Regeneration is the theological term for the Christian’s “new” or “second” birth in Christ. By definition, regeneration is the act of God by which He imparts divine life to man upon the single condition of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior. Several words and phrases in the Bible express the concept of regeneration. The following passages show how frequently the doctrine of regeneration is found in the Bible.
• In John 3:7 the words “born again” express regeneration. • In Eph. 2:5, the words “made alive” refer to regeneration, the new life • In 2 Cor. 5:17, the words “new creation” speak of the new birth • In 1 John 3:1, 2, the expression “children of God” refers to regeneration. • In Titus 3:5, the word “regeneration” itself is used. There are several aspects about regeneration which are important to give attention.
Our condition demands it. Eph. 2:1 declares us to be “dead” in sins. Death is a condition for which “life” (regeneration) is the only solution. Out family connection demands it. Rom. 5:12 indicates that we are dead because of a family relationship. Therefore, we need a new birth, a new family, a new Father, all of which are provided by regeneration.
John 1:13 informs us that we must be “born of God.” The word “of” points to the source and origin of the new life – God is the origin and source of regeneration. John 1:13 eliminates all human aspects of regeneration. The phrase “not of blood” shows that regeneration cannot be inherited. The phrase “not of the will of the flesh” shows that God’s life is not the fruit of a man’s search for God. “Not of the will of man” – man cannot generate eternal life.
1 Pet. 1:23 makes it clear that the written word of God is the means of the new birth, because the written word is actually the living Word (see also Heb. 4:12; John 6:63; Acts 7:38). In practice, this means knowledge must precede the new birth. The miracle of the new birth cannot occur where the Word of God is not taught in some form.
We are “born again…by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”, 1 Pet. 1:3. This shows us the kind of power needed for regeneration. According to Eph. 1:19, 20 the power that raised Christ from the dead is the greatest power ever displayed. This same power is applied in bringing regeneration to us.
Gal. 3:26 explains that faith is the hand by which we receive the gift of eternal life.
Those who call on the Father, 1 Pet. 1:17-19, the family concept of regeneration. It is the blood of Christ that makes this possible (v. 19).
John 3:5, 6, the necessity of birth through the agency of the Holy Spirit. “Flesh” begets “flesh”, “spirit” begets “spirit”. Divine life requires divine parents. John 1:12 “…to them gave He power to become the children of God”
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