by Dr. Ray Self
REGENERATION is the impartation of the divine nature to the heart and life of a sinner, which makes him a new creation.
The regeneration from God is a BIRTH. In John 3:7 Jesus says, "Ye must be born again." This is a supernatural act, from the Spirit, not by human doing.
Regeneration is NECESSARY. John 3:3 instructs us in both of these key points: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." We are unable to reenter the womb for rebirth. Instead, we surrender and trust God and we are born again, not physically, but spiritually through our faith in Jesus Christ.
This new birth (regeneration) is a gift and work of the Holy Spirit.
Regeneration by God is also a CLEANSING. The cleansing is managed by the purity of the Holy Spirit. Man is incapable of cleansing himself. It can only be done through the Holy Spirit. In Psalms 51:10, David requests, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." Titus 3:5 goes on to express that it is, "Not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost."
Regeneration by God produces a QUICKENING (being made alive) and a RESURRECTION (being raised from the dead). The new creation is talked about in II Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come." Ephesians 2:5-6 refers to death and being raised: "Even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, and raised us up with Him, and made us sit with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
We are ADOPTED by God. "But when the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." In this scripture, adoption means placing as a son. This takes place when we are born into the family of God, as shown in Romans 8:15: "But ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, 'Abba! Father!'" Adoption yields new positioning. A non-relative becomes a son or daughter through the conferring of an immediate family position. We are privileged to call God our Father as a result of adoption and we have the witness of the Holy Spirit who confirms it. Romans 8:16 says that, "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God." Galatians 4:6 reads, "Because you are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying,'Abba! Father!'" Romans 8:14 likewise states, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
We have been made heirs with Christ. Galatians 4:7 clearly states, "Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son, then an heir of God through Christ." There is a totally different mentality in being a servant and being a son. A son has the privilege of an intimate relationship with his father. A servant only has a business relationship. A son has family rights. A servant has only the limited rights of a worker. God has called us to be His children not just His servants.