Jeremiah–Introduction

In order to properly understand Jeremiah you need to be familiar with the history in which he prophesied. Israel as a nation began at Mount Sinai with the giving of the law. This is when God made the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob into “His” people as a nation. Their history then moved into the conquest and settlement period under Joshua. After they failed to completely conquer the land the twelve tribes entered into a period known as Judges. During this period Israel continually rebelled against God bringing judgment in the form of outside powers subjugating the tribes. The tribes would then repent and ask God to intervene which he did by raising up judges to free then from their bondage. The next phase of their history involved the United kingdom under three kings, Saul, David, and Solomon. Solomon’s son Rehoboam brought about the rebellion of the 10 northern tribes who chose Jereboam as their king and split the monarch into “Judah” and “Israel”.

The 10 northern tribes “Israel” never were faithful to God and never had a revival as a result. They were conquered by the Assyrian’s in 721B.C. and were absorbed into the Assyrian Empire. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin “Judah” did repent several times and as a result held out against conquest until 605 B.C. when they became a vassal nation under Babylonian rule. Judah rebelled again in 598 B. C. and again in 587 B.C. when Nebuchadnezzar breached the walls of Jerusalem and destroyed the city and the temple.

Jeremiah prophesied during these final years of the nation of Judah. The major powers during this period were Assyria, Egypt, and Babylon. Judah was located right in the middle of these three empires.

Jeremiah was born during the reign of the evil king Manasseh who’s father brought reform to Judah, but his son destroyed all the reforms even to the point of placing other God’s in the temple itself. Manasseh was followed by king Josiah who took the throne when he was eight years old. During Josiah’s reign reform again happened when the book of the law was discovered in the temple during it’s cleansing and Josiah made every effort to follow the law of God. This was the only time in the history of the nation that the law was followed so closely and as a result the nation prospered under his 31 year reign. Jeremiah began his prophecy during the reign of this good king in the year 627 B.C.. Josiah died in battle when he challenged Pharaoh Neco II of Egypt when he came north to conquer the Assyrian’s whose empire what in decline. God told Josiah not to go into battle but unfortunately he disobeyed and as a result lost his life. He was followed on the throne by Jehoahaz who only lasted 3 months before Pharaoh Neco II replaced him with a more favorable king Jehoiakim who pledged allegiance to Neco. It was during the reign of Jehoiakim that much of the book of Jeremiah was written.

After the defeat of Egypt by Babylon in 605 at the battle of Carchemish Jehoiakim switched his allegiance to Nebuchadnezzar and remained on the throne until he once again rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. He died prior to the defeat and was replaced by Jehoiachin who ruled for only 3 month before the fall of Jerusalem at which time he was taken to Babylon as prisoner. Nebuchadnezzar put Zedekiah (Mattaniah) on the throne in his place.

Zedekiah joined Pharaoh Hophra in a revolt and this lead to the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of most of the Jews in 587 B.C.. Nebuchadnezzar then dissolved the nation and created a Babylonian province placing Gedaliah as Governor. Jeremiah was one of those not deported and after Gedaliah was assasinated  he was forced to go to Egypt where he died.

The period of time covered by Jeremiah is filled with intrigue and destruction. He is called the “weeping” prophet because of the message of doom he gave. Not only does the book contain the doom of Judah, but it also tells us of a future time when the nation will return and be blessed. The book is not in chronological order so it is at times difficult to determine what the exact time frame is, but it is also a book written for our times. Today’s world is much like the world Jeremiah lived in and can be very helpful in our understanding of the world today.

Maranatha

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2 Timothy 4:9-22

2 Timothy 4:9-22 (NIV2011) 9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments. 14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 19 Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21 Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers and sisters. 22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all.

These are probably the final words recorded that Paul conveyed to the churches. He knew his time was short and he wanted Timothy there as soon as possible. Paul’s disciples have left either because they feared persecution (Demas) or they were on other missionary works (Crescens and Titus). Nero was emperor and although the violent persecution he began had slowed the fear was still there. The mention of Luke still remaining with Paul in light of the times is a tribute to his faithfulness.

