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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Regeneration

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 Regeneration

In Christian circles, [i]conversion[/i] and [i]regeneration[/i] are treated as being the one and same experience. They are used as interchangable terms. But althrough the two events are closely related and cannot exist apart from each other, there is yet a clearly marked doctrinal distinction between them proving that a closer study should not be ignored.

The word [i]converted[/i] simply means [i]turned again[/i].

Two ideas seem to underline the employment of the term converson, namely:
1. The act of turning to God.
2. The act is a human one, rather than a divine act.

[i]Conversion[/i] is set forth as the act of an individual turning to God.

[i]Regeneration[/i] is God's act in the soul, and once accomplished, can never be repeated. "What God doeth is forever."
[i]Conversion[/i] is the act of the individual in which he turns to God. Being a human act, it can be repeated many times.

[i]Regeneration[/i] is the introduction of a new life.
[i]Conversion[/i] is the first excercise in such a direction.

[i]Regeneration[/i] is the inward expression of which [i]Conversion[/i] should be the outward expression.

In many so-called "revivals" scores are "converted" but not "regenerated." A person cannot be regenerated without being converted, but he can be converted without being regenerated. There was a profession with possession- A conversion without regeneration. Deep emotional feelings and a movement toward God there might have been, but absence of any change in life indicates that those concerned were not born of the Spirit, so they are called "backsliders."

Regeneration is not the improvement of the old nature, but the impartation of a new nature. God does not waste time whitewashing a filthy pump giving unclean water. Regeneration is not a mere outward reformation, or the turning over of a new leaf, but the bringing in of a new life- a life that can never be developed or earned.

Alfred Gibbs says, "Reformation may be likened to a new [i]suit[/i] for a man, but the new birth is a new [i]man[/i] for the suit. Reformation deals with the exterior things, but regeneration with interior realities. Reformation alters a person's manner; but regeneration alters the man himself."

While the Holy Spirit alone can regenerate, He never regenerates alone. On man's side, there are conditions to be observed. There is repentance over the sinful condition the Spirit revealed. There is also faith, which becomes operative as the Spirit presents Christ as Saviour. The moment faith recieves Christ, the miracle of regeneration takes place.

A person had nothing to do with his first birth. He did not will it, or enter the world on his own volition. But with the new birth it is totally different, for a person wills his own salvation or damnation. God never forces the human will. Without the fulfilment of conditions on the sinners part, God cannot accomplish His part in the impartation of a new life.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2003/9/18 15:21Profile
philologos
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 Re: Regeneration

Quote:
In many so-called "revivals" scores are "converted" but not "regenerated." A person cannot be regenerated without being converted, but he can be converted without being regenerated. There was a profession with possession- A conversion without regeneration. Deep emotional feelings and a movement toward God there might have been, but absence of any change in life indicates that those concerned were not born of the Spirit, so they are called "backsliders."


I have long had a suspicion that revivals may well be a sovereign manifestation of genuine regeneration and that what we call outpourings are really just normal Christianity. The problem is that we have lived most of our lives in sub-standard Christianity and IT has become the norm.

Campbell Morgan used to mourn the fact that conversion (in his day.. and ours?) is not seen through to genuine regeneration. The consequence is 'converts' who need constant propping, encouragement and assurance; a state of affairs which does not seem to have been the case in Apostolic days.

If my suspicions are right revivals are God's sovereign restoration of true New Testament Christianity.


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Ron Bailey

 2003/9/18 16:30Profile
InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2772
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 Re: regeneration

I was reading this today and thought it to be appropriate for this thread;

But why all this emptiness and artificiality? It is simply that we have tried to change our minds without having a change of heart or nature. The New Testament standard of conversion demands regeneration-and this we have laregly missed in our man-centered appeal for decisions. It is true the religious vocabulary is used, but one essential has been by-passed. God cannot change the heart and nature where there has been no governmental change-[i]no turning from our own lordship to His lordship[/i]. With a true change of government comes a change of purpose and appetite. Instead of seeking to use God for one's [i]own purposes[/i] this means giving one's being to Him for [i]His purpose[/i]. In this crisis of giving ourselves unto Him, God begins the impartation of His own divine nature and our responses change accordingly.

DeVern Fromke
from Unto Full Stature (emphasis his)


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Ron Halverson

 2003/9/19 18:05Profile
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
I have long had a suspicion that revivals may well be a sovereign manifestation of genuine regeneration and that what we call outpourings are really just normal Christianity. The problem is that we have lived most of our lives in sub-standard Christianity and IT has become the norm.


I agree whole-heartly! Even Christians that are born into this spiritual situation as myself considered the Church as it is was fine. But God by His Spirit started to slowly ebb away at what I was shown as the norm and I slowly realized that God has so much more in store for His people. I have grown dis-contented with my spiritual situation and the spiritual stamina of the Church. This should not drive us away from the Church but force us to our knees amidst this declension and cry out to God for a fresh out pouring of His Spirit and New Testament Christianity.

Quote:
[b]Campbell Morgan used to mourn the fact that conversion (in his day.. and ours?) is not seen through to genuine regeneration.[/b] The consequence is 'converts' who need constant propping, encouragement and assurance; a state of affairs which does not seem to have been the case in Apostolic days.


I love how the Apostle Paul draws the vast gulf between the Children of the Light and Darkness. Either you are regenerated and are Children of the Light or you are in darkness, there is no middle ground. Leonard Ravenhill stated that in our day not even 5% of evangelical Christians are truly converted! is this true? Have you experienced God's changing, lasting power in your life or have you just heard about Him and Believed things about Him?

Quote:
The New Testament standard of conversion demands regeneration-and this we have laregly missed in our man-centered appeal for decisions.


Put quite simply: does your God live inside of you?


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2003/9/19 19:21Profile
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 Re:

A Big problem in the church is that 'indoctrination' to denomination has replaced the leading and teaching of the Spirit.

When someone gets converted they are immediately indoctrinated to the creed of the particular denomination in which they recieved the Lord. For example: Some denominations believe in the filling and gifts of the Spirit, and others say it's of the devil. Still others say, you have to be baptized in the name of Jesus or your going to hell, regardless of evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in ones life.

There is no revival apart from unity. The people in Acts 2:4 were filled with Spirit because they were in 'one accord' (Acts 2:1). Eph 4:3 talks the unity of the Spirit being in the bond of peace. Where is the peace in the body of Christ? We are at odds with each other.
Instead of being forbearing to our brothers and sisters (Eph 2:4), we degrade them (Rom 14:10) over doctrinal differences.

God is not going to send revival to a church full of proud, pig-headed, people that can't get along with each other.

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6, 1Pet5:5). When the Church learns the secret of humilty, sets aside thier dogma's and starts to esteem their brothers and sisters 'better than themselves' (Phi2:3), that is when God will send revival.

Start acting like Christ, and Christ will come.

dpike777





 2003/10/12 6:59Profile





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