1. You must have a new birth in order to see heaven (John 3:3)
- Regeneration is the act by which God enlightens the heart to saving faith and changes the core being of a person.
2. You cannot birth yourself (John 3:8)
- Babies do not decide when they are going to be born. The parents decide for them
- The new birth is mysterious and supernatural. The wind blows where it wishes and it is almost unexpected. You can know someone and they can be changed overnight. Do not doubt the power of God. God can change people.
- John 1:13
3. You would not choose to be born again. (John 3:19)
- Our hearts are angled to love sin. They will always misfire because they are aimed incorrectly. The people “loved” the darkness rather than the light. It is not as though they want to come to Jesus. Apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in Regeneration, people always hate God. The emphasis always falls on God’s mercy and not our actions.
- 1 Peter 1:3
- James 1:16-18
- Philippians 1:29
4. God can change the depraved heart. (John 3:21)
- Salvation is not God throwing us a life preserver and begging us to grab a hold of it. Salvation is God diving down to the bottom of the ocean, reviving our lungs and enabling our hands to want to grab onto the life preserver.
5. Both the change God orchestrates and the faith we exercise are real. (John 3:16)
- We are called to act. We are not called to passively await for the wind to blow on us. We are called to believe or we will be condemned. 3:16-19
- Titus 3:3-9
We are saved through the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ our Savior. If you are in Christ, you are a new person. The old is gone and the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:16-21. The mark of a regenerated heart is a regenerated life. Are you walking according to the old ways of the flesh? Has your heart been awakened to God? Do you love God and do you have affections for him? At the core of your being, do you treasure and value God? Are you walking as someone who has been radically changed?
Regardless of when you were converted, this is a big changed. Depravity to Regeneration is a miracle. It is no small thing.
Questions for Small Group:
- Read Titus 3:3-9 together.
- In your own words, explain regeneration.
- Why do we need regeneration?
- Are affections and feelings toward God important in the Christian life? Why or why not?
- Has your heart been made alive to the things of God through the Holy Spirit? If yes, how do you know? What are the markers of a regenerate heart?
- Are you ever “ashamed” of your conversion story? Why or why not?