water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God?; 3:8, margin ? ?The Spirit breatheth where it will ?; <490119>Ephesians 1:19, 20 ? ?the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might which he thought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places?; 2:10 ? ?For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them?; <600103>1 Peter 1:3 ? ?Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great merry begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead?; cf. <460306>1 Corinthians 3:6, 7 ? ?I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.?
We have seen that we are ?begotten again...through the word? ( <600123>1 Peter 1:23). In the revealed truth with regard to the person and work of Christ there is a divine adaptation to the work of renewing our hearts. But truth in itself is powerless to regenerate and sanctify, unless the Holy Spirit uses it ? ?the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God?
( <490617>Ephesians 6:17). Hence regeneration is ascribed preeminently to the Holy Spirit, and men are said to be ?born of the Spirit? ( <430308>John 3:8). When Robert Morrison started for China, an incredulous American said to him: ?Mr. Morrison, do you think you can make any impression on the Chinese?? ?No,? was the reply, ?but I think the Lord can.?
(h) It is a change accomplished through the union of the soul with Christ.
<450802> Romans 8:2 ? ?For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and death?; <470517>2 Corinthians 5:17 ? ?if any man is in Christ he is a new creature? (margin ? ?there is a new creation?); Galatians L:15, 16 ? ?it was the good pleasure of God...to reveal his Son in me?; <490210>Ephesians 2:10 ? ?For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good work? On the Scriptural representations, see E. D. Griffin, Divine Efficiency, 117-164; H. B. Smith, System of Theology, 553-569 ? ?Regeneration involves union with Christ, and not a change of heart without relation to him.?
<490314> Ephesians 3:14, 15 ? ?the Father, from whom every fatherhood in heaven and on earth is named.? But even here God works through Christ, and Christ himself is called ?Everlasting Father? ( <230906>Isaiah 