II. REGENERATING THE CONVICTED
AND BELIEVING BELIEVERS
The Spirit works to regenerate the convicted and believing believers (John 3:5-6, 8).
A. Begetting Them to Be the Children of God
According to John 1:12 and 13, those who receive Christ by believing into Him will be born of God to be God’s children. Of course, this is the second birth.
1. In Their Spirit
John 3:6 says, "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Regeneration takes place in our spirit. It is accomplished in the human spirit by the Holy Spirit of God with God’s life, the uncreated eternal life.
2. Through the Resurrection of Christ
First Peter 1:3 says that God regenerated us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from among the dead. We need to consider why regeneration needs to be through the resurrection of Christ. God created man, but man became fallen. Through this fall Satan came in to join with man, so man became a real problem to God. Man was created by God without sin, having nothing to do with Satan. But through his fall, he became sinful. Romans 5:12 says that sin entered into man through one person, Adam. Thus, man became joined to Satan.
How could such a person of sin and of Satan be regenerated? There is the need for this person to be put to death and to be buried. Then there is the need of the divine life to raise up this dead and buried one. Who can put us all to death, bury us, and raise us up? Only the One who passed through death, was buried, and rose up. He is the qualified One. His death and resurrection are the process, the means, through which we can be made dead, buried, and resurrected to have another life. This is the procedure of our regeneration. So Christ had to put on humanity and to bring this humanity to the cross. Then He brought us into His death and burial (Rom. 6:3-4) and raised us up with Himself in His resurrection (Eph. 2:6).
Christ’s resurrection was a big birth, a big delivery. Not only was Christ Jesus resurrected and begotten in that delivery (Acts 13:33). Millions also joined Him in that birth (Rom. 8:29; 1 Pet. 1:3). In resurrection Christ as the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b). Then through His resurrection, many Satan-possessed sinners were all regenerated. We need such a revelation. We need a revelation to see that we were created by God, yet we became fallen, involved with sin and joined with Satan. So we became a kind of trinity—fallen man with sin and Satan. Yet God chose us. Then He regenerated us by bringing us into death and burial and raising us up in Christ’s resurrection. Through Christ’s resurrection we became reborn. We had a second birth and received another life with another nature, both divine.
In the divine viewpoint, our regeneration transpired about two thousand years ago in Christ’s resurrection. It transpired before our first birth. With God there is no time element. First, He created man and then He joined Himself to man. Later, the Spirit came to us to bring Him, the One who passed through death, burial, and resurrection, into us to make His history our experience, to make us one with Him, fully identical to Him. So we died, we were buried, and we rose up to be a regenerated new man, a new man with a second birth.
(The Spirit with Our Spirit, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)