It’s likely you’ve heard the admonition to “preach the gospel to yourself.” But do you have a practical, systematic way for doing that? What do you say when you preach the gospel to yourself?
How to use this series:
My doctrine is regeneration or another way I like to look at the word regeneration is to ask as Wayne Grudem does in his book, Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, “What does it mean to be born again?”
“Regeneration is a secret act of God in which He imparts new spiritual life to us.”~ Wayne Grudem
So what does it mean to be born again or regenerated? It is a term as Christians we hear quite often. When the Bible uses the the analogy of being born again as in John 3:3 it is using an analogy that we can make no contribution to. When we are born, as in physical birth, we contribute no part to that action. We follow the natural course of the way God designed child birth. This is the point of the analogy used in Scripture: We do not give ourselves physical life and we do not give ourself spiritual life.
“No child has ever been born into the world by its own will or plan. Its conception, gestation, and birth are completely out of its consciousness and control. It is merely the passive recipient of the will and action of it parents. Just as certainly, no person wills, much less creates, a new spiritual nature within himself.”~ John MacArthur
Titus 3:5 (emphasis mine)
Regenerate means to form or create again, to be spiritually reborn or converted.
In Titus 3:5 above the Greek work is palliggenesia and in the verse above it means new birth.
It also occurs in Matthew 19:28 and it is denoting the “restoration of all things”.
(emphasis mine in above verses)
Regeneration is the spiritual change brought about in the heart of man by the work of the Holy Spirit where our sinful nature from birth is changed and we can respond to God in faith and live according to His will. God awakens us from being spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) to now having new spiritual life from God. This is being born again. (John 3:8)
A New Heart:
In John 3:3-8 above Jesus is talking to Nicodemus – a Pharisee – a teacher of the law. He was well acquainted with the Old Testament. He would know of the prophecy in Ezekiel where God is talking about new birth, about being transformed from the inside out.
“To sanctify a man is the work of the whole life; but to give a man a new heart is the work of an instant in one solitary second, swifter than the lightning flash, God can put a new heart into a man, and make him a new creature in Christ Jesus. You may be sitting where you are to-day, an enemy to God, with a wicked heart within; hard as a stone, and dead and cold; but if the Lord wills it, the living spark shall drop into your soul, and in that moment you will begin to tremble—begin to feel; you will confess your sin, and fly to Christ for mercy. Other parts of salvation are done gradually but regeneration is the instantaneous work of God’s sovereign, effectual, and irresistible grace.”~ Charles Spurgeon
As we ponder the magnificent gift we have been granted if we are in Christ, and we have come to be known by Him through repentance and faith, we have much to give thanks for this good and perfect gift from above. We are not deserving of such a glorious gift but are deserving of Hell.
~ Excerpt taken from The Importance of the Gospel in Life of a Believer
When we are regenerated or born again, the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives and we will have a genuine love for God and His people (1 John 4:7), our lives will bear much fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), we will desire to live lives that are obedient to His ways (1 John 5:3-4), we hate sin and sin no longer rules or is the pattern of our lives – not perfection – but by the work of God’s grace within us we finally have the power to say “no” to sin (1 John 3:9: 1 John 2:29).
Regneration and Evangelism:
Understanding the doctrine of regeneration has reminded me in my personal evangelism that I have no power to save anyone. It is not by the eloquence of my words that anyone comes to know Christ (or lack there of most of the time) but it is by His power alone.
What freedom there is in being reminded it is a work of God! My responsibility in evangelism is to share the Good News of the Gospel. I just need to tell them the full story of who Jesus is. As a believer I should have the Gospel ready on the tip of my tongue to share with those the Lord has placed in my path. Take the time to get familiar with the Gospel and be faithful to share it and continue to be praying for your non-believing family and friends that the Lord would open their hearts, as He did Lydia’s (Acts 16:11-15) and yours if you are in Christ, to His glorious saving Gospel.
The Gospel in a Minute:“The good news is that the one and only God, who is holy, made us in his image to know him. But we sinned and cut ourselves off from him. In his great love, God became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law himself and taking on himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever turn and trust in him. He rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted Christ’s sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us had been exhausted. He now calls us to repent of our sins and to trust in Christ alone for our forgiveness. If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.”~ Mark Dever, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism
“We do not have the ability to enter the kingdom unless the Spirit of God gives us life through the new birth. We are born again, then, by a sovereign, monergistic (that is, the Spirit working alone) act of the Holy Spirit. Then, as a result of that new birth, we exercise the faith given to us, and enter the kingdom of God.”~ Jerry Bridges
Preaching the Gospel to Myself:
“Regeneration consists in a radical change of heart, for there is implanted a new disposition as the foundation of all holy exercises; the mind being renovated, the affections elevated, and the will emancipated from the bondage of sin.”~ A. W. Pink