Key Words of Salvation
There are several key words that are used in Scripture that sheds light on the Bible’s teaching about salvation. Each word is like a facet on a diamond that gives another side of God’s wonderful salvation.
Questions to be Covered
What does it mean to be born again? What are some of the changes that come about in the life of a person who has been regenerated? How is a person regenerated?
Regeneration is the work of God whereby He imparts new life to the believer in Messiah Jesus.
1. Need for Regeneration – Why does man need to be regenerated?
- A. Because we are all spiritually dead
We are all born spiritually dead as a result of sin. Because we are spiritually dead, we need life. Regeneration is the imparting of life to a spiritually dead individual.
Eph. 2:1-3 – And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Not only are we sinners because we are in Adam, but we have all person-ally sinned as well. Because of that we are born into this world spiritually dead.
- B. Because we are all alienated from God
We are all born alienated from God as a result of sin. Because of that, we separated from the life that comes from God. This refers to the supernatural life that comes by faith in Jesus the Messiah.
Eph. 4:17-18 – This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.
Although most people think they have some sort of relationship with God, the truth is, all who are unsaved are alienated from Him and have no communion with Him at all.
- C. Because Jesus said we need it
While talking with a religious Jewish leader named Nicodemus, Jesus explained the absolute necessity to be born again. Jesus told Nicodemus without that happening, he would not see the kingdom of God.
John 3:1-3 – Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Him by night, and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Being born again, or being born from above, is necessary for receiving the life that our dead spirit needs. Until one has personally experienced that, they are still spiritually dead.
2. Method of Regeneration – How is man regenerated?
By the Word of God, The Spirit of God, and an ambassador of God Regeneration is brought about as people are brought in contact with the truth of the Word. The Holy Spirit energizes the truth and enables the spiritually dead individual to hear God’s Word and respond to it.
Acts 16:14 – And a certain woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.
All three parts of the process of regeneration are seen in this verse. The Word of God, the Holy Spirit and the ambassador of God.
- A. The Word of God
It is impossible for a person to experience regeneration without the use of the Word of God. Because of that, it is vitally important that the Word of God be given out correctly and that the gospel be clearly proclaimed.
Rom. 10:17 – So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of the Messiah.
1 Pet. 1:23 – for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God.
James 1:18 – In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures
- B. The Spirit of God
It is impossible for a person to experience regeneration without the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He takes the Word of God and applies it to the heart of man and generates life in the dead sprit.
Titus 3:5-6 – He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus the Messiah our Savior.
- C. An Ambassador of God
More often than not, God uses a person in the process of salvation. It might be someone who wrote a tract or a book. It might be as a result of listening to a sermon or a gospel radio program. It might be through someone’s personal testimony, or as a result of a someone personally witnessing to you.
Rom. 10:14-15 – How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ” How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!”
2 Cor. 5:20 – Therefore, we are ambassadors for the Messiah, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Messiah, be reconciled to God.
3. Results of Regeneration – What happens when a person is regenerated?
There are several blessings that accompany regeneration. The results of regeneration are even more staggering when you keep in mind that all of them come about as a divine work of God. He causes regeneration to take place in the spirit of a lost sinner.
- A. New Kind of Life
Regeneration brings to life the believer’s dead spirit and delivers it from inherent corruption and makes it holy. As a result they are able to commune with and be responsive to God.
Rom. 8:10 – And if Messiah is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
Col. 3:9-10 – Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him
1 Cor. 2:14-15 – But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man.
We now have a new mind, allowing us to know God. We now have a new heart, allowing us to love God. We now have a new will, allowing us to obey God.
1 Cor. 2:16 – For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of the Messiah.
Col. 3:12 – And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
Rom. 6:13 – and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
- B. A New Relationship with God
Regeneration establishes a new and vital relationship with God and the believer. Trough regeneration, true believers become members of God’s family and citizens of His kingdom.
John 1:12-13 – But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 17:3 – “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus the Messiah whom Thou hast sent.
Gal. 3:26 – For you are all sons of God through faith in Messiah Jesus.
Rom. 8:16-17 – The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Messiah, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.
Until a person is regenerated, their spirit is dead and cannot have any type of relationship with God. Regeneration totally changes the state of the believer in Messiah Jesus.