SALVATION: God Gave the Greatest gift of All
Have you opened your gift?
We are going to be focused as a church body upon CONNECTION—to Christ in Salvation and to Each Other in Ministry. We are continuing to look at our connection to Christ in salvation, the only gift everyone really needs.
We have seen that the gift of salvation has seven key elements; and have examined forgiveness and justification. This evening we come to regeneration. Regeneration is a word that is much wider than the Bible or Theology, it is a part of the everyday world around us.
re·gen·er·a·tion (rĭ-jĕn'ə-rā'shən) n.
- The act or process of regenerating or the state of being regenerated.
- Biology. Regrowth of lost or destroyed parts or organs.
- Theology. Spiritual or moral revival or rebirth.
God must love regeneration because we see it throughout His creation.
REGENERATION IS ALL AROUND US
From the cycle of the seasons, to the water cycle, to the claws of crustaceans that grow back after loss. God is a God that loves to offer a way for life to begin again.
Regeneration is the process by which an animal restores a lost part of its body. Broadly defined, the term can include wound healing, tissue repair, and many kinds of restorative activities.
The best-known and most widely studied examples of regeneration are those involving epimorphosis, in which the lost structure is reproduced directly by a combination of cell proliferation and redifferentiation of new tissue.
For example, if part of the liver is cut away, the remaining portions increase in size to compensate for the missing tissue and to restore the normal functional capacity of the organ.
Of all vertebrates, amphibians have the most highly developed capacity for regeneration. Certain species have the ability to regenerate not only limbs and tails but also parts of the eye, lower jaw, intestine, and heart.
Most annelids, such as the earthworm, can readily regenerate segments after their removal: some species can regenerate whole organisms from any fragment.
The ability of certain echinoderms, such as starfish, to regenerate missing arms is well known. Cutting such an animal into several pieces results in each piece forming a new organism.
All living things are made up of cells. But nowhere is regeneration in the physical world more important than in our aging bodies.
In the space of area that would be inside of the letter o on the page of your Bible in front of you, about 40,000 cells could fit. There are a nearly uncountable number of cells in our bodies estimated to be between 30 and 100 trillions cells of 200 different types.
Each day your body replaces cells, you and I get regenerated physically by a continuous stream of nutrients and every so often every cell in your and my body is replaced. That is the regenerating power of the human body.
- Every day humans will lose and replace 200 billion red blood cells. Remarkably, our bodies manufacture 2 million replacement cells in a split second. A single red blood cell will make an incredible journey, traveling 100 miles through a vast network of 60,000 miles of veins, capillaries, and arteries.
- Consider this: your stomach lining and your small intestine replace themselves every five days, your skin replaces itself once a month, your liver replaces itself every six weeks, and your skeleton replaces itself about every seven years. It's pretty amazing.
- Whether you are 7 or 77, your body replaces billions of cells every day. The sad news is that that amazing renewing process begins to slow and finally ends the older we get.
REGENERATION IS OUR GREATEST NEED
But the greatest example of regeneration is when God makes us His very own home; when God makes a human His habitation in the greatest miracle of all—salvation.
God’s regenerating us literally means we live again, we have new life, a fresh start, renewal, a new beginning.
God has made provision for us to be born again, regenerated through the new birth—in order to give us His life living within.
But why would we the greatest and highest and most wonderful of all earth’s creatures—why would we need regeneration? Because a disaster each of us partakes of has rendered us uninhabitable by God.
WE ARE UNINHABITABLE
At 10:13 AM on April 26, 1986 in a Russian city called
The V.I. Lenin Memorial Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station Reactor 4 exploded and released over the next 9 days of intense fires—as much as 100 times more total radiation than was produced in both atomic bombs dropped on
Hundreds of thousands of Russians were evacuated and an area of 500 square miles was rendered completely uninhabitable. Even to this day humans can not live in close proximity to the encased reactor because of the radiation levels. Let me repeat that phrase ‘rendered completely uninhabitable’ …
The key element of that disaster was the rendering of an area completely uninhabitable; no humans could live anywhere around that open source of deadly radiation. The solution was the immediate and prolonged massive airlift of materials to try to confine the deadly radiation. A mountain of material was dropped by helicopter, which totaled almost 10,000 tons of clay, lead, and dolomite onto the reactor; and later the building of a concrete tomb over the site. But all that did was to try to keep the deadly radiation inside an area that would be forever closed to human life.
You and I ARE BY NATURE UNINHABITABLE TO God. We were born with a heart that was emitting a deadly radiant far worst than the gamma rays of that exploded reactor 4; we were producers of the element most hated by God in the Universe, which is called sin. The presence of sin within each of us made us completely uninhabitable to God. He could never live within us because He is holy and we are sinful.
Regeneration is when God comes down to the site of the worst disaster in the Universe—us sinners, and completely removes the deadly elements at the core of our being.
Biblically speaking we receive a new heart in regeneration. The first complete explanation of this process is in Ezekiel 36:26-27 when God says that He will give us who come to Him through Christ a “new heart”. The Scripture goes on to say that He takes away the bad heart we had and replaces it with a brand new one that He made that is just right for the Lord Himself to come and live within.
One of the greatest elements of our salvation is regeneration—when we entered God’s family, received a new heart, and became God’s habitation. We came alive, beginning to live the everlasting life—that forever separates us from the lost, who remain in forever death.
Regeneration is most important because it marks the dividing line between saved and lost, eternal life and eternal death, eternal sonship to God and eternal alienation from God.
That is the miracle of regeneration.
OUR REGENERATION IS MIRACULOUS
Regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3–8; Titus 3:5). Regeneration occurs when God sovereignly acknowledges a person’s belief of the gospel.
Regeneration is the most dramatic change in a new believer; when we are “born again” we enter the family of God. (Re- means “again,” and generation means “birth.”)
Some argue that since a man dead in trespasses and sins cannot believe, God must first regenerate him in order that he may then believe. But, if that were true, that is, if he already had been regenerated and thus been given the gift of eternal life, then why would he need to believe? The two must be simultaneous.
All we have to do is unwrap and experience all that He has given to us.
This sermon will be concluded tomorrow August 7th.
 John Phillips, Exploring Philippians, p. 152-153.
 John F. MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible, (
 Ryrie, Charles C., A Survey of Bible Doctrine, (
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