Paliggenesia, the Greek word for "regeneration" refers to a "complete change of mind and heart" or a "restoration to the original state".
Dear Lord, You are the Regenerating One. You are able to bring dead bones to Life. You are able to breathe Your very Life into our beings. You know that I cannot comprehend regeneration and how much this work of Yours means for me. Please help us that we may see Your glory and be changed. In Jesus Christ's Name, Amen
Our birth into sin made our souls like dead bones buried in the deep recesses of the world. We could not hear His Words of salvation. We could not see His righteousness and glory. We could not taste to see that the Lord is good. We could not smell the Fragrance of His Presence. We could not feel love, joy, or peace. Our hearts were hardened as stone. There was no way we could respond to His Gospel, to His Word which gives Life to the One who hears with faith.
Even though we did not have faith, we could not even hear, comprehend, consider, or understand this Gospel. We were altogether dead in our trespasses and sins. There was a thick dark shroud that enfolded our eyes. Deep darkness was over the surface of our deep dead souls. Even if the Word of Life was spoken to us, how could we hear It that we may be revived? How could we see Him that we may be drawn to Him as to the Light shining in the dark place or run from Him and cry out for the rocks to cover us because we had seen the Holy One while living in our sin.? How could we understand or comprehend the essence of His death and resurrection, His forgiveness, mercy, grace. Surely His Gospel was a foolish mystery to us. How could a dead mind repent and leave behind the world to follow Christ? How could a dead heart want Him? How could a darkened will choose Him? How could a dead soul make a decision to obey Him?
We were hopeless. We could not know Him. We could not hear His Gospel. WE COULD NOT CHOOSE OR LOVE HIM BECAUSE WE WERE DEAD.
THE LIFE GIVER
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. Ez 37
This Great and Sovereign Lord has brought His people Life. Yes, He is bringing Life to many now. There are many before us, fields white for harvest, the valley, filled with dry bones that God is bringing to Life in Christ. These dead souls cannot choose Him on their own. God must first bring them to life that they may see and understand. The faith that saves them is a gift of the Father. He has given them everything they need to live in Him. He first brings them to life that they may respond to His Gospel. Then He gives them faith that they may be saved by the Gospel.
I will set pines in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.Is 41
THE SPIRIT'S WORK OF REGENERATION IN THE QUICKENED SOUL
After He brings us to life by enabling us to choose Him in faith, He grants us His Spirit to live inside of us. The Spirit's Work is the regeneration and renewal of the man of God. In the verses below, we find one of the clearest descriptions of regeneration:
37 I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. 38 They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul. Jer 32
Everything good and righteous that we desire to dwell in us comes completely from Him, from the One who gave life to our souls. He does not bring us to life and leave us on our own to live righteously. One of the works of the Spirit is to convict the world with regard to righteousness because Christ went to be at the right Hand of the Father in heaven. We could never have the righteousness of the Father without the Holy Spirit's bestowing of power and wisdom to our souls. We cannot contrive any goodness in our souls even after having been brought to life. The Spirit Himself brings singleness of HEART and ACTION to us.
This means that our Savior is going to do everything to save us. He who died and rose to life to save us from hell, will also perfect these souls of ours. He does not stop. He is always doing the work of His Father. The work of the Father is to purify for Himself a people who His very own and who are eager to do the will of God. God will remove our sin. He Himself will remove it. He causes His seed to remain in us. Do you writhe in the agony of the sin that you cannot remove? He surely will remove it from you if you are His child.
Are you afraid that you cannot stop sinning? He surely will remove every sinful inclination of our hearts until the day see Jesus face to face. He is the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. The Shepherd will carry His Lambs forever. He is able to inspire us to fear Him. We cannot make ourselves fear Him. He must inspire us to revere His Name and to hold Him as holy in our hearts. He will never stop doing good to us. For us who have many areas of our hearts, minds, and souls yet to be perfected, the way He does good to us is to treat us as legitimate children and to discipline us.
13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.Hebrew 10
He is making us holy. Do not faint and lose heart at the fiery trials and at the perceived hardness of your heart. He surely is working zealously on behalf of His own Name to sanctify and purify you. If you are His child, you need not fear sin, not even your own sin, for He surely is going to remove your strongholds. He will wash the evil from you as with a "launderer's soap" and it will be completely be His work and none of yours. And yet, know this: there will be trials and testings of our faith which He will use to accomplish His purifying work. But nevertheless He has overcome your sin.
All of the sin in your life is going to be removed in the days to come. It will involve deep cleansing. It will involve painful circumcision of the heart. It will involve Godly sorrow. It will involve circumstances of fires and earthquakes which will wrench your soul. It will involve time of comfort and peace from the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings. It will involve trouble. But He surely will remove your sin, my dear family. This is His way of never stopping to do us good.
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
I will remember no more.”