Jesus answered him [i.e., Nicodemus], “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 ESV)
Because of the Fall, all humanity is dead (spiritually) in trespasses and sins and utterly alienated from
God, their Creator. Effectual calling is a work of the Holy Spirit, who, in sovereign grace, irresistibly draws a person to Christ, illuminates their mind to understand the basic truths of the Gospel message, and regenerates that person to newness of life.
As an immediate and almost simultaneous consequence of the Spirit’s convicting, convincing and converting operations, the sinner is enabled to apprehend fully his or her great spiritual need and danger, to repent of their sins, and to believe wholeheartedly on the Son of God as their personal Saviour and Lord.
Regeneration is the actual and instantaneous birth of an entirely new spiritual life. A person who once was spiritually dead; in total darkness to spiritual truths, and alienated from God by sin, is made alive spiritually and is reconciled to God. The Lord Jesus delivers that person from the kingdom of darkness, and transfers him to the kingdom of light. The Lord releases this person from slavery to sin, to the freedom to live unto God in holiness of life. The Lord also delivers the believer from the fear of death, replacing it with the gift of eternal life and peace with God.
As with effectual calling, regeneration or the new birth is a work of the Holy Spirit. Regeneration, repentance and faith are followed by justification, sanctification, and, ultimately, glorification.
[Excerpt from Bible Truths Explained: Regeneration (The New Birth). To read or download the full version of this doctrine, see under the Bible Doctrine menu tab above.]Follow @gordon_lyons