To Ponder:

creationThe earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.” Genesis 1:2 “In the beginning there was nothing in the earth that had life or any disposition towards it. The Holy Spirit moved upon the prepared matter and communicated unto it the principle of life. Since Adam brought spiritual darkness and death upon all mankind, no man who has ever lived, has had the least principle of spiritual life in him, or any disposition towards it. In this state of things the Holy Spirit must create life. He undertakes this by the effectual communication of a new principle of spiritual life unto the soul of God’s elect. This work is regeneration, and the Spirit is the principal and efficient cause of it (John 3:8). Flesh and blood, and the will of man, are rejected completely in this matter. The new birth is ascribed unto God alone. In the new birth he creates a new spiritual being. The foundation for this came by Jesus Christ, who brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. The great Physician of our souls came to heal the wound of our nature, laid bare the disease itself, declared the greatness of it, and the ruin we were under, that we might be thankful for our transformation, There is a great variety in the means which the Holy Spirit uses for this great work. He works when and how he pleases. Mostly, he uses the preaching of the Word, but sometimes men are called in an extraordinary manner. Notwithstanding this, regeneration is of the same nature in all who experience it. All born of God are born equally so. One may have more of the image of his heavenly Father impressed on him, be more or less holy, exhibit more perfections of grace, but they cannot be more or less regenerate. There is but one kind of regeneration, and the essential form of it is specifically the same in all.” (John Owen,     “ Works, III:207-216)

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