Human Decisional Regeneration vs. Divine Supernatural Regeneration

by Paul Franco on July 12, 2010

Every Christian must test the accuracy of the gospel he believes and preaches by Scripture alone. Since every true Christian is endowed with a fervent love for God’s word, we are all called to search the Scriptures together in love and in unity. All of God’s people are to do this through fervent prayer and with an openness to learn by careful inspection of their own approach and theology. Acts 17:11 tells us that the Bereans received the Word of God with all eagerness, and examined the Scriptures daily to see if the things concerning Christ were true, and many of them believed. Our goal as believers is to stir up in one another a fervent hunger for truth and wisdom. Unfortunately many in the church today conclude that searching the Scriptures together and arriving at differences of opinion promotes disunity and divisiveness. However, the only real foundation for Christian unity is the truth of Scripture. Charles Spurgeon once said “the best way to promote union is to promote truth. It will not do for us to be all united together by yielding to one another’s mistakes. We are to love each other in Christ; but we are not to be so united that we do not see each other’s faults; and especially not able to see our own. No, purge the house of God, and then shall grand and blessed times dawn on us.”

We at ethea pray that the Gospel would be of the utmost importance to every Christian soldier, because it alone is the power of God for salvation.

We also pray that by revealing the unscriptural tradition of human decisional regeneration we may by God’s grace rescue many from this deception which leads to eternal death. You have often heard it preached or said somewhere in the presentation of the Gospel, “It’s what you do with Christ that matters”, this is human decisional regeneration. The Scriptures teach no such doctrine, but rather we read of the tax collector who would not so much as lift his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, God be merciful to me, a sinner! Luke 18:13. He understood the wrath of God was upon him and it was what God would do with him that mattered. Divine supernatural regeneration is rooted in Christ alone, by God alone, to the glory of God alone. Biblical regeneration is a supernatural work of God and not a human work of man.

What does Regeneration mean?

To be formed or created again. In biblical terms, it has reference to one being “Born Again” or a rebirth from above. Jesus explains this in a very thorough manner when he tells Nicodemus in the Gospel of John chapter 3:3 “..unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Regeneration is essential for eternal life. A person cannot see the kingdom of God, let alone enter it, without being regenerate.

How does regeneration occur?

According to Jesus, regeneration is a transformation of the human heart executed by the Holy Spirit, not a human action accomplished by man (Eze 36:26-27). God must first remove the heart of stone and replace it with a new heart of flesh. In John 6:63, 65 Jesus said “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing”, “for this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” This is a clear statement that the Spirit of God gives life to the spiritually dead sinner, and the flesh or will of man can do nothing for its own spiritual well being. The will of man can do nothing to bring about spiritual life, nor can it take any credit for the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.

Many will argue that human faith precedes regeneration, but this disposition only contradicts Jesus’ words. For no man can come to Christ unless the Father grants to him spiritual life which we call regeneration. No man is able to say “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit, and the unbeliever who does not have the Spirit of God is hostile toward God who also perceives the cross of Christ to be foolishness (1 Cor 12:3) (Rom 8:7) (1 Cor 1:18). Surely seeing the kingdom of God is the act of saving faith, and such faith is hopeless and impossible without regeneration.

HDR (human decisional regeneration)

has infected the church and is derived from a deficient view of Christ and a faulty doctrine of sin. Jesus is presented only as a Savior, who stands on the outside of the door of your heart begging you to invite him in. Christ is exhibited as a gentleman who will not kick down the door of your heart. The unbeliever is presented as a guilty sinner but never as a slave of sin and unrighteousness who is a hostile enemy of God. Man is equipped by God with the power of “free will” to choose Christ as his personal savior, they proclaim. It abandons Scriptural teaching in what it conveys about the human condition, that the human will is neutral toward God, not hostile. Many unbelievers who have heard this unbiblical Gospel call have left the pews with a false hope, they will postpone this salvation until their death bed. After all, they are encouraged to believe that God loves them so much and that their sins have been dealt with by the cross (universal atonement) and that they may simply repent and believe before they die. Man is perceived as having the keys to his own destiny by choosing where he will spend eternity, (which sounds more like a Batman movie than the Bible). It’s no wonder 80% of our youth leave the church by age 21, they feel no real need to repent and no desire to cast themselves upon the Cross of Christ. To preach a doctrine whereby a sinner can regenerate himself, by repenting and believing whenever they please, is a serious mistake. The writer of Hebrews presented a very different Gospel call, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts….” For God is angry with the disobedient unbeliever and he will not enter into the eternal rest of Christ because of unbelief (Heb 3:16-19).

DSR (divine supernatural regeneration)

is not popular in a prideful modern culture that speaks of “self-esteem” and “self-help.” The Bible says people are lost and spiritually dead in trespasses and sins and that man cannot please God (Eph 2:1, Rom 8:8). Our Savior portrayed the human condition as one of utter helplessness (John 6:44, 65). The will of man is in bondage to sin and cannot be changed by merely making a momentary self proclaimed decision of “accepting Christ” (Rom 6:20). A person cannot make himself or herself a Christian. Only the Spirit of God can create a new person in Christ. God in his grace gives us new hearts. Only then can we willingly repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ said, “Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he is pleased to give it” (John 5:21). The magnificence of God’s power in saving sinners can be appreciated only when people understand their desperate condition, their inability to please God and their incompetence to save themselves. When people are shown their helplessness and become convinced of their true state, then the new birth is great news! By grace through faith each of God’s elect are saved, and this grace and faith is the gift of God, not a result of man’s works, so that the saved will not be able to boast in themselves (Eph 2:8-9). The ones that receive Christ have been given the right to become God’s children, and these who believe in His name are born again (regenerate), not by blood relation, not by human exterior works, and not by man’s internal will, but by God and to him alone belongs the glory (John 1:12-13). Christ the Shepherd calls and brings out His own sheep, and His sheep know His voice and follow Him. The Shepherd chooses His sheep, the sheep do not choose the shepherd (John 10:3-4).

How can you become a Christian?

By God’s mercy and by His washing of regeneration by the Holy Spirit whom He pours out richly upon all those who thrust themselves upon Jesus Christ the perfect Savior. Admit that you are lost, helpless, and a slave of sin. Repent of your sins and pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ as your King. Plead with almighty God to remove His wrath and anger against your soul, and to look upon you with favor because Jesus Christ has bore your shame upon the cross. Believe in your heart that God the Father raised God the Son (Jesus Christ) from the dead and you will be set free from the bondage of sin and saved from spiritual death and eternal damnation of hell fire. Believe that Jesus Christ has taken upon Himself your every sin. Understand that it is God’s grace alone that has found you and saved you, and not by anything you have done or can do. (Tit 3:3-7; Act 3:19; Rom 3:19-26, Rom 10:9-10)

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