Paul also asks Timothy to bring Mark. Paul has had a change of attitude about Mark since Barnabas took him under his wing after leaving the mission field on Paul and Barnabas first journey. This is a testament to Barnabas and his nurturing abilities. Paul now finds Mark useful to him.

Acts 15:36-39 (NIV2011) 36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,

Paul sending Tychicus to Ephesus could mean that Timothy was to use him as his replacement in his absence. Timothy was an elder in the Ephesian church. Paul need his cloak probably for warmth as the winter approached and required it in his cell. We do not know what scrolls Paul is referring to or what the parchments were, but they could very well be scripture. IE Old Testament scrolls.

Alexander is a common name and we cannot be certain who this person is, but two Alexander”s are mentioned in relationship to Paul. One in Acts 19 who was part of the crowd in Ephesus and a tradesman. The other is mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:20. He was evidently part of the church and blasphemed or was a false prophet who Paul had to discipline. Either way Paul warns Timothy to watch his back. No further information is available and anything else is just conjecture about who this person is and why Paul warns Timothy about him here.

Paul then gives us a glimpse into what he is facing. No person was there to defend him at his pre-trial hearing, but even with that Paul remains a true servant of God and rests in His ability to defend him. Paul knew that he was going to die, but he also understood that it was another way to present the Gospel to those who are persecuting him. He understood that for us as Christians the end is really the beginning. We have a heavenly kingdom that awaits us and death is only the means of attaining that end. For us there is no fear of death but only hope in future glory which God will bring us safely into. This should bring us to the same praise as Paul “To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Paul’s sends final greetings to various individuals as well as encouraging Timothy to arrive before winter. This may indicate that Paul expected to die before the next summer or that he did not want Timothy to take the chance of sailing during the winter because of severe weather.

Maranatha

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2 Timothy 4:1-8

2 Timothy 4:1-8 (NIV2011)
1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:
2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near.
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

In 2 Timothy 3 Paul instructed Timothy to be perseverant in remaining true to his calling. He warned him about what is coming and the spread of wickedness within the church. Timothy was to use Paul as an example of how to live the Christian life and thus be an example to others so that they can imitate him.

Paul now turns from what Timothy was to do in his personal life to what he was to do for others. His charge to Timothy is based upon his knowledge of scripture and what needs to be done with that knowledge so others may benefit. It is a most solemn charge and one that is to be taken with all seriousness because it involves the Sovereign God of creation and His purpose for history. The fact that God through Christ will judge the world and every man, woman and child in the world highlights the importance of Timothy’s calling. There are but two outcomes for mankind in the judgments, eternal life or eternal damnation. Everyone will be judged by Christ, both the living (those alive when he returns), and the dead (those who have died prior to his return).

Acts 10:42 (NIV2011)
42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.

Romans 14:9 (NIV2011)
9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

Paul then begins his charge to Timothy by issuing five imperatives. First he is to “preach the word.” Paul has already instructed Timothy to study scripture so that he may discern apostasy from truth, now Timothy is charged to preach that truth to others. This teaching includes the preaching of sound doctrine instead of what they want to hear (vs. 3). In other words Timothy is not there to please people, but to be faithful to scripture regardless of the reaction of the hearers. Something that is lacking in today’s preachers. We are not to use the pulpit for our own gains either. We above all are to be faithful to the truth contained in all portions of God’s word.

Paul’s next imperative is to “be prepared”. He is not to worry about whether the message seems popular at the time of not. He is to be prepared to preach what is appropriate by God’s standards when God wants it preached. In season or out of season by human reasoning. He is to preach it even when his audience may not be receptive .

The last three imperatives are to “correct, rebuke and encourage”. This is to be done with all patience and careful instruction because the time will come when people will no longer be willing to hear what is right.

The time will come, and was probably already present in Ephesus, when they will not want to hear sound teaching. Apostasy enters into the church by way of those within who do not wish to have a solid foundation in the truth, but desire to hear only what is flattering to their idea of truth. Such is Hymenaeus and Philetus in 2:18. Not only do they not want to hear the truth, but they actually recruit those who do not challenge their beliefs but preach what is pleasing to their concept of truth.

