The Doctrine Of The New Birth
“Repentance is a deep, godly sorrow produced in the heart of a sinful person by the Word and Spirit of God, whereby from a sense of sin as endangering to his own soul and displeasing to God, he with grief and hatred turns from all his known sins to God as his Lord and Savior.” — John Wesley.
Repentance is a repulsing by the moral nature toward all that is unlike God, for sin is unlikeness to God. This grace of repentance must be retained in order to retain the grace of salvation and to obtain the grace of sanctification. (Luke 13:3; Acts 3:19; 11:18; 2:38).
9. Saving Faith:
“Faith is not only an assent to the whole Gospel of Christ, but also a full reliance upon the blood of Christ; a trust in the merits of His life, death, and resurrection; a recumbency upon Him a sour atonement and our life, as given us and living in us. It is a sure confidence which a man hath in God that, through the merits of Christ, his sins are forgiven and he reconciled to the favor of God; and in consequence thereof, a closing with Him, and cleaving to Him, as our ‘wisdom,righteousness, sanctification and redemption,’ or, in one word, our salvation:” — John Wesley:(Rom. 5:1; Acts 13:39; Eph. 2:8; Heb. 11:1; Rom. 1.17).
“Justification is that act of God the Father, whereby for the sake of the propitiation made bythe blood of His Son, He sheweth forth His righteousness (or mercy) by the remission of sins thatare past.” — J. Wesley. (Rom. 2:6; Luke 18:14; Rom. 3:24).
The practice of adoption was common among the Romans. It was the act by which a childmight be taken into another family and made a son of that family by adoption. Theologically it isthe act of God’s free grace whereby one is received into the family of God, made His child andheir to the Divine inheritance. (Eph. 1:3-14; I Peter 1:2-5).
“Regeneration is that great change which God works in the soul when He brings it into life;when he raises it from the death of sin to the life of righteousness. It is the change wrought in thewhole soul by the Almighty Spirit of God, when it is created anew in Christ Jesus. When the loveof the world is changed into the love of God, pride into humility, passion into meekness, hatred,envy, malice into a sincere disinterested love for all mankind.” — John Wesley. (John 3:6; 1:12; 2Cor. 5:17).
13. A Discrimination
Conversion, Pardon, Forgiveness, Justification And Regeneration, Conversion, pardon,forgiveness and justification are terms often used synonymously, yet each term carries with it aslightly different shade of meaning. Conversion, the turning from (1 Thess. 1:9), usually expressiveof the human act; “pardon, in strictness and as used in the Scripture,” says Bishop Foster in hisMerrick Lectures (Third series), “is an administrative act by which the penalty of sin affixed bylaw is remitted, not exacted. Forgiveness is a personal act, which includes pardon, but goes furtherin that it not only includes the remission of penalty but reinstates the offender in the favor of theoffended — restores loving relation between them. When pardon is understood in this broadersense, as it constantly is, there is no use for the added term forgiveness.” Justification includespardon at the same time it stands for a relative change or change of relation. Regeneration is what.God does for us in changing our nature, the freeing of the soul from the power of actual
transgression and from the dominion of sin. All these aforementioned terms are included in theNew Birth. They suggest a different aspect of the same work of God in the human soul.
Luther Lee says, “Regeneration reverses the current of the affection, and so renews thewhole soul that all the Christian graces exist. . . . Regeneration is a renewal of our fallen nature bythe power of the Holy Spirit, whereby the regenerate are delivered from the power of sin whichreigns over all the unregenerate. . . The power of sin is broken; the principle of obedience isplanted in the heart.” (Theology pp. 194-200).
1. “Justification is a work done for us, but regeneration is a work done in us.
2. “Justification changes our relation to God, and restores us to his favor by a pardon,while regeneration changes our state — our real character.
3. “Justification removes the guilt of sin which we have committed, while regenerationremoves the love of sin.
4. “Justification removes the punishment we deserve, remits the penalty of the law; butregeneration plants the principle of obedience in the heart. . . .
14. Regeneration Distinctively Marked.
The marks of regeneration or the new birth are outstanding:
(1.) There is a complete change and reversal. (2 Cor. 5:17, 18).
(2.) It is marked by glorious victory as a Christian over the world (I John 3:4), andover sin (I John 3:9). In this connection, however, we have the emergency clause. “It any man sin,we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous” (I John 2:1).
(3.) It is marked by a righteous life. (I John 2:29; 3:7).
(4.) It is marked by brotherly love. (I John 3:14).
(5.) It is marked by a compassionate heart. (I John 3:16, 17).
(6.) It is marked by a recognition of the Lordship of the Lord Jesus. (I John 5:1).
(7.) It is marked by the witness of the Spirit. (Rom. 8:16).
15. The Witness Of The Holy Spirit.
The witness is direct and indirect. The first, “the testimony of the Spirit, is an inwardimpression on the soul whereby the spirit of God directly witnesses to my spirit, that I am a childof God; that Jesus Christ has loved me, and given Himself for me; and that all my sins are blotted
out, and I, even I, am reconciled to God.” — J. Wesley. (Rom. 8:16; 1 Cor. 2:12; Gal. 4:6; 1 John3:24).
The second, the indirect. “This is properly the testimony of our own spirit; even thetestimony of our conscience” — .J. Wesley. (2 Cor. 2:12; Gal. 5:22, 23).