Conversion and Regeneration
53. What is "salvation"
a. Foundation of salvation: Salvation
is based entirely on the work of Christ. He became a curse for us (Gal
3:13). His death and his bearing the sins of the world completed the atonement
between God and man. Anyone who accepts Jesus as the Saviour is accepting
Godís free gift of salvation.
b. Meaning of Redemption: the believer
has been purchased with the sacrifice of Jesus and now belongs to God
c. Meaning of Salvation: the complete
salvation as planned by God involving:
Gr. lytron and apolytrosis
-- the price paid to redeem a pawned item, money to purchase a slaveís
freedom; Gr. agorazo and exagorazo -- buy or buy back (1Co
d. Salvation includes 6 steps:
(1) Calling: the sinner is invited
to accept salvation
saving the believer from the deserved
punishment from sin which is eternal death,
restoring right relation of man to
God through justification
renewing the believer in the image
of God (clothed in the "new self") (Eph 4:24)
preserving the believer for eternal
inheritance in the kingdom of God
(2) Conversion: the sinner turns
to salvation through repentance and faith
(3) Regeneration: the spirit of
the believer is born again
(4) Justification: the believer
is pronounced righteous (or just) by God
(5) Sanctification: the believer
is renewed after the image of God and becomes holy
(6) Final glorification: the believer
receives the glorified body; the complete and final salvation of the whole
person conformed to the image of God (Php 3:21)
How does calling to salvation work?
a. Calling is that gracious act
of God whereby He invites sinners to accept the salvation that is offered
in Jesus Christ, normally through the preaching of the Gospel (Ro 10:17;
b. It is a calling to the fellowship
of Jesus Christ (1Co 1:9), to inherit blessing (1Pe 3:9), to liberty
(Gal 5:13), to peace (1Co 7:15), to holiness (1Th 4:7), to one hope (Eph
4:4), to eternal life (1Ti 6:12), and to Godís kingdom and glory
c. Those who believe in the doctrine
of predestination believe there are two different kinds of calling:
(1) External calling: the invitation
by the Holy Spirit to accept Jesus
(2) Internal (effectual) calling:
the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the elect, referring to those
who were predestined by God to accept salvation before creation (Ro
d. According to this doctrine
(predestination), man is so full of sin that no one is able to heed the
external calling from God. Only those who were elected or chosen before
creation (Mt 22:14) would be guided by the Holy Spirit to accept salvation
(Ac 13:48). In other words, without the effectual calling of the
Holy Spirit, none would accept salvation; with the effectual calling, none
could reject salvation.
a. Conversion means turning to
salvation; it includes:
(1) repentance: turning away from
sin, a negative aspect and a backward look (Ac 2:38)
Does conversion (repentance and faith) only involve the mind?
(2) faith: turning toward Christ,
a positive aspect and a forward look (Jn 3:16).
b. In conversion, man is called upon
to cooperate with Godís plan (Isa 55:7; Jer 18:11; Eze 33:11).
c. Conversion is an instantaneous change
but it may or may not occur as a sharply marked crisis.
Examples: Naaman (2Ki 5:13-15), Manasseh
(2Ch 33:12-13), Zacchaeus (Lk 19:8-9), the eunuch (Ac 8:30-39), Cornelius
(Ac 10:44-48), Paul (Ac 9:5), Lydia (Ac 16:14)
Gr. metanoia means change of
mind, regret, remorse
It involves feeling sorry and confessing
about past sins, with the intention of amending them (Mt 3:6; Ro 3:20;
f. Both repentance and faith involve
more than just the mind. Both constitute 3 different elements. Both require
total commitment of the whole person. Without all these elements, repentance
and faith may only be temporary and will fail in days of difficulties,
trial and persecution.
Saving faith is a positive conviction
as to the truth of the gospel (trust), and a hearty reliance on the promises
of God in Christ (surrender), in other words, accepting Jesus (Ro 10:9).
Faith is a gift from God (Eph 2:8),
wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit; but its subsequent exercise is
a human activity that God exhorts (1Co 2:5; Col 1:23; 1Ti 1:5; 6:11).
Faith involves trusting God will carry
out His promise (Heb 11:11,17-19), obeying Godís commands (Heb 5:9; 1Jn
2:3), renunciating the world (Jn 15:19; 17:14-15)
Elements (Dt 6:5)
Repentance (2Pe 3:9)
Faith (Heb 11:6)
(cognitive) element [mind]
about sin and righteousness, feel personal guilt and helplessness
truth of salvation, recognize the truth of the gospel as revealed in the
committing sin against a holy and just God (2Co 7:9)
to reality of salvation in a determined heart (Mk 12:32)
(will) element [strength]
of life, confess sin (Ps 38:18), forsake sin (Isa 55:7), turn to God (1Th
trust Jesus as Saviour and Lord (Jn 1:12), rely on Jesus in daily living
56. How does regeneration
totally change the life of the believer?
a. Regeneration (born again):
the new birth of the spirit of the believer. It is the impartation of new
and divine life into the believer as the result of the permanent indwelling
of the Holy Spirit or baptism of the Holy Spirit (Ro 6:4; 12:2; 2Co 4:16;
Gal 6:15; Col 3:10). The Christian is now a new creation and lives a new
life with a new spirit (2Co 5:17; Eph 2:1; 1Jn 4:7).
b. Like conversion, regeneration is
also instantaneous (completed in a moment of time); through it we pass
from death into life (1Jn 3:14). It is entirely the work of God (Eph 2:8-9);.
It can be known by its results.
c. Necessary results of regeneration:
d. According to the doctrine of
predestination, regeneration occurs after effectual calling by the Holy
Spirit but before conversion. It means that the Holy Spirit first imparts
new life to the elected sinner before conversion. This then enables the
person to repent and to have faith.
stop continuing indulgence in sin (1Jn
3:9 "cannot go on sinning")
obey the commandments of God in the
possess a genuine, Christ-like love
able to overcome pressures and temptations
of the world (1Jn 5:3-4)
protected from Satan (1Jn 5:18;
4:4) because of the great power of the Holy Spirit
manifest the fruit of the Spirit (Gal
5:22-23; Mt 7:15-20)