Dead, dead, see I am dead: How to soup up a sermon on monergistic regeneration.

Monergism: “The view that the Holy Spirit is the only agent who effects regeneration of Christians. It is in contrast to synergism, the view that there is a cooperation between the divine and the human in the regeneration process.”

In Ezekiel 4:4-6, we read this command from the LORD:

“Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it. According to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity. For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year.

Has Ezekiel lost his mind? Think of his family and friends, and mostly his young beloved wife. No, he wasn’t mad; he was uncanny, eerie,  a shuddering mystery, weird, stricken by the word of God, but not mad.

I’m in a church congregation that doesn’t believe that “it is not to him who wills or runs, but to God who has mercy” Romans 9. I don’t die on a regular basis in church, or in the church grounds. Outside church, though, that is what Christianity is all about: dying –  to live.

A few Sundays ago, after church, our small congregation gathered for a get-together on the lawn under a big tree to share one another’s home-made soups. I was talking to one of our congregation who had had a knee operation, whose knee had a will of it’s own, moving the leg wherever it willed itself to go. I grabbed the moment and leaped on to my hobby horse – regeneration. Collapsing to the ground, I stretched out full length, placed my elbow on my solar plexus, and with my upturned arm, I pointed up to the sky. Rigid. From my mouth issued the sermon of my life. “Dead, dead, see I am dead, and there is a flower growing out of my belly button. My blood is ice cold. Now, look, there is Christ standing over me . ‘Come! get up!’ I tremble inwardly.

“See, I say, continuing my sermon, I’m stiff, can’t lift a finger. Now, see, said I, slowly raising my head and bending upwards, Christ is pouring his life into me; he is regenerating me. Now he holds out a hand and gives me something – too wonderful for words; yet that’s what they are – words. I believed. Why? because, God wanted it. That’s what Ephesians 2 and Romans 9 is all about. As I sat down again in my chair feeling for the bowl of – now cold – soup, someone said: “It’s amazing how effective a visual sermon can be.”

Monergism describes the position in Christian theology of those who believe that God through the Holy Spirit works to effectually bring about the salvation of individuals through spiritual regeneration without cooperation from the individual.
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3 thoughts on “Dead, dead, see I am dead: How to soup up a sermon on monergistic regeneration.

  1. We are “born again” (regeneration) by the will of God, His sovereign chose. In regards to “why do most messianic Jews see a fly in the anointment?”

    Well bography, some things are hard to figure…

    We know that the “traditions of men” are not limited to Judaism, but are also in Catholicism, Protestantism and Messianic Judaism. It is by revelation of the Spirit through the Torah, Tanach and NT scriptures and by God’s grace that we have light, giving us insight into the truth of Messiah and being strengthened in our faith line upon line, precept upon precept. Replacing false presuppositions with the truth from Elohim’s Word (both the written Logos and Living Word Moshiach Himself).

    Moshe writes of the “fall of man” in Torah,

    “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 NASB

    Adam and Eve did not die physically the day they eat from the knowledge of good and evil, but they did die spiritually that day. Their relationship with their Creator was broken off through sin. Adam’s sin brought forth death, spiritual death.

    Paul explains the damage from Adam’s sin in Romans 5;

    12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. Romans 5:12-14 NASB

    Then as you gave us a visual and written sermon on, “Dead, dead, see I am dead: How to soup up a sermon on monergistic regeneration.” explaining Ephesians 2 and Romans 9;

    1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:1-10 NASB

    Thanks be to Elohim for verse 5, “even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)”

    It is interesting to me that even though Paul taught that regeneration was dependent on the will of God, and not by the will of man; that Paul still labored hard and sowed the seeds of the gospel of Moshiach broadly; to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

  2. David
    Thank you for this. With regard to your last paragraph, namely:

    It is interesting to me that even though Paul taught that regeneration was dependent on the will of God, and not by the will of man; that Paul still labored hard and sowed the seeds of the gospel of Moshiach broadly; to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    Paul’s labor, and all witnessing, is the means God uses to spread/plant His seed. You, of course, know the argument that if God ordains/predestines to salvation, why evangelise? Simply – because evangelisation is God’s means to the predestined end.

  3. Yes indeed, you are correctamundo, “evangelism is God’s means to the predestined end”!

    12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

    14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without (U)a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”

    16 However, they did not all heed thegood news; for Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:12-16 NASB

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