This continues the ongoing blog series on "The New Birth"
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church
Salvation would be of little profit and it would impart no comfort if it could be reversible. Yet the Word of God clearly affirms that the work of God in the soul of man is a final work, an irreversible work, an unchangeable work, and a divine work. The Apostle Peter affirms that God has caused believers to be born again [ἀναγεννήσας] to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you (1 Pet 1:3-4). Unspeakable comfort, unfathomable mercies, and unquenchable consolations pour out from these verses. This brief write-up will further explain the finality of the new birth.
1) It is IRREVERSIBLE. God declares: “I act and who can reverse it?” (Isa 43:13). When God performs the rebirth in the soul of a man, it cannot be changed. No man, no power, no situation, no sin can alter what God has accomplished on behalf of His elect. As the process can’t be reversed when a human baby is born, so impossible is it spiritually to reverse the heavenly-birth. What God accomplishes is perfect and eternal. Let this comfort the believer’s soul!
2) It is IRREVOCABLE. Not only is the new birth irreversible (can’t be altered), but also is irrevocable. This underscores the promise that the heavenly birth cannot be taken away. All whom God rebirths are those whom He Himself carries to heaven. None that He saves can be lost. Salvation cannot be revoked from any of Christ’s blood-bought sheep. Those who are born again are “protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet 1:5). The sovereign, monergistic work of God cannot be altered, revoked, insufficient or inadequate. This reality of the irrevocable finality of the new birth must comfort God’s children!
3) It is UNSTOPPABLE. God does according to His will and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him: “what have you done?” (Dan 4:35). What God decrees and determines to accomplish, none can stop Him. None can thwart His ways. The LORD is a Warrior and none can stop Him (Ex 15:2). The glorious act of supernatural regeneration that comes upon a dead soul by the uninfluenced and unconditional grace of God cannot be resisted. Much comfort comes from this truth when God grants new life, none can willfully and blasphemously reject it. As Jesus said, the new birth must be compared to the wind, for people hear the sound of it but do not know were it comes from or where it is going.None can stop the wind. It’s invisible, it’s powerful, it’s unstoppable, it’s beyond human control. So it is with God’s working in the new birth.
4) It is UNEXPLAINABLE. Like the wind, man knows that regeneration is there but he cannot fully comprehend and explain it. This is only fitting since the new birth is a full, supreme, divine miracle. Miracles cannot be explained by finite, human creatures. The regeneration act is nothing short of a supernatural, instantaneous, unrepeatable miracle! Indeed, as a miracle performed by God and by Him alone, man cannot fully explain it. We receive it and believe it!
5) It is FINAL. All of this emphatically underscores the promise that the new birth can’t come up short. It can’t leave one dangling over heaven and then at last drop them into hell. The work of God in the soul of a man by the grace of Christ by the sovereignty of the Spirit is a final, saving, eternal, unstoppable, and glorious work. Let Christians rejoice and be glad in God!