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Archive for the ‘regeneration’ Category

We have already demonstrated above that man is entirely incapable of converting himself Allow me to make you acquainted with yourself, your inability, as well as that your refraining from evil and doing good is of no value before God. Allow me briefly to convey to you what true conversion is. Some imagine that conversion consists in refraining from the commission of gross sins and in the performance of some good deeds. Conversion, however, is a complete change of man as far as his spiritual frame, intellect, will, thoughts, words, and deeds are concerned. This change can be compared with a person born blind receiving his sight, a deaf person being enabled to hear, a dumb person being enabled to speak, or a totally paralyzed person being enabled to move about. The Holy Spirit is given to the person who is to be converted, who, having made His residence in the soul, reveals to the soul how polluted it is from every perspective, causing the soul to detest and abhor itself, to be filled with shame, to be humbled, and to be perplexed concerning its condition. In addition to this the Holy Spirit reveals God to the soul as being holy, majestic, just, good, and a God of truth. He reveals to the soul the necessity and the fullness of the Mediator and grants him some understanding as to how he can be reconciled and united to God. He works love and fear for, and obedience towards, God. How precious this becomes to the soul, causing him to betake himself to the Mediator Jesus, to receive these matters out of His fullness! This produces grief and sorrow over the fact that the soul cleaves to all that is before the eyes and cleaves to sin—both the great as well as the small sins, both external and internal sins. Now he perceives and is conscious of all these sins of which previously he took no notice. Such a soul now seeks to exercise communion with God and desires to be near Him. The soul is either joyful or sorrowful in relation to whether he is far from God or close to Him. His disposition is one in which his back is turned the world and sin, even though he is frequently ensnared by them. He lives focused upon God, and even though all is darkness, he looks to Him for light, life, spirituality, comfort, strength to do battle against sin, as well as for holiness. Such a soul is not satisfied with mere performance. He knows that he must perform good works, but wishes to do so by faith, in union with Christ, and through Him unto God, doing so in the presence of the Lord out of love to God, in the fear of God, in obedience to God, and with denial of self.

Source: Wilhelmus à Brakel – Dutch theologian from the late 1600s

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What is it that is effected and brought forth by the regenerative activity of God in the human heart? Scripture describes this product of the re-creating grace of God with various words and images. It describes it as a circumcised heart (Deut. 30:6; Rom. 2:29), a pure heart and a firm spirit (Ps. 51:17), a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone (Jer. 31:33ff.; Ezek. 11:19; 36:25), a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), God’s workmanship (Rom. 14:20; Eph. 2:10), a new self (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10 NRSV), a new life (Rom. 6:11; Eph. 2:5; Col. 3:3), and so forth. … Humans, who originally were the image of God, lived and experienced blessedness in communion with God, lost that life, and were subject in soul and body to corruption. Sin began with an act but penetrated the very nature of humans and corrupted them totally. It may not be a substance, but it is not merely an act either. It is an inner moral corruption of the whole person, not only of one’s thoughts, words, and deeds but also of one’s intellect and will; and again not only of these faculties but also of the human heart, from which all iniquities flow, of the central inner core, the root of one’s existence, the human self. And for that reason, according to Scripture, regeneration consists and can exist in nothing less than the total renewal and re-creation of human beings. If humans are radically evil, then, for their redemption, a rebirth of their entire being is indispensable. A tree must first be made good if it is ever to bear good fruit, for “functioning follows being.”

Source: Herman Bavinck, Volume 4. Holy Spirit, Church and New Creation, Part I The Spirit gives New Life to Believers Chapter 1 Calling and Regeneration ‘Becoming Spiritual Persons’

 

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Regeneration Defined

“Regeneration is the work of God’s invincible power and mere grace, wherein by his Spirit accompanying his Word he quickeneth a redeemed person lying dead in his sins and reneweth him in his mind, his will and all the powers of his soul, convincing him savingly of sin and righteousness and judgment, and making him heartily to embrace Christ and salvation, and to consecrate himself to the service of God in Christ all the days of his life.”

Source: David Dickson
http://www.reformation-scotland.org.uk/articles/regeneration-and-regenerate-man.php

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The love which a pious man bears to God and goodness, is not so much by virtue of a command enjoining him so to do, as by a new nature instructing and prompting him to it; nor doth he pay his devotions as unavoidable tribute only to appease the divine justice, or quiet his clamorous conscience; but those religious exercises are the proper emanations of the divine life, the natural employments of the new-born soul.

Source: Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man, p.2

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Regeneration

Regeneration is a sovereign work of God (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-8; Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:3) a radical work or total transformation (Ezek. 36:26-27; 1 Jn. 3:9) not just an addition.

The source of regeneration is Christ (1 Pet 1:3; Eph 1:3, 2:4, 4:24; 2 Cor 5:17).

The agent of regeneration is the Holy Spirit (Jn. 3:3-8; Titus 3:5).

The instrument of regeneration is the Word of God (Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23, 25) which precedes and causes faith (Jn 6:63-65, 1 Jn 5:1, Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13)

source: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Monergism-Books/15086969948

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Jesus called out to Lazarus in a command in a loud voice, “Come out”.

The dead man obeys.

The only reason Lazarus can obey or even hear is because Jesus causes him to “live”.

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Quotes

A man can no more give himself the new birth or regenerate himself than he could produce himself in his mother’s womb.

Spiritual life is the consequence of spiritual quickening. The baby cries because is is born; it is not born because it cries." — Erroll Hulse

It is the effectual working of the power of God that makes anyone a Christian. It means a rebirth, a regeneration. It is not the result of our decision, it is not something that you and I decide to do; it is what is done to us!"— Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Exposition on Ephesians

Exclude, therefore, O Christian, the article of sovereign predestination from thy ministry or from thy faith, and acquit thyself, if thou art able, from the charge of robbing God. — Augustus Toplady

Our idols both covet what we do not have and hold on for dear life to what we do have. — David Powlison

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