Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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A SEED OF LIFE
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
The change in my disposition does not mean that I have a greater intellect now than I had before. No, I have exactly the same intellect, the same mind. But because the disposition governing it is changed, my mind is operating in a different realm and in a different way, and it seems to be a new mind. And it is exactly the same with the feelings. A man who used to hate the Gospel now loves it. A woman who hated the Lord Jesus Christ now loves Him. And likewise with the will: The will earlier resisted, it was obstinate and rebellious; but now it desires, it is anxious, it is concerned about the Gospel.
The next thing that we say is that it is a change that is instantaneous. Now do you see the importance of differentiating between generation and coming to birth? Generation, by definition, is always an instantaneous act. There is a moment, a flash, in which the germ of life enters, impregnates; that is one instantaneous action. In other words, there are no intermediate stages in regeneration. Life is either implanted or it is not; it cannot be partly implanted. It is not gradual. When I say that it is instantaneous, I am not referring to our consciousness of it, but to the thing itself, as it is done by God. The consciousness, of course, comes into the realm of time, whereas this act of germination is timeless, and that is why it is immediate.
So the next thing is that generation, the implanting of this seed of life and the change of the disposition, happens in the subconscious, or, if you prefer, in the unconscious. Our Lord explained that fully to Nicodemus (John 3). It is a secret, inscrutable operation that cannot be directly perceived by us; indeed, we cannot even fully understand it. The first thing we know about it is that it has happened, because we are conscious of something different, but that means that we do not understand it and that we really cannot arrive at its secret.
A Thought to Ponder
The will earlier resisted, it was obstinate and rebellious;
but now it is concerned about the Gospel.
From God the Holy Spirit, p. 81.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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