Regeneration

Regeneration Part 6

Let no man think that in the act of ‘being born’ physically or spiritually, either the child possesses or merits either life or its enjoyments—life is not guaranteed. He is only by his birth placed in circumstances favorable to the enjoyment of life, and all that makes life a blessing. “To as many as receive(d) Him (believing in His name, respecting His authority to command), He grants the privilege of being children of God (they have come through the birth canal of water baptism) as He commanded , who derive their birth not from blood ( it matters not to whom they claim physical kinship or ancestry), nor from the desire of the flesh (this birth was not something THEY participated in because of the sometimes uncontrollable demands of re-production given them by God), nor from the will of man (no man or group of men can determine worthiness or sufficiency—all man can do is judge whether obedience has been rendered), but from God (it is what God has done, an act He alone could do—that merited soul-salvation.” John 1:14
“He has saved us,” says the Apostle Paul, “by the bath of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, which He poured on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior; that, being justified (because of His sacrifice that He alone could offer), He could favor us by making known to the sons of men His GRACE (the pre-meditated plan), that consummates in the bath of regeneration, so we might be made heirs (here is where we have ancestry) according to the hope (guarantee and confidence) of (His) eternal life (unlike the high priest of the previous administration, He does not dis-continue existence because of death, for He lives (continues to serve) forever.” Titus 3:5 With this plan, called grace, He saves us by the sacrifice HE offered—it was HIS work on the tree of Calvary that made this possible!! Consequently, being born of water and the renewing of the Holy Spirit are not works of merit or righteousness, but ONLY the means of enjoyment!! This “pouring out of the influences, this renewing of the Holy Spirit”, is as necessary as the bath of regeneration to the salvation of the soul, and to the enjoyment of the hope of Heaven, of which the apostle speaks!!
In the kingdom into which we are born—we are a NEW creation, not new creatures for we have lived and existed as we developed the character and nature deemed necessary by the great Creator—the process having been completed. In this “new kingdom”, new existence, new relationship because of the work of Christ, the AIR from a different source!! In the womb, the air breathed by the child-to-be is that from the mother; in the world to which it is born, it begins (at the first recognition of independent life) to breath air directly from the God who gave it the process of life that has now been realized!! The atmosphere/air/breath of the new creature in Christ is the Holy Spirit. In the kingdom into which we are born of water, the Holy Spirit is the means of influence necessary to the new life as the atmosphere is to our animal life in the kingdom of nature!! As a child cannot continue life outside the womb without breathing, neither can the “babe in Christ” continue salvation without the atmosphere of the Holy Spirit!!
All that is done in us before regeneration, God our Father effects by the word, or the gospel as dictated and confirmed by His Holy Spirit written on the pages of His holy book called the Bible. AFTER that birth is done, we are that begotten child having passed through the birth canal of baptism, that needs the “sincere milk of the Word” that we may grow, thereby.” 1 Peter 2:1 The Holy Spirit is shed on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior; of which the peace of mind, the love, the joy, and the hope of the regenerate is full proof; for these are among the fruits of His presence!!

