Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 8, 2019

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” – “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Today’s devotion comes from John 3:1-8.

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;  this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher;  for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”  Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old?  He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”  Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going;  so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  John 3:1-8.

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Other doctrine teaches that the will of man determines who will be saved.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches that the will of God determines who will be saved:  “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”  John 1:13.

“Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Verse 3.

Other doctrine teaches that you can see when one is born again, because it occurs through a visible action of man’s will such as the action of man to walk up in response to a public altar call.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches that you cannot see when one is born again, because it occurs through God’s invisible action of giving His Spirit to His elect, regenerating them, causing them to be born of the Spirit.

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going;  so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  Verse 8.

Reformed Doctrine labels it “Irresistible Grace”, the “I” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  Here is what the Canons of Dordt states about it in the section “THIRD AND FOURTH HEADS OF DOCTRINE Of the Corruption of Man, His Conversion to God, and the Manner Thereof”.

Article 11.  But when God accomplishes his good pleasure in the elect, or works in them true conversion, he not only causes the gospel to be externally preached to them, and powerfully illumines their minds by his Holy Spirit, that they may rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit of God;  but by the efficacy of the same regenerating Spirit, pervades the inmost recesses of the man;  he opens the closed, and softens the hardened heart, and circumcises that which was uncircumcised, infuses new qualities into the will, which though heretofore dead, he quickens;  from being evil, disobedient and refractory, he renders it good, obedient, and pliable;  actuates and strengthens it, that like a good tree, it may bring forth the fruits of good actions.

Article 12.  And this is the regeneration so highly celebrated in Scripture, and denominated a new creation:  a resurrection from the dead, a making alive, which God works in us without our aid.  But this is in no wise effected merely by the external preaching of the gospel, by moral suasion, or such a mode of operation, that after God has performed his part, it still remains in the power of man to be regenerated or not, to be converted, or to continue unconverted;  but it is evidently a supernatural work, most powerful, and at the same time most delightful, astonishing, mysterious, and ineffable;  not inferior in efficacy to creation, or the resurrection from the dead, as the Scripture inspired by the author of this work declares;  so that all in whose heart God works in this marvelous manner, are certainly, infallibly, and effectually regenerated, and do actually believe.  –  Whereupon the will thus renewed, is not only actuated and influenced by God, but in consequence of this influence, becomes itself active.  Wherefore also, man is himself rightly said to believe and repent, by virtue of that grace received.

Article 13.  The manner of this operation cannot be fully comprehended by believers in this life.  Notwithstanding which, they rest satisfied with knowing and experiencing, that by this grace of God they are enabled to believe with the heart, and love their Savior.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”  1 Peter 1:1-5.


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