Clarence E. Mason's "Soteriology"
BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
- THE NATURE OF REGENERATION
- Regeneration is not baptism
The Romanists hold the doctrine that regeneration is accomplished only
through the instrumentality of baptism. The language of the baptismal
formula of the Protestant Episcopal, Lutheran, and a number of other churches,
states or implies regeneration is associated with, or accomplished by,
water baptism. This is effectual in every instance of its application
to an infant. In the case of adults its virtue may be either resisted
and nullified, or received and improved.
Such passages as the following emphasize regeneration: Jn. 3:5; Gal. 6:15;
Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23; 1 Cor. 4:15; 1:14-17. If baptism and salvation
are synonymous, 1 Corinthians 4:15 and 1 Corinthians 1:14 are contradictory.
In Acts 8:13,20-23, Simon was baptized but was "in the gall of bitterness
and the bond of iniquity"; cp. Luke 23:43.
- Regeneration is not reformation
Regeneration is not reformation, but it is a supernatural act of God (Jn.
1:12-13; Tit. 3:5; Eph. 1:19-22). Reformation is a forward step in man's
experience. The Pharisees were reformers, but they did not strike at the
root of the disease, which was sin.
- The positive aspects of regeneration
- It is the impartation
of a new nature (2 Pet. 1:4).
- It is a spiritual quickening
(Eph. 2:1, 5-6; Jn. 5:21, 24-25).
- It is a spiritual creation
(Eph. 2:10; Gal. 6:15 ASV; 2 Cor. 5:17)
"Regeneration is not evolution, but involution, the communication
of a new life. It is a revolution, a change of direction resulting
from that life. A new governing power comes into the regenerate man's
life by which he is enabled to become holy in experience. " William
- THE NECESSITY OF REGENERATION
- It is universally necessary
(Jn. 3:3,5; Gal. 6:15).
- The sinful condition of man
demands it (Jn. 3:6; Rom. 7:18; 8:8; 12:2; Jer. 13:2
- The holiness of God demands
it (Heb. 12:14 ASV, the holiness).
- The presence of spiritual
death demands it (Eph. 2:1).
- THE MEANS OF REGENERATION
- It is a Divine work (Jn.
1:13; Jas. 1:18; Tit. 3:5).
In the salvation of every person there is an actual putting forth of Divine
power whereby the dead sinner is quickened (made alive).
- God begets men through
the Holy Spirit (Tit. 3:5; Jn. 3:5-6).
- The Word is the instrument
that the Holy Spirit uses in regeneration (Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23,25).
- Men are used of God for
the regeneration of sinners by the preaching of the gospel (1 Cor.
- The human side of the means
- The written Word must
be received and believed (1 Pet. 1:23; Acts 2:41; 1 Cor. 4:15).
- The Incarnate Word must
be believed and received (Jn. 1:1,12; Gal. 3:26).
- THE RESULTS OF REGENERATION
- A radical change in life
and experience (2 Cor. 5:17).
Regeneration is not gradual in its occurrence though it may be gradual
in its manifestation.
- Sonship with God (Gal. 3:26).
- The indwelling of the Holy
Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19).
- Liberated from the slavery
of the flesh (Rom. 8:2, 9).
- A living faith in Christ
(1 Jn. 5:4).
- Victory over the world (1
- Cessation of sin as a life
practice (1 Jn. 3:9).
- Establishment of righteousness
as a life practice (1 Jn. 2.29).
- Christian love (1 Jn. 3:14).
Regeneration is the Holy Spirit's gracious, sovereign, quickening act in which
the Divine nature is imparted to the soul of man, causing a reversal of his
attitude toward God and sin, the expression of which, in repentance and faith,
is secured through the instrumentality of the Word of God.
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