Contemporary Essays & Articles
Regeneration is a secret act of God in which he imparts new spiritual life to us. As the gospel comes to us, God speaks through it to summon us to himself (effective calling) and to give us new spiritual life (regeneration) so that we are enabled to respond in faith. Effective calling is thus God that Father speaking powerfully to us, and regeneration is God that Father and God the Holy Spirit working powerfully in us, to make us alive. Sometimes the term irresistible grace is used in this connection. It refers to the fact that God effectively calls people and also gives them regeneration, and both actions guarantee that we will respond in saving faith. The term irresistible grace is subject to misunderstanding, however, since it seems to imply that people do not make a voluntary choice in responding to the gospel - a wrong idea, and a wrong understanding of the term irresistible grace. The term does preserve something valuable, however, because it indicates that God's work reaches into our hearts to bring about a response that is absolutely certain - even tough we respond voluntarily.
Wayne Grudem from Systematic Theology (pg. 699)
God effects a change which is radical and all-pervasive, a change which cannot be explained in terms of any combination, permutation or accumulation of human resources, a change which is nothing less than a new creation by Him who calls the things that be not as though they were, who spoke and it was done, who commanded and it stood fast. This, in a word, is regeneration.
The Reformers, and particularly John Calvin, stressed the way the objective, written Word and the inner, supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit work together, the Holy Spirit illuminating the Word to God's people. The Word without the illumination of the Holy Spirit remains a closed book.
James M. Boice
"Regeneration is that miracle of Divine grace wrought in the soul which enlists the affections Godward, which brings the human will into subjection to the Divine, and which produces a real and radical change in the life...from worldliness to godliness, from disobedience to obedience." (1 John 2:3, 3:9, 4:7, 5:18)
- A.W. Pink
Regeneration is a creative and sovereign act of God by which sinners, dead in their trespasses and sins, are made alive with Christ.