Friday, October 8, 2010

Christian Faith -- How does a soul acquire it?

Read the Gospel of John 3:1-21
in its context. Note first of all
the encounter Christ had with
Nicodemus and the working of
the Holy Spirit. Then note the
preceding verses leading up to
John 3:16;17 about the people
Israel calling out to the bronzed
serpent, (as a "type" of Christ).
What is the "New Birth," -- or, what is commonly called "Regeneration," or, the Christian "Conversion" process?

All men are sinners by birth and by choice. [Romans 3.23 ; John 8.44] Being “born from above” is a supernatural act involving the impartation of divine life. The basis of the new birth is the sacrificial death of Christ [1 Peter 1.17-23 ; 1 Corinthians 15.2-3 ; Titus 3.5].

The indispensable condition of the new birth is personal faith in Jesus Christ. [John 1.12-13] Regeneration itself occurs when the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, convicts, converts, and regenerates the sinner. It is called “the washing of regeneration” in Titus 3.5 -- [see also John 3.5 ; James 1.18 ; 1 Peter 1.23 ; Ephesians 5.26].

At least four benefits accrue to the believer from regeneration:

(1) He becomes a child of God. John 1.12 ; Galatians 3.26 ; Romans 8.16-17

(2) He becomes a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5.17 ; Galatians 6.15 ; Ephesians 2.10

(3) He partakes “of the divine nature.” [2 Peter 1.4]

(4) In his own experience he shares in Christ’s victory over sin and the world according to the measure of his faith. 1 John 3.9 ; 1 John 5.4 and verse 18

[Source of Aforementioned: Harper Study Bible – Zondervan Publishing House]

Please note:

With newborn infants, the Lord has provided Christian Baptism as was (and still is practiced)] by believers of all time:

Baptism of new believers and their families, is to be freely exercised in accordance with Christ’s (most necessary) Command. Matthew 28:18-20 ; Mark 16:15-16 ; Acts 8:26-40 and Acts 16:1-34

Please access, "Grace for the Sinner" for a more extensive explanation of Christian Baptism -- and, especially, the baptism of infants.


Defining the work of the Divine process of a soul coming into the Christian Faith --
An explanation of the 3rd Article of the Apostle's Creed:

I believe in the Holy Ghost; [Spirit] the holy Christian Church, the communion of saint; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen. What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ , my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost [Spirit] has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He daily and richly forgives all sins to me and all believers, and will at the Last Day raise up me and all the dead, and give unto me and all believers in Christ eternal life. This is most certainly true.

[Dr. Martin Luther [b. 1483; d. 1546]

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