1. Definition: Regeneration is the act of God whereby He imparts a new life, eternal life to an individual on the single condition of faith in Jesus Christ.
2. Concept of Regeneration: [presented in several ways]
a. referred to as being "born again" Jn 3:7 lit. to be born from above; a;nwqen
The emphasis here as Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus is on the source of the new birth "from above" not on the repetition of a birth, again.
b. referred to as being "made alive." Eph 2:5
Context views man as by nature alienated from God, and dead in sins, with the life of Christ the sole remedy.
c. referred to as becoming "a new creation." 2 Cor
Here regeneration is brought into view by the expression "new creature" lit. a new creation;
- kainoj (new) kti,sij (creation); new in quality/character.
It is the life of God imparted to the sinner that makes us a new creation.
d. referred to as becoming the "children of God." 1 Jn 3:1-2
Implication of becoming God's children is that regeneration has occurred.
That a father and child relationship exists involves birth and a family relationship. [Jn 1:12-13; Gal 3:26]
3. The Need for regeneration: Spiritual death.
a. Our natural condition dictates the need for the new birth.
1. Eph 2:1 states this explicitly; "And you being dead in the sphere of your trespasses and sins."
2. Conclusion: All are born into the world physically alive but spiritually dead, separated from God.
3. The only remedy for death is to acquire life, the life that comes from God in regeneration.
b. Our family connection necessitates it. Rom ;
1. We are dead spiritually because of our connection with Adam in our first birth.
2. In light of this relationship with Adam we need a new birth, a new family and a new father; Regeneration provides all three.
4. The Author of Regeneration is God.
a. Jn 1:12-13 describes the children of God first negatively;
- gives 3 ways that eternal life is not acquired and then positively the way we do acquire eternal life, it is of God!
1. Eternal life cannot be inherited for it is "not of blood."
2. Eternal life is not the fruit man's ability or of human character for it is not "of the will of the flesh."
3. Eternal life is not something that man can generate, because it is not "of the will of man."
4. The positive description of a child of God tells us that he is one who is born "of God." [ek qeou indicates source or origin]
The source of the new birth then is God Himself.
b. Specifically it is God the Holy Spirit who is the agent of regeneration. Jn 3:5-6; Titus 3:5
5. The Word of God is an instrument in regeneration. [alive and powerful]
a. 1 Pet ties the Word of God to the new birth.
b. Jas. relates it to the Plan of God; ie. means is to use the word of truth.
6. The object of faith that secures regeneration is Jesus Christ.
Gal ; [faith is an instrument of reg.]; 1 Jn 5:1, 4-5;
Therefore the basis of regeneration is the work of Christ on the cross believed. 1 Pet 1:17-19
7. Characteristics of regeneration:
a. Instantaneous: aorist tense who were born Jn ; 3:3, 7 [not a process]
b. Not of works: Titus 3:5
c. Permanent: perfect tense; Jn 3:8; 1 Jn 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1
8. The fruit of the New Life: [what the Word says we should expect in the life of one in which the new nature dominates.]
a. We are to walk in life worthy of our calling in Christ. Eph. 4:1
[living within the parameters of the will of God; That is the experiential practice of righteousness. 1 Jn 2:29]
b. Sinning is not to be the dominant pattern of one with the new life.
In fact the new life or new nature does not sin! 1 Jn 3:9;
[John does recognize that we can and do choose to let the Old nature rule; 1 Jn 1:6-9]
Rem: God loves His children; His sons! As a any good father He disciplines when they get out of line! Heb 12:5-13
If that corrective instruction and discipline is not heeded over an extended period of time it can lead to the maximum penalty, death. 1 Jn ; 1 Cor ;
c. They exhibit love of God and other believers.
- of God 1 Jn 5:1;
- of others 1 Jn 4:7