Regeneration Is Permanent


TABLETALK DEVOTIONS WITH RC SPROUL

Regeneration Is Permanent
=========================
Philippians 1:6 “I am sure of this,
that he who began a good work in you will
bring it to completion at the day
of Jesus Christ” (v. 6).

We conclude our brief study of regeneration
today with an examination of its
permanency. One of the most important
questions we can answer is whether or
not the new birth is something that can
be lost. If God has regenerated a
person, can that person return permanently
to a state of degeneracy?

Looking at Scripture as a whole, it is clear that those who are transformed by
the Holy Spirit will continue in that state
until the end of life. Many
passages of the Bible teach this doctrine, one of
the most important being
Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians in today’s
passage. In 1:6, the apostle
clearly proclaims the permanency of
regeneration. God will bring the good work
He started in us to completion.
The Lord never aborts the person that He has
quickened.

This is
comforting because we know that if it were up to us, none of us would
be able
to die in a state of grace. This does not mean that sanctification is
passive
or that we should sit back and let God do all of the work. Paul tells
us in
Philippians to work out our salvation in fear and trembling
(2:12).
Nevertheless, God undergirds all of our efforts to pursue maturity in
Christ.
His sovereign presence and saving power is what ultimately keeps us
in the
faith (v. 13).

The fact that regeneration is permanent does not
mean that believers cannot
fall into sin, even heinous ones. Simon Peter
illustrates this truth well.
Remember that he committed the worst sin of all,
denying the Lord and Master
who would redeem His soul (Matt. 26:69–75). But
Peter did not remain in sin
forever; he came to repent of his sin and found
restoration in Christ Jesus
(John 21:15–19). For this reason we must always
turn to the Lord even if we
have transgressed His will most grievously. He
will restore us when we humbly
confess our sin, and this confession is an
outward evidence of repentance and
the staying power of regeneration in our
hearts (1 John 1:8–10).

Furthermore, we should also pray for those who
seem to have fallen from the
faith. We do not know their most inner thoughts,
and they may be regenerate,
though in sin. Therefore, we pray for their
hearts to be softened that they
might bear the fruit of the new birth once
more.

Coram deo: Living before the face of
God
========================================
The permanency of our
regeneration is something we must not take for granted.
Knowing that we have
been born again should motivate us to live out this truth
by heeding the many
warnings in Scripture against unbelief (Heb. 6:1–12). If
we do not heed these
warnings and repent when necessary, we reveal that we are
still slaves to sin
and must question whether we have been born again in the
first place (Rom.
6:1–2, 15–16). What sins do you need to repent over this
day?

For
further study:

2 Samuel 11–12

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