Basic Lessons on Life, by Witness Lee

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Now we want to see the way of regeneration.

A. To Realize Our Need of the Life of God

First, we need to realize our need of the life of God. This is related to God’s eternal purpose. God’s eternal purpose is to have a corporate people that can express Him. For these people to express God, they surely need the life and the nature of God. If we only have the human life, we can only express our human being. We cannot express God, the divine being. The particular life that something has issues in an expression. Dogs express the dog life, and cats express the cat life. An apple tree cannot express the life and nature of a peach tree, because it does not have the peach life and nature. For us human beings to express God, we need God’s life. Genesis 1 shows us God’s purpose for man to express Him, and in Genesis 2 we see the need for man to partake of the tree of life, the life of God. We have to realize that we need the life of God in order to express God.

A number of Bible teachers say that we need to be regenerated because we are fallen and sinful. This is a wrong concept. We have to tell people that even if man had never become fallen, he would still need regeneration. Even before man fell, he still needed the divine life. The very man whom God put in front of the tree of life was not fallen. He was pure, he was good, he was perfect, and he was sinless, but he was only human not divine. Thus, Genesis 2 indicates clearly that this sinless man, perfect man, good man, and pure man, still needed the life of God. We need to be purged from the wrong, traditional concept that regeneration is because of man’s fall. According to this concept, if man never fell, he would not have the need of regeneration. But the Bible reveals that regeneration is needed by man even if man never fell.

In order for one to be regenerated, he first has to realize his need of the divine life. In John 3:3 the Lord said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God." In spiritual things to see is to enter into (v. 5). If you have not been born of God, you cannot enter into, or see, anything in the realm of God’s kingdom. If you do not have the bird life, you cannot enter into the kingdom of the birds. If you do not have the animal life, you cannot enter into the kingdom of the animals. In order to enter into any kind of kingdom, you need that kind of life. If you do not have that kind of life, you can never get into that kingdom, that realm, or really understand what is within that realm.

If we did not have the human life, we could not be in the human kingdom, the kingdom of man. We have been born with the human life into the kingdom of man. Today we need to be born with the divine life into the kingdom of God. If we were only born of man, we could only be in man’s kingdom. We could never be in the kingdom of God. To be in the kingdom of God, we need to be born of God, to be born again. John 3:3 shows the need of the life of God.

(Basic Lessons on Life, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)