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A Reformed View Adapted Mostly From The Works Of Stephen Charnock, J.C. Ryle, And A.W.

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The Doctrine of Regeneration


2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

I. The NECESSITY of Regeneration:


John 3:5, Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God .' WHY IS IT NECESSARY? *Because man naturally is entirely UNABLE to love and serve God with a whole heart: *The essence of the great commandment, and all of God's commands, is to love the Lord with all of our hearts and souls. To submit to God and His Law is not in some outward formal keeping of His commandments--but in loving Him with all of our hearts, and keeping His commands from the bottom of the heart. This is simply impossible without regeneration; for man is naturally opposed to God and His Law:
Luther quote from preface of commentary on Romans: "But God judges according to what is at the bottom of the heart, and for this reason, His law makes its demands on the inmost heart and cannot be satisfied with works, but rather punishes works that are done otherwise than from the bottom of the heart, as hypocrisy and lies. Hence all men are called liars, in Psalm 116, for the reason that no one keeps or can keep God's law from the bottom of the heart, for everyone finds in himself displeasure in what is good and pleasure in what is bad. If, then, there is no willing pleasure in the good, then the inmost heart is not set on the law of God, then there is surely sin, and God's wrath is deserved, even though outwardly there seem to be many good works and an honorable lifeFor even though you keep the law outwardly, with works, from fear of punishment or love of reward, nevertheless, you do all this without willingness and pleasure, and without love for the law, but rather with unwillingness, under compulsion; and you would rather do otherwise, if the law were not there. The conclusion is that at the bottom of your heart you hate the law. To fulfill the law, however, is to do its works with pleasure and love, and to live a godly and good life of one's own accord, without the compulsion of the law.

Man is born in sin with an evil and wicked nature (Eph.2:3; Matt.7:11). We sin because it is our nature to sin, just as it is a lion's nature to eat meat, or a cow's nature to eat grass: Jeremiah 13:23, Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil . *He is not near-sighted but blind (2Cor.3:14). His heart is as hard as stone (Ez.11:19; Jer.23:29). He is a slave of sin and a slave of the devil (Jn.8:44). Man is a slave, enslaved to his own sinful nature: "Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the Son does remain forever. So only if the Son makes you free, will you be free indeed (Jn.8:34-36).
Because of the natural sinfulness of every man's disposition. We are not born into the world with spotless, innocent mindsbut corrupt and wicked, and with a will to do that which is evil as soon as we have the power. -J.C. Ryle

*Naturally, man is unable to love, adore, treasure, and follow the commands of the Lord; he is not described as spiritually sick, but in fact spiritually dead in his sins (Eph.2:1): Romans 8:8, those who are in the flesh cannot please God (see John 8). *Because man naturally is entirely UNWILLING to love and serve God with a whole heart: John 3:19, This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, for their deeds were evil. *Man is not only unable, but entirely unwilling to love and follow the Lord, for naturally all men love their sin instead of God. Natural man hates the Law of God in his heart (Rom.8:6-8), for he prefers darkness to the Light. Naturally self is the chief end of man; and men are not only slaves of their sin, but very much willing slaves. Every man would rather be the slave of sin than serve God as his King, and unless God supernaturally raises the dead and opens blind eyes, he will always be enslaved to his evil desires. *Man cannot stop sinning, nor can he even want to stop sinning (John 8; 2Pet.2:14, never cease from sin). He is thus in bondage to his own sinful desires, which rule him. Everything he does is infected with sinful desires, even though outwardly you may not see them (Gen.6:5).
"Man's understanding is so darkened that he can see nothing of God in God, nothing of holiness in holiness, nothing of good in good, nothing of evil in evil, nor anything of sinfulness in sin. Nay, it is so darkened that he fancies himself to see good in evil, and evil in good, happiness in sin, and misery in holiness." Berridge

