April 24    
Today's Bible Readings
     Numbers 1
     Psalm 35
     Ecclesiastes 11
     Titus 3
''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." (Titus 3:5-6)
            It is sad that many believers do not understand the beautiful depth of meaning of the great Scripture words that describe our salvation.  One of those majestic words is regeneration.
            Very simply, when you have been regenerated, it means that you have become a new kind of species. Old things have passed away and all things have become new. A friend of mine received a ''stem cell transplant'' from her brother. She was told afterwards that she had a new DNA. We have a new spiritual DNA.
            Just as the nature of sin entered the human race through one man (Adam), the Holy Spirit entered the human race through another Man (Jesus Christ) (Romans 5:12-19). Redemption means that I can be delivered from the heredity of sin and that, through Christ, I can receive a pure and spotless heredity, namely the Holy Spirit.
            Three trees illustrate this: One tree was in the Garden of Eden, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Man sinned by eating that fruit. Under another tree in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, ''Not My will, but Thine be done." By an act of His will, not as a victim, but a volunteer, He died on another tree, the Old Rugged Cross. There He took my sin on Himself.
            The doctrine of regeneration presents a problem for God.   It is simply this - I have a heredity in which I have no say or decision; I am not holy, nor am I likely to be holy.  If all Jesus Christ can do is tell me that I must be holy, His teaching only causes me to despair, but if Jesus Christ can truly regenerate me and make me new…that is a different story. It means He can put His own heredity of holiness into me and it is then possible to live a holy life.
            Redemption means that Jesus Christ can put into anyone the heredity nature that was in Himself, and all the standards that He gives us are based on that nature. Regeneration does not mean that I am able to live a holy life. It does mean, however, that Jesus Christ who is within me in the Person of the Holy Spirit can live that holy life through me. I simply must agree with Him and receive all that the Holy Spirit desires to be and to do in me.
            Thus, the New Testament teaching about regeneration is that when a person is hit by his own sense of need, God will put the Holy Spirit into his spirit, and his personal spirit will be energized by the Spirit of the Son of God. That means I have a new nature by which I can live a totally new life. That is the essence of Christ living His life through those who have been regenerated.
            The Republic of Nauru in the Pacific has only about 12,000 people, and it is very wealthy. Perhaps the greatest need here is that Christians need to be more than just nominal. They have much of this world's wealth, but this causes a compromise and complacency in their lives. Pray for a genuine commitment to the Lordship of Christ among believers in Nauru.
''He has buried our sins in the deepest sea, and posted a sign that says, NO FISHING."
Bertha Smith, Missionary to China for more than 50 years