Q&A: Is Regeneration a Process?

Is Regeneration a Process?

Question

How long after beginning to truly seek God does it take for God to regenerate a person?

Answer

Dead people do not seek God (Eph. 2:1). As the Apostle Paul states, "there is no one who seeks God" (Rom. 3:11). In our own strength, we cannot and do not desire to seek God (Rom. 8:7-8; 1 Cor. 2:14). The Psalmists says, "In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God" (Ps. 10:4).

Regeneration is necessary prior to a person's truly seeking God. As Jesus said no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again (John 3:3), and then adds, "No one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'" (John 3:5-7). Jesus says, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him" (John 6:44), and "No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father" (John 6:65). Luke says of Lydia, "The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul" (Acts 16:14). Notice that first the Lord opened Lydia's heart, then she was able to seek God - give heed to Paul's preaching and to respond in faith. One will seek the Lord only in the day of his power (Ps. 110:3; John 1:13; Phil. 2:13).

For more on the issue of Biblical Soteriology, please see Ra McLaughlin's work by the same name.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).