LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Friday, June 02, 2006

A Changed Life

He loves the things that once he hated

(J. C. Ryle, "Alive or Dead?")

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old things have passed away. Behold, all things
have become new!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

Whatever part of the globe we live in, our eyes need
to be opened--naturally we never see our sinfulness,
guilt, and danger.

Whatever nation we belong to, our understandings
need to be enlightened--naturally we know little or
nothing of the plan of salvation. Like the Babel-builders,
we think to get to heaven our own way.

Whatever church we may belong to, our wills need
to be bent in the right direction--naturally we would
never choose the things which are for our peace; we
would never come to Christ.

Whatever be our rank in life, our affections need to
be turned to things above--naturally we only set them
on things below, earthly, sensual, short-lived and vain.

Pride must give place to humility;
self-righteousness to self-abasement;
carelessness to seriousness;
worldliness to holiness;
unbelief to faith.

Satan's dominion must be put down within us--and the
kingdom of God set up. Self must be crucified--and Christ
must reign. Until these things come to pass, we are as
dead as stones. When these things begin to take place,
and not until then, we are spiritually alive.

The true Christian knows all this by experience.
He loves the things that once he hated, and
hates the things that once he loved. He has . . .
new habits,
new companions,
new ways,
new tastes,
new feelings,
new opinions,
new sorrows,
new joys,
new concerns,
new pleasures,
new hopes,
new fears.

In short, the whole bias and current of his being
is changed. Ask his nearest relatives and friends,
and they would bear witness to it. Whether they
liked it or not, they would be obliged to confess
he was no longer the same person.

Once he could see no beauty and excellence in the
Lord Jesus Christ. Now he would tell you that He is . . .
the pearl above all price,
the chief among ten thousand,
his Redeemer,
his Advocate,
his Priest,
his King,
his Physician,
his Shepherd,
his Friend,
his All.

Once he thought lightly about sin. He could not
see the necessity of being so particular about it.
He could not think a man's words, and thoughts,
and actions, were of such importance, and required
such watchfulness. Now he would tell you sin is the
abominable thing which he hates--the sorrow and
burden of his life. He longs to be more holy.

Once he cared only for this world . . .
its pleasures,
its business,
its occupations,
its rewards.
Now he looks upon it as an empty, unsatisfying place.
His treasure is in heaven. His home is beyond the grave.

24 Comments:

Blogger bluecollar said...

To God be the glory for changing lives!

What a marvelous thing, this regeneration.

June 02, 2006 7:03 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mr. Bluecollar,
What a beautifully stated point. Salvation from God, with power that changes attitudes and lives.

Jazzycat

June 02, 2006 9:51 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Jazzycat: That is the SCRIPTURAL description and definition of regeneration.

Thanks for stopping by.

June 02, 2006 10:12 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi Mark!

17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. (Eph. 4)

This is how I see the spiritually dead state of the natural man - separated from God. Being made alive is the opposite -

12having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. (Col. 2)

Reconcilliation between God and man ... awesome! There is definately a change - and it will be overwhelmingly evident when we wear the white raiment! There will be no doubt at that time - none of our own doubts and not those of others!

To the idea that man is passive in all of this - Col. 2:12 - I don't see it.

Have a good day Mark. :~)

June 02, 2006 11:19 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose, you make good points! Man is not passive in all this. See 2Peter 1:3-8. But the fact that the Christian desires to follow Peter's teaching here is the sign of regeneration. The unregenerate would not care for such things.

"Reconcilliation between God and man ... awesome! There is definately a change - "
----------

And let us not forget that that change WILL be evident on this side of the grave as well. Hence the point of this post. See 1 John 3:6-10,4:7. There is a down playing of the effects of regeneration on the Christian life today, such a down playing is not scripturally founded. We are new creations in Christ, with new natures. If there is no sign of a new nature then there is a problem.
--------------

"and it will be overwhelmingly evident when we wear the white raiment!"

Amen!

June 02, 2006 12:43 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose, you and I have been over this ground before, on your blog, about the 20th of Feb. or so.
I am troubled by your implications here that I hold to some unscriptural view that all is passive. You, back then, even acknowledged that you and I weren't far apart in our view that man plays a role in his sanctification. What gives here? I do not see your point.

June 02, 2006 1:06 PM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

No, I was not trying to make a point that man plays a role in his sanctification. When I said this: To the idea that man is passive in all of this - Col. 2:12 - I don't see it. I was referring to the idea of UI and that faith is a gift like a millionaire depositing money in your account while you, yourself neither accept or reject Christ, only recieving Him as a result of being passively regenerated - passive. But, you're right - we've been over it before. Sorry.

June 02, 2006 1:37 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mr. Bluecollar and Rose,

As you point out it is not passive as regenerated sinners come willingly and freely to accept Christ through faith due to their God regenerated changed nature. This faith in the work and person of Jesus Christ justifies a sinner. He has his sins paid for by Jesus and receives the imputed righteousness of Christ, thus having an alien righteousness credited to his account.

Man does play a role in his sanctification but certainly grace and the Holy Spirit is active and crucial here as well.

Since all of this depends on God and not man, there is POWER. As the hymn says, "There is power in the blood."

WCF chapter 10.1 explains this well.

Jazzycat

June 02, 2006 3:10 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 02, 2006 3:48 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

'Now he looks upon it as an empty, unsatisfying place.
His treasure is in heaven. His home is beyond the grave.'

How many Christians could be described in these terms? I have not many.

God Bless

Matthew

June 02, 2006 3:48 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose, you say, "When I said this: To the idea that man is passive in all of this - Col. 2:12 - I don't see it."
-------------
Col. 2:13- And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him...

This having been made alive together with Him (Christ) is refering to regeneration. Christians receive new life through that union. Note that nothing a human has done has initiated that new life. God is the initiater. Man is passive here. Note the results of that union over in the next chapter,3:1-4. Christ is now our life. No longer governed by the flesh or demons or the world. Romans 6 covers this too...once slaves to sin, now slaves to God.

We also see the glorious work of God in Ephesians 2:1-22. Here the reception of the new life(regeneration)in verse 5 takes us from being dead in trespasses and sins and being by nature children of wrath, carried about by the prince and the power of the air,all the way to being a temple of the Holy Spirit- the very pinnacle of redemptive history.

Rose, I refer to your own testimony. Before that wonderful moment you were an agnostic, the story of Christ could not stir you. But then you received Christ and by your own account, you were changed from the inside out. That is the very definition of regeneration. Now we can argue back and forth about which came first, your receiving Christ or regeneration, but the fact remains, YOU WERE CHANGED! And all by the Glorious union with Christ, Who is our life. Now, from that moment of being joined to Christ, or being regenerated, you love Christ, His people and His word. And many will testify that you are a great blessing to so many-all because of the work of regeneration in your life, all because God put you in union with His Son.
-------------------

"I was referring to the idea of UI and that faith is a gift like a millionaire depositing money in your account while you, yourself neither accept or reject Christ, only recieving Him as a result of being passively regenerated - passive. But, you're right - we've been over it before. Sorry."
-----------------

Since I did not author that anology, I will not own it. Please do not be sorry. I wish to be able to improve my communication skils so as to better convey my thoughts to you and the rest of the brethren.

Please come back.

June 03, 2006 12:35 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: You go street preaching on Saturday's. You are studying for your doctorite in theology. You are one of the most honest bloggers I know. You are passionate about maintaining and contending for God's truth.

Hmmm. Sounds like you have left the world behind to me. You must put up with hecklers and dispisers of Christ who would rather vent their rage against Him on you. You endure that, why? Because you have set your affections on Christ, leaving the world behind you. Sounds like regeneration has changed you.

June 03, 2006 12:45 AM

 
Blogger Brandon Presbyterian said...

Mr. Bluecollar,

Good explanations. God through regeneration enables and empowers saints to carry out Eph. 2:10.

Jazzycat

June 03, 2006 10:54 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

oops...I was signed in under my church site by mistake. Sometimes my catnip effects my attention to detail.

Jazzycat

June 03, 2006 1:49 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Bluecollar,

Dude! You inspire me! I like your style. Love believeth all things. Your a man that loves. It bleeds out of you at all fronts.

June 03, 2006 3:34 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Jazzycat,Brian: Thank you for your visits and encouragement

June 03, 2006 9:43 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Mark, you do not knopw me that well.

Still, it does seem to me that the statement does not fit the majority of Christians too well.

Certainly, regeneration changes lives, but it hardly seems that most Christians have left the world behind. On the contrary, too many Christians are consumed by the world and its interests.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 04, 2006 3:10 PM

 
Blogger Shawn L said...

Matthew,

Would have to agree on that point that Christians haven't left the world behind enough.

As my pastor said once "All who trust Christ have this "taste" for God in them (1 Peter 2:3), even if it is small. "

That being said, it does make me wonder if the body of Christ throughout time has had the same exact trouble with worldly thinking that we do today. I don't think we are much different as time goes on, but I could be wrong....

I've been thinking about being a man after God's own heart and David and many times that might fit with us being kings of old with "our vast amounts of wealth", but God still considered him a man after God's own heart.

More to pray about eh?

June 04, 2006 6:41 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: What standard are you using to judge other Christians? Historically, as told through secular sources, the apostles suffered martyrdom, except John, but even he was boiled in oil, though he survived that.

What about the christian parents who had to watch as their children suffered in the circuses in the Roman Empire? What about those who suffer today in China or Cuba or Columbia? Columbian pastors are frequently hauled off, even during the sermon, never to see their families again. What of that young Islamic man who recently came to Christ in Saudi Arabia. He knew that coming to Christ would mean certain death, yet he came to Christ anyway. Christians were being crucified even during the first Gulf War there in Saudi Arabia. Are these not all examples of regenerate lives?

I do not back away from J.C.Ryle in his description of "Alive or Dead". This is THE definition of regeneration. It is the Biblical definition. It is patterned after Biblical patterns and examples. Any variance from it is unbiblical.

Let God's word be true. Everything else is a lie, I don't care who experiences what. I realize that certain theological systems need to down-play the power of the Holy Spirit's regenerating power in the christian life in order to survive. I have seen how those systems like to down-play the importance of the believer being conformed to the image of Christ in this life; how that is the Spirit's desire and important part of His ministry.

In Galatians 4:19 Paul was deep in desire that Christ be formed in those believers, there and then. "Formed" (morphoo) carries the idea of essential form, notes John MacArthur here. Paul was desiing Christ like character here.
See Romans 8:29 and 2Cor. 3:18.

God's goal for christians is not merely salvation, but Christ-likeness. That is why we are to make disciples of all nations. We take the scriptures and expound them for the world to see. We want them to see how God through Christ wants mankind to live, hence the message of repentance. We take Matt. through Revelation and show them the life of Christ. We pray with them, we are accountable to them and they with us, thus we have disciplship. Pastors are to carefully and prayerfully expound the word so that the hearers get a sense and understand fully the message of Christ, thereby making disciples - people with Christ-like character. And the Holy Spirit is right there to do the transforming-2Cor.3:18. The saints themselves are to be transformed by the renewing of the mind-Romans 12:1-2.

There simply is no Biblical accounts of a regenerate person not loving Christ and being transformed into His image. None.

June 04, 2006 8:14 PM

 
Blogger Shawn L said...

Mark,

I think he is just saying we need to put into practice leaving the current world behind. I certainly have been thinking about that alot lately as being an american and evaluating where I put money....If I truly understood the current worlds shortness of time I would put every last penny I could find into missions and to God's Glory....

My life is filled with such things that can keep me trapped away from these things.

Yes though your evaluation of the scripture in light of regeneration is totally right on. Thanks for the wakeup call and preaching the gospel faithfully.

June 04, 2006 10:38 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks, Shawn.

That is may point.

I know that I can be very worldly.

I also believe that my Christian parents love the world too much.

I see so many Christians who seem to have the same occupation with the things of this world.

I cannot see that this teaching of inevitable conformity in this life is at all helpful.

In order to grow as a Christian, we have to actively strive to turn from the world. That is why the New Testament is full of exhortations and warnings. If being conformed in this life is inevitable, it is hard to make sense of these exhortations and warnings.

With regard to persecution,, in the early church this was more intense in Rome than in much of the near east.

Controversies in the church over forgiveness of sins indicate that many early Christians were not all that faithful when it came to being persecuted.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

June 05, 2006 3:57 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Matthew: Brother, friend, I agree that as a christian we have to actively strive to turn from the world. That is why I appealed to Romans 12:1-2. We are to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him. He has given to us excedingly great and precious promises, that through these we may become partakers of the divine nature. He also works in us to will and to do for His good pleasure.

I see Paul in Philipians 3:12-13 saying that he was pressing on to lay hold of that for which Christ had laid hold of him. I believe he is speaking of Christ-likeness here. Paul is pressing on, some rather intense language here. In verse 13 he acknowledges that he had not already apprehended that yet. he had been a christian for decades at this point. He was forgetting those things that were behind and reaching forward to those things that were ahead. Verse 14 states he was pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upword call of God in Christ Jesus. Believers are to strive for Christ-likeness here and now, but that will only see fulfillment when we go to be with Him in the air.

June 05, 2006 10:25 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

I continue: We are to forget those things that are behind and press forward. In doing this we will not have any time to talk about what regeneration CAN'T do. The desire to press on in Christ-likeness comes as a result of regeneration. It certainly does not come from within an individual naturally.

The christian life is marked by striving for Christ-likeness. That is why we have the scriptures 2Tim.3:16-17; 2 Cor. 3:18. We prayerfully examine and do the word and the Holy Spirit does the transforming and empowering.

June 05, 2006 10:45 AM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Yes, I think I would agree with that.

June 05, 2006 11:09 AM

 

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