Salvation Terms – Part 3
Conversion is used to describe the process of an individual turning from sin and turning to Christ. Turning from sin is repentance, while turning to Christ is faith. Another way of viewing this would be to state that conversion equals repentance plus faith. Salvation requires both, as repentance falls short of salvation without saving faith and faith falls short if it is not followed up with repentance. A good illustration of this would be Judas Iscariot who repented, but did not have saving faith and therefore did not experience true conversion (Mark 14:21).
Justification means to “render innocent; just as if you have never sinned.” When a person is justified, God declares him just or righteous. As we have seen previously, justification is totally the result of faith and grace and is not based on the works of man.
“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:28)
Regeneration is simply being born again. Jesus explained the necessity of two births: a natural birth and a supernatural birth. This supernatural birth is regeneration.
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)
Regeneration Is Having Dual Natures
In regeneration, man has received a new nature but the old has survived. This means the Christian has two natures but not two personalities.
Regeneration Is Being Quickened
Regeneration is the act by which God quickens or makes alive the sinner who was dead spiritually.
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1)
The Agent of Regeneration Is the Holy Spirit
God the Spirit is responsible for the work of regeneration in the heart of a repentant sinner.
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5, 6)
At salvation, the Holy Spirit indwells the believer and creates a new work in the believer’s heart.
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9)
The Instrument of Regeneration Is the Word Of God
Only the Bible reveals the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (I Peter 1:23)
So far we have examined eight terms relating to salvation. Join us next month for the last installment of this series, when we will consider adoption and sanctification.