Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. 1 John 5:1 (NIV) The mark of a genuine Christian is not a general faith in God, but a specific faith in Jesus. Many people think a general faith in God makes you a Christian; it doesn’t. Jesus...
“No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3:3 (NIV)
- New Birth. Search the Bible looking for the word regeneration and you will only find it twice (in most contemporary translations). But the Bible actually talks about regeneration in a number of ways. The apostle John talks about the new birth. Here are a couple more ways:
- New Creation. The Bible describes regeneration as a new creation: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17).
- New Life. The Bible also talks about the miracle of regeneration as new life: “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. 2:5). If you are in Christ today, this is what has happened to you. God has made you alive. A spiritual resurrection has taken place in your soul. God has given you new life from the dead. This is just another way of saying that you’ve been regenerated.
- New Heart. In the Old Testament, we find two gospel promises: (1) “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean” (Ezek. 36:25). That’s forgiveness or justification. (2) “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek. 36:26). That’s the new birth or regeneration.
Even though the word regeneration is only found twice in the Bible, it’s a major doctrine. It’s all over the Bible! Understanding regeneration is fundamental to living the Christian life.
Which of these ways of talking about regeneration most captures your imagination? Spend some time talking to God about this.