VIII. THE ISSUE OF REGENERATION
Our being regenerated and having God living in us issue in the following eleven items.
A. Becoming Children of God with the Divine Life and the Divine Nature
The first issue of regeneration is that we become the children of God with the divine life and the divine nature (John 1:12; 2 Pet. 1:4; cf. Eph. 4:18).
B. Being Members of the Household of God, Those Who Are of the Household of the Faith
The second issue of regeneration is that we are members of the household of God, those who are of the household of the faith (2:19; Gal. 6:10).
C. Being Indwelt by the Triune God— the Father, the Son, and the Spirit
The third issue of regeneration is that we are indwelt by the Triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit (Eph. 4:6b; Rom. 8:10a; John 14:17). We have the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, as the Triune God dwelling in us.
D. Becoming the Brothers of Christ and Being Begotten of God the Father with Christ to Become the Many Sons of God
The fourth issue of regeneration is that we become the brothers of Christ. We were begotten of God the Father with Christ to become the many sons of God (Rom. 8:29b; Heb. 2:10-12).
E. Being the Members of Christ to Be the Increase of Christ
The fifth issue of regeneration is that we are the members of Christ to be the increase of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27; John 3:30a). Originally Christ was alone by Himself; then He regenerated us one by one, and we all became His members, His increase. Therefore, John 3 first speaks of regeneration, and then it speaks of us, the regenerated ones, being His increase, which is His counterpart and His bride.
F. Constituting the Body of Christ as the Fullness, the Expression, of Christ
The sixth issue of regeneration is that as the increase of Christ, we constitute the Body of Christ as the fullness, the expression, of Christ (Rom. 12:5; Eph. 1:23). The Body of Christ is the church, the proper church, not the fallen, degraded church. The proper church is a group of people who believe into Christ, who have Christ living in them as their life, and who live out Christ from within. These are the members of Christ who constitute the Body of Christ, which is the church as the expression of the fullness of Christ.
G. Becoming the New Creation
The seventh issue of regeneration is that we become the new creation (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15). According to what we are by being born of our parents, we are the old creation. But according to our being regenerated by God entering into us, we are the new creation. The old creation is solely man, whereas the new creation is man having God within him.
H. Becoming a Part of the New Man
The eighth issue of regeneration is that we become a part of the new man (Eph. 2:15; Col. 3:10-11).
I. Entering into the Kingdom of God and Becoming Citizens of God
The ninth issue of regeneration is that we enter into the kingdom of God and become the citizens of God (John 3:5; Eph. 2:19).
J. Being Citizens in the Heavens
The tenth issue of regeneration is that we are citizens in the heavens (Phil. 3:20; Eph. 2:6b).
K. Being Israel, God’s Elect
The eleventh issue of regeneration is that we are God’s elect, Israel (Gal. 6:16). We become the real Israel.
As Christians, are we men or God? Apparently we are men, but actually we are God as well as men. We are God-men. We can endure with rejoicing, and even with praising, what others cannot endure. We can be holy more than anyone else. In any situation while others drift away with the worldly crowd, we are holy, sanctified. This is not we, but God who lives out of us. As those who have been born of God, we have not only the divine life but also the divine nature. Originally, we did not have the divine nature. In our original, old nature are the four monsters of covetousness, lust, pride, and anger. Now we have the divine nature, which is the nature of love, light, holiness, and righteousness. What we live out are the virtues as manifestations of God’s attributes. The reason we Christians can surpass others in being loving, holy, just, and upright is not because of anything in ourselves but because God who lives in us lives out His attributes from within us. Once His attributes are lived out from us, the divine attributes become our human virtues. This is to live Christ and to manifest Christ—to take Christ as our life and live Him out as our living. Not only so, this nature of the divine life builds us together to constitute us the Body of Christ, which is His church. This is regeneration, which is the first great step of God’s salvation in life.
(God's Salvation in Life, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)