Few words in the Greek New Testament are more important than palingenesia, meaning “new birth, renewal, restoration, or regeneration.” It is a comprehensive term for the work of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us and sanctifies us to be members of Christ, applying to us that which we have in Christ, namely, the washing away of our sins and the daily renewing of our lives (Baptism form).
Regeneration has to do with both how the Christian life begins and how it develops over time. All created life has a birth or beginning, which is actually the culmination of a process that has been under way for some time. In God’s appointed time and way, the Holy Spirit begins to work in us, quickening the heart, enlightening the mind, renewing the will, and instilling a new hatred for sin and a new hunger and thirst for righteousness. Drawing us to Christ, He enables us to use the hand of faith to receive the salvation offered to us in the gospel.
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