Regeneration Part 5

Finally, the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, the Messiah, give to water the same place and power in the work of regeneration. For when speaking of being born again—when speaking to Nicodemus, the new birth, He says “except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” May not we, then, supported by such high authorities, call that water of which a person is born again, the water or bath of regeneration?? We have already seen that the consummation of the process of generation or creation is in the birth of the creature formed. It is the moral generation, or the great process of regeneration. There is a state of existence from which he that is born passes: and there is a state of existence into which he enters, after birth. This is true of the whole animal creation. Now the matter of existence, or the mode of life, is wholly changed; and he is, in reference to the former state, dead, and to the new state, alive. In regeneration this clarity is unavoidable.
In the realm of the spirit, the subject of this great change, before his new birth, existed in one state; but after it he exists in another! He stands in a new relation to God, angels, and men. He is now “born of God,” where before he was only begotten. He now has the privilege of being a son of God because he has been pardoned, justified, sanctified, adopted, saved. The state which he left was a state of purity, what some mistakenly call “the state of nature,” inborn sin. The state into which he enters is a “state of favor,” in which he enjoys all the heavenly blessings in Christ. In fact, he is said to “set in Heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.” All this is comes into being in his death, burial, and resurrection with Christ; or in his being born of water. The necessity of being buried with Christ in water, that he may enjoy the renewal of the Holy Spirit, and be placed under the reign of favor in the Kingdom of God, is now very clear.
The plan of salvation is the means of becoming, not being. Birth itself is not for procuring, but for being, that life that is, began BEFORE birth. So, in our example: no one is to be baptized, or to be buried with Christ; no one is to be put under the water of regeneration for the purpose of procuring life, but for the purpose of enjoying life ‘In Christ’!! If the child is never born, its sensitive powers and faculties cannot be tested. It is after birth that these are fully developed, and become of value for the management of the new estate. All that I am now promised in the gospel can only be enjoyed by we who are born again and placed in the Kingdom of Heaven, having beforehand come under its influences. So, the philosophy of that necessity which Jesus preached:”Unless a man is born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven,”—becomes a truth that can not be denied. For in the plan of God, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter this new realm of existence. If he enters not, no blessing- promise can EVER be enjoyed of that new life!! If life cannot be entered, that new estate– communication cannot be discernable—all we would ever be able to do is guess at what communications meant whether visible or invisible-discerned only by feelings-felt. Those thinking they can communicate with The Life and fellowship the Living BEFORE they are born, that is to pray, worship, and mature in Christ, at best can only hope, that that fellowship exist. NO BEING can adamantly be sure they can receive anything they request—or to put it simply-God hear their prayer-before birth!! No amount of love in the heart of the unborn child would EVER allow discernable communication—those who think they can pray before baptism—are silenced by nature. Again, God does not hear the prayer of a sinner. Sin WILL not enter the portals of the Ancient of Days!! Never, by anyone!!

Regeneration Part 4

The ancient church fathers without exception regarded baptism as the consummating act; and therefore they called it teliosis, the consummation. It is not important what they thought, they were not inspired; what do the scriptures teach?? In their writings they did understand washing of regeneration and the regeneration as synonymous with baptism.
We need to now ask the import of the phrase washing or bath of regeneration, either as commonly used or as explained by the Apostles. It is our understanding that the phrase is a definition of water baptism. Paul was a Hebrew and the Holy Spirit used a style for each writer as was common to him, therefore, we must understand the Hebrew style. The water of baptism, or the water in which we are regenerated, represents a process. Loutron, the word which more properly signifies the vessel that contains the water, than the water itself, is rendered bath. In this manner it describes the vessel containing the fluid or the use made of the bath. What more natural for the Jew accustomed to speaking of “the water of separation,” to speak of “the bath of regeneration”? If the phrase “water of purification” meant water used for the purpose of purifying a person—if “the water of separation” (Numbers 19:7,9,13,20,and 21—see also Numbers 31:23) meant water used for separating a person from the penalty imposed because of his sin—what more natural that the “bath of regeneration” should mean water used for regenerating, bringing him back into the fellowship with God???
The New Testament confirms this explanation. We find the word loutron once more used by the same Apostle, in the same connection. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul affirms that Jesus has sanctified-separated, purified His Bride from sin- with the water of purification, a loutron –bath—of water—because of the direction of the Word, the Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 5:26 This gets still more decisive. The King James, fully aware that the sense of this passage agrees with Titus 3:5, have, in both places, used the word washing or bath of water for the word loutron. What is called the “washing or bath of regeneration” (Titus 3:5) is in the other called the “washing or bath of water” (Ephesians 5:26)!! What is called saved in one is called cleansed in the other; and what is called the renewal of the Holy Spirit in the one is called the “Word” in the other; because the Holy Spirit consecrates or cleanses the Church through the Truth, as Jesus declared– prophesied it would in the Garden while speaking to the Father — “Thy Word is the Truth.” John 17:17 Or as He said in another place, ”Ye are clean through the Word that I have spoken to you.” John 15:3, also for usage see Acts 18:6; Revelations 19:8, 14 Man, who repents, is made clean, purified, forgiven as he obeys the direction of the Word—he is commanded to be baptized for the remission of sins—by the direction of the Word—the Holy Spirit— as the Spirit gave that Truth by the Apostles of Christ!! Paul, to the Hebrew Christians, says: “Having your hearts sprinkled from an evil-guilty conscience, and your bodies washed with pure water—or water that purifies or cleanses, you.” Hebrews 10:22 Peter declares: “baptism is the answer of good conscience—it is the means-way-process by which your sins no longer separate you from God—BECAUSE– the Holy Spirit directed the Apostles to preach baptism as that means-way-process by which sinners are saved. 1 Peter 3:21 No one, then would think, who is acquainted with Peter’s style, that while Paul represents persons as saved, cleansed, or sanctified by water; Peter unequivocally asserts that “we are saved” through water, or through baptism, as was Noah and his family—or as we would say it, today—the anti-type, immersion, does also “now save us”!!

