The Washing of Regeneration and the Renewal of the Holy Spirit
- Tom Lawrence, Georgia District Council Secretary-Treasurer
- Sensed the spirit of prophecy
- The only words he could think of were, “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men.”
- So, not having anything else – in faith – he started with that.
- Then it dawned on him. The next line was, “Could not put Humpty Dumpty together again.”
- Since he had started he went with it.
- At the end, with embarrassment, he said, “But the Lord CAN repair and restore what no man can do.”
My selected texts for today’s Regenerate conversation is Titus 3:4-6
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior…
This text is one of only two Bible passages directly using the word, regeneration, both of which would do all of us good to experience again and again.
First is the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit in the human spirit and soul.
My guess is everyone here remembers a time in your life when you presented your entire life:
- body, soul and spirit,
- past, present and future,
- In sickness and in health.
And for the first time you experienced the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit.
Glory to God for that great day of regeneration and renewal.
Notice, Paul did not say, “having been washed in regeneration.” This is not a one and done washing of regeneration. Paul says, “By the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”
Yes, this regeneration and renewal are true of our past experiences AND are to be powerfully present in our lives and ministries today.
Jerusalem, the city of our God, beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, finds herself, in Lamentations 1:1-2, in need of a Divine update upon her regeneration and renewal.
How lonely sits the city
that was full of people!
How like a widow has she become,
she who was great among the nations!
She who was a princess among the provinces
has become a slave.
2 She weeps bitterly in the night,
with tears on her cheeks;
among all her lovers
she has none to comfort her;
all her friends have dealt treacherously with her;
they have become her enemies.
In 1 Kings 19:4, the mighty prophet of God, Elijah, needs a fresh washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.
But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
David, in Psalm 51:11-12, begging for a regeneration and renewal cries out, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Surely Paul was thinking of the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit when he proclaimed of himself, “Oh, wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from the body of this death?” Romans 7:24
Undoubtedly Peter longed for another washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit after he “went out and wept bitterly?” Luke 22:62
I know what it is to join Peter in going outside and weeping bitterly in hopes of a fresh washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.
Titus 3 declares a fresh washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit as we:
- Enter our prayer closets daily seeking to hear God’s heart and message
- Walk with our members through the valley of the shadow of death.
- Enter the pain of humanity on a daily basis.
- Enter the pain of our own, at times, sinful humanity.
- Carry the heavy weight of leadership and vision and calling,
- Bear the burdens of ministerial family life
- So excited about all that God is saying and doing but know that without Him we can do nothing. Success is an extremely heavy load.
There is a washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit that is fresh and new for us tonight!
- The goodness and loving kindness of God
- Not by works of righteousness, but according to his own mercy.
- Washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.
- Whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior
I long for the Holy Spirit to give to you and me our own unique version of D. L. Moody’s experience.
“He began to cry out with increasing urgency and to pray for a baptism of fire, a baptism in the Holy Spirit. He wanted a fresh in filling of the Holy Spirit on his life. His prayers got increasingly desperate.”
Four months of struggle ensued during which time the Great Chicago Fire reduced the city to ashes. His spiritual anguish was transferred to New York where one day he was walking down one of its prominent streets when the fire of the Holy Spirit fell on him.
He immediately turned into a house of a friend who instantly wanted to offer him refreshment. But he asked for a room where he could be alone. There he encountered the glory of the Lord.
Later he wrote, “Ah, what a day! I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it, it is almost too sacred an experience to name – Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years- I can only say God revealed himself to me and I had such an experience of his love that I had to ask him to stay his hand.
The washing of regeneration and the refreshing of the Holy Spirit hit me in a matter of seconds.
Tom Lawrence, the Georgia District Secretary Treasurer, a bit embarrassed by his Humpty Dumpty prophecy is trying to wrap up his day at church.
- After the service a mother came to him. Her young daughter, around 6 years of age, was with her in the service.
- This little girl was suffering from a serious heart problem and her favorite character just so happened to be Humpty Dumpty.
- The little girl’s and the mother’s faith was quickened by the prophetic word given in the service, and the little girl was completely healed that night of her heart ailment.
- Later, Pastor Lawrence discovered that two other persons that same night had been healed of serious heart problems.
- Thus, Tom Lawrence’s prophetic word proved true – “The Lord CAN repair and restore what no man can do.”
Today, God will pour out on us richly, the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit.