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Theology 101 (Lesson 9)
What is regeneration? | Titus 3:5
"He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit."
Regeneration is the experience of spiritual rebirth.
This concept is closely tied to the idea of being "born again" (John 3:3) and becoming a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Think of when you were physically born. What part did you play in the process? Were you an active participant or passive?
The same is true with spiritual birth.
For example, when Jesus tells Nicodemus in John 3 that he must be born again, Jesus is emphasizing the need for a radical spiritual transformation that cannot be achieved through human effort or merit.
This transformation is brought about by the power of the Holy Spirit and results in a new life marked by faith in and love for Jesus as one's Savior and King.
In fact, according to the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2, we are born spiritual dead.
We do not have the ability to respond to the gospel because we do not have the spiritual ears to hear or eyes to see or heart to respond.
These are two of the greatest words in the Bible. Just after claiming all humans are spiritually dead, Paul says,
“4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, he made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved!"
But God… in his love, mercy, grace, and kindness did for us what we could never do for ourselves.
Even when we were dead in our sins and could not respond to the gospel on our own, God brought us to life by His grace.
This work of regeneration, or spiritual rebirth, truly is a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit that enables us to see and understand the meaning of the cross and respond in faith to the good news of Jesus.
What is regeneration?
What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the work of regeneration?
How does the doctrine of regeneration address the inherent sinfulness of humanity?
What are those who are born again able to see that they couldn’t see before?
Can someone be a Christian without experiencing regeneration? Why or why not?
What are outward signs of spiritual rebirth?
How might the new life in Christ that comes with regeneration change a person's perspective on themselves, the world, and their place in it?
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank you for the gift of regeneration and the new life that comes through faith in your Son, Jesus. We ask that you would continue to transform us by your Holy Spirit and renew our hearts and minds according to your will. Help us to always live our lives in view of the cross with thanksgiving and for your glory.
For we pay in Jesus' name. Amen.