Regeneration Part 3

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He has saved us; by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5 All the discussion on this passage will be from an examination of the understanding of the word generation in the sacred writings. Our reason for this is that we object to an immediate decision of the meaning of a word which occurs only in the passage under discussion without the understanding of the rest of Holy Writ. If we cannot find the whole word in any parallel passage, we will look for the proper substitute in the root or branches of that word, so far as they are employed by the same writers. We think it will be granted, that, whatever may the scriptural acceptation of the word generation, regeneration is only the repetition of that act or process.
After a close examination of the passages in which generation occurs in the writings of the Hebrew Prophets and Apostles, we find it used only in two acceptations—as descriptive of the whole process of creation and of the thing created. A race of men, or a particular class of men, is called a generation; but this is its figurative rather than its literal meaning. Its literal meaning is the formation or creation of any thing. It is first used in the formation or creation. Moses calls the creation, or whole process of formation of the heavens and the earth, “The generations of the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 2:4 The account of the formation of Adam and Eve, and also the account of the creation of Adam and Eve, are, by the same writer, called “The book or record of the generations of Adam.” Genesis 5:1 This is the literal definition of the word; so, generation literally indicates the whole process of renovating or new-creating man.
This process may consist of numerous distinct acts; but it is in accordance with the general usage to give to the consummating act the name of the whole process. For the most part, the name of the whole process is given to the consummating act, because the process is always supposed incomplete until that act is performed! For example: In the process of physical birth, until the last act is performed, to us, it is not. So, in all the processes of nature—in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms—the last act consummates the process. To all acquainted with the process of germination, no further discussion is needed. But in the style of our farmers, no crop or animal is made, until it comes to maturity. We often hear them say of a good shower, or a few clear days, “this is the making of the wheat or corn crop.” In the same sense, Christians call the last act regeneration or the new birth; though being born is only the last act that takes place in the natural generation, and last act in regeneration!
In this way the new birth and regeneration are used indiscriminately by commentators and writers on theology, and, by a figure of speech, it is justified on well-established principles of speaking. This leads us to speak particularly of the bath of regeneration.
By the “bath of regeneration” is not meant the first, second, or third act; but the LAST act in the process of regeneration, which completes the whole, and is, therefore, used to denote the new birth!! This is the reason why our Lord and His Apostles unite this act with water!! Being born again is the Saviour’s style and the bath of regeneration that of the apostles. All those who have written on this subject, even critics who do not ever believe what they read, refer to this as one and the same act. So, all the ancients during the second and third centuries of the Churches of Christ used the word regeneration as synonymous with immersion!! All the creeds and liturgies of Protestant churches use the words regeneration and baptism as synonymous!!

