away and hated.
4. When a person is saved their life will be different because of the work of God's Spirit within them.
5. Philippians 2:12 – Every saved person must work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.
a. It is not that every saved person must figure out how they can be saved.
b. Salvation is not by works of righteousness which we have done.
c. Saved people "work out" their salvation by living for Christ.
d. Salvation is in the inside, in the spirit, but it is "worked out" to the outside, in the body.
B. Other scriptures that teach this to be true are:
1. Romans 8:9 – "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
2. Galatians 5:16-23 – "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 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. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
3. Ephesians 3:14-21 – "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
4. Matthew 3:8-10 – "Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."
5. Matthew 7:20 – "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
6. I John 5:4-18 – "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. 16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. 18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not."