Bible Ballistics: Vol. 13 No. 23 Regeneration Is Essential???
Regeneration: biology–the restoration or new growth by an
organism or organs, tissues, etc., that have been lost, removed or injured…
theology—spiritual rebirth; religious revival…
While there are several grammatical definitions of regeneration, I want to talk about spiritual regeneration—the work that Jesus does when we are ‘born again’! (And just by way of comment, true ‘revival’ is spiritual not religious!)
“Jesus answered and said unto him, `
Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him,
How can a man be born
when he is old?
can he enter the second time
into his mother’s womb,
and be born?
5 Jesus answered,
Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter
into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh
and that which is born of the Spirit
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee,
be born again.” John 3:3-7
Being “born again” is the beginning of our new life in Jesus, for without the ‘life’ of Jesus ‘in’ us we can have no spiritual power!
“Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature:
are passed away;
behold, all things
are become new.
18 And all things are of God,
who hath reconciled us to himself
by Jesus Christ,
and hath given to us the ministry
of reconciliation;” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
Oswald Chambers talks about the fact that without regeneration, we cannot truly do God’s work! But when we are born again by God’s power, we have Jesus Christ’s Spirit within us, to empower and direct our ministry for HIM! And contrary to popular belief, ministry is NOT just for “ministers”—it’s for every born-again believer, those who receive Jesus and are made “the sons of God”! We’ve been given this “ministry of reconciliation”!
“He came unto his own,
and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him,
to them gave he power
to become the sons of God,
even to them
that believe on his name:
13 Which were born,
not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man,
but of God.” John 1:11-12
Jesus is the power for ministry to each of His own! He has a ministry for you and me; what are you doing with the call of God on your life? Without Jesus we won’t accomplish much of real value, but with HIM we can do anything He calls us to be and do (and you must “BE” born again, before you can ‘do’ His work)!
“Abide in me,
and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit
except it abide in the vine;
no more can ye,
except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine,
ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me,
and I in him,
the same bringeth forth
for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:4-5
Paul makes it clear that God has an order of things, He calls some to lead, teach and grow God’s people into useful, productive ministry (those who minister, not just those who work in a preaching or pastoral position—there is a difference between the gifts of ministry and the offices of ministry leaders)! Ministry is the privilege of the redeemed—the regenerated—to serve our Lord and King, Jesus!
“And he gave
and some, prophets;
and some, evangelists;
and some, pastors and teachers;
the perfecting of the saints,
the work of the ministry,
the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith,
and of the knowledge
of the Son of God,
unto a perfect man,
unto the measure of the stature
of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children,
tossed to and fro,
and carried about
with every wind of doctrine,
by the sleight of men,
and cunning craftiness,
whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love,
may grow up into him in all things,
which is the head,
16 From whom the whole body
fitly joined together
and compacted by that
which every joint supplieth,
according to the effectual working
in the measure of every part,
of the body
unto the edifying
in love.” Ephesians 4:11-16
God gifts His leaders, not to do all the work, but to teach, educate, encourage, and train those in the ‘body’ to serve Him faithfully in power, truth and love. Just ponder this list—take each thing and pray for God to direct your steps into the work that HE has for you! When you or I are gifted and called to be a leader/minister, then we are to help others to grow “in all things” as we speak “the truth in love”! And when we speak the truth of The Word of God, we are truly demonstrating the love of God. Condoning sin, coddling those who reject truth, or watering down the truth to win others is never the demonstration of love—for it will never lead people to the cross! Until we share the truth about ‘sin’, why would anyone need a Savior. Jesus said it best.
“I tell you, Nay:
but, except ye repent,
ye shall all likewise perish…
…5 I tell you, Nay:
but, except ye repent,
ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3 & 5
And to repent, or even know what repentance is, a person must see themselves as sinners—which we all are. Yet as we share, we must pray for The Holy Spirit to touch, convict and draw hearts to Jesus.
“No man can come to me,
except the Father which hath sent me
and I will raise him up
at the last day.” John 6:44
And the Father only draws people to Jesus—He IS the only way!
“Jesus saith unto him,
I am the way,
and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me.” John 14:6
Only One Savior, only One Way—Jesus! And when we receive salvation through faith in His death, burial and resurrection, we are His child–His servant—to minister reconciliation and regeneration to others as we have opportunity!
“For I delivered unto you first of all
that which I also received,
how that Christ died
for our sins
according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried,
and that he rose again
the third day
according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas,
then of the twelve:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-5
We are ministers of truth in our Lord Jesus. What are you doing with your ministry? Are you leaving all the work and service to others? To the pastor? To the teachers? To the deacons? To those with the prominent speaking gifts? We all have at least one spiritual gift and we are to use them for the edification of the body (the benefit of the church—the people not the building)!
“But the end of all things is at hand:
be ye therefore sober,
and watch unto prayer.
8 And above all things
have fervent charity among yourselves:
for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
9 Use hospitality one to another
10 As every man hath received the gift,
even so minister the same
one to another,
as good stewards
of the manifold grace of God.
11 If any man speak,
let him speak as the oracles of God;
if any man minister,
let him do it as of the ability
which God giveth:
that God in all things
may be glorified
through Jesus Christ,
to whom be praise
and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:7-11
Peter tells us that there are two main categories of gifts: speaking gifts and serving/ministering gifts; and he makes it clear that whatever our gift/gifts are, they are to be used by the power of God, unto His glory! For even as Jesus told us in John 15, “without me ye can do nothing”!
What are you doing ‘with’ Jesus? Have you recognized the gift or gifts that God has blessed you with? When we learn to recognize our gifts, we will find fulfillment in our service, whether it’s in a speaking gift or a serving gift—they are given to every believer as The Spirit sees fit! It’s HIS call not ours!
“Now there are diversities of gifts,
but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations,
but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations,
but it is the same God which worketh all
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit
is given to every man
to profit withal.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
Paul’s letter to the Romans also reminds us that our gifts are our own individual opportunity to serve our Lord!
“Having then gifts
according to the grace
that is given to us,
let us prophesy
according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry,
let us wait on our ministering:
or he that teacheth,
8 Or he that exhorteth,
he that giveth,
let him do it with simplicity;
he that ruleth,
he that sheweth mercy,
9 Let love be
Abhor that which is evil;
cleave to that which is good.” Romans 12:6-9
While we have differing gifts, we all have one unified purpose—to follow Jesus, to wait on His leading, and to fulfill the call to share redemptions message, to love and be reconcilers unto Jesus! We are to fulfill His call and gifting as we lean on HIS power not our own!
“I know both how to be abased,
and I know how to abound:
and in all things
I am instructed both to be full
and to be hungry,
both to abound
and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things
which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:12-13
So, my simple question for each of us is, have you been redeemed, regenerated? Are you walking, working, serving, and ministering the grace of God? We can be and do all that Jesus calls and equips us for—you and me! We can do all this because “Christ is all, and in all”! It’s all about Him, and His regenerating sacrifice that gives us new life!
“And have put on the new man,
which is renewed in knowledge
after the image of him that created him:
11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew,
circumcision nor uncircumcision,
bond nor free:
but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:10-11
Amen and Amen!!!