The Role of Revelation in Regeneration

The Bible is an amazing Book! The Bible is based on God’s self- revelation of Himself to the world that He created. The Bible was written by the hands of men with words from the heart of God. God is self- revealing in His Word. Man’s view of God and the world that He has created as well as His nature and the nature of mankind itself should be shaped by the revelation that God has given in His Word. Men do not have the ability on their own to understand who God is and what it is that God wants to do with man apart from this self-revelation that is recorded in the Bible. “The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) In his book Pierced By The Word, John Piper makes the following comment about the Bible: “So the word of God in Hebrews 4:12 probably refers to the truth of God revealed in Scripture that humans speak to each other with reliance on God’s help to understand and apply it… The word of God is not a dead word or ineffective word. It has life in it. And because it has life in it, it produces effects. There is something about the truth, as God has revealed, that connects it to God as the source of all life and power. God loves His word. He honors His work with His presence and power.” (Page 22.) God’s revelation of who He is and what it is that He wants to do has great power to change lives and breathe new life into dead souls.

The Bible is divine in its origin. Paul said, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 He then admonished young Timothy to “continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:14-15. The Scriptures, which are God’s self-revelation, are “able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” This is a very important statement. For once again, revelation and not regeneration leads to saving faith. This is why Paul is able to say that he is “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’.” Romans 1:16-17. Simply put, when this revelation is revealed by God, there is a response required from man. This is the essence of salvation.

Revelation MUST precede regeneration. “How does revelation speak to fallen man?” It has to be understood that if God created mankind, then He would naturally want man to know who He is and what it is that He wants both for man and from man. God knew that Adam and Eve would sin and that sin would affect mankind, making it necessary to send His Son into the world to pay the penalty for that sin so that men might be saved and set free from the power and the penalty of their sin. Can God speak to sinful men? The answer obviously is “yes He can.” To try to assert that He cannot smacks at His omnipotence and His Sovereign ability to do anything that He chooses to do. In Colossians 1:19-20 Paul writes, “For it pleased the Father that in Him (Jesus) all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

Through revelation God is seeking to reconcile a lost world unto Himself. When revelation is presented, response is required. When God speaks, a response is expected. Again, it makes no sense for God to speak if regeneration is required before an individual can respond positively to revelation. There is no need for God to seek to reconcile a lost and separated world unto Himself if regeneration is required on His part first. This idea of regeneration preceding saving faith simply is not consistent given the backdrop of revelation and reconciliation. God in His Word in the Bible has chosen to reveal Himself and His purposes and promises and in the incarnation, has chosen to reconcile the world unto Himself. This is the process that leads the lost soul to regeneration or new birth!

Grateful to be in His Grip

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