Regeneration Part 2

“In the regeneration”, Matthew 19:28, states a positive end to the life of Christ. Many have never known the reason Christ came to the world. Often considered a failure by those who teach the “doctrines of men,” the life of Christ had the intended end of which this is a prophecy! The salvation of the “predestinated” would be!! Who were the predestinated? They who God had determined would be saved. Who had God predetermined would be saved– the “chosen.” Who were the “chosen”? The “ransomed.” Who were the “ransomed”? We, who Jesus came to save. Were we individuals or were we a select group determined by what we would do with the gospel of Christ?? “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as He hath “chosen” us in Him before the foundations of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace (plan), wherein (the plan by which) He hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Ephesians 1:3-6 “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (man, this ruins the pre-millennial, 1,000 year reign doctrine), but to minister (He came to be the means whereby the “predestinated” could receive the Kingdom of the Father), and to give His life a (here’s our word) “ransom” for (the) many.” Who were “the many”? “For as “many” of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ”, Galatians 3:27 Hence, the “regenerated” are those “chosen in Him” from the foundations of the world, Luke 11:30; Hebrews 4:3;9:26; 1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8, who have been predestinated as a group called “the many”(Christ did not come for ALL the world, He came for His World, “the many”, Matthew 26:28), predetermined to be such by God, the Father, because they make up the “ransomed” who have been bought by the blood of Christ (shed from the foundations of the world) having been baptized (the means of meeting that shed blood of the Ransom-er, Christ) into Christ (the residency of the saved) for the remission of sin (the purpose for which Jesus came) to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!! No, Jesus NEVER got to the Garden of Gethsemane and questioned the reason He was there!! He came to die that you and I might have the opportunity to hear the message of the gospel and be SAVED, those persons Christ ADDS to His Church!! Acts 2:47
The “regeneration” spoken of by our Lord is the period of the new birth, the place of “beginning again” and describes those born of water and the Spirit, John 3:5, begotten of God-John 1:13, 3:8 who have come forth from the womb of water. It does not describe we who walk in fellowship with Deity as we continue to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12; Ephesians 6:5 Regeneration is the “becoming” part of salvation NOT the “being what you have become.” Regeneration only gets you on the road; it does not drive the car! Like all aspects/phases of salvation, regeneration is the coop of God and man—God has done His part, man has obeyed His commands TO BECOME. Like predestination, fore-ordination, elected of God; it describes something WE have done. On everyone who is obedient to God, in primary obedience, the life of Christ on this earth was and is successful!! Never let anyone lie to you about Jesus not achieving what He set out to achieve while on this earth the thirty-three years He sojourned, here. If there is eternal life, there had to have been regeneration!!
Regeneration is synonymous with in signification with baptism/immersion!!

Regeneration

The word is found twice in all the oracles of God—once in Matthew 19:28 and the other in Titus 3:5. In Matthew it is almost universally understood to mean a new state of things, not persons—a peculiar era, in which all things are to be made NEW:–such as the formation of a new church on the day of Pentecost, or the commencement of the Millennium under the sole reign of Jesus Christ as High Priest of a new and better covenant and King of Kings is the monarch who reigns over the entire of humanity– which is to conclude at the end of His reign, signaled by the cessation of physical death. 1 Corinthians 15:24-26 The punctuation of Matthew 19:28 renders it altogether evident that regeneration alludes to a new era. “In the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall be seated on His glorious throne, you, My followers, sitting also upon twelve thrones, shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel.”
This passage has given rise to some who believe the “rapture” theory and the “pre-millennial theory” for it speaks of Israel and the twelve tribes. Often people look for verses of scripture that they think prove their “pet” theories and when found by them never loo k to what is being taught. That this verse never indicates the 1,000 year reign of Christ on the earth after His second coming is easily proven. The first thing one must ask is “just what is regeneration”? To regenerate is to give new life to, is to be re-born to another state or condition of existence. Regeneration is the same as being “born again,” being a “new creature,” being moved into a different state of existence—“translated out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of God’s dear Son”, Colossians 1:13. Hence, if one was lost and out of fellowship with God, to regenerate them would mean they would be saved and be brought BACK into His fellowship and there was NO sacrifice that they could offer that would allow such a thing to happen.
This truth destroys the false doctrine of “in-born sin” which teaches that a baby is BORN a sinner. To be “born in sin” one could have NEVER BEEN in fellowship with God to begin with and since they were not “born in sin” they can be returned to the fellowship they had with God BEFORE they were competent enough to commit (a voluntary act that demands the ability to choose) sin (which causes the cessation of fellowship with God, Isaiah 59:1-2). The verse reads: “….thy sins have separated between thee and thy God and He will not hear your prayers.” May I remind you to be separated, you must have to be in fellowship—to be reconciled you have to first be conciled, together—to be divorced you must first have to be married!! Jesus said: “their angels always behold the face of the Father which is in Heaven” in Matthew 18:10, babies had and have never been separated from the “face of the Father (His presence) and need no mediator!!
This truth also destroys the idea that the “twelve tribes of Israel” is what is in question in Matthew 19:28—physical Israel could never be saved!! They never had a sacrifice which would appease the Father—“the blood of bulls and heifers could not take away sin”, Hebrews 10:4, therefore, the sins of physical Israel were NEVER taken away (removed from the mind of the Father) Every Jew and Gentile were always SEPARATED from His “presence” AFTER they committed their very first sin!! There was NO forgiveness under the first two covenants!! God the Father supplied the perfect sacrifice. He died on Calvary’s tree. For the FIRST TIME since the fall of Adam and Eve mankind could be restored, come BACK into fellowship, or stand in the face of the Father in Heaven as did the infant BEFORE SIN!!