To understand the biblical significance of the word “REGENERATION” it is necessary to understand the magnitude of the Genesis 3 event when the sin of man first entered into this world after Adam and Eve’s temptation and fall. There in that original rebellious rejection of God and His word, Adam and Eve severed themselves from their creator. Unless we understand what happened here and how this original sin has impacted all of Adam’s descendants, then our understanding and appreciation of the salvation God gives us in His Son, Jesus Christ, will be minimal. According to Webster’s dictionary, the verb regenerate is defined as to build, make or start anew. It also defines the word as restored or renewed. According to the Bible another word for regeneration is rebirth or born from above from which we get the phrase “BORN AGAIN.” Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).” To be born again is opposed to, and distinguished from, our first birth; when we were conceived in sin. The new birth is a spiritual, holy, and heavenly birth signified by a being made alive in a spiritual sense and born from above. Our first birth, on the other hand, was one of spiritual death because of inherited sin. Man in his natural state is “dead in transgressions and sins” until we are “made alive” (regenerated) by Christ when we place our faith in Him (Eph. 2:1).
Birth and rebirth are both the result of the operation of the Holy Spirit. No man can come alive to God apart from the Spirit’s work. To be “born again of the spirit” or to be “born from above,” is to experience a second Genesis 3 event. It is a new beginning, a fresh start in life. When something is started, we say that it is generated. If it is started again, it is regenerated.
To be regenerated does not mean that we are changed from a human being into a divine being. It does mean that we are changed from spiritually dead human beings into spiritually alive human beings. Spiritually dead persons are incapable of seeing the kingdom of God. It is invisible to them, not because the kingdom itself is invisible, but because the spiritually dead are also spiritually blind.
In the jargon of Christianity we hear people speak of “born again” Christians. Technically speaking, this phrase is redundant. If a person is not born again, if he is not regenerate, then he is not a possessing Christian. He may be a member of a Christian church. He may profess to be a Christian. But, unless a person is regenerate, he is not in Christ, and Christ is not in him. No regeneration, no eternal life. Without regeneration a person can neither see the kingdom nor enter the kingdom of God.
Simply put, regeneration is God making a person spiritually alive; a new creation, as a result of faith in Jesus Christ. The reason regeneration is necessary is that prior to salvation we are not God’s children (John 1:12-13); rather, we are children of wrath (Eph. 2:3; Rom. 5:18-20). Before salvation, we are degenerate. After salvation we are regenerated. The result of regeneration is peace with God (Rom. 5:1), new life (Titus 3:5: 2 Cor. 5:17), and eternal son-ship (John 1:12-13; Gal. 3:26). This regeneration is eternal and begins the process of sanctification wherein we become the people God intended us to be (Romans 8:28-30).
To think that the Lord would literally allow His Holy Spirit to enter into our human spirits at the exact moment of our conversion to Him so that we can have His divine life and power starting to flow and operate through us for ministry and sanctification; is enough to knock you right off the couch when you really stop and think about what is really in this regenerative work by the Holy Spirit. As a result of being truly BORN AGAIN (of the Spirit) or BORN FROM ABOVE; our spiritual relationship with the Lord has now been fully restored. In conclusion; if you do not have God’s Spirit living on the inside of you, then you are not truly born again and you are not saved from God’s wrath. It is only when the Holy Spirit comes and enters into your human spirit that you are truly born again. The only way to be able to get the Holy Spirit to enter into your human spirit is to be willing to accept Christ Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and transferring ownership of your life to Him (Luke 9:23). There is no other way into the kingdom of God. We either come through Jesus and the blood that He has personally shed for us on the cross or we do not come through at all.
Jesus gives us a personal invitation. He will not force His way in; the door to your heart must be opened from within as He respects the rights of His creatures. Jesus says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to Him (fellowship with Him- Rev.3:20). Please invite Him in to be the Lord of your life and your life will be changed forever. You will become a new creature, indwelt by the Spirit of God. There are few things quite so boring as being religious, but there is nothing quite so exciting as being a child of God, indwelt by the Spirit of God.