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By Curtis Pugh

Professing Christians believe something about regeneration. One idea is that God is up in Heaven waiting to regenerate or give eternal life to those that believe. Ideas float around like: believe and pray: believe and be baptized. Another idea is that only infant baptism is necessary and that faith comes later. All these schemes have one thing in common. That one thing common to all of them is this: God will reward with spiritual life those spiritually dead people who do something to please Him. And spiritually dead is what the natural man is according to Ephesians 2:1 which says, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”

But no unregenerate person can please God. Men's ideas about salvation all have natural men doing something that pleases God. But the Bible teaches that men are sinners and cannot please God. The cause of godly sorrow, repentance toward God, faith in Christ and other evidences of new life within is the life-giving presence of the Holy Spirit of God. The Spirit must work first! “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure,” (Philippians 2:13). Nothing here about God having to wait until an individual lets Him do what He wants to do!

God says: “...the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his,” (Romans 8:7-9). Plain and simple words these! Understandable words! But few will believe them because they fly in the face of people's ideas about sinners' supposed ability to please God.

“They that are in the flesh cannot [lack the ability to] please God.” But “if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you” then “ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit.” These are the words of God. Face it! God is sovereign in regeneration as He is in all things. He works regeneration or the new birth in those whom He is pleased to save. This regeneration is caused by the Spirit's indwelling of the individual.

Such solemn truth ought to cause people to fall on their face before God. It ought to cause lost individuals to realize that their salvation is dependent on God and not upon themselves and what they think they can do – because, the fact is, they cannot please God! God does what humans cannot do. He enables sinners to please Him by regenerating them by His Spirit. And regeneration, like all the gifts of God, are unmerited. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast,” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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