Ordo Salutis

Ezekiel 36:26  And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Have you been born again?  What happened the first time you were born?  Did you have anything to do with it?  When your mother and father conceived you, were you in control of the decision to be born?  What about in your spiritual rebirth?  Did you have any control of the decision to be reborn?

It’s worth viewing the words chosen by the Holy Spirit as He inspired the writers of the Bible as intentional and meaningful.  Even the more metaphorical phrases have deep meaning.  It’s no coincidence that the Bible speaks of someone who is saved as being “born again”.  Just as we couldn’t choose to be born, we can’t choose to be reborn.  God made us alive spiritually by giving us a new life (Ephesians 2:5).  He gives us a new heart.  He gives us the right to be adopted as His children by being born again (John 1:12-13).  It’s a gift, and we had nothing to do with it.  We didn’t earn it and we sure didn’t deserve it.

Regeneration is a secret act of God in which He gives us new spiritual life.  Whereas once the Gospel was foolishness to us (1 Corinthians 1:18), through His work in us it begins to make sense and we are drawn to it (Romans 1:16).  This is because we have been given a new understanding and a new heart that longs for God.  Regeneration brings us from spiritual death to life.  Now we have the ability to possess the saving faith required to respond to the Gospel by accepting Christ.  This is all a gift of God as He pours out His grace on us.