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Written by S.N.Redford   

Regeneration, like all other points of doctrine of God, is deep and mysterious. No mortal man will ever be able to tell all about this doctrine ; we can only be guided by God's revealed word in writing of preaching on this point. The Holy Spirit uses the terms "regeneration", "new creature," "being born again," "born from on high." "passed from death unto life," to teach this most important doctrine. John 3:3 reads, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Hence we learn the Saviour Himself preached this doctrine. It is doctrine of the Bible that man must be born again, must be regenerated before he can see the kingdom of God. The Saviour used the word "born" here because it taught this doctrine.

Regeneration is performed by the power of God. It is called a creation ; as the child did not perform conditions in its natural birth, he does not in his spiritual birth. As Adam was passive in his natural creation, so also is the sinner passive in his spiritual begetting and birth. We received capacity to understand natural things in our natural birth ; so also in our spiritual birth we received capacity to understand spiritual things. Hence one must be born of God before he can receive the gospel, for the gospel is a thing of the Spirit. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God : for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."--1 Cor. 2:14.

Now, who teaches that regeneration is unconditional and that it is performed by the Holy Spirit of God? I know of no people on earth outside of the Old Baptists. We not only contend that the Bible teaches the doctrine of regeneration, but that it teaches that it is unconditional. I know this do trine combats all the Arminian world on this point, but Jesus Himself said, "As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." The infant requires regeneration as well as the adult, and since it is the work of God, salvation is sure to all the elect.

God begins the work in the soul, "being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."--Phil. 1:6. This text teaches us that regeneration is an internal work. Jesus says, "That which is born of the spirit is spirit." That, as I under- stand it, is the spirit of soul of the Adam sinner that is born of God in regeneration. Again, "The Spirit is life because of righteousness," but "The body is dead because of sin." God begins this good work by giving eternal life to the poor sinners on spirit. The atoning blood of Jesus is applied by the divine hand of God and the poor sinner's soul of spirit is washed and sanctified, made pure and righteous, and will nevermore be contaminated wit sin, for "Whatsoever he doeth, he doeth forever." God's work will stand : "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin." In regeneration a warfare sets up. The soul, being made pure and spiritual, loves sin and hates the ways of holiness. Hence the conflict begins and never ends until the soul is released at the death of the body. Therefore the apostle says, "When I would do good evil is present with me." Again, "The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh," "so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."

This explains, dear child of God, why serving the Lord is such a great cross. The very fact that you have two minds is an evidence that you have been born of God. Some of the fruits of the spirit are these: love, joy, peace, goodness, temperance, faith, etc. The very fact that you love God is evidence that the good work has begun, and if begun it will be carried on over the head or every opposition.

Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Dear little child, do you at times feel a spirit of rejoicing? is your soul filled with heavenly joy? If so, it is because you have been born again. Do you at times look upon things that are not seen with the natural eye and feast and rejoice in them? Can you see a beauty in the dear old church that the world cannot see? If so, you do it by faith ; this is because you are born again and have the spirit of God. Your cross will often seem heavy ; your sins will cause you many bitter tears ; the flesh will often give you trouble. You will often be reminded, as of old, that the "Cananites" are still "in the land." At death your spirit will go to God who gave it, and in the glorious morning of the resurrection your mortal body will be raised and made spiritual. Then, and not until then, will salvation be complete with you. The man in his entirety will be capacited to praise and worship God forevermore in glory. No wonder we long for the coming of our precious Lord to take us home!

Man in his entirety fell and man in his entirety was redeemed by Christ, and man in his entirety will finally be saved and live with Him in glory. This perfect work is based on the perfect mediatorial work of Jesus for sinners. All for whom Christ died will be quickened into divine life by God the Holy Spirit ; and when we rise from death's prison to meet Jesus in the air, we will bid farewell to sin. We will no more have a cross, no more tears, no more darkness, for the Lord God is the light of that city. There will be no more sad farewells, no more pain, no more death, but our precious Redeemer will lead us to fountains of peace and joy.

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.