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Lowell Brueckner

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You Must Be Born Again!


I invite you to enter into a study that I am undertaking, concerning the theme of the new birth. In the book, God Made the Country, I wrote on the same theme, but in this work, I am approaching the subject in a different manner with a different purpose, emphasizing some things that I didn’t mention in the book. Also, I am presenting this more in the form of an outline, recognizing that it lacks substance and details. But using the outline, you can develop the subject, jotting things in a notebook or your own computer that will help explain to you the things that I am presenting. So, we can join and learn together from this study…

New Birth or Regeneration

“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
John 1:12-13


In this introduction, I want to first make a general appeal for basic truth, for pure doctrine and biblical theology: Above all, the teachers and preachers of the gospel, myself included, have a responsibility to present truth. There are many things that we may not like, as we learn, but we cannot change divine, eternal truth. We are not the fountain of righteousness, and our view of what is righteous, at best, is imperfect, therefore, we must learn to yield to God and learn to love the truth that He teaches in His word.  There must be no selfishness in our quest, which we may try to disguise as something more spiritual, but is actually a lust for recognition for our cleverness in our presentation or for any other personal benefit that we might attain as expounders of spiritual themes. We must be on a single-minded mission to bring honor to God.

This is also a plea for an expectation of definite divine intervention in the work of personal salvation. Such an intervention does not take place automatically, as a result of having taken certain steps towards salvation: i.e. “Recognize, this, this, this and that, then pray and you will be saved”. God must be in every conversion. Good doctrine states that you are adopted into the family of God, when you place your trust in the person and work of God’s Son. Regeneration demonstrates that you are in the family, in plain view of the entire universe. If there is no new birth, there is no adoption.  

New birth or regeneration. Regeneration has the identical meaning as new birth, which can also be expressed as to be reborn or born anew. Titus 3:5… “Not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” It is something experiential in every true child of God.

I. Prophesied in the Old Testament.

If Jesus had initiated this doctrine, it would not be legitimate, for He said, “My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent Me” (John 7:16). His doctrine, in one way or another was already taught in the Old Testament. The prophecy in Jeremiah 31:31-34 is quoted in Hebrews 8:8-12; 10:16-17… “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:  not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ declares the Lord. ‘But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will put My law within them and on their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people: They shall teach not again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them,’ declares the Lord, ‘for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.’”

This is one of those prophesies that is for the Jew first and also for the Gentiles. Ephesians 2:12-13… “You were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Jesus is the Mediator of the covenant, of which the prophet speaks, and when the Jew rejected that Mediator, the gospel went to the Gentiles. We come into God’s promises by faith. One day, national Israel will see the fulfillment of this covenant. What are the characteristics of it? It is a law of nature… a transformed nature with a new mind and a new heart and with a personal knowledge of God by direct relationship. Teaching will come from God and not from man. The sin separation will be totally dealt with, so that this relationship will be possible. It is a promise and a miraculous work of God… I will make a new covenant (v.31), I will put my law within them (v.33), I will forgive them (v.34). The New Covenant is life-changing. It gives the recipient a love for God and a desire to do His will.  Ezekiel 36:25-27… “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”  Ezekiel adds to Jeremiah’s prophecy the destruction of the old heart… old nature… and the indwelling Holy Spirit, who will turn us to walk in and keep the ways of God.

II. The two sons of Abraham

Paul gives this example of the two sons of Abraham, comparing true religion with religiosity: Galatians 4:22-31… Comparison 1) Legitimate/illegitimate according to the moral, unchanging law of God. It was not in the plan of God in the beginning that a man should have intimate relations with two women. Therefore, the participation of Hagar in this account is illegitimate. Comparison 2) Promise/human plan. One is promised according to God’s eternal purposes, the other is conceived in the minds of human beings. Comparison 3) Supernatural/natural. One comes into being through the power of God, the other has nothing whatsoever beyond human strength and ability. Comparison 4) Free/slave. One is born from a free woman and everything in his nature is related to that freedom. It is true religion of the heart, coming from the heavenly, eternal Jerusalem.. The other has come out of slavery, signifying Sinai, the earthly Jerusalem and earthly religion. The fruit will be legalism. Comparison 5) Spirit/flesh One is from start to finish a work of God, born of the Spirit, therefore an everlasting work, producing an heir of God, who is joint-heir with Christ. The other is conceived by human beings, therefore he is a temporal work that will be cast out. Comparison 6) Persecuted/persecutor One, because it is a godly seed and totally apart from the world and its doings, is a target for its hatred. The other rises up in mockery and cannot tolerate or co-exist with the godly.    


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