Class 12: Lesson Ten Outline
Regeneration and the New Birth
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God (John 1:12-13).
- Effectual calling and regeneration stand in the closest possible relationship to one another.
- The application of redemption begins with an effectual call. God the Father ushers men into fellowship with His Son.
- Effectual calling is not effectual without a response by the sinner
- But those dead in sin cannot answer the call (Eph. 2:1, Col, 1:21, Rom. 5:10)
- Regeneration is a divine act
- The sinner has no part in it. “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved (Eph. 2:1, 3b-5).
- Not only is the sinful nature incapable of responding in faith, it does not want to (Rom. 8:8)
- The work of regeneration must precede faith
- Faith is the fruit of regeneration
- We love because he first loved us (1John 4:19
- True faith is accompanied with repentance
- Jesus describes regeneration as a second birth in John 3
- Spiritual birth is the work of God.
- Jesus compares the work of the Holy Spirit to the wind
- No one has access to the kingdom of Heaven without being born again (John 3:3,7)
- You must be born again by water and Spirit
- Water in Old Testament stood for purification (Ezekiel 26:25-27)
- New birth includes both renewal and washing
- In this regard water baptism accurately portrays the inward baptism whereby the Holy Spirit purifies and renews
- Relationship between the resurrection of Jesus and the miracle of regeneration
- Heidelberg Q & A 45: “How does Christ’s resurrection benefit us? First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, so that he might make us share in the righteousness he won for us by his death. Second, by his power we too are already now resurrected to a new life.”
- Romans 6:5 “If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
- The death of Christ and His resurrection are applied to the sinner through his spiritual union with Christ.
- Ephesians 2:4-6
- Colossians 3:1-4
- In the miracle of regeneration what involvement is there by the sinner?
- Explain why Jesus in John 3 describes regeneration as being born again?
- What point is Jesus making when He says, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to the spirit?”
- What takes place when a sinner is regenerated?
- What means does God use to bring about the new birth?
- Where is the doctrine of regeneration taught in the confessions/catechism?