Regeneration is being born again. Webster’s Dictionary says the word regeneration is a combination of the prefix re and the word, generate. Generate means to produce after its own kind2. Re means again2, as in do again or do over. Therefore, the word regeneration means to produce again after its own kind.
Jesus said the Holy Spirit gives birth to spirit. (John 3:6) This means the Holy Spirit begets. He produces a spirit that is holy. Apostle Paul said man is spirit, soul and body. (1 Thessalonians 5:23) Titus 3:5 says the Holy Spirit renews man. When the Holy Ghost renews, He must renew after His own kind. Therefore, when the Holy Ghost renews man, He regenerates or recreates the spirit of man. (Ephesians 4:24)
- Recreation of the spirit of man by the Holy Spirit. (John 3:6)
- Partaking of the nature of God. (2 Peter 1:4)
- Becoming3 holy. (Ephesians 4:24)
The holiness of God demands regeneration because it is impossible to see the Lord without holiness. It is also impossible to become holy without regeneration
God the Father decided before the foundation of the world that man should be holy. “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Ephesians 1:4.4 Man was holy when God created him in the Garden of Eden. His spirit was holy just like God because he was created in the image and likeness of God. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over all the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26.4 Unfortunately, man sinned against God. When he did this, his spirit became sinful. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world and death through sin, and thus death passed spread to all men because all sinned – for as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:12,19.4
However, God the Father, not willing to allow His original plan for man to be thwarted, set in motion a plan to return man to his original condition. The plan involved Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, becoming a ransom for man. Jesus paid the price for man’s deliverance from sin and bought the right return him to his original condition. “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and spirit which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20.4 Jesus accomplished this through His sacrificial death at Calvary.
Now, when the word of God is preached concerning Jesus’ atoning death and glorious resurrection, the Holy Spirit moves upon men to make Jesus their personal Savior and Lord. When they do so, the Holy Spirit recreates their spirits, delivering them from the bondage of sin. Because the Holy Spirit is holy and produces after His own kind, the resulting new spirit of man is holy. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6. “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15,16.4 This is regeneration – returning man to his original condition.
Man has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual recreation of his own spirit. The work is entirely performed by the Holy Spirit. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9.4 The only part man plays in his own regeneration is willful acceptance of Jesus as Savior and Lord.