Oct 3, 2008

Regeneration By A. P. Williams

"Regeneration" By A. P. Williams, D.D.

"In these days of religious inquiry and discussion, much is said on almost every subject connected with Christian Theology. Every now and then I meet with something on this subject. I had supposed that it was generally very well understood, both in regard to what it is and the means by which it is produced. But it seems that in this I have been mistaken. There is no uniformity in sentiment here, even among Baptists. Some of our brethren confine the term in its meaning to the very work of the Spirit in the process of conversion, while others extend it so as to include the entire process. The former exclude instrumentality in the work, while the latter recognize the truth as the great instrument employed in effecting it. Now, why this diversity of opinion? Is it because the Bible does not afford sufficient light to clear up the question? Or, is it because we receive our notions from theologians who treat this, as well as every other, subject, as a part of their system, and interpret it to suit?"

"Hence, in his regeneration, man is made alive in every respect in which he can be said to be dead. He is made alive with respect to his heart when the love of God is shed abroad therein by the Holy Ghost. (Romans 5:5.) Hence John says, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." He is made alive in law when the sentence of condemnation is re­voked. The Apostle says: "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature;" of course, then, re­generated; but "there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ." (Romans 1:8.) I do not see anything in the Scriptures that will justify us in regarding any one as regenerated who is still in his sins and under condemnation. When the work of regeneration is finished the "new man" must stand out before us, and we must be able to say of the sin­ner, "he was dead but is alive again." Hence I am inclined to the belief that regeneration includes all that God does for us in making us his children. If it does, then it includes more than the mere begin­ning of the work — more than the mere vitalizing of the affections. It includes also our deliverance from the wrath to come. The whole work is expressed in the following passages of Holy Writ..."

Cambridge, Mo., April, 1866.


For a bio on Williams, see the following cite with info from Bogard.



Ian D. Elsasser said...


Williams' article demonstrates that the issues you and Bob Ross have raised concerning the relation of regeneration to conversion are neither new nor unimportant nor a matter of semantics. I appreciate his insights and analysis of the subject.

Stephen Garrett said...

Thanks much Brother Ian!

Your insights are always coveted.

God bless,