A NEW BEING
Regeneration requires two elements—water and Spirit. On the negative side, the water terminates us; on the positive side, the Spirit germinates us. In this way we experience a new birth and become a new being. Birth always produces a being. When a child is born, this means a new being is produced.
The Lord went on to say to Nicodemus, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (v. 6). The Lord spoke this word in reply to what Nicodemus had said in verse 4: “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” In verse 6 the Lord makes it clear that the new birth has nothing to do with the flesh. Nicodemus may have thought that he was wise and understanding. Actually, regarding the new birth, he was foolish and blind, thinking that regeneration involved returning to the mother’s womb to be born a second time. The Lord Jesus made it clear to him that to be born anew is to be terminated and to have a new being produced. What is terminated is of the flesh, and what is generated to become the new being is of the Spirit. Therefore, the Lord seemed to be telling Nicodemus, “Because that which is born of the flesh is flesh, you should let it be buried and forget about it. Even if a person could be born physically many times, he would still be flesh. Nicodemus, that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. The new being is spirit.” This new birth to have a new being is a mystery and also a sign. Hallelujah, we have a new being, and this new being is spirit, not flesh!
In 3:8 the Lord Jesus went on to say to Nicodemus, “The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is every one who is born of the Spirit.” The Lord’s word here indicates that a regenerated person is like the wind, which can be realized but which is beyond understanding.
I hope that all the saints, especially those who have been saved in recent years, will have a clear understanding concerning their salvation. When we believed in the name of the Lord Jesus, we were regenerated to become a new being. Regeneration does not simply mean that we put away the things from the past and have a new beginning. Regeneration is a matter of terminating our old being and being generated to have a new being produced in us. With our old being we have the natural life, and with the new being we have the divine life. What we were was of the old life, the human life. What we received through regeneration is a new life, the divine life. This divine life is the seed of our new being.
Regeneration is absolutely not a matter of imitating what Christians do or repeating what they say. To be regenerated is to receive another life, eternal life, the life of God. Before we believed in the Lord Jesus, we did not have this divine life. But from the time we believed in the Lord and called on His name, we have had the life of God. When we were regenerated, the divine life was imparted into us to make us a new being. This is regeneration, which is both a mystery and a sign.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)