As I mentioned yesterday, this topic of regeneration sparked some conversation between our first guest blogger, Miriam, and her husband, Ben. So Ben also decided to write down some of his thoughts, most of which center around the Biblical character David and his experience of relationship with God.
As with all of us who truly take God as our Lord and Savior, David had moments of undeniable faith and perseverance in his belief of God, and moments of unbelievable failure. In the Psalms of David, he repeatedly laments out his need for God, requesting that God not forsake him and not cast him away from His presence. In Psalm 51:10-13, after David has Uriah the Hittite killed because Bathsheba has become pregnant due to their affair [Editor’s Note: Yes, the Bible has sordid stories like this!], David cries out “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.”
David had faith in God, David failed, and God forgave him over and over again. This is how I see regeneration in David. I feel that like Him, every time I fall down, lose faith for a while, or feel out of fellowship with Him because of my own actions, I can be born again because of his grace. Not by my actions, not by being nice to people, not by playing a better guitar riff next Sunday (although truth be told, I do really enjoy it when worship goes well), not by telling people about the wonderful things I’ve done for someone else so that they think I’m a great person…
I Peter 1:3-9 states: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
By admitting that we are sinners and need God, saying and believing “God, I love you. Thank you for your mercy and for sending your only son, the perfect lamb, to save me. Jesus, thank you for living a life free from sin and dying on the cross in order to pay for my transgressions. I take you as my Lord and Savior.” Believing this, to me, is the beginning and rebirth.