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Regeneration is Permanent – RC Sproul

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Dr. Richard & Loryann Schnitker

C2TV ministry is designed to strengthen your spiritual walk. This ministry newsletter began in 1999, first known as the Family Tree Ministry. The goal is to be a connection builder, serving as a spiritual connection between people and matters of faith. Our mission is simple: Connecting men and women to life-changing faith in Jesus – encouraging them to impact their community with His values, ethics and love. In the age of technology the newsletter has transformed into a blog with many more features that the old paper format couldn't provide. In November 2012, The Family Tree Ministry was renamed to "Connect to the Vine - (C2TV)" based on the Book of John, Chapter 15, where we are told to remain connected to Christ. In October 2016, this blog was renamed to "Connecting Champions to the Vine - C2TV." This change came about with the adding of the ADVOCARE bar at the top of the blog site. Originally focused on a ministry outreach to family members, C2TV has expanded to reach all those whom we come into contact with. Our prayer is that this blog becomes a means of illuminating God's work in our culture and encouraging one another to stand firm in Him! At the heart of the spiritual journey is the understanding that it is a journey. None of us are perfect. Once we become believers, we are not expected to achieve instant spiritual maturity. Rather, the Christian life is a process involving both our attention (2 Corinthians 7:1) and God’s work in us (Philippians 1:6). And it has more to do with opportunity and intentionality than with age (1 Timothy 4:12).

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Philippians 1:6 “I am sure oRegenerationf this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (v. 6).

One of the most important questions we can answer is whether or not the new birth is something that can be lost. If God has regenerated a person, can that person return permanently to a state of degeneracy?

Looking at Scripture as a whole, it is clear that those who are transformed by the Holy Spirit will continue in that state until the end of life. Many passages of the Bible teach this doctrine, one of the most important being Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians in today’s passage. In 1:6, the apostle clearly proclaims the permanency of regeneration. God will bring the good work He started in us to completion. The Lord never aborts the person that He has quickened.

This is comforting because we know that if it were up to us, none of us would be able to die in a state of grace. This does not mean that sanctification is passive or that we should sit back and let God do all of the work. Paul tells us in Philippians to work out our salvation in fear and trembling (2:12). Nevertheless, God undergirds all of our efforts to pursue maturity in Christ. His sovereign presence and saving power is what ultimately keeps us in the faith (v. 13).

The fact that regeneration is permanent does not mean that believers cannot fall into sin, even heinous ones. Simon Peter illustrates this truth well. Remember that he committed the worst sin of all, denying the Lord and Master who would redeem His soul (Matt. 26:69–75). But Peter did not remain in sin forever; he came to repent of his sin and found restoration in Christ Jesus (John 21:15–19). For this reason we must always turn to the Lord even if we have transgressed His will most grievously. He will restore us when we humbly confess our sin, and this confession is an outward evidence of repentance and the staying power of regeneration in our hearts (1 John 1:8–10).

Furthermore, we should also pray for those who seem to have fallen from the faith. We do not know their most inner thoughts, and they may be regenerate, though in sin. Therefore, we pray for their hearts to be softened that they might bear the fruit of the new birth once more.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

The permanency of our regeneration is something we must not take for granted. Knowing that we have been born again should motivate us to live out this truth by heeding the many warnings in Scripture against unbelief (Heb. 6:1–12). If we do not heed these warnings and repent when necessary, we reveal that we are still slaves to sin and must question whether we have been born again in the first place (Rom. 6:1–2, 15–16). What sins do you need to repent over this day?


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June 2013
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