- We are debtors to God
- We are not debtors to our flesh
- If sin controls us, we die in Hell
- If by the spirit we slay sin, we live forever
- If we are sons of God we will slay sin by the spirit.
If you are a Christian, you are different because:
- You have experienced spiritual resurrection
- You have new Ownership
- You will experience physical resurrection.
While Jesus stands before Pilate he proclaims this “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:37). What we see in this passage is Jesus bringing Pilate to see his need for the truth. Pilate thinks that Jesus is insignificant to his life as long as Jesus does not cause a revolt or military war. Jesus corrects Pilate’s misunderstanding with this confession to him. Jesus proclaims that he “bears witness to the truth” and “everyone who is of the truth listens to His voice”. This explains Pilate’s condescending response, “What is truth” (v. 38). Jesus sought to make clear to Pilate and to make clear to us, he calls people to become part of “the truth”. Jesus is calling for a supernatural transformation. There are many terms that the Bible uses for this transformation but here are a few.
- Titus 3:5 “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit”
- Colossians 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
- New Birth
- John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
- John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
- 1 Peter 1:23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God
- Born of God
- John 1:13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
- 1 John 3:9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
- 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
- 1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.
- 1 John 5:4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
- 1 John 5:18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
- Made Alive
- Ephesians 2:1–7 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
- Made a New Creation
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Regeneration, also called new birth, is the hidden act of God where he gives new spiritual life to undeserving sinners. John says that the children of God are “born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”. The will of man does not bring about regeneration, it is purely an act of God. The same thing can be seen in Eph. 2:5 where Paul says God “made us alive together with Christ”. Peter says that “according to his abundant mercy (God) has given us new birth (1 Pet 1:3). Regeneration is an act of God’s mercy to undeserving sinners.
The Second issue of importance is one of timing. Despite much misunderstanding among Christians is part of Conversion, not the result. God’s work of regeneration is what changes us, giving us the ability to have ears to hear the gospel favorably and a heart that will receive it. 1 Peter 1:23 and James 1:18 reveal the way new birth enables the sinner to respond to the gospel in faith.
The need for regeneration is rooted in total depravity. As descendants of Adam, we are desperately wicked. We are “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:4 cf. Col. 2:13). “No one understands, no one seeks for God” (Rom. 3:11). Unless God changes our nature, we will continue to reject him. His words will continue to be foolishness to us. This is why Jesus says “No one can come to me unless it has been granted him by the Father” (John 6:65) and “unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44).
The final issue of regeneration concerns the result of regeneration. A changed life is always the result of regeneration. This work of God changes the lost person completely effecting every part of his being. John says “No one who is born of God will continue in sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God (1 John 3:9). The reality of new birth makes one seek to do what is right (1 John 2:29), love his brother (1 John 4:7), overcome the world (1 John 5:3-4), have victory over Satan (1 John 5:18, 4:4), and develop the fruits of the spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).