August 21, 2004

The New Birth by A.W. Pink

The new birth is solely the work of God the Spirit and man has no part or lot in it. This from the very nature of the case. Birth altogether excludes the idea of any effort or work on the part of the one who is born. Personally we have no more to do with our spiritual birth than we had with our natural birth. The new birth is a spiritual resurrection, a "passing from death unto life"(John 5:24) and, clearly, resurrection is altogether outside of man's province. No corpse can reanimate itself. Hence it is written, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing"(John 6:63). But the Spirit does not "quicken" everybody --why? The usual answer returned to this question is, because everybody does not trust in Christ. It is supposed that the Holy Spirit quickens only those who believe. But this is to put the cart before the horse. Faith is not the cause of the new birth, but the consequence of it. This ought not to need arguing. Faith (in God) is an exotic, something that is not native to the human heart. If faith were a natural product of the human heart, the exercise of a principle common to human nature, it would never have been written, "All men have not faith" (2 Thessalonians 3:2). Faith is a spiritual grace, the fruit of the spiritual nature, and because the unregenerate are spiritually dead -- "dead in trespasses and sins" -- then it follows that faith from them is impossible, for a dead man cannot believe anything. "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Romans 8:8) -- but they could if it were possible for the flesh to believe. Compare with this last quoted scripture Hebrews 11: 6 -- "But without faith it is impossible to please him." Can God be "pleased" or satisfied with any thing which does not have its origin in himself? --A. W. Pink