“It is finished.” John 19:30 (NIV)
Jesus accomplished our salvation on the cross, and then on the third day he rose from the dead. Jesus saves us through his atoning death and resurrection. But how does that salvation become effective in your life?
The answer most Christians give is “by repentance and faith.” But how is it possible for a person who is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) to repent and believe? The Bible tells us that “the sinful mind is hostile to God” (Romans 8:7). How then can a hostile mind trust God and believe his Word?
We’re also told in the Bible that “men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19). How then can men who love darkness at the same time love God, who is light, and in whom there is no darkness at all?
If that isn’t enough, we’re told that “the human heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). How can repentance and faith come from a deceitful, wicked heart? And if the human heart cannot produce repentance and faith, then how can anyone be saved?
The Bible’s answer is regeneration. It is the most neglected and least understood dimension of our salvation. Many Christians understand justification—that Christ forgives our sins and makes us right with the Father. And many Christians understand glorification—that Christ will take us to heaven and that when we see him we will be like him. But many more do not grasp regeneration—the work of God by which he changes your soul, so that with a new heart and mind you love him, trust him, and follow him freely.
Do you understand regeneration well? If not, ask God to give you a better grasp of it over the next few days.