WHAT WE RECEIVE BY REGENERATION
The Triune God Dwelling in Us
We have been sprinkled, redeemed, forgiven, cleansed, separated, justified, and reconciled. Praise God, all the problems are gone! Now by being regenerated we have received God. God is within us. First John 4:13 says, “In this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, that He has given to us of His Spirit.” It is by regeneration that God comes into us to indwell us.
By regeneration Christ lives in us. Second Corinthians 13:5 is the best verse to prove this. It says, “Test yourselves whether you are in the faith; prove yourselves. Or do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are disapproved?” As long as we have faith, regardless of how big or little it is, even if it is smaller than a mustard seed, we have Christ dwelling in us.
By regeneration the Holy Spirit also is in us. Romans 8:9 and John 14:17 tell us this. Verse 17 says, “Even the Spirit of reality, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him; but you know Him, because He abides with you and shall be in you.” This means that we have all three of the Triune God within us. God the Father is in us, God the Son is in us, and God the Spirit is in us. That God is in us means that the greatest One in the entire universe is in us. First John 4:4 says, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” God is the greatest One, Christ is the strongest, most powerful One (Phil. 4:13), and the Holy Spirit is the most living One. Because the Triune God is in us, we have the greatness, the strength and power, and the living energy.
The Triune God as the Eternal Life
By regeneration we have received life, which is nothing less that the Triune God Himself. We should not think that the divine life is something different from God. It is God Himself in Christ through the Spirit.
First John 5:12 says, “He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” And John 3:15 says, “That every one who believes into Him may have eternal life.” Everlasting life, as in the King James Version, is an incorrect translation. Everlasting refers to time, while eternal refers to something more than time. It also refers to the nature and sphere.
The Divine Nature with Its Taste
In addition to the divine life, we have received the divine nature, the nature of God (2 Pet. 1:4). It is hard to define the difference between life and nature. If we have life, we have the ability to live; without life we have no ability to live. Nature is more for the taste of a life. A cat has the taste to eat mice. In the same way, a dog barks because barking is his nature. There is no need to teach a dog to bark; barking suits a dog’s taste.
We have the divine life; that is, we have the divine ability to live. Moreover, we have the divine nature as our taste. There is no need for regulations against going to Las Vegas to gamble, because we Christians do not have this taste. We have the heavenly, divine nature, and with the divine nature there is the heavenly taste. According to the nature of a pig, the dirtiest things are tasteful to it. A lamb, however, can fall into something dirty, but that is only an accident; it is not its practice. In the same way, we can fall into gambling, but this is not our practice because we have the divine nature within us. Not only so, to go to the movies does not suit the divine nature in us. There is not such a taste within us.
Life is mostly for ability and energy, while nature is mostly for taste. We have the strength, the ability, to live, and we have the divine nature with a holy, heavenly taste. After sisters go to the department store and buy worldly items, they are not joyful because those things are not sweet to their taste. This is because they have the divine nature.
Recently a friend asked me if I drink, smoke, or go to the movies. When I replied that I do not, he said that was too bad. I said, “No, it is pitiful to you, but it is joyful to me. We have different tastes. To drink, smoke, or go to the movies is a suffering to me. To you, however, it is an enjoyment because you have that kind of nature. I have another nature, the heavenly, divine nature.” We have not only the divine life, which is God Himself, but we also have the divine nature. It is an enjoyment for us to have a holy, heavenly living, and it is an enjoyment to walk with God. It is an enjoyment, not a regulation, because this is our taste. We are feasting all the time. If you do not believe this, try to go dancing, to the movies, or to gamble. There will be a factor, the divine nature as your taste, which will constantly trouble you.
(Practical Lessons on the Experience of Life, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)