Regeneration Topical Study

<p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Regeneration in Scripture</span></strong></p><ul><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Deuteronomy 30:6</a>, love God so that you will live</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Ezekiel 36:26</a>, &quot;A new heart I will give you...&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">John 1:12-13</a>, to all who receive Christ, power is given to become children of God</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">John 3:3-8</a>, &quot;no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Ephesians 2:1-10</a>, by grace you have been saved</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Colossians 2:13</a>, when you were dead, God made you alive</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 John 2:29</a>,&nbsp;&quot;If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who does right has been born of him&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 John 4:7</a>, let us love one another because love is from God</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 John 5:1</a>,&nbsp;&quot;Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God&quot;</span></li></ul><p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Reflections about Regeneration</span></strong></p><p><span class="body-copy">The Greek verb for &quot;being born&quot; in Jesus&#39; famous words to Nicodemus, is aorist, passive, subjunctive, suggesting that the blessed event of being born from above is a single event and one in which, as in physical birth, we are passive. We do not choose to be born either time. Being born from above is a work entirely of God&#39;s Spirit. In John 3:8 (&quot;the wind blows where it chooses&quot;), Jesus suggests the Spirit&#39;s sovereignty and mystery in causing regeneration.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Paul&#39;s language is not of birth, but of resurrection. &quot;You were dead . . . but God made us alive.&quot; &quot;When you were dead . . . God made you alive.&quot; Again, the decisive action is God&#39;s. And that&#39;s a good thing, because dead people can&#39;t do much for themselves. That&#39;s why the grace of God is so urgently necessary: &quot;By grace you have been saved, through faith, and this [this whole phenomenon of being saved by grace, through faith] is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. . . .&quot;</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">The language of being reborn or being resurrected suggests how ambitious regeneration is. It&#39;s a miracle, in fact &mdash; an on-the-ground, God-Almighty, Holy Ghost miracle. The 17[th]-century Reformed creed The Canons of Dort describes regeneration as follows: &quot;It is an entirely supernatural work, one that is at the same time most powerful and most pleasing, a marvelous, hidden, and inexpressible work, which is not lesser than or inferior in power to that of creation or of raising the dead . . . .&quot; (Third and Fourth Main Points of Doctrine, art. 12). Here, again, is the language of rebirth (creation) and of resurrection.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Famous conversion stories sometimes emphasize the involuntary nature of regeneration. C. S. Lewis, for example, wrote that &quot;amiable agnostics will talk cheerfully about `man&#39;s search for God.&#39; To me . . . they might as well have talked about the mouse&#39;s search for the cat . . . You must picture me alone in that room . . . night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929, I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps that night the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England . . . .The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? . . . The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation&quot;</span> <span class="body-copy-sm">(<em>Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life</em> (Harcourt, Brace &amp; World, 1955), pp. 227-229). </span><span class="body-copy">The title of the chapter in which Lewis wrote this? &quot;Checkmate.&quot;</span></span></p>