Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Systematic Theology, Chapter 34

Regeneration, an act of God where he imparts a new spiritual life in us.  (also called being born again).

Just like we did not choose to be physically born, so do we not take an active role in regeneration.   Both the New Testament and Old Testament speak of this....

Ezekial says, "A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you."
John 1 says, "we were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of God , but born of God."

Regeneration occurs first, and then effective calling.

Effective calling is God speaking powerfully to us, and regeneration is God working powerfully in us, to make us alive.

Heard of the word, irresistible grace? This is similar, and shows the power of God to reach into our lives and change us from the inside out.

We were spiritually dead, and also "dead in our sins," and later we are a new creation, alive in Christ.

Whether you are raised in a Christian family or go from ragged sinner to saved, there is a point of salvation on both situations, wher eGod awakens spiritual life within.

THAT change will become evident over time in patterns of behavior and desires that are pleasing to God.

What kind of results?

  • heartfelt trust in Christ for salvation, 
  • assurance of forgiveness of sins
  • desire to read the Bible and pray
  • delight in worship
  • desire for Christian fellowship
  • desire to be obedient to God's word in Scripture
  • desire to tell others about Christ. 
John 6, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him." 
Acts 16, "The Lord opened her (Lydia's) heart to give heed to what was said by Paul." 

1 John 3, "no one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born again of God." 

Grudem says, "when we are asked to characterize a regenerated persons life, the adjective that comes to mind should not be "sinner," but rather something like, "obedient to Christ or obedient to Scripture."  

As regenerated, there is also protection from Satan, as 1 John 5 says, "the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him." 

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