Is there a difference between regeneration and being born again?

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Yes and no. The New Testament uses the term regeneration in connection with cosmic renewal. Jesus speaks about the time when there will be the regeneration of all things. Being born again as an individual, in terms New Testament theology, is the individual’s participation in the inauguration of that final cosmic regeneration.

So, if you’re asking whether the language used in different ways in the New Testament, the answer is yes. If you’re asking the theological question, “Is regeneration the same thing as being born again?” then the answer is yes—we’re talking about the same thing when it applies to the individual. They are two different ways of saying the same thing: “born/generated” and “re/again.” They’re two different linguistic, traditional forms of the same idea.

This is a transcript of Sinclair Ferguson’s answer given during our After Darkness, Light: 2018 Regional Conference and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email or message us on Facebook or Twitter.