The Necessity of Regeneration

 

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And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Ephesians 2:1, 5-8

“Who were dead – Not only diseased, but dead; absolutely void of all spiritual life; and as incapable of quickening yourselves, as persons literally dead. In trespasses and sins This text lays the axe to the very root of spiritual pride, and all glorying in ourselves. Only the power that makes a world can make a Christian. And when he is so created, the old things are passed away – Of their own accord, even as snow in spring. Behold – The present, visible, undeniable change! All things are become new – He has new life, new senses, new faculties, new affections, new appetites, new ideas and conceptions. His whole tenor of action and conversation is new, and he lives, as it were, in a new world. God, men, the whole creation, heaven, earth, and all therein, appear in a new light, and stand related to him in a new manner, since he was created anew in Christ Jesus.” –  John Wesley

{John 1: 10-13}

“Wherever God confers the dignity of children, he creates the nature and disposition of children. Men cannot do so when they adopt.” – Matthew Henry

1.We do not and cannot “birth ourselves” {John 1: 10-13}

Grace does not run in the blood.

“The Jews gloried much in their parentage, and the noble blood that ran in their veins: We are Abraham’s seed.”– Matthew Henry

It is not produced by the natural power of our own will.

Left to ourselves we would never seek after God.

{Psalm 14} “…let us lament the corruption of our own nature, and see what need we have of the grace of God; and, since that which is born of the flesh is flesh, let us not marvel that we are told we must be born again.” – Matthew Henry

{also Romans 3:9-19}

So the Bible tells us that the new birth is not “of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

And according to Gods diagnosis, man is in a hopeless state.

“If Jesus Christ were to stand on the platform to-night, what would many people do with him? “O!” say some, “we would make him a King.” I do not believe it. They would crucify him again, if they had the opportunity. If He were to come and say, “Here I am, I love you, will you be saved by Me?” not one of you would consent if you were left to your will.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Again, “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” 

2.The new birth is of God.

It means to be born of God.

I Peter 1:3, 23

John 3:1-8

“The wind bloweth – According to its own nature, not thy will, and thou hearest the sound thereof – Thou art sure it doth blow, but canst not explain the particular manner of its acting. So is every one that is born of the Spirit – The fact is plain, the manner of His operations inexplicable.” – John Wesley

{John Wesley had a Masters degree from Oxford University yet he could not explain the operations of the Holy Spirit in regards to the new birth.}

The “new birth is owing to the word of God as the means and to the Spirit of God as the great and sole author. True believers are born of God” – Matthew Henry

1 John 5:1 “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…”

{also 1John 3:9}

I believe Ezekiel 37 is a picture of preaching to men who are dead in their sins.

When we are told to preach the gospel to every creature we have been given an impossible task. Like Ezekiel’s prophecy we are preaching to the dead. We are preaching to dry bones.

“And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:” {vs.3-5}

“Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” {vs.9}

Just as a newborn baby could not have “birthed” itself neither can we spiritually birth ourselves.

We had nothing to do with our natural birth.

That is why I told our congregation recently;

“I can tell you how to be saved but I cannot tell you how to be born again.

Romans 10:9-10That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Jesus told Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.”

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