What Is The New Birth | Regeneration | Being Born Again – Spiritual Reading.
Many speak of the New Birth or of Regeneration without any definite conception of just what the New Birth is, and so are never sure whether they themselves have been born again or not.
As plain and clear a definition of the New Birth as we can find in the Word of God is given in 2 Pet. 1:4, “Whereby he hath granted unto us his precious and exceeding great promises; that through these ye may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
From these words of Peter it is evident that the New Birth is the impartation to the one who is born again, of a new nature, God’s own nature. By being born again we become actual partakers of the Divine nature. We are all born into this world with a corrupted intellectual and moral nature.
The natural man, or unregenerate man, is intellectually blind, blind to the truth of God, “the things of the Spirit” he cannot see or receive. “They are foolishness unto him, and he cannot know them” (1 Cor. 2:14). His affections are corrupt, he loves the things he ought to hate and hates the things he ought to love.
A definite description of the affections and tastes and desires of the unregenerate man is found in Gal. 5:19, 20, 21. He is also perverse in his will, as Paul puts it in Rom. 8:7, “The mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” This state of intellectual spiritual blindness and moral corruption is the condition of every unregenerate man.
No matter how cultured or refined or moral he may be outwardly, his inner life is radically wrong. In the New Birth God imparts to the one who is born again His own wise and holy nature, a nature that thinks as God thinks (“He is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him”—Col. 3:10); he feels as God feels, loves the things that God loves, hates the things that God hates, wills as God wills (1 John 3:14; 4:7, 8).
It is evident then that regeneration is a deep thorough-going change in the deepest springs of thought, feeling and action. A change so thorough-going that Paul says in 2 Cor. 5:17, “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature (more exactly, Creation): the old things are passed away; behold they are become new.”
To use the inspired language of the Apostle John, regeneration is a passing “out of death into life.” John says in 1 John 3:14, “We know that we have passed out of death into life.” Until we are thus born again we are in a condition of moral and spiritual death. When we are born again we are “quickened” (or made alive), we who “were dead through our trespasses and sins.” (Eph. 2:1).
There is a profound contrast between regeneration and mere conversion. Conversion is an outward thing, a turning around. One is faced the wrong way, faced away from God; he turns around and faces toward God. That is conversion. But regeneration is not a mere outward change, but a thorough-going change in the deepest depths of one’s being, that leads to a genuine conversion or genuine outward change.
Many an apparently thorough conversion is a temporary thing because it did not go deep enough, but regeneration is a permanent thing. When God imparts His nature to a man, that nature abides in the man. When he is born again he cannot be unborn, or as John puts it in 1 John 3:9, “Whosoever is begotten of God doth no sin, because his (God’s) seed abideth in him.” A man may be converted a thousand times, he can be regenerated but once.
Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.
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