Saturday, October 17, 2015

Two quotes on Regeneration

Both quotes come from Bibles. The first is by A.W. Tozer and is found within the NIV Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer Bible:
"We are always in danger of allowing teaching to substitute for living. Indoctrination is not regeneration and should never be mistaken for it. Thousands are turned out of confirmation classes each year who have never known the transforming power of the gospel. These go out to be lifelong anomalies, orthodox in creed, but untouched pagans in fact. They have absorbed the notion that to receive the creed concerning Christ is identical with receiving Christ. This is a costly and tragic error. ~ A.W. Tozer, The Early Tozer: A Word in Season
The second is from the Reformation Study Bible edited by R.C. Sproul:
Rebirth is an essential part of Christianity, without it, entrance into God's Kingdom is impossible. Regeneration is the theological term used to describe rebirth. It refers to a new generating, a new genesis, a new beginning. It is more than "turning over a new leaf"; it marks the beginning of a new life in a radically renewed person…Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit upon those who are spiritually dead (see Ephesians 2:1-10). The Spirit recreates the human heart, quickening it from spiritual death to spiritual life. Regenerate people are new creations. Where formerly they had no disposition, inclination, or desire for the things of God, now they are disposed and inclined toward God. In regeneration, God plants a desire for Himself in the human heart that otherwise would not be there. Regeneration is not to be confused with the full experience of conversion. Just as birth is our initiation, our first entrance into life outside the womb, so our spiritual rebirth is the starting point of our spiritual life. It occurs by God's divine initiative and is an act that is sovereign, immediate, and instantaneous. An awareness of our conversion may be gradual. Yet rebirth itself is instantaneous. No one can be partially reborn any more than a woman can be partially pregnant. Regeneration is not the fruit or result of faith. Rather, regeneration precedes faith as the necessary condition for faith. We also do not in any way dispose ourselves toward regeneration or cooperate as coworkers with the Holy Spirit to bring it to pass. We do not decide or choose to be regenerated. God chooses to regenerate us before we will ever choose to embrace Him. To be sure, after we have been regenerated by the sovereign grace of God, we do choose, act, cooperate, and believe in Christ. God does not have faith for us. It is our own faith by which we are justified. What God does is quicken us to spiritual life, rescuing us from darkness, bondage, and spiritual death. God makes faith possible and actual for us. He quickens faith within us. (note on John 3)
Both quotes came from my natural reading. I was in the book of Joshua in the Tozer Bible, and the book of John in the Reformation Bible. I just thought it was interesting that both mentioned regeneration. (It's also slightly funny to be including in one post a quote from Sproul and Tozer. Let's just say that Tozer is decidedly not Reformed, but, I love him anyway. Except for when I choose to play True or False with his quotes!!!)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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