I’ll admit, when I decided to touch on the topic of regeneration; a lot of self evaluation had to be done. It is really easy to write on this and “point your finger” at others without holding my self to the same accountability (Lord, please let that not be so). Based just on my initial thoughts on the subject. So I humbly come to fully admitting that I am not perfect but strive for holiness.
“Suppressing the knowledge of God, not wanting it to be in your head. Makes you a casualty to corruption” John Piper
The scariest part of scripture for those who want to strap the Christian label on themselves comes in Matthew chapter 7. Where Jesus says “Not everyone who says to me will enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (v:21). This is scary because it presents a reality that although we might think we are saved, we really aren’t. So how do we know you might ask? Well, in the back end of verse 21 Jesus continues to say “but the one who does the will of my father in heaven”. Now this presents the solution, what is that solution?
For everyone the problem is deep rooted sin (Romans 3:23-24). Sin is the problem, plain and simple. So for those who claim to be christian and perpetually live in unrepentant sin, that is usually a tell tale sign that they have not been regenerated.
In our naturally sinful state, unless we God has completely intervened in our lives we know no good. In the spirit of transparency, I confess that I fall short of the glory of God on a daily basis. Like Paul says in Romans 7, I do the do things I do not want to do, and the more I try to do what is right the enemy is right behind. That should simply be a reality for all of us who are regenerated. However, that isn’t an excuse to keep on keeping on with clear perpetual sin. I don’t want anything to separate my self from God. Hating your sin as God does is a sign of spiritual maturity. If you don’t absolutely despise your sin, you are basically saying to God he doesn’t matter.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” Proverbs 1:7
Simple message: Don’t be a fool. Fear the Lord your God and know that he tolerates no unrepentant sin, certainly none that come from professing Christians.
Dangers of Affirming Sin
One of the most effective snares the enemy uses, is the ability to convince us that peoples feelings are more important then God. Now just a quick disclaimer: Do not use this as an excuse to be a mean person to those whom we disagree with. However, this must be said, truly regenerated Christians will love people with the Gospel. Not with the affirmation of clear sin. What I mean is the best thing you can possibly do for that person is to clearly proclaim the Gospel with boldness (Ephesians 6:19-20). At no point does the Bible promise that being bold will result in everybody loving you. The fact of the matter is that people are going to hate the message you are bringing. It challenges a worldview that says “sin is alright and don’t tell me how to live”.
In a particular part of scripture Jesus has an encounter with guy named Nicodemus (John 3:1-15). Nicodemus a Pharisee who is described as the ruler of Jews approaches Jesus at night. During this conversation, Jesus said twice in that passage that you must be born again.
To truly be born again means dying to your old self and being alive in Christ. For this to happen we must repent of all the sin in our life and turn to Jesus. Being unified with him in his death. Denying your self the worldly pleasures that ultimately lead to death. However, the promise of the Gospel is that if you turn from your sin and are crucified with Christ (Galatians 5:24) you will go from seeking selfish sinful desires to desires that please God. We were dead in our transgressions and sins (Ephesians 2:1), but Jesus made a way for salvation. So if you are reading this as an unbeliever I urge you to turn from sin and turn to Jesus, your life depends on it.
I feel obligated to not only point out symptoms of an unregenerate heart but also inform you on “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15) that are out for self glorification and ultimately out to distort the truth and deceive many. Not all wolves are as obvious as the blatant prosperity preachers that promise “health, wealth, and happiness”. Anyone who reads the Bible even a little bit should know to throw that doctrine in the trash.
The truly dangerous ones will come attacking scripture and making up all sorts of false doctrines that are so close to the truth that they seem…. well true. False doctrines are anything that doesn’t align with the revealed Word of God (so read the Bible!!). Anytime someone has to search for exterior sources for the truth, they are likely preaching a false doctrine and it should be avoided. I’ve been around TDC long enough to know the response might be “who is this guy to say these things”, but the reality of the matter is scripture commands us to be on guard at all times and to test the spirits (1 John 4: 1-6).
Like I admitted before. This is a tough topic to tackle as someone who strives to be humble but it is out of my love and ultimately my faith in God that I feel somewhat qualified to speak these truths.
As for you (the reader) my hope in prayer would be that you come to a true understanding of this awesome God we serve if you haven’t already. It is truly freeing to be under His grace and mercy and I would love nothing more for everyone to experience it.
“Hear O sons, a fathers instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight.
For I give you good precepts; Do not forsake my teaching” Proverbs 4: 1-2