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Page 162

Can you name ten descriptions used by our church forefathers in the articles quoted, to describe regeneration?

Why is God's total grace the only remedy for man's total depravity?

  • Conformity - Doing that which is required; obedience


    And to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

    - Hebrews 12:24

    For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    - Romans 6:23

    Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.

    - II Corinthians 13:5a


    Regeneration is described by our church forefathers in the following manner:

    Heads III and IV - Articles 11 and 12

    Article 11

    But when God accomplishes His good pleasure in the elect, or works in them true conversion, He not only causes the gospel to be externally preached to them, and powerfully illuminates their minds by His Holy Spirit, that they may rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit of God; but by the efficacy of the same regenerating Spirit, pervades the inmost recesses of the man; He opens the closed, and softens the hardened heart, and circumcises that which was uncircumcised, infuses new qualities into the will, which though heretofore dead, He quickens; from being evil, disobedient, and refractory, He renders it good, obedient, and pliable; actuates and strengthens it, that like a good tree, it may bring forth the fruits of good actions.

    Article 12

    And this is the regeneration so highly celebrated in Scripture, and denominated a new creation: a resurrection from the dead, a making alive, which God works in us without our aid. But this is in no wise effected merely by the external preaching of the gospel, by moral suasion, or such a mode of operation, that after God has performed His part, it still remains in the power of man to be regenerated or not, to be converted, or to continue unconverted; but it is evidently a supernatural work most powerful, and at the same time most delightful, astonishing, mysterious, and ineffable; not inferior in efficacy to creation, or the resurrection from the dead, as the Scripture inspired by the Author of this work declares; so that all in whose heart God works in this marvelous manner, are certainly, infallibly, and effectually regenerated, and do actually believe - Whereupon the will thus renewed, is not only actuated and influenced by God, but in consequence of this influence, becomes itself active. Wherefore also, man is himself rightly said to believe and repent, by virtue of that grace received.

    Due to our sinful fall and resulting total depravity, we need God's regenerating grace. Conformity to God's law - love toward God and others - is absolutely necessary to be restored into, and to enjoy, communion with God; without holiness no person shall ever see God. Sinful man's condition is the opposite from that which is needed; his heart loves self, sin, world, and Satan, instead of God. His will is active, but only actively sinful; it is dead spiritually - it has no love toward God at all. Therefore fallen man, being dead in sin, deeply needs God's regenerating, His life-implanting, grace. Without the Holy Spirit's implantation of a new principle of spiritual life, each sinner will eternally perish.

    Have you experienced something of your lost condition and deep need for regeneration? Can you personally relate to the description of God's regenerating grace in the Canons of Dordt articles above? Has this taken place in your life?

    Scripture testifies of the necessity of personal regeneration in numerous places. The chart on the following page provides several examples.

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