Author: Ron Graham
Word Study: Regeneration
Word family: Regeneration, regenerate.
Synonyms: rebirth, new birth,“born again”, renewal, re-creation.
Related ideas: baptism, forgiveness, the gift of the Holy Spirit, resurrection, spiritual death, eternal life.
Definitions: Regeneration is being “born again” (spiritually of course, not bodily). The “old person” (the condemned sinner) is no more, and a “new person” (the saint) is re-created in Christ.
Greek References: παλιγγενεσια (palingenesia) 3824 (Strong) cf 3825 palin again, 1078 (1074-1088) genesis birth, generation.
Regeneration and the Word
- 1Peter 1:23-25 “Born again, not of seed which perishes, but which is imperishable, by the living and abiding word of God.”
- Romans 12:1-2 “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind...”
Regeneration and the Resurrection
- 1Peter 1:3-4 “...born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”
- 2Corinthians 5:15-17 “...he died for all... and rose again on their behalf... therefore if any person is in Christ he is a new creature. The old things have passed away, behold all things have become new.”
Regeneration and baptism
- John 3:1-8 esp v.5 “...unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
- Romans 6:3-6 “baptized into his death ...buried with him through baptism... so that we... might walk in newness of life.”
- Ephesians 5:26, Titus 3:5, Revelation 1:5 “...by the washing of water with the word... by the washing of regeneration... [Jesus] washed us from our sins in his blood.”
- Baptism does not regenerate a person. Baptism is certainly essential to regeneration, because one is “baptized into Christ... into his death”. However it is God, the Holy Spirit, who regenerates a person by means of Christ's death and resurrection.
Regeneration and the Holy Spirit
- Titus 3:5-6 “...and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.”
- Romans 8:2 “...the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
Comment: “Regeneration” is a big word for renewal or rebirth. Likewise being “regenerated” is simply being “born again”. Rebirth is important in the doctrine of Christ. It is bringing back to life of a person who is spiritually dead —dead in sin. It is not merely a spiritual resuscitation but a complete new start, a new genesis for the person. We may think of regeneration as a precursor of the resurrection at the last day, when begins a new life without end in heaven. We may consider it so, because the Holy Spirit, given at our rebirth, is a guarantee or down payment of that eternal life.