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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How To Kill and Be Killed 101: "You Must Be Born Again..."

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” - John 3:1-8 ESV

The doctrine of regeneration (or being born again) is something that has become muddled, if not altogether forgotten in today's evangelical circles. It is still stated from the pulpits and in the sermons that "you must be born again", but what is often left out is what it means as well as by what means one can actually achieve spiritual regeneration. So we are left with some lingering questions that all too often go unanswered:

-What does it really mean to be born again?
-How does one actually become born again?
-Who does this work belong to? Man or God?

Here in this clip, Pastor Mark Driscoll provides us with a biblical response to what it means to be regenerated by God. We will see by his application to the Word (as well as some added scripture references) that it is more than just walking down an aisle, signing your name on a card, saying a prayer, or being dipped (or sprinkled) with water. This is a divine act performed by a holy and sovereign God. Driscoll also goes on to point out the often misunderstanding of "sanctification (being set apart to do good works) as regeneration" and shows how the two teachings must be properly understood in their proper places. This is important due to the fact that it strikes at the very heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (John 1:12-13).

Mark Driscoll - The Doctrine of Regeneration

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. - Ezekiel 36:25-27 ESV

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. - Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV

Soli Deo Gloria,


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