*Men do what they want to, and thus have free agency; but free agency does not include being able to choose contrary to ones nature/desires. *All which has been done by God the Father, and all that has been done by God the Son must be ineffectual to us, unless the Spirit shall reveal these things to our souls, and breathe life into us. Only through the regeneration of the Spirit of God can a man be enabled to bear fruit for God, and serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter (Rom.7:4,6) Only when a man is born again will he serve and love God with all his heart. As Scripture says, Psalm 110:3, Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power FOR WHOM IS IT NECESSARY? *Every person on the planet: John 3:5, Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh ' No one is born with a new heart; no one is born in a state of peace with God. Children of Christian parents are not born with new hearts--this was Jesus' whole point to Nicodemus! Every single person is born with a heart that naturally loves the darkness rather than the Light (Jn.3:19; see also Paul's discussion in Romans 1-3 of the pagan, the moral man, and the Jew).
each one of us must, between the cradle and gravego through a spiritual change, a change of heartor in other words be born again. And in the text you have heard, the Lord Jesus declares positively, without regeneration no man shall see the kingdom of God. -J.C. Ryle

In short, beloved, the plain truth is, that by nature men are all dead in trespasses and sins, strangers to the covenant of promise, having no hope and without God in the world, prisoners in the hand of Satan, in a state of miserable condemnation, spiritually dark, blind, and dead; and, worst of all, they neither know nor feel it. The cold corpse in the grave does not feel the worms that crawl over it; the sleeping wretch who has drunk poison, does not know that he shall wake no more; and so also the unhappy man who is still unconverted cannot understand that he is in need of anything. But still, every natural man in the sight of God is dead while he lives; his body, soul, and mind are all turned aside from their proper use, which is to glorify God, and so he is looked upon as dead. And this either is the state of every single soul among us at this minuteor else it used to be. There is no middle state; we cannot be half-way, neither dead nor alive; we were dead and have been brought to lifeor we are now dead, and the work is yet to be done. Nor yet is this doctrine for publicans and harlots only: it is for all without exception; it touches high and low, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, old and young, gentle and simple; all are by nature sinful and corrupt, and because they are so, Jesus tells us solemnly not one shall enter into the heavenly rest without being born again. -J.C. Ryle

II. The NATURE of Regeneration:


WHAT IS IT? *Some ILLUSTRATIONS of regeneration in the Scriptures:

1. A New Heart:
Ezekiel 36:26, Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh .

2. A Circumcised Heart:
Deuteronomy 30:6, Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.

3. A New Birth:
John 3:3, Jesus answered and said, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.'

4. A New Creation:
2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 4:6, For God, who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness,' is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

5. Resurrection unto Life:


*The valley of dry bones coming to life through the preaching of Ezekiel, 37:1-14 *Jesus and Lazarus in John 11

*A COMPLETE AND RADICAL change in the inner man: *The old nature and its desires are completely removed, and a completely new nature with new desires after God's own heart are born, in the innermost heart of a man.
To be born again is, as it were, to enter upon a new existence, to have a new mind and a new heart, new views, new principles, new tastes, new affections, new likings and new dislikings, new fears, new joys, new sorrows, new love to things once hated, new hatred to things once loved, new thoughts of God and ourselves and the world and the life to come, and the means whereby that life is attained. -J.C. Ryle

Illustration: A cow that begins to love meat; a lion that begins to love grass! Illustration: Augustine to a former mistress after his conversion: When she called his name his reply was, It is Augustine, but it is not I
The glory of God is the end of the new creature, self the end of the old man. Before this new creation, a
man's end was to please self; now his end is to please God. -Charnock

*The man who is born again hates the sin he once loved, and he loves the God he once ignored and rebelled against. It is to truly hate sin as your worst enemy, when before you embraced it as a friend of sorts. The man who is born again is dead to the sin he once lived for, and now alive to the God he was once dead to. At it's core is new affections: he walks with God, follows Christ, reads the Scriptures, and resists his sin not merely because he ought to--but because there is nothing more in the world that he desires to do from the bottom of his heart. The cry of the Psalmist has become his own: How great is the difference between the flowing of a fountain and the dropping of a sponge; one is free, the
other squeezed! -Charnock

Psalm 119:5, Oh that my ways may be established to keep Your statutes! Psalm 119:10, With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Your commandments! Psalm 119:11, Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. Psalm 119:14, I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. Psalm 119:104, From your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. *An INSTANANEOUS change in the inner man: Ephesians 2:5, even when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] made us alive together with Christ *A MYSTERIOUS change in the inner man:
Exactly what happens in regeneration is mysterious to us. We know that somehow we who were spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1) have been made alive to God and in a very real sense we have been born again (John 3:3, 7; Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13). But we dont understand how this happens or what exactly God does to us to give us this new spiritual life. Jesus says, The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit (John 3:8). -Wayne Grudem, Regeneration.

