Do you know the exact moment you were saved? Saul of Tarsus did. As did the great Augustine. Many in church history have testified to dramatic, unmistakable experiences of the new birth, when God touched their dead hearts and gave them new spiritual life by his Holy Spirit.
But this is not the experience of most. Count Tullian Tchividjian among us.
Tullian is the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He grew up in a Christian home — his grandfather is Billy Graham — yet he rebelled defiantly for a season, and was born again in God’s good timing, with dramatic change in his life trajectory. But even the effects of his regeneration being as radical as they are, Tullian is not able to point to the one specific moment in time when God gave him new spiritual life. And he doesn’t need to.
Whether you had an unmistakable experience of the new birth, or whether it was more gradual and you can only point to a season or span of time in which God was working to bring you to life — either way, you’re in good company.
Tullian does make it clear, however, that there must have been a specific moment when God decisively gave him new life. That’s how God works by his Spirit in the new birth. But he doesn’t always, or perhaps even typically, give us the conscious experience of that precise moment, even as he does bring us from death to life at a particular point. God is more interested in our ongoing trust in Jesus than our ability to remember exactly when we first trusted him.
In this new episode of Theology Refresh, Tullian discusses the doctrine of regeneration, or the new birth, which is, first and foremost, something God does, whatever our experience of it. And over time, the new birth has unmistakable effects on a life. Says Tullian, “You begin to love the things God loves and hate the things God hates. You begin to run away from the things you ran toward and run toward the things you once ran from.”
More episodes of Theology Refresh:
- John Piper on the God-Centeredness of God
- Francis Chan on the Sovereignty of God
- David Platt on Hell and Suffering
- Don Carson on the Wrath of God and the Incarnation
- Russell Moore on Ethics and the Person of Christ
- R W Glenn on Grace and the Fatherhood of God
- Zane Pratt on Islam
- Tope Koleoso on Spiritual Warfare
- Ann Voskamp on Gratitude
- Jerry Bridges on the Christian Spiritual Disciplines
To subscribe or see the full list of over 40 episodes, visit Theology Refresh in the iTunes store
Topic Regeneration / New Birth Categories: