III. THE DEFINITION OF REGENERATION—TO BE BEGOTTEN OF GOD AND TO HAVE GOD’S ETERNAL LIFE IN ADDITION TO MAN’S NATURAL LIFE
Regeneration does not mean that “all the things of the past died yesterday and all the things henceforth are born today,” as some may think. Nor is it a so-called daily self-renovation. Regeneration is to be begotten of God (John 1:13) and to have the life of God in addition to the natural life of man (3:16). When God begets us within, His life enters into us. The apostle Paul said, “It is no longer I who live” (Gal. 2:20a). Our old “I” has been crucified with Christ. We have died. Our baptism shows that we have also been buried. Now it is no longer we who live, but Christ lives in us. Paul also said that Christ, the One who died and rose from the dead, is our life (Col. 3:4a). These are clear words from the Bible, and our Christian life can also testify to these matters. Why do we pray every day? Why do we have morning watch every day? We do these things so that we may draw near to the Lord and come before Him to call on Him. Our calling on Him is our breathing of Him. He as the Spirit is like the air. When we call on Him and pray to Him, we breathe Him in, and He enters into us. We all can testify that if in the morning we do not pray or call on Him, we feel empty and restless throughout the day. When we call on Him, we have the Lord within us.
IV. GOD’S ORDINATION
A. That Man, Who Was Chosen and Created by God, Should Be Regenerated in Addition to Being Created
God in His salvation ordained that man, who was chosen and created by Him, should be regenerated in addition to being created (Gen. 2:9a).
B. That Man, Who Was Fallen and Dead in Sins, Should Be Redeemed and Regenerated
God also ordained that man, who was fallen and dead in sins, should be redeemed and regenerated (Acts 11:18).
V. THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF REGENERATION— THROUGH CHRIST’S RESURRECTION AND AT THE TIME OF CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
Regeneration was accomplished through Christ’s resurrection and at the time of Christ’s resurrection (1 Pet. 1:3). Actually, it was not at the time of our believing that we were regenerated. Rather, we were regenerated two thousand years ago when Christ was resurrected. God had already chosen and predestinated us, the believers, before the ages. Before the foundation of the world, when the heavens and the earth were not yet in existence, and before we were born, God chose us. Then God used these thousands of years for us, His chosen ones, to be born into the environment He had appointed. After we were born, God again arranged various circumstances and caused us to experience different situations. God created all kinds of environments in order to save us.
VI. THE EXPERIENCE OF REGENERATION— EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES INTO CHRIST EXPERIENCING THE REGENERATION WHICH WAS ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
At the time of our repentance and believing, every one of us who believed into Christ (John 3:15) experienced the regeneration (v. 7) accomplished through Christ’s resurrection. Through this regeneration, God entered into us to be our life. He lives with us and moves with us. When we speak, He speaks with us. He lives in us as our life, and we are His living. He is our content, and we are His expression.
(God's Salvation in Life, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)