Paul challenges Timothy with four more imperatives so that he can stand before the teachings of the apostates. First he is to “keep his head in all situations”. He is to be self controlled when he suffers abuse. He is to “endure hardship”. Because of the abuse he will suffer from those who reject his message the end result will be hardship as they turn against him. “Do the work of an evangelist”. In other words do not succumb to the temptation to please the congregation, but rather preach the message of salvation to all so that they can turn to the truth. Finally Timothy is to “discharge all the duties of your ministry”. Timothy was the elder of the church of Ephesus. He was not to run or ignore his responsibilities given to him by God. He was to be faithful to God no matter what the consequences. He was to use his mentor Paul as an example of how a Christian should behave.

Paul’s charge to Timothy was given because Paul was about to depart this life. He is passing on his ministry to Timothy so that his work may live after him. Timothy is to care for those whom Paul ministered to and continue to evangelize the gentiles in Paul’s absence.

Paul had no fear of death, but only a certainty of what was coming. He knew that he had been faithful to Christ in all aspects of his ministry. He was confident that he had run the race and would receive the crown that was do him. He would be given the crown of righteousness when he is finally judged, and looked forward to that day. That same crown is also promised to all those who look forward to the second coming of Christ. They are those who do not look at the hear and know, but live as if Christ is coming today. Indeed he may.

We should always examine what is being preached form our pulpits. Today you would be amazed at some of the “doctrine” that is being spewed from the pulpit. How much of it is truly biblically centered, and how much is just pleasing words that are intended to keep the peace within the church. When is the last time you have heard preachers talk about election, justification, sanctification or any of the other great doctrines of scripture. How often is the sermon designed to be inoffensive and doctrinally week. They are still giving milk instead of solid meat just like the Corinthian church.

1 Corinthians 3:1-2 (NIV2011)
1 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ.
2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.

The time is close to the return of Christ. The apostasy in today’s churches is rampant. Let us take up Paul’s charge to Timothy and stand up for what the truth is. Let us lift up the scripture and proclaim it’s truth no matter what the consequences.

Maranatha.

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2 Timothy 3:10-17

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (NIV2011)
10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Having shown what the character of the apostate teacher is, Paul then tells Timothy how to combat them. Paul cites three things that Timothy needs to maintain in his life to insure faithfulness to sound teaching. The three things are:

  • Follow the example of faithful people. (Verses 10-14)
  • Remember what you have learned and hold fast to those truths. (Verse 15)
  • Make the scripture part of your life and use it’s truth to dictate your beliefs. (Verses 16-17)

Timothy was very familiar with Paul so he is reminded of the type of life that every Christian should expect if they are living in harmony with God. It is a life filled with all kinds of joy as well as suffering. Anyone who desires to follow God will suffer persecution. The world is no friend to the godly and will try to silence them. Persecution is a mark of a true believer and godly man, a sign of the truth they hold. The apostate does not suffer persecution, but rather receives rewards and blessings from the world. It is by their fruit that you will know if they speak the truth or a lie.

The true child of God starts with the truth of the Gospel. Every Christian is brought to faith by the Scripture. 

1 Peter 1:23 (NIV2011)
23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

It is the acceptance of the truth in the Scripture that every believer starts with. We are to continue in that word of truth. Timothy had a mother and grandmother who raised him in the truth of scripture. Timothy had a foundation from his youth that he could rely on. Not everyone has faithful parents, but they should have those who led them to the truth and can disciple them to maturity. Paul tells Timothy to hold fast to those basic truths through which he came to faith in Christ. Surround yourselves with those who are trustworthy and can impart further revelation. In Timothy’s case that is Paul. There are many Godly men in the world today that we can trust with the truth and who will not willingly deceive us.

The final way that we can avoid apostate teaching is to understand the scripture and continue in it,  and only in it. The Bible is profitable for every decision we make, and every belief we hold. If anything is contrary to what it teaches then it is apostasy. If you do not know what the Scripture say’s then you will not be able to recognize the lie. There are many lie’s and perversions of scripture out there, and the only defense we have in recognizing them is to know the Scripture so well that a lie becomes instantly recognizable for what it is. We measure every belief, thought, and action against the only truth available to anyone.

