The Washing of Regeneration
Let us consider a subject that is misunderstood if not considered in light of the whole of the presentation of the subject in the Word of God. The subject under consideration is presented in the Epistle to Titus. (Titus 3:5) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. In this verse we notice that the subject of regeneration is being addressed. This process of regeneration is noted as a washing. Notice that the opening phrase excludes any sort of works in the process of this “washing of regeneration”. The question that usually presents itself is “what is being addressed by this washing?” Does this mean that literal water is involved? Or, does this verse address a spiritual washing that occurs beyond the ability of the carnal eye to behold? These questions are answered from the written Word of God.
First, let us consider what is meant by the word regeneration. Regeneration means to be restored, renovated, or born again. The condition of being regenerated expresses a certain need within a person. The person in need of regeneration has not been restored, renovated, or born again. We note from God’s Word that those in need of regeneration are in a spiritually dead condition. Let’s consider a verse that brings this to our attention. (Eph 2:1) And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. Here we find that these being addressed were at one time in a condition of being dead. Since that time, they had been quickened. To be quickened is to be made alive. Those who were once dead, but now alive, had been restored, renovated, born again. They had been regenerated. They were one dead but in regeneration they obtain life.
Where does a person find this life? We find many scriptures that direct our attention to the answer of this question. (John 14:6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. (John 11:25) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. (1 John 5:12) He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (John 5:24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. In all of these verses, we find that life is found in Jesus Christ. This life is received through belief on the Son of God. When one completely believes upon the Son of God with all their heart, they find this life and are regenerated, Rom 10:10.
Where do we find this washing process? The scriptures teach the process of washing is found in the work of God’s Word. Notice some scriptures that present this. (Eph 5:26) That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. (John 15:3) Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. From these verses we find that the Word is what is used to wash. Notice the Word’s involvement in the process of regeneration. (James 1:18) Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. (1 Pet 1:23) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. Here we learn that it is through the Word that souls are born again. To be regenerated is to be born again. In this we learn why the Apostle told young Timothy to preach the word, 2 Tim 4:2. The washing of regeneration presents to us that souls are born again through the Word by completely believing on Jesus Christ with all their heart.
Let’s be careful to rightly divide the Word of truth.