• Why did God promise to give a new heart of flesh to His Old Testament people? Question and Answer

    Ezekiel 36:25

    Our natural condition is to have a heart of stone, which means we’re dead to the things of God. When we’re reborn by the Holy Spirit, that which was stony now is flesh—it’s alive. That’s problematic because in the New Testament the term “flesh” is a synonym often for our sin nature. So, God is not saying in the Old Testament, “Someday I’m going to give you a sin nature”—you already have that—but rather He’s saying that He will change the disposition of the heart. The Bible makes it clear that people in the Old Testament were born again by … View Resource

  • What do you think of decisional regeneration? Question and Answer

    John 3:6-8

    LAWSON: I think the idea of decisional regeneration has produced many false converts. I have lived through churches like that, I have been an associate pastor through churches like that, and I have inherited churches like that. I don’t know a lot of things, but I do know the answer to this one: it produces false converts. “Repeat this prayer after me: ‘I—I, am a sinner—am a sinner. I confess my sin—I confess my sin. Jesus died for me—Jesus died for me. I will never doubt this again—I will never doubt this again. Amen—Amen.’ Never doubt that again. I’ll sign … View Resource

  • Is it important to know the moment of our regeneration? Question and Answer

    God knows the moment of our regeneration. Regeneration, of course, is the making alive or the quickening of our souls from death to life when we are made to be born again by the Spirit. There are some instances in Scripture where it seems that we know when someone was regenerated, but we still don’t know the exact moment when that person was regenerated. The theologian Louis Berkhof is very helpful in talking about this in his Systematic Theology. That’s a good place to read on this subject. So, no, we don’t know the moment of our regeneration, and in … View Resource

  • What’s the difference between regeneration and conversion? Question and Answer

    The difference between regeneration and conversion is a slight difference, but it’s an important one. Regeneration is the work of God the Holy Spirit as He supernaturally and immediately changes the disposition of the soul from spiritual death to spiritual life. Conversion is a result of regeneration. When we are converted, we’re turned around and we move in a different direction. Sometimes we get confused about this, because particularly when people give their testimony, they often say, “I was born again on February the 13th, 1975,” and so on. That person is testifying to a conversion experience. They may have … View Resource

  • Which comes first in the ordo salutis (order of salvation)—faith or regeneration? Question and Answer

    John 3:3-5

    I think first of all of what Jesus said in John chapter 3, when he said to Nicodemus that unless you’re born from above—which is regeneration—you’ll neither be able to see or enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3-5). And we enter the kingdom of God through faith. So in that conversation, I think it’s very clear that in order to come to faith, first of all, God has to give us a new heart. And that is really what John had said in the prologue to the gospel as well, that those who came to believe in Him were … View Resource