Maranatha

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2 Timothy 3:6-9

2 Timothy 3:6-9 (NIV2011)
6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

Paul continues to give us a picture of what the last day apostates will be like. The way they lead people astray is reminiscent of Genesis 3 and the serpent who deceived Eve. What they do is befriend a family and once they are allowed to preach their vile within the home the women become the most susceptible to their message.

The motive for the apostate is to bring as many as he can into his camp to support his desires. Those desires can run from monetary gain to sexual perversity. Power and control become the driving force behind the message.

We see some of the apostates that Paul has alluded to in today’s society. David Koresh and the Branch Davidian’s in Waco Texas reflect some of what Paul alludes to here. The women were the greatest disciple’s even giving some of the underage daughter ‘s in spiritual marriage to Koresh. Spiritual marriages were accepted by the cultists as proper and scriptural.

Jim Jones and the “Peoples Temple” which lead to the Jonestown Massacre is another example of what a charismatic leader can accomplish through indoctrination and intimidation.  Rev. Jones claimed that he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and had divine powers. He forced his congregation to drink poisoned Kool Aid after he killed a congressman and several of his team who were investigating him.

These may be extreme examples of today’s cults, but their methods are the same and they prey upon those who have a minimal knowledge of scripture and who seem to be trapped in a life that offers nothing but heartache. These are the gullible women who are looking for escape from their lives, hoping for something better. They are constantly looking for the truth, but are never able to find it. The knowledge they seek is found only in a deeper understanding of biblical truth and not the surface knowledge that is so prevalent today. They become the victims of the many apostates who prey on them.

Paul gives us two examples of how these apostates operate. Jannes and Jambres are traditional names of the Egyptian priests who opposed Moses. They were either in Pharaohs court when Moses asked for the release of God’s people and mimicked some of the miracles Moses performed, or they were Egyptian priests who went with Moses after the Jews were permitted to leave. They could have been instrumental in leading the rebellion at Sinai when Aaron made the golden calf while Moses was on the mountain receiving the law of God.

The important fact about the two is that they opposed God. They are not true prophets but are in opposition to the truth. They masquerade as prophets of the truth but only bring destruction to those who are gullible enough to believe their lie.

Their lie will be found out and will become evident to everyone. Just as Jannes and Jambres were unable to mimic all the plagues that Moses brought upon Egypt so also will the deeds of the end time apostates be revealed for the lies that they are. These apostates are those spoken of by Paul in 2 Corinthians.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NIV2011)
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

It is only through the knowledge of the truth that the church can protect itself. That truth cannot be watered down as is the case today. It is only through understanding the truths of the scripture that we can understand the deceitfulness of the false prophets and apostates who have a message of that seems correct, but leads to eternal damnation.

Proverbs 14:12 (NIV2011)
12 There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV2011)
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Which gate and path are you on? What truth do you believe? Are your truths consistent with the clear teaching of Scripture? Do you understand the truths of Scripture? These are important questions to ponder.

Maranatha

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Doctrine Part 60, Salvation Chapter 5

Acts 16:30–31 (ESV) — 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Faith is the last point that is involved in salvation. Faith is the most critical part of our relationship with God because without faith it is impossible to please God.

Hebrews 11:6 (ESV) — 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Faith has been denigrated to the point that it is considered as just wishful thinking. When faith is portrayed today in the media it is nothing more than hoping beyond hope that God will intervene. It is often portrayed as grasping onto a falsehood in the hope that the impossible may occur, but seldom does. That which the world views as Christian faith is very much non scriptural. The above verse demonstrates that faith is simply believing God.

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) — 1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

According to the above verse, faith is the assurance of things hoped for. What exactly does this mean. Is it possible that faith is something more than the world view? Is it possible to actually have assurance that what you have faith in is the absolute truth? How is this possible?

We find then that the first thing we need to do is believe that God exists (Hebrews 11:6). There needs to be an object for faith or some one to believe in. That someone is God. The obvious question then is what God do we believe in? How do you know which religion has the correct God to put your faith in? Fortunately God has not left humanity guessing but has provided everything needed to make the correct choice.

Romans 1:20 (ESV) — 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Hebrews 11:3 (ESV) — 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

Creation then is the first evidence we have that God exists. The evidence that God is the Creator is sufficient in and of itself to make man guilty of rejecting God. If you cannot believe that He exists then you cannot please him, and thus you cannot share in His salvation. The first thing we can do to understand who God is would be to open our eyes to what is all around us and recognize that it is because of the one who created that all this exists.

Romans 10:17 (ESV) — 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

The visible world is not the only thing that God has given us as a testimony to who He is. He has also given us a complete record of His intentions in History. That of course is the Bible. The Bible is a written record that God has provided which gives us every detail of what will happen throughout history. It shows us the beginning and the end of history, and everything in between. From “ In the beginning God created the heaven and earth,” to “ and there was a new heaven and new earth.” or from Genesis to Revelation. So faith is nothing more than believing God and His revelations not only in the physical universe, but also His written word.

Ephesians 2:8 (ESV) — 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

Faith then, is the vehicle by which we can be saved. When Paul told the Philippian jailer that in order for him to be saved he needed to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, he was saying to have faith in Christ and you will be saved. The last element of salvation then, is to believe in that which is revealed about Jesus Christ. This is what is revealed concerning Christ. That He is God and that He took on human form so that He could die on the cross to pay for mans rebellion against God. Having paid the penalty for mans rebellion, death, He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven where He is currently seated at the right hand of God. It is in this position that God can then offer mankind redemption through the blood of His Son so that anyone who believes who He is and what He has done may have eternal life.

The question to you is what do you believe? Do you believe that God is the creator? Do you believe Christ is God’s gift to mankind so that we can have eternal fellowship with Him. Do you believe that Christ died and was buried. Do you believe He rose from the dead and is alive today and seated at the right hand of God? Do you accept the Bible as God’s word? Believing all these things means that you understand that God exists and will reward you for the faith that you have placed in Him.

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Doctrine Part 59, Salvation Chapter 4

Titus 3:5 (ESV) — 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

The application of salvation requires four ministries. We discussed two of them in the previous posts. They are conviction and calling. Regeneration is what we will deal with in this post. Next post will deal with the fourth ministry, faith.
T

he word for regeneration is only used in two places in scripture. The above verse and Matthew 19:28. The word itself means to be born again. In Matthew it is specifically talking about the creation being reborn before the Millennial Kingdom is established, which leaves only Titus 3:5 as the only place in scripture that it is used for mans salvation. Some of the newer translations actually render Titus 3:5 as rebirth instead of Regeneration.

Titus 3:5(TNIV) 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

The concept of the rebirth which results in salvation is dominant throughout scripture. Christ first introduced the concept when He talked to Nicodemus.

John 3:3 (ESV) — 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

To become a child of God you must be removed from the family of Adam and placed into the family of God. It is Christ, the second Adam, who then becomes our ancestor. Anyone born of two human parents inherit all the traits of humanity that the first Adam passed on. Thus we can say that every human being is in Adam. They possess the self same nature as any other descendant of Adam. Because the first Adam had a sin nature, that passed to all humanity as Romans 3:23 states “ all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Christ did not have a human father and therefore did not have a sin nature when born. He lived a sinless life and thus qualified to be a substitute for receiving the wages of mans sin, which is death. He willingly suffered that death on the cross, shedding His blood so that mankind would be free from the penalty of sin. Regeneration is the process that God uses to take us out of the line of the first Adam, and place us in the lineage of Christ. This is an actual rebirth. You are place “in Christ”. You are given a new nature that is able not to sin.
The means of regeneration involve several things. First it is God who regenerates.

John 1:13 (ESV) — 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

It is done according to His will.

James 1:18 (ESV) — 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

It is done through the Holy Spirit.

John 3:5 (ESV) — 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

It is done the moment a person believes.

John 1:12 (ESV) — 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

It is done by belief in the revealed will of God.

1 Peter 1:23 (ESV) — 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

J. Dwight Pentecost states this about regeneration in his book Things Which Become Sound Doctrine, Kregil Publications, Grand Rapids, 1965.

“God is the Author; the Spirit is the agent; the Word of God is the means. The power of God was brought into operation to accomplish the new birth…. The new birth, then has as its basis the blood of Christ. Faith is the instrument by which the new birth is wrought. The new birth is the manifestation of the power of God. The means by which we are born again is the Word of God. The Holy spirit is the agent which accomplishes the miracle. And the whole birth process is because God the Father desires to bring many sons into glory.”

Faith is the overriding principle in salvation. Nothing happens without it. We will look at that in the next post.

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Doctrine Part 59, Salvation Chapter 4

Titus 3:5 (ESV) — 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

The application of salvation requires four ministries. We discussed two of them in the previous posts. They are conviction and calling. Regeneration is what we will deal with in this post. Next post will deal with the fourth ministry, faith.

The word for regeneration is only used in two places in scripture. The above verse and Matthew 19:28. The word itself means to be born again. In Matthew it is specifically talking about the creation being reborn before the Millennial Kingdom is established, which leaves only Titus 3:5 as the only place in scripture that it is used for mans salvation. Some of the newer translations actually render Titus 3:5 as rebirth instead of Regeneration.

Titus 3:5(TNIV) 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

The concept of the rebirth which results in salvation is dominant throughout scripture. Christ first introduced the concept when He talked to Nicodemus.

John 3:3 (ESV) — 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

To become a child of God you must be removed from the family of Adam and placed into the family of God. It is Christ, the second Adam, who then becomes our ancestor. Anyone born of two human parents inherit all the traits of humanity that the first Adam passed on. Thus we can say that every human being is in Adam. They possess the self same nature as any other descendant of Adam. Because the first Adam had a sin nature, that passed to all humanity as Romans 3:23 states “ all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Christ did not have a human father and therefore did not have a sin nature when born. He lived a sinless life and thus qualified to be a substitute for receiving the wages of mans sin, which is death. He willingly suffered that death on the cross, shedding His blood so that mankind would be free from the penalty of sin. Regeneration is the process that God uses to take us out of the line of the first Adam, and place us in the lineage of Christ. This is an actual rebirth. You are place “in Christ”. You are given a new nature that is able not to sin.
The means of regeneration involve several things. First it is God who regenerates.

John 1:13 (ESV) — 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

It is done according to His will.

James 1:18 (ESV) — 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

It is done through the Holy Spirit.

John 3:5 (ESV) — 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

It is done the moment a person believes.

John 1:12 (ESV) — 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

It is done by belief in the revealed will of God.

1 Peter 1:23 (ESV) — 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

J. Dwight Pentecost states this about regeneration in his book Things Which Become Sound Doctrine, Kregil Publications, Grand Rapids, 1965.

“God is the Author; the Spirit is the agent; the Word of God is the means. The power of God was brought into operation to accomplish the new birth…. The new birth, then has as its basis the blood of Christ. Faith is the instrument by which the new birth is wrought. The new birth is the manifestation of the power of God. The means by which we are born again is the Word of God. The Holy spirit is the agent which accomplishes the miracle. And the whole birth process is because God the Father desires to bring many sons into glory.”

Faith is the overriding principle in salvation. Nothing happens without it. We will look at that in the next post.

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Doctrine Part 58, Salvation Chapter 3

Romans 8:28–30 (ESV) — 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

The call of God is what draws us to believe the truth that has been presented to us. In the previous post we saw that conviction is nothing more than the presentation of the truth. That truth is the Word of God as contained in the bible. This is the first step in salvation. Once the truth has been presented to us than we are under an obligation to either accept or reject that truth.There is a problem that God must remedy before this is possible.
Man is so depraved, or lost in sin, that left to his own devices he will never accept the truth. The only way that man will be able to accept the truth of scripture is if God illuminates him to that truth and calls him to accept that truth. In the above scripture Paul gives us the order in which salvation happens. It is not within the scope of this writing to deal with the foreknowledge or predestination of God so I will only briefly explain them. Our salvation is known as the New Birth. That New Birth is  what occurs to all those who through faith believe the truth contained in scripture.

Salvation has its roots in eternity. God is omniscient. He knows everything, God is also omnipotent and sovereign. Nothing happens apart from His divine will. Therefore God has known His people from eternity past. There has never been a time when He has not know us. He has known us because He has determined who will be saved. Those that will be saved God has predestined to be conformed to Christ’s image. That is the destiny of the saved.

In order for that to happen He must first call us to believe the truth through faith. It is that calling which then allows God to justify us by declaring that we are no longer sinners because we have been placed “in Christ”. When you are in Christ you share in everything which belongs to Christ, including His perfect sinless nature. He has paid the price for you by shedding His blood and taking on your penalty for sin which is death. You then respond to the call of God to believe that basic truth and you are the placed in Christ and justified.
God calls all men to salvation. Matthew 22:14 clearly supports this concept, as well as Luke 14:16-24 and John 7:37.

Matthew 22:14 (ESV) — 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Luke 14:16–24 (ESV) — 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’ ”

John 7:37 (ESV) — 37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

It is evident from the above verses that God calls all men to himself, but not everyone responds to the invitation. Man is ultimately responsible for his rejection of Christ. Theologians sometimes call this the “general call” to all mankind. There is another calling that is called the “effective call”. It is this call that only the elect respond to through faith, and that results in their salvation.

The Effective Call is God’s work:

1 Corinthians 1:2 (ESV) — 2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

The Effective Call is brought about by the Word of God:

Romans 10:17 (ESV) — 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

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Doctrine Part 57, Salvation Chapter 2

John 16:8–11 (ESV) — 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

In John 16 Christ is preparing his disciples for his departure. In the above verses Christ states that it is imperative that he goes away so that He could send the Holy Spirit. It will be the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to convict. He will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. What then is conviction?

Conviction is not “conversion”, yet it does help accomplish conversion. Conviction is truth laid out to us in a clear manner so that the evidence can either be accepted or rejected. The idea is that the evidence for the truth is set out in a very logical way so that the hearer understands what is required. It is then up to the hearer to accept or reject the claims.
Who then are the ones convicted? The world is convicted, but not necessarily the entire population. This means all those who are presented with the truth. Not everyone presented with the truth accepts the truth however. A large portion of humanity is presented with the truth, but not all will believe it.

What are they convicted of? Concerning sin first of all. Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned. That sin is what placed Christ on the Cross. We must see our need for Christ in order to understand salvation. The truth about our sin nature should point us to the truth about the atoning work of Christ on the Cross. This conviction then should lead us to the belief in who Christ is, and what He has done. Second the Holy Spirit convicts us of righteousness. That righteousness is the truth concerning the Gospel. The death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Christ is alive and sitting at the right hand of God the Father. His sacrifice was accepted by God and his righteousness is now available to all humanity. That righteousness is only available when you believe the truth of the Gospel. The third thing that the Spirit convicts us of is the judgment of sin. Satan is the ruler of this world and because of God’s acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice for sin, the world ruler ship was taken from Him and given to Christ. Not only is humanity reconciled to God, but the entire creation is set free from the rule of sin.

The order of the conviction is logical in that it demonstrates that man is sinful and needs the righteousness which is provided in the Gospel. If he rejects that righteousness then he will face certain condemnation.

How then do we become convicted?

John 6:44 (ESV) — 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

1 Peter 1:23 (ESV) — 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

Hebrews 4:12 (ESV) — 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

This brings to mind the phrase used in the TV show X-files. “The truth is out there”. This is a fitting saying for how we become convicted. It is the word of God that convicts us, whether that word comes from our own reading or a sermon on Sunday. It doesn’t matter if a friend tells us or we hear it on the radio. When you hear the word of God it demands an answer. That answer is either belief or rejection. Remember that Philippian jailer who asked what must he do to be saved?. The answer was given in the very next verse. 

Acts 16:30–31 (ESV) — 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

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