Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement. —Ronald Reagan
Life is filled with perplexing questions—heartrending unknowns that follow us through the day and keep us awake at night:
- Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?
- Why do they have braille numbers on drive-through ATMs?
And for the more theological types:
- What is the difference between “justification” and “regeneration?”
Regeneration is the Siamese twin of justification, and these particular Siamese twins are the kind you cannot separate. Both are inseparable aspects of salvation; neither can take place without the other.
- Justification is God declaring us righteous and just.
- Regeneration is God making us righteous and just.
Justification happens outside of us; regeneration happens inside of us. They are inexplicably bound together. God can justify us only because He regenerated us:
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:5)
Regeneration is the core of being born again. We give to Christ who we are (spiritually dead, guilty sinners), and He gives us everything that He is (righteousness, eternity, Life). What an incredible trade!
God, thank You for regenerating me and justifying me. I know that I don’t comprehend the magnitude of this merciful gift. But I do ask that You would take this theology and make it my reality, that I would somehow be able to experience it today so that my worship would be a reflection of these truths. Amen.