"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Personal Regeneration the Antidote for Political Corruption

Jesse T. Peck (1811-1883), was a Methodist Episcopal pastor, the first chairman of the board of Syracuse University, and an intellectual, though never formally educated. When friends around him began to despair over the corruption in government, universities and even churches, Jesse T. Peck  made what I believe to be an insightful quote on the power of genuine revival. Reminding his friends that the ultimate answer to cleaning up corruption is in the spiritual realm, he said:

“Personal regeneration must extend until political corruption shall become improbable, unpopular and even impossible."

A good reminder for all of us pastors as we partake in our July 4th services.

10 comments:

Lydia said...

Wade, What about salvation and regeneration? Can one be saved without ever being regenerated?

Wade Burleson said...

Lydia,

Since "re"-generation by definition means the bestowal of life formerly lost, it would seem to me that regeneration and salvation are synomous. Man lost his life in the garden, and regeneration brings back the life man lost.

So, I do not believe the Bible ever teaches someone can be saved without regeneration.

D. Martyn Lloyd Jones in his teaching on Romans 7 taught that man could be regenerated without being saved for a perioed of time, but that the effectual after effects of regeneration is always salvation.

According to Jones, the time perioed between regeneration before salvation is when the sinner is first aware of his sin, is given a spirit of fear and bondage by the Holy Spirit that convicts, and causes the sinner to feel his righteous condemnation. This time period can endure seconds, days, weeks and even months. He says John the Baptist was regenerated in his mothers' womb, but converted through faith in Christ later. Again, Jones believed that regeneration would always lead to salvation.

I'm indifferent on the subject and can believe like my friend George Ella that regeneration and conversion are simultaneous, or I could believe that regeneration precedes salvation like Jones. It's all a mysterious work of God, and for us to try to systemetize it is like me trying to be a critic of Rembrandt's works.

Debbie Kaufman said...

This is why I believe a person could be witnessed to, hear the message of Christ in the pew or in the car and become born again. Belief which I also see in scripture is a gift from God lest any man should boast, and it's not walking down an aisle or repeating the words of a prayer, but faith in Christ Jesus as our eyes are opened by God through the Holy Spirit to see Christ as he really is and we as we really are, sinners in need of a Savior. It's why I believe so strongly in evangelism and witnessing.

The good news? We don't have to keep hounding someone with the gospel, but giving as God leads us to share it with prayer for the person for God to use it and do a work in their heart. the reason I believe is twofold. We see and remember that it's God who gives the growth and does the word, and the person God is saving sees immediately that God did this in him/her, not anything they themselves did.

Lydia said...

"So, I do not believe the Bible ever teaches someone can be saved without regeneration."

I agree with this because I believe that salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit and He who begins a good work, finishes it.

Do you think a person can be saved without bearing fruit of regeneration. Even after many years?

Jack Maddox said...

Wade - Interesting that Jones believed this - I was not aware of it. It is an interesting approach to the issue of the Spirits drawing. What you would refer to as irresistible grace

Debbie - glad to say AMEN! Can't argue one point you made.

Good thoughts on this FREEDOM day - it is the GOSPEL that sets us FREE!

Wade Burleson said...

Lydia,

I believe it is impossible for regeneration to occur and the fruits of regeneration NOT be present. The fruit of regeneration is the conviction of , and repentance from, sin. Of course, there may be seasons when the fruit is not in bloom, but it will always at some point appear.

Aussie John said...

Wade,

Absolutely! Grace received will always be demonstrated, sometimes more, sometimes less. Grace received is grace perceived.

linda said...

I believe the answer to the problems in the USA, the SBC, and any other group you want to name lies squarely summed up in this post.

Salvation (which will include regeneration) of the individual changes the individual.

Change enough individuals and you have a changed world.

Discussion is SS this morning was revealing:

We often focus on discipling. This is good. Jesus commanded it.

But simply put, you cannot disciple the unconverted.

Focus on salvation and evangelism and all the other "isms" and issues fall into place.

May you be truly free in Christ!

Thy Peace said...

My Utmost for His Highest > January 10th

THE OPENED SIGHT

"To open their eyes . . . that they may receive . . ." Acts 26:18

This verse is the grandest condensation of the propaganda of a disciple of Jesus Christ in the whole of the New Testament.

The first sovereign work of grace is summed up in the word - "that they may receive remission of sins." When a man fails in personal Christian experience, it is nearly always because he has never received anything. The only sign that a man is saved is that he has received something from Jesus Christ. Our part as workers for God is to open men's eyes that they may turn themselves from darkness to light; but that is not salvation, that is conversion - the effort of a roused human being. I do not think it is too sweeping to say that the majority of nominal Christians are of this order; their eyes are opened, but they have received nothing. Conversion is not regeneration. This is one of the neglected factors in our preaching today. When a man is born again, he knows that it is because he has received something as a gift from Almighty God and not because of his own decision. People register their vows, and sign their pledges, and determine to go through, but none of this is salvation. Salvation means that we are brought to the place where we are able to receive something from God on the authority of Jesus Christ, viz., remission of sins.

Then there follows the second mighty work of grace - "an inheritance among them which are sanctified." In sanctification the regenerated soul deliberately gives up his right to himself to Jesus Christ, and identifies himself entirely with God's interest in other men.

Lydia said...

I believe it is impossible for regeneration to occur and the fruits of regeneration NOT be present. The fruit of regeneration is the conviction of , and repentance from, sin. Of course, there may be seasons when the fruit is not in bloom, but it will always at some point appear.

Sun Jul 04, 03:57:00 PM 2010

This is what is not being taught in many churches. Instead, fire insurance is being sold. But it is a fake policy.

The lack of teaching/understanding on sanctification and regeneration
is one of the biggest problems in Christendom.

I have really only seen one itinerant preacher really speak to this problem in American style Christianity that is clear and convicting and that is Paul Washer.