The Laver of Regeneration
Merry Monday by Parris Bailey
“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should becomes heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
There is a church that rings its bells for service near my house. In fact, many times, while I work in my garden, it is not unusual to hear chimes or the bell’s ringing during certain times of the day. When I first moved back to NOLA I was quite surprised to hear these bells in a rather large city and it made me understand where the word “parish” came from.
In my daily walks with our dogs I find myself walking over to the seminary where there is a beautiful fountain depicting Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman. The artist did a beautiful job depicting the posture of Jesus communicating with the women. I usually pause and think about Jesus explaining to the women that if she drinks of him she shall never thirst. I also wonder about the many people that walk by this fountain and pause like I do, or hear the bells and walk to their “parish church” and yet do not understand the work of “regeneration”. Jesus describes this word when he spoke to Nicodemus about being born again and with the woman at the well. For the laver of regeneration represents the work of the divine Spirit in quickening the soul that is dead in sin, and bringing it back into the life of God. Spurgeon says “Regeneration is making the old things new, it is infusing a new nature into man. The new birth is not a mere reformation, but an entire renovation and revolution. It is making the man a new creation in Christ Jesus.”
Paul in the book of Titus also uses the word renewing after regeneration. This is what the Holy Spirit does in us daily after we have been regenerated or born-again. Just as a baby isn’t in control of his birth nor are we in control of ours. But it’s in the renewal of the Holy Spirit that we can gain control. We are living day by day gradually being restored back to the divine image of what he made us to be. We actually become a fellow worker with God, allowing him to finish what he started in us, whereas the world and all that it contains is slowing decaying. So no matter how often the bells toll and man erects religious fountains and call communities their “parish”, we must be regenerated from the inside. (Born again- again)
Another translation of Titus reads like this: “So stop masquerading in the habiliments of the world and instead yield themselves to the ministry of the Holy Spirit who will gradually produce in you the mind of Christ Jesus.”