The following questions on regeneration and salvation come from James Boyce’s A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine (1878) and John Broadus’s A Catechism of Bible Teaching (1892). These would be handy tools for teaching your children about the new birth. And in reality, when we teach our children like this, it helps solidify these truths in our minds and hearts too!
The Offer of Salvation (Boyce)
1. To whom does God offer the salvation in Jesus?
He has ordered it to be offered to every creature.
2. Upon what condition?
Upon that of repentance and faith.
3. Are not these terms easy?
They are so easy that all who refuse are without excuse.
4. Do all men accept them?
They do not; they universally reject them where left without Divine influence.
5. Has God thus left all mankind?
He has not; but effectually calls many to the knowledge and belief of His truth.
6. What agent accomplished this work?
The Holy Spirit.
7. Do those who accept the Gospel deserve any reward for so doing?
No, for their acceptance is entirely due to the grace of God.
8. How will God punish those who reject it?
Far more severely than He will those who have never heard it.
9. Upon what grounds will he punish any who have not heard the gospel?
Because they, too, are sinners, and have disobeyed the law of God written in their hearts and in nature.
Regeneration and Sanctification (Boyce)
1. What is the first work that the Spirit accomplished in those who are saved?
The work of Regeneration.
2. What is meant by our Regeneration?
Our being born again.
3. What does the Spirit do in the act of Regeneration?
He gives us a new heart, inclined to love and practice holiness.
4. How does Regeneration affect the mind?
It enlightens the mind to understand savingly the Word of God.
5. Is Regeneration necessary to salvation?
Yes, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
6. Are we made perfectly holy in Regeneration?
No, this is only attained in our perfect Sanctification.
7. What is meant by our Sanctification?
It means our being made holy or free from sin.
8. Is such perfection attained in this life?
It is not.
9. What, then, is the Sanctification which we have experienced?
It is a change produced by the influences of the Spirit, by which we gradually increase in the love and practice of holiness.
Lesson 8: Regeneration (Broadus)
1. What is meant by the word “regeneration”?
A. Regeneration is God’s causing a person to be born again.
2. Are such persons literally born a second time?
A. No, the regenerated are inwardly changed as if they were born over again.
3. In what respect are men changed in the new birth?
A. In the new birth men have a new heart, so as to hate sin and desire to be holy servants of God. (Ezek. 1 1:19, 20)
4. Is this new birth necessary in order to salvation?
A. Without the new birth no one can be saved. (John 3:3)
5. Who produces this great change?
A. The Holy Spirit regenerates. (John 3:5, 6)
6. Are people regenerated through baptism?
A. No, only those whose hearts are already changed ought to be baptized.
7. Are people regenerated through Bible teaching?
A. Yes, people are usually regenerated through the Word of God. (1 Pet. 1:23; James 1:18)
8. Can we understand how men are born again?
A. No, we can only know regeneration by its effects. (John 3:8)
9. Does faith come before the new birth?
A. No, it is the new heart that truly repents and believes.
10. What is the proof of having a new heart?
A. The proof of having a new heart is living a new life. (1 John 2:29; 2 Cor. 5:17)
Q. A. Why is water mentioned in connection with the new birth?
A. Water is mentioned in connection with the new birth to show that this is a pure birth, leading to a new and pure life. (John 3:5; Titus 3:5; Rom. 6:4)
Q. B. Does God give His renewing Spirit as He sees proper?
A. Yes, God gives His renewing Spirit to those whom He always purposed to save. (Eph. 1:3, 4)