For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. (Titus 3:3-8 NKJV)
Notice the beginning says, “we were once” and then it lists: once foolish, once disobedient, once deceived, once serving various lusts and pleasures, once living in malice and envy, once hateful and hating one another. Then it is says immediately after: “But when.”
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior was made known to us, He saved us “through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”
The word in the Greek for regeneration is Paliggenesia, which means:
new birth, reproduction, renewal, recreation, regeneration
hence renovation, regeneration, the production of a new life consecrated to God, a radical change of mind for the better. The word often used to denote the restoration of a thing to its pristine state, its renovation, as a renewal or restoration of life after death.
And the Greek word for renewing is Anakainosis, which means:
a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better.
When you truly surrender to Christ, a miracle happens: you are recreated. You are consecrated to God. A radical change of mind happens for the better. And you are renewed and completely changed for the better.
If this hasn’t happened to you, then you must ask yourself: when I “accepted Christ” did I accept His salvation AND His total lordship over my life, or just His salvation? You cannot have one without the other; they go hand-in-hand.
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”-Romans 10:9
When you proclaim that Jesus is your Lord, you are saying He now controls your life. Whatever He says, goes. You are saying He is master and you are no longer a slave of sin, but a slave of Christ.
There is no genuine regeneration and renewal in the life of a person who only wants hell-insurance. Or a person who kinda wants Jesus, but doesn’t want to follow everything He commands. Usually, those who say a prayer to receive Christ as Lord and to receive His Holy Spirit, but do not want to completely obey His commands, these people usually don’t change much. They might cuss less, start attending church regularly, and read their bible sometimes, but they still sin, they still look and act like the world. There’s no complete change of lifestyle and desires and a radical change of mind toward God and His ways.
Sadly, there are many like this. As Jesus said:
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”-Matthew 7:13-14
Will you stride with the many on the road to destruction, or will you walk with the few on the road to life and receive salvation? As always, the choice is yours.