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Spiritual Regeneration-Part 1

Spiritual Regeneration-Part 1
Regeneration vs. Reformation

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. John 3:19-20 (NKJV)

The first step to being cured of something is admitting your sick, but unfortunately it can be our hardest hurdle to clear.  Pride is a large factor in one coming to terms about their condition, as there is something in each of us refusing to accept our broken condition, albeit physically or spiritually.  Oh, sure, we can say, "I know I am not perfect," all day long, but deep inside, we would caution someone to come confront us about a sinful issue we may be dealing with.  

Jesus said it perfectly straight when He said, "the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."  And this pretty much sums it up. So our issue is deep within our fleshly nature, and it must be dealt with in truth and in humility.  We must be able to identify our need for help and have a desire to repent of those things not in God's will.  

You see, this is the real meaning of repentance anyway - we have to conclude our actions to be sinful, and acknowledge they're an abomination unto the Lord.  Next, we need to identify with the fact we are unable to stop our behavior in our own efforts, and as such, we are lost and need God's help.  It is at this point, we must cry out to God for His grace, and for His mercy.

Unfortunately Satan and his emissaries are fast to try and intercept our call for help, and many worldly manmade programs have been fashioned to supposedly help "Reform" us - but this couldn't be further from the truth.  These multi-step programs will implement many ways in which a person is to deal with their sin, but avoid the very essence of what the Bible teaches us with regard to being forgiven.  And this step is the acceptance of Jesus Christ's payment upon the cross to pay for our sin.  

We must acknowledge, confess and repent of our sinful actions and then seek the forgiveness of God, and His empowerment to keep from returning to this old way of living.  

When I think of external programs intending to change internal problems it makes me think of an old beat up car being smoothed over at a body shop by applying gallons of bondo - filling the damage and concealing the problem, never addressing it and fixing it.  This is the same thing with us as sinners; we cannot simply gloss over our sins and think they have been dealt with because we have started to do things differently on the outside and subsequently living better.    

We do not need "Reformation," we need "Regeneration."  "Regeneration" means to be "Restored Spiritually."  To have regeneration we must have a heart transplant first and foremost. Anything less than allowing God to come into our life and to take over and regenerate us is but a coat of paint on a rusty beat up car - nothing has really changed deep below.

Q:    What does this mean to us here today?  What application can we glean from this truth?

  • It means that we cannot change by trying to become more righteous - by trying to become more Godly!
  • It means we cannot become more like Jesus by simply talking like Jesus talked - or outwardly doing the things He did.
  • We need a new heart - we need to ask Jesus to come into our heart - to lead us... to transform us from the inside out.

This is exactly what the Prophet Ezekiel told the people of Israel God was going to do for those stubborn Jewish people in the last days...

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV)

And it is what God has done with everyone who makes a profession of faith in Christ - those who identify with their need for forgiveness and who are willing to repent and follow Christ.

Q:    What must we do once we have received this new heart?  What is our responsibility?

A:    We need to unplug from trying to be like this world, and instead be committed to being more like Christ.  We need to have our minds transformed so we think like Christ, and know His will for our lives.  Only then, can we present our bodies a living sacrifice.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about our fleshly nature; what God will do for us, and our responsibility by the Scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Have you asked God to come into your heart and to give you a new heart?  Are you a living your life as a living sacrifice for Jesus Christ?

APPLICATION: Seek the Lord and ask Him to change anything in your life He sees needing to be changed.

Father, Thank You for giving me a new heart and a new nature.  Thank You for taking out my old heart and for the regeneration You are doing in my life.  I pray for Your continued change within my life to be more like You.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000