A Helpful Definition of Regeneration

My studies this week led me to reflect on some Scripture texts that explain regeneration or new birth (e.g. John 1:13, 3:1-12). I also re-read the Westminster Confession of Faith’s explanation of regeneration (Chapter 10 on “effectual calling”). The WCF’s wording is super helpful and is an excellent summary of the Bible’s teaching about this topic. I’ll put the WCF’s definition of regeneration below and follow it up with some Scripture texts so you can see how the confession nicely summarizes sacred Scripture.

All those whom God has predestinated unto life, and those only,
he is pleased,
in his appointed and accepted time,
effectually to call,
by his word and Spirit,
out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature,
to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ;
enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God;
taking away their heart of stone, and giving them a heart of flesh;
renewing their wills,
and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good;
and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ;
yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.

Romans 8:30 And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified (NET).
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. He called you to this salvation through our gospel, so that you may possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (NET).
Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (NET).
Acts 25:18 ...to open their eyes so that they turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me (NET).
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh (NET).
Philippians 2:13 for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort—for the sake of his good pleasure—is God (NET).
John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him (NET).
Romans 6:16-17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were entrusted to, and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness (NET).

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015