*A LASTING change in the inner man: 1 Peter 1:23, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 1 John 5:4, For whatever is born of God overcomes the world

HOW DOES IT HAPPEN? *We cannot do this work in ourselves:


One thing is very clearwe cannot work this mighty change ourselves. It is not in us. We have no strength or power to do it. We may change our sinsbut we cannot change our hearts. We may take up a new waybut not a new nature. We may make considerable reforms and alterations. We may lay aside many outward bad habits, and begin to do many outward duties. But we cannot create a new principle within us. We cannot bring something out of nothing. The Ethiopian cannot change his skin, nor the leopard his spots. No more can we put life into our own souls. (Jerem. 13:23.) -J.C. Ryle

1. Clear again from the illustrations used in Scripture for regeneration:


a) Birth and New Birth, John 3:3, 5 "Nature cannot raise itself to this, any more than a man can give natural being to himself." -Leighton. b) Creation and New Creation, Genesis 1 and 2 Corinthians 5:17 (Gal.6:15)
The same Power which first created heaven and earth, and called the fair world around us into beingthe same Power alone can create in us new hearts, and renew in us right minds the same Power alone can convert the natural man into the spiritual. -J.C. Ryle

c) Death and Resurrection, Ezekiel 37; Romans 6; John 11; 1 John 3:14 2. Clear from Scripture itself: John 3:3: born from above Deuteronomy 30:6, the Lord your God will circumcise your heart... 1 Peter 1:3, Blessed be God...who...has caused us to be born again

James 1:18, In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
*The CAUSE of Regeneration: The will of God:
* The natural man is as helpless as Lazarus was when he lay still and cold and motionless in the tomb. We may remove the stone, as it were, and expose the sad work of deathbut we can do no more. There must be a power far mightier than any power of earth in exercise before the natural man can awake and arise and come forth as a new creature. -J.C. Ryle

John 1:13, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. Romans 9:16-17, So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy...So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

*A Word of Application:

The conversion of a sinner can never be that light, off-hand affair that some do seem to think about it. This great change which must come over us can never be a thing so entirely within our reach and grasp that we may put off the old Adam like a cloak, and put on the new man, just when and where we please. Ohbut it is a work that cannot possibly be done without the hand of God! Yes! you may dream of death-bed repentance, and say, By-and-by we will turn and become Christiansbut you know not what you are saying: the softening of the hard heart, and the entrance upon new ways, and the taking up of new principles, is no such easy matter as you seem to imagineit is work that can only be begun by divine powerand who shall say, that you may not put it off too long? -J.C. Ryle

*The SOURCE or ORIGIN of Regeneration:

1. Involves God the Father:


1 Peter 1:3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (see also James 1:18 above) *That God the Father regenerates men by the agency of the Holy Spirit is evident from: Titus 3:5, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit

2. Involves Christ the Son:


1 John 2:29, If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him (this is clearly Christ in its context)

3. Primarily the Work of The Holy Spirit:


John 3:6, that which is born of Spirit is spirit John 3:8, so is everyone who is born of the Spirit. John 6:63, It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing 2 Corinthians 3:6, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 1 Corinthians 2:10, For to us God revealed them through the Spirit Ezekiel 37:14, I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life (see vv9-14) *The MEANS of Regeneration: The word of truth is the only instrument of the new birth James 1:18, In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. 1 Peter 1:23, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 2 Corinthians 4:6, For God, who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness,' is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.'

Illustration: Creation and New Creation come into being through the Word of God

*How is it that God's Word brings about the new birth?


