The Berean Expositor Volume 50 - Page 63 of 185 Index | Zoom |
time is coming when it will surely take place and sin and death and the deceiver will be
finally removed from God's perfected universe.
The Holy Spirit as the life-giver.
This brings us to the doctrine of regeneration, the basic meaning of which is birth and
the beginning of life. One of the terrible consequences of sin is that it has brought
humanity into a state of death both physically and spiritually. Is there any future for a
dean man so far as this world is concerned? The answer is decidedly `no', unless he can
be brought to life again. Eph. 2: 1 describes believer as being "dead in trespasses and
sins" as far as the past was concerned, and many other Scriptures clearly show the
ravages that sin has made on the human mind and understanding.
How does God remedy this? He does so in two ways: (1) by giving sinners a second
birthday, a spiritual one, hence the Lord's words to a religious man, "ye must be born
again" (John 3: 3, 7). This only goes to show it is possible to have religion without life!
(2) By making men new creations (II Cor. 5: 17).
pp. 81 - 86
We have seen how regeneration and re-creation are God's answers to the problem of
spiritual death which is the result of sin. It should be quite obvious that, just as a dead
man cannot bring himself to life again physically, neither can he give himself spiritual
birth. The Lord Jesus Christ described this spiritual life as a `must', declaring to a leader
of Israel, Nicodemus, that without this he could not `see the kingdom of God' (John 3: 3,
Now the Author or Begetter of this new life is none other than the Holy Spirit, for
Christ declared that a man must be `born of the Spirit' (John 3: 5-8). He is the
quickener, the life giver. Let us not lose truth because an archaic word `quicken' is used.
To quicken has nothing to do with pace or movement, but means `to give life' and this is
the basic need of all sinful mankind which is under the dominion of sin and death. All
must start here from the spiritual angle. It is possible to be very religious, to be absorbed
in ritual and good works and yet to be dead spiritually. Thousands do not realize this,
and they imagine that by their religious activities they are fully meeting God's demands,
but these can never of themselves produce the life of God which is eternal.
The second effect of the Holy Spirit's work in regeneration is to bring these quickened
ones into family relationship with God. It is a generally accepted idea, but quite false,
that God is the Father of all mankind, and so all the world can be looked upon as His
children. The statement of John 1: 11, 12 shows the error of this:
"He came to His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him,
to them gave He power (the right) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe