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].

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

R.A.Torrey on Regeneration

R.A. Torrey says about the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit:

"What is Regeneration? We have two definitions of 'Regeneration,' or 'the New Birth,' in the Bible. You will find the first of these definitions in Ephesians 2:1:

'And you did He make alive, when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins.' — Ephesians 2:1

Regeneration is then, the impartation of life to men who are morally and spiritually dead because of their trespasses and sins.

Every man and woman and child of us, no matter how excellent in character or how religious our parents may have been, was born into this world spiritually dead. We are by nature moral and spiritual corpses. In regeneration we are made alive; God imparts to us this life. Regeneration is His work.

We have a second God-given definition of regeneration in II Peter 1:3,4:

'According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.' — II Peter 1:3,4

God's definition of regeneration here, is the impartation of a new nature, 'the divine nature.' It is God's Own nature created in us.

We are all born into this world with a corrupt nature, corrupt in its thoughts, corrupt in its affections, corrupt in its will.

First of all, every one of us, no matter how fine our ancestry, or how pious our parents, are born into this world with a mind that is blind to the truth of God.

As Paul puts it in I Corinthians 2:14,

'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.' — I Corinthians 2:14

In the second place, we are, all of us, born into this world with affections that are corrupt, that is, with affections set upon things that displease God. We love the things we ought to hate, and we hate the things we ought to love.

And, in the third place, we are, all of us, born into this world with a will that is perverse. As Paul puts it in Romans 8:7:

'Because the carnal mind (that is, the mind of the natural and unregenerate man) is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.' — Romans 8:7

We are… born into this world with a will that is perverse, a will that is set upon pleasing self, and not set upon pleasing God. Now, what pleases self may not be something corrupt or criminal or vile or immoral. What pleases us may be something refined, something of a high character; it may not be getting drunk or stealing or lying or committing adultery or doing any evil or vile or base thing; it may be culture or music or art or some other high and refined thing; but pleasing self is the very essence of sin, whether the thing that pleases self is something very high or something very low. And any will that is set upon pleasing self is a will in rebellion against God: it is 'enmity against God.' There is only one right attitude for the human will, and that is an attitude of absolute surrender to God, and the whole aim of life should not be to please self at all, but to please God in all things.

So then we are all born into the world with this nature that is intellectually, affectionally and volitionally corrupt. What occurs in the new birth? We are given a new nature.

We are given a new intellectual nature, a new mind, a mind which instead of being blind to the truth of God is open -eyed to the truth of God.

How often I have seen that. I have seen a man come into a meeting like this, an utter infidel. I have a man in mind at this moment, a man who had not been inside a church for fourteen years, and who was a rank and very bitter infidel. But this man was induced to come and hear me preach. The Spirit of God wrought through me that night and through a personal worker who dealt with him in the aftermeeting, and that man was born again then and there, and that thoroughly darkened mind became illuminated at once, and, instead of things 'of the Spirit of God' being any longer 'foolishness to him' they became as clear as day, and within a week he was bringing others into a knowledge of the truth. He brought his own wife to meeting the following Sunday night and led her into the light; and within a year he was preaching the Gospel.

But we are not only given a new intellectual nature, we are also given a new affectional nature.

We get new tastes instead of the old tastes, new loves instead of the old loves. Instead of loving any longer the things that displease God we now love the things that please God. The things we once hated, we now love, and the things we once loved we now hate. How clearly that was illustrated in my own experience. As I look back upon my life… I can hardly believe what I know to be true about my own affections and about my likes and dislikes, before I was born again. In those days I hated the Bible. I read it every day, but it was to me about the most stupid book I read, I would rather have read last year's almanac any day than to have read the Bible. But when I was born again my heart was filled with love for the Bible and today I would rather read the Bible than any other book or all the books put together. I so love it that sometimes I think I will not read any other book but the Bible. In those former days before I was born again, I loved the card table, the theatre, the dance, the horse-race, the champagne supper, and I hated the prayer-meeting and the Sunday services. Today I hate the dance and the cardtable and the theatre and the horse-race, and I love the gathering together of God's people and the services of God's house on the Lord's Day.

Just as Paul puts it in II Corinthians 5:17,

'Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.' — II Corinthians 5:17

But in the NEW BIRTH we are not only given a new intellectual nature and a new affectional nature, we are given a new volitional nature, that is, we are given a NEW WILL.

When one is born again, his will is no longer set upon pleasing self: his will is set upon pleasing God. There is nothing else in which he so delights as he delights in the will of God. What he himself desires is nothing to him: what pleases God is everything to him.

We see, then, that the New Birth is the impartation of a new nature, God's Own nature, to men who are dead in trespasses and sins. It is the Holy Spirit Who imparts this nature. As we have already said, the word of God is the instrument the Holy Spirit uses in imparting this new nature. This comes out in the very verse we have already quoted as containing God's definition of the New Birth, II Peter 1:4,

'Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these (that is, through the written Word) ye might be partakers.' — II Peter 1:4

Yes, always, the written word is the instrument through which the new nature is imparted to men, but it is only as the Holy Spirit uses the instrument, the written Word, that the New Birth, the impartation of God's Own nature to us, results.

So we see again that if we wish to be born again ourselves, it is not enough to read the Bible, though that is the instrument the Holy Spirit uses in regeneration. We must put ourselves in such an attitude toward God, by the surrender of our will to God, that the Holy Spirit may use the written word and make it a living thing in our hearts and thus impart God's nature to us, and thus we are born again. We see also that if we wish others to be born again through our preaching or personal work or teaching, or whatever it may be, we must see to it we not only give them the written word and give them the right passages from the word, but that we realize our dependence upon the Holy Spirit for Him to do the work, and that we so count upon Him to do the work, that He can do His regenerating work through us."41


Blogger bluecollar said...

I will search the web for what preachers say on this subject.

June 27, 2006 11:13 AM

Blogger forgiven said...

Can't get any clearer than that.


June 27, 2006 12:21 PM

Blogger jazzycat said...

Great points...
Since my regeneration came late in life, I was amazed at how likes became dislikes and dislikes became likes. Also shame about things that I once was proud about. I am convinced it happened before I responded to the gospel.


June 27, 2006 6:38 PM


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