1. The light of the Word of God reveals to us our misery and wretched condition: Hebrews 4:12-13, For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Galatians 3:24, Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. (see also John 3:20-21, Luke 8:36-37, 1 Corinthians 14:25) 2. The light of the Word of God reveals to us the way of salvation: Romans 10:17, So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ . 3. The gospel does more than reveal: It is the very power of God unto salvation: Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek . Psalm 110:3, Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power *Illustration: The sons of Israel in Egypt. See Romans 9:17; Exodus 9:16; 11:9; Ps.77:15 *Applications for preaching the Word: 1. Preach the Word often! 2 Corinthians 9:6, Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully . 2. Preach the Word expectantly!! John 10:27, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (see also 10:16) Acts 18:9-10, And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, 'Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city. (see also especially Isaiah 55:10-13) 4. The PURPOSE of Regeneration: The glory of God: *Everything God does in the salvation of His people is for His glory (Ephesians 1:5-6, 12, 14). *God is glorified by showing His power: Psalm 106:8, Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; they did not remember Your abundant kindnesses, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name, that He might make His power known.(cf. Romans 9:17); and it is only the power of God that brings about regeneration (Psalm 110:3). James 1:18, In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we

would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures .


1 Peter 2:9, But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (in the context of being born again, 1Pet.1:23) *We see the same truth in the parallel passages of Genesis 1 and John 1; Creation and New Creation. It seems the purpose of creation is given in Genesis 1:28, after God had shone the Light of creation into the darkness and created man in His image, God blessed them; and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it..., that is, fill the earth with the glory of the Lord! Similarly, we read in John 1, There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. In other words, just as God in the beginning spoke creation into existence by the Word of His power, in order that those made in His image might fill the earth with His glory, so too the purpose of new creation, regeneration, is that as those who have been made new creatures in Christ, we might fill the earth with God's glory through the proclamation of the gospel, the testifying about the One who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous Light!! HOW DOES REGENERATION FIT IN WITH CONVERSION? *Regeneration, Faith, and Repentance: *It is vital for us to understand that regeneration must happen in us as a supernatural work of God before we can respond with faith and repentance. This is because it is only this regenerative work of God that gives us the spiritual ability to believe and turn from our sins: John 6:44, No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him (cf. Jn.6:65) Acts 16:14, and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul (of Lydia) *Regeneration is God's act of power, conversion is our response to it. We come to Christ freely because God makes us so through the new birth. *Regeneration and Conversion:
It differs from conversion. Regeneration is a spiritual change, conversion is a spiritual motion. In regeneration there is a power conferred; conversion is the exercise of this power. In regeneration there is given us a principle to turn; conversion is our actual turning; that is the principle whereby we are brought out of a state of nature into a state of grace; and conversion the actual fixing on God... In regeneration, man is wholly passive; in conversion, he is active: as a child in its first formation in the womb, contributes nothing to the first infusion of life; but after it has life, it is active, and its motions natural. The first reviving of us is wholly the act of God, without any concurrence of the creature; but after we are revived, we do actively and voluntarily live in his sight...Regeneration is the motion of God in the creature; conversion is the motion of the creature to God, by virtue of that first principle; from this principle all the acts of believing, repenting, mortifying, quickening, do spring. In all these a man is active; in the other merely passive; all these are the acts of the will, by the assisting grace of God, after the infusion of the first grace. Conversion is a giving ourselves to the Lord, 2 Cor. viii. 5; giving our own selves to the Lord is a voluntary act, but the power whereby we are enabled thus to give ourselves, is wholly and purely, in every part of it, from the Lord himself. -Charnock

*Regeneration and Justification:

*Always go together: to not have both is to not have either; to truly have one is to possess the other (see Ezekiel 36:24-27). We will not be saved from the punishment of our sin in the next life if we do not want to be delivered from it's power and reign in this life. *Justification is the imputation of a legal position; regeneration is the impartation of an inward condition. *We are not justified by our regeneration; we are justified by faith in Christ: we should realize that the explanation of the gospel message in Scripture does not take the form of a command, Be born again and you will be saved, but rather, Believe in Jesus Christ and you will be saved. -Grudem *Regeneration and Adoption: * Adoption gives us the privilege of sons, regeneration the nature of sons -Charnock *Regeneration and Sanctification: *Sanctification is the outcome and inseparable consequence of regeneration. The lack of visible sanctification shows a lack of inward regeneration *Sanctification is a reality that will always be seen; regeneration is inward principle that drives that outward reality *Sanctification is active: we play a part; in regeneration we are wholly passive agents (as at birth) *Sanctification happens by degrees; regeneration happens all at once *Sanctification is the lifelong process of renewal, regeneration is the beginning point when life begins in the soul: This [i.e., the new birth] is a part of sanctification, not the whole; it is the gate to it, the entrance into it. -Wesley *Regeneration and Glorification: *Paul's struggle in Romans 7: Regeneration does not mean perfection. Paul truly, sincerely, earnestly WANTS to please Christ and live for His glory to the upmost. He loves Christ and hates his sin; his sin has become his enemy for Christ is his treasure. But Paul still struggles constantly with the flesh; and at times he still stumbles into sin.

Illustration: Every man is born with, so to speak, a black undershirt (our hearts) and a black jacket (our flesh). At regeneration God takes off our black undershirt and replaces it completely with a bright white one. But as Christians we still have to carry around with us our black jackets on the outside (our flesh). Illustration: The sons of Israel living in the land of Canaan together with the remaining Canaanites after the conquering of the land under Joshua. The land belongs to them, but there are still remaining enemies dwelling within the land which they could not destroy. So it is with the Christian: through the blood of Christ he has gained victory; by the Spirit of Christ he has been regenerated--yet the remaining enemies still dwell within the land--and we must put them to death daily by the Spirit (Rom.8:13).

III. The MARKS of Regeneration:


John 3:8, The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit . *Regeneration is an internal, invisible change with outward, visible effects, evidenced by: NEW DESIRES *The heart's greatest desire is now for GOD HIMSELF above all things: Psalm 73:25, Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. Psalm 119:57, The Lord is my portion *The saints would gladly rather die with Christ than live without Him. They don't think in terms of heaven and hell; they think in terms of Christ. If Christ is not in heaven, heaven is no heaven they want to go to. They want to be with Him, this is their heaven. Even if there were no heaven after this life, the saints would still follow Christ -Calvin *Can you honestly say that? Matthew 5:6, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. *What does your soul hunger and thirst after?? Is it truly Christ? Where is your life? Where is your treasure? What are your deepest longings? Your deepest desires? Are they for Christ? And only Christ in THIS life?? Or are they for success? Money? A beautiful wife? Children who succeed? A nice retirement? A comfortable life? Sensual pleasures? Power? A good life? Respect and praise from men? It is impossible for it to be both. It is one or the other. *For the saints the only thing that will satisfy them is Christ. They hunger for Him. They thirst for Him and His precious Word. They want to know Him more and follow Him more intimately. He is their only desire in all the world. The question is, Has this happened to you??? *New desires for the WORD of God:

Illustration: You don't have to give stern commands to your little infant to eat his mothers milk. Like a baby longs for the milk of his mother, one born of the Spirit longs for the milk of the Word.
Psalm 119:14, I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. Psalm 119:20, My soul is crushed with longing after Your ordinances at all times . Psalm 119:24, Your testimonies are my delight Psalm 119:103, How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Psalm 119:117, Uphold me that I may be safe, that I may have regard for Your statutes continually. Psalm 119:131, I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for Your commandments.

Illustration: Exchanging letters with my wife during our courtship and reading her letters over and over again: No one had to force me!! You read the letters of those you love
*New desires to OBEY Christ with all ones heart, and GLORIFY Him with all ones life: Psalm 119:5, Oh that my ways may be established to keep Your statutes! Psalm 119:10, With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Your commandments. Psalm 119:17, Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word. Psalm 119:34-35, Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. Psalm 119:133, Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me. *A desire TO SPEND TIME WITH OTHER BELIEVERS: Psalm 119:63, I am a companion of all those who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts. 1 John 3:14, We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. *A desire TO SEE LOST SINNERS KNOW CHRIST: Psalm 119:13, With my lips I have told of all the ordinances of Your mouth Psalm 119:136, My eyes shed streams of water, because they do not keep Your law. Psalm 67:3, Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the nations on the earth. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. *New HATRED TOWARD SIN in the inner man: Psalm 119:29, Remove the false way from me, and graciously grant me Your law. Psalm 119:104, From your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Psalm 119:37, Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways. *New GRIEF OVER REMAINING SIN: Psalm 119:176, I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments. (cf. Romans 7). Matthew 5:4, Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

*This is not grief or sorrow over sin's consequences, but over sin itself. *We are not talking about perfection here! But again, we are talking about desire. The man who has been born again is far from perfect, and he is the first to admit it and confess it. His remaining sin grieves his soul; he wishes he could be through with sin forever.

Illustration: Pharaoh was grieved and sad when God sent the plagues to Egypt which destroyed his land, he confessed what he did was sin and begged the Lord to have mercy. But Pharaoh was only grieved about the consequences of his sin--its punishment on the land--not the sin itself.
Ezekiel 11:19, And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh

Illustration: A stamp will not make make an imprint on stone, but only on the warm wax. Illustration: A hand of flesh feels the sharp pain of a thorn bush.
*In the same way the saints possess a heart that is effected by their remaining sin, that grieves over it, that can say with the Psalmist, I have gone astray!! Yet in the same breath, You know that I love you. A NEW LIFE *New ABILITY to love and serve God from the bottom of the heart: Psalm 110:3, Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power John 8:34-36, Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 1 John 5:4, For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. *A life which becomes CHARACTERIZED BY HOLINESS and likeness to God:

1. The footsteps reveal the heart:


1 John 1:6, If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth 1 John 3:9-10, No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

2. The fruit shows the root:


Matthew 7:16-18, You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. (see also Genesis 1:11-12; all things bear fruit after their kind) *LOVE towards others:

1 John 4:7-8, Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

*In short, the proof of our justification is our regeneration, and the proof of our regeneration is our sanctification.

Final Exhortation:
2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; and so the same is true: If anyone is not a new creature, then he is not in Christ . *There are not two kinds of Christians. Those who really follow Christ and those who are Christians but they live like the world. The really devoted and the carnal Christians. Rather, there are only those who have the new heart, and so long for the things of God, and those have never truly been born again.
I will not shrink from telling you that this doctrine cuts every congregation in two; it is the line of separation between the good fish and the bad, the wheat and the tares. There is a natural part in every congregation, and there is a spiritual part; and few indeed are the churches where we should not be constrained to cry, Lord, here are many calledbut very few chosen. The kingdom of God is no mere matter of lips and knees and outward serviceit must be within a man, seated in the best place of heart; and I will not hesitate to tell you I fear there are many living members of churches who are exceedingly dead professors. Examine yourselves, then, I pray you, whether you are born again. Have you good solid reasons for thinking that you have put off the old man which is corrupt, and put on the new man which is created after God in holiness? Are you renewed in the spirit of your minds? Are you bringing forth the fruits of the flesh or the fruits of the Spirit? Are you carnally minded or heavenly minded? Are your affections with the world or with God? Are you natural men or are you spiritual men? Oh! but it were no charity in me to keep back this weighty truth; and it will be no wisdom in you to put off and delay considering it. Are you born again? Without it no salvation! It is not written that you may notor yet that you will have some difficultybut it is written that you cannot without it see the kingdom of God. Consider with yourselves how fearful it will be to be shut out; to see God's kingdom afar off, like the rich man in the parable, and a great gulf between; how terrible to go down to the pit from under the very pulpit, well satisfied with your own conditionbut still not born again. There are truly many roads to perditionbut none so melancholy as that which is traveled on by professing Christiansby men and women who have light and knowledge and warning and means and opportunity and yet go smiling on as if sermons and holiness were not meant for themor as if hell was a bed of rosesor as if God was a liar and could not keep His word. Beloved, if you love life, search and see what is your condition. What though you find no tokens for good: better a thousand times to know it now and live, than to know it too late and die eternally! -J.C. Ryle