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Regeneration

  • Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit to bring a soul from death to life, therefore creating in that soul an irresistible desire to believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • That act of God by which the principle of the new life is implanted in man, and the governing disposition of the soul is made holy and the first holy exercise of this new disposition is secured. - Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology

Regeneration precedes faith, since the unregenerate soul is unable to believe in the gospel because it hates God, is at war with God, and can not do anything good.

Supporting Scriptures:

  • 1 John 5:1 - "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him." - Note that the verb "believes" is a present tense verb but the verb "is born" is a perfect (or past) tense verb showing order. Those who believe have already been born in the past by 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."
  • Titus 3:5 - "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit"
  • John 3:3-8 - "Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?' Jesus answered, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
  • 1 Peter 1:23 - "having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever"
  • Ezek 36:26 - "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."
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