Monday in the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time

Colossians 2:10-13

The Doctrine of Regeneration

The Christian faith is like a magnificent tapestry in which all its teachings hold together in splendid array.  From first to last—from the doctrine of our Triune God to the doctrine of Last Judgment, and everything in between—all things fit together into a beautiful and lovely work of art in which God’s glory is manifest and His people redeemed.  At the center of that tapestry is the Incarnation of God’s Son whose life, death, and resurrection stand for all eternity as the greatest display of God’s glory and His love.

Orbiting the doctrine of our Lord’s Incarnation and work on the cross is a doctrine expressed in these few verses which makes all the difference in the world to believers.  Yes, our Lord came down from heaven and was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and died for our sins and rose for our justification—but all of this must be appropriated by sinners in need of redemption.  In other words, there is no such thing as generic salvation, which is often the language some churches use, whether consciously or not.  Christ’s work on the cross must be appropriated by faith by the one who would be saved in a life-transforming work which our Lord referred to when he said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:7).  It is called the doctrine of regeneration.

Paul describes this doctrine in these few verses: a circumcision made without hands (of the heart), putting off the body of flesh (the sinful nature), having been buried with him in baptism, being raised with Christ in faith, being made alive from being dead in trespasses and sins—all of these are ways of talking about our rebirth in the Spirit.  And our being filled with God is predicated upon this happening to us.  Please understand, though some may refer to these words as “metaphors” to describe what is happening to us inwardly, this does not mean that what happens to the believer upon his rebirth is unreal; on the contrary, regeneration, rebirth in the Spirit, is every believer’s most sacred gift, that event (for that is what it is—an event, happening, occurrence) to which he clings, whereby the Spirit took up residence in his heart and he knew he was forever changed.  Paul had his “Damascus Road” experience to which he always referred; the believer has his experience, perhaps not as dramatic but just as profound and life-changing.  Our Lord’s work on the cross accomplishes nothing for me unless I am born again of his Spirit by faith in him and that work.  To sum, a believer is one who has appropriated the work Christ has done for him—and been born again.  A glorious doctrine is regeneration; but then they all are.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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