The imperativeness of the new birth is evident from the fact that man is a fallen creature. Originally he was made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26), fitted to enjoy fellowship with Him. But upon his apostasy, he . . . was alienated from his Maker, became unsuited unto the Holy One, and fled from Him.
The natural man is . . . totally depraved, a slave of Satan, dead in sin, and, therefore, it is no marvel that he needs to be born again.
He is devoid of . . . any love to God, any delight in Him, any relish for heavenly things, any ability to perform spiritual acts.
A miracle of grace, then, must be wrought upon him before he is qualified to enter the Father's house. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people--for those who have been made "fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light" (Colossians 1:12), for without holiness no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
An unregenerated person would be entirely out of harmony with the ineffable purity of the celestial courts, and could no more enjoy their company and activities, than could a deaf man enjoy an oratorio, or a blind man enjoy the beauties of an exquisite sunset. A spiritual kingdom requires a spiritual nature, and in order to the acquisition of that, the natural man must be regenerated--divinely regenerated, for the creature can no more quicken himself than he could give himself a natural being.
Regeneration is no . . . mere outward reformation, process of education, or even religious cultivation. No, it consists of a radical change of heart and transformation of character--the communication of a gracious and holy principle, producing new desires, new capacities, and a new life. Then, do not marvel that in order thereto, a man must be born from above. - A.W. Pink
Afflictions, when sanctified(J.R. Miller, 1880) "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your Word." Psalm 119:67 "It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I could learn Your statutes." Psalm 119:71 By affliction, the Master...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Refuge in sorrow (J.R. Miller, 1905) 'Where to go in sorrow' is one of life's great questions. For there are none to whom sorrow does not come at some time. The Master, whose footprints are on all life's paths, shows us the way to the refuge in...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
"I will deal well with thee." Genesis 32:9 SO the Lord promised Jacob; and the promises made unto our fathers, He will fulfill unto us their children. But such a promise does not exclude great trials, sore temptations, deep personal afflictions,...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Meditate, dear friends, upon the whole range of God's works in Creation and Providence.There was a period when God dwelt alone, and creatures were not. In that time before all time, when there was no day but "the Ancient of Days," when matter and...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Better to rot in prison! (J.R. Miller, "Practical Lessons from the Story of Joseph") "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God!" Genesis 39:9"After hearing his wife's story, Potiphar was furious! He took Joseph and threw him into...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Let nothing be wasted! (J.R. Miller "Gather the fragments that are left over. Let nothing be wasted!" John 6:12 It seems remarkable, that He who so easily could multiply the five loaves into an abundant meal for thousands, should be so particular...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
It is not easy for us to learn this lesson (J.R. Miller, "Losing SELF in Christ" 1903) â€¨"If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
(J.R. Miller, "Guarded from Stumbling" 1906) God Himself is the refuge of His people. "My help comes from the Lord who made the heavens and the earth! He will not let you stumble and fall; the One who watches over you will not sleep. Indeed, He...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
(J.R. Miller, "The Building of Character" 1894) â€¨ "I have much more to say to you--more than you can now bear." John 16:12 All learning is slow. This is true in proportion to the importance of the lessons. We learn some things quickly--but they...[ abbreviated | read entire ]