Sunday, March 05, 2006

Regeneration- Sunday School Notes

Abstract of Principles

VIII. Regeneration.
Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickeneth the dead in trespasses and sins enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God's free and special grace alone.

Ezekiel 36:26-27
26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances."

Regeneration
- change of heart
- brought about by the Holy Spirit
- that makes alive
- who? dead people
- enlightening the mind
- so that they understand God's Word
- renews whole nature
- so that they love and practice holiness
- God alone does this

the Father's role
- 1 Peter 1:3- "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead"

the Holy Spirit's role
- John 3:8- "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Stark contrast between being dead and being alive:

1 Cor. 1:18- "For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Eph. 2
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

2 Cor. 5:17- "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

Unless we are born again, we cannot respond positively to God. Hence, regeneration precedes faith. And regeneration always results in faith.

John 3
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;
2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless (E)God is with him."
3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"
5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
8 "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

John 6:44- ""No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

John 6:65- "And He was saying, 'For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.'"

Acts 16:14- "A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul."

1 Cor. 2:14- "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."

What are the fruits of regeneration?

1 John 5:1- "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him."

1 John 3:9- "No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."

1 John 4:7- "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God."

1 John 5
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.

How should knowing this doctrine affect us as Christians?

- praise and thankfulness for God's grace and mercy
- humility in knowing we are unworthy and took no part in our salvation
- this should drive us to pray for the lost because it is God who must move
- it also makes us confident in evangelism because we just need to proclaim God's Word, the results are up to God

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