God's Transforming Grace

Millard Erickson wrote, "Regeneration is the miraculous transformation of the individual . . . The flesh (i.e., human effort) is not capable of effecting this transformation." Regeneration is God's transformation of our lives. Dr. Erickson defined regeneration as a miraculous transformation. That's because regeneration is God's work. God does something in us that we cannot do for ourselves. That is monergism. God alone works.

The new birth is beyond man's ability. Erickson properly refers to this inability as flesh or human effort. In this context, flesh refers to man's sinful nature. "So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (Romans 8:8). Therefore, this transforming work of God's grace in regeneration is by the Spirit of God.

The work of God's transforming grace is through the Holy Spirit. Nicodemus did not understand the new birth. He asked Jesus how a person could be born again (John 3:5-12). Jesus likened the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration to the wind. Man cannot control nor manipulate the wind. It is by grace alone.

We can be assured of the regenerating work of God's Spirit in our lives by faith. We believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:15-18, 36). Transforming grace is a miraculous gift of God received by faith in Christ. "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God" (1 John 5:1).

Regeneration transforms us anew. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). That means we are God's work in Christ. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:10). God alone is our Creator in the natural world, as well as in regeneration, known as new birth.