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May 20, 2020 10:00 pm
Dr. Alan Benson continues a doctrinal series entitled “Breath of Life” This series is about the Holy Spirit. Today’s scripture passage is Ephesians 2.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent little preaching from the University chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series entitled breath of life which the study on the Holy Spirit.
Today's message will be brought by Dr. Alan Benson, VP for student development at discipleship during arrival. If you would do. Ephesians chapter 2. This is where will get to eventually Ephesians chapter 2 where in our doctoral series on the breath of life, thinking about the breath of God today going to be preaching on regeneration. We affirmed a statement already today and I want you to think about it for a minute so I intentionally put it in the title of the new birth through the regeneration by the Holy Spirit. What exactly does that mean think with me for just a moment about the breath of God, God speaks doesn't seem like that's a big deal to us right, it doesn't seem like it's it's that shocking thing. There are couple of things I could leave you with today they they would be this one.
I want to leave you in further amazement of who your God is.
Secondly, I want you to understand and rejoice in the goodness of God in working in your life to God speaking alone is amazing. The self revelation of God is amazing. If God does not self reveal we could never know him to think a little bit for a moment you know it well. Genesis 1 in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the water. Dr. Ormiston dealt with that some last week. Verse three and God said, let there be light, says it this way. Psalm 33 by the word of the Lord were the heavens made and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth God breathed and out of nothing came all that is, God spoke and made everything the breath of God when to God breathed again. Second Timothy three and 16 says this all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, Dr. Ormiston touched on that too. It is a God breathed product you know it well then. Hebrews 4 adds this form to verse 12 for the word of God is quick or it is living God breathed and his word became a living book. There are times that we I think as we discussed, something like regeneration that we kinda conflate in our minds. Ideas like agency and means we wrestle with something like regeneration one understanding what is will do a little of that. But then we really wrestle with. How does it work and because of the fact that we are created and then impacted by the fact that we are fallen we tend to be egocentric, we see everything from our perspective. So what did I do to bring about regeneration like I have to find out later, something that on my side so we we wrestle right and so is this idea of agency that God we talked about regenerate us by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit regenerates us that is true but is that all there is, does he use something. What are the means because we don't deal with some of that we can tend to think well it's just me and I one day I was walking down the street and amend his vacuum and wham bam there was.
I was regenerated. So imagine I take my daughter drop her off at school most mornings we get instructions about what's happening after school. My wife's is there a by the way dad is going to pick you and bring you home after school. For minute what you think is going on in my daughter's mind.
Think about this right. If after school I ran down to the Academy waited at the curb. My daughter came out. I scooped her up and started running for Paris Mountain.
Do you think that she would think that was a lot my wife said to her dad will pick you up after school and bring you home. I guarantee you there's not in my 10th graders mind any thought that I would be picking her up physically off the ground, carrying her up to the person she had expect the cars to pull up to look the door and shall get in. So yes I am the agency of picking her up, but the means is my car.
I think we have to keep some of that straight in our minds so as we talk about regeneration. I want to look for just a minute at some understandings okay so what is regeneration because I think there are some things there that we need to make sure we have straight south consider with me if you would some stated definitions and just quickly some things and some theologians have said. I look at a bunch of them. But there's a common theme, and so a strong said this regeneration is that act of God by which the governing disposition of the soul, my heart is made holy, and by which the truth as a means the first holy exercise of this disposition is secured and so the truth impacts me in such a way that that's part of what is happening in me and regeneration. When Grimm added this regeneration is a secret act of God. And so it's something God is doing in which he imparts new spiritual life to us. Schaefer said in this way, regeneration is the partaking of the divine nature by the impartation of the very life of God, the receiving of the divine nature means that the individual DOS blast has been born of God finally broke off add regeneration consists in the implanting of the principle of the new spiritual life, and man in a radical change of the governing disposition of the soul.
It changes me which under the influence of the Holy Spirit gives birth to a life that moves in a God word direction in principle. This change affects the whole man, the intellect, the will and the feelings or emotion like take all of these definitions I put them together. There's there's something that I I I think we need to grasp and that is this regeneration is the giving of new life. So, just quickly what that means is this. It's not that, somehow there's already a divine spark in you.
There's something already there and somehow God blows on and brings it into a flame or God fans something in you and so I can.
I want you to think that it is the imparting of divine life and the one he was regenerated, it is new life is really important for us to keep in mind so then let's talk about some scriptural description some scriptural descriptions.
The actual word regeneration is only found twice in the New Testament. One of them describes a culture if you will.
Matthew 1928 when Jesus was talking to his disciples. He said they, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory shall also sit upon 12 thrones, I believe there are theological implications of what regeneration means that can next to that, but is not talking about in the sense that we are actually talking about the other is found in Titus chapter 3, Paul is writing and he describes men this way. Titus three in verse three. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers loss and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another, but after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our sin. Speaking of that, that the idea of new life, the imparting of new life. This passages dealing with salvation. It's so teary logical nature. It's the only place that I find it regeneration specifically is used, the talk of that lot regeneration is found throughout the whole of the New Testament, but for us to understand that God often gives us word pictures and so it's found in a lot of what we would call metaphor descriptive pictures that help us to understand you know many of them.
One of them is a birthing metaphor, so we use the language it's New Testament language of being born again being born again. John 113. Which were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God first on 3/9. Whoever is born of God does not commit sin, for his seed remains in him and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. First Peter 13 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. John 33 Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. James and in this way. James 118 of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. God does an amazing miraculous initial first were that he imparts divine life and people we can understand as a birthing metaphor being born coming to life. Second, metaphors of creation metaphor before there was not segregates 517 therefore the man be in Christ he is a new creature. Ephesians 210 for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus. On the good works. Ephesians 424 and that you put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Why should I stand in awe of God and why should I rejoice in the goodness of God's because God doesn't work that he doesn't do what we are hopeful. It is not something I can fan the flame.
It's not a means of me working my way up. It's not something I could just know enough good works.
If I could just be religious enough than I could. It doesn't start God does a miraculous work that he wants us somehow to understand and stand in awe of him. And if the picture is somehow birth and that helps me get that's what God wants me to get image creation that there was nothing in God breathed and he brought every thinks that he describes this working that he does in our life is a creation there is something now new. Also, resurrection, metaphor talks about a new heart, new spirit, putting his spirit within people. John 525 verily, verily, I send you the hours coming in now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the son of God and they and they that hear shall live. So Ephesians 2 builds off of that metaphor about being dead coming to life. So we would understand regeneration so quickly that I want us to consider the details of regeneration.
The details of regeneration for us. I you're like me, you start to think about and you want the mechanics. How does God do that, you know I think about where we started with creation. Don't you want to know the mechanics of how God could think he spoke he prayed that all came and I want to know the mechanics like you begin the even format you put the piece. God doesn't tell us any of that in your mind like minor things that frustrate me about because I want to know what you know when I get there and I don't know I by faith say God did it is also an is a good diversity are they thinking men the next 10 minutes Mr. Benson to give us the mechanics of regeneration. I'm sorry to disappoint, but there are some details of regeneration that ought to make a stand. So first of all I want you see the condition of man man's condition prior to regeneration. Romans 87 says because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be enmity against God. We on the time I will take the time to go back and in light of this, some point read in detail. Romans chapter 1 and listen to the things that are said about where man is or God acts. Paul writing describing men in general says they were fain emptied in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts was darkened. He says they became fools. God gave them up to uncleanness. He describes men as those who have changed the truth into a life that God gave them up on the vile affections that God gave them over to a reprobate mind. He describes in this way, being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness full of envy, murder, debate, see malignity whispers, backbiters, haters of God to spiteful, proud, posters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, he says they are without understanding and all the descriptions that the Scriptures give us of where we start in the equation of regeneration the Scriptures make it abundantly clear. There isn't a way from there to life on our own most sobering statements as I was studying for this message that I read again was the description of man and that the Scriptures described him as being with out hope that's tough.
And with out God in the world what a state what's man's condition before God regenerates them without God, without understanding no one vain imaginations where it enmity with God describing the world. In the days of Noah. You know it well. God saw Genesis 65 the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. So we come to Ephesians chapter 2 we capture where man was listen to what Paul writes and you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein in time past you walked according to the course the world according to the prince of the power hear the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, among whom also we all had our conversation, our lifestyle the way we lived in times past and the last of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature are very nature of the natural thing for us.
The children of wrath, even as others but God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ and people you're sitting here today and you are saved and somehow in your experience, you do what we all do right is just to I am an is just the way I live that this is the way I think and these are the things I do and somehow somehow even in our salvation familiarity tends to bring contempt is just kind the way I live fairly young persons. If you want a sensitivity to what God is doing in your life.
If you have an understanding of truth that looks like Joyce is making stop today and realize you only do that because God in his mercy made you don't take your relationship with God for granted.
He regenerated you were dead so contemplate the compassionate work of God in regeneration and understand some things one God is the author John 113 which are born, not of blood nor of the will of flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. God made you will.
The Holy Spirit is the agency reminder that in John three were Christ talking with Nicodemus describes it work of being born again is is that which is more. The flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.
He talks about the work of the spirit so is everyone that is born of the spirit. God regenerates us by the breath of God the breath of life, the spirit of God than understand that the word is the apparatus God is the author of the spirit is the agency and the word is the apparatus think for a minute about Lidia and Philippi act 16, says in a certain woman named Lydia seller of purple of the city of fire attire which worship God heard us whose heart the Lord open that she attended unto the things which were spoken of yours, actual apparatus, the word of God. First Peter 122 says the senior purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit on the unfeigned love of the bed brother and see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abided forever. John 15 three now you're clean through the word which I have spoken unto you and James one reminds us that God is the apparatus of the word I find in every passage of the arena broader context that deals with this idea of being born or being resurrected.
The imagery of regeneration that God always has present there. The blood of Christ. Those are the apparatus as I close, I want to bring this to a point of application by talking about what we know to be the evidences of regeneration. We struggled only what did I God did that. How I know I'm born again I really born again. Number one is active belief that Jesus is the Christ active belief that Jesus is the Christ. First John 51, whosoever believe it that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and every one that loveth him that begat love with him also is begotten of God, the words that are used there to believe is active. It is a present, active, vindictive, it's an abiding state of belief its active belief, born of, there is a perfect passive means has been born to the active belief is the evidence of the fact that I have been born or I am regenerated is active continuing believe that Jesus is the Christ the Redeemer, the Messiah is evidence that you have been region. The second is active righteousness. First John 229 if you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone that US righteousness is born of him the same thing is true, the doing of the righteous is there's a proactive present active participle is the one that is doing righteousness. It's an abiding state of doing righteousness is born again, a perfect passive has been born.
It is evident so question is that mean I ever doubted I ever doubt I'm not say no that's not what it's saying, it is active. I'm persisting in believing does it mean that I ever said and I'm not sick no it is not that I I've I've sinned. It is that I'm staying active in doing righteousness. There's a pattern.
But then there's 1/3 thing and that is aggressive resistance to sending first John 518, we know that whosoever is born of God's sin, if not but he that is begotten of God, keep with himself, and that wicked one touches him not. First on 39 whosoever is born of God, did not commit sin, proceed remain within him and he cannot sin, because he is born of God in the same usage of the language is there. So I'm actively resisting sin. What should I do that three things and I'm done. One honor the word of God. I'm a believer I'm born again God uses the agency of the word of God to bring me to that honor. The word of God. Maybe you're here today and the word is been preaching right now you are feeling conviction not sure I'm saved. Listen to God. Secondly evidence who you are.
Evidence who you are. How do I do that I pursue righteousness actively. I actively build my faith. I know that I'm born again if I actively believe that Jesus is the Christ. So what am I gonna do with that actively pursue price because evidence is who I am in Christ today as we leave Chapel. I hope that you will stop from it and say God you did something I could never do think younger child. Secondly, that your Joyce in the goodness of God and that that will drive you to pursue him by living like him in righteousness and knowing him better so you can believe better father, thank you for the gift of eternal life. By the grace of God through the regeneration by the Holy Spirit, is there someone here who doesn't know you. Oh God I pray today, would you say in Jesus name you been listening to a sermon preached by Dr. Ellen Benson, VP for student development and discipleship at Bob Jones University. Today we have Dr. Eric Newton from the Bob Jones University seminary with us. Eric Dr. Benson touched on God's goodness in today's message and I know you want to share a little more about that for listeners. Yes David the one of the verses that comes to mind is first Peter 123 where it says that being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abided forever. This verse tells us that the breath of life in us regeneration which Dr. Benson preached on comes through the breath of the word of God and into living in abiding word in her life is frail for us and and there's a lot of pressure, maybe particularly right now were feeling a lot of pressure and frailty, but the great contrasts in these verses at the end of first Peter one is that the word of the Lord remains forever and so therefore even though we're frail and pressured and and sinful wheat we can have every confidence in life above because the seed by which we came to life doesn't pass away that the grass that were hopefully growing right now in our backyards that's going to die but but what we have through regeneration is imperishable, it's eternal because it's from an eternal word of God and so that's what the Holy Spirit has breathed out. He exhales these enduring words.
These eternal words and through those words. He breathes life into sinners like us. So it's no wonder that Jesus said in the Gospels actually quoting Deuteronomy that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
That's our life that that's the goodness of God and giving us this kind of eternal life in Christ that will not fade or rust or be corrupted or ever perish. Thanks Eric for sharing those thoughts and we hope these messages will be an encouragement as we explore the power of the Holy Spirit in this series called breath of life.
Join us again tomorrow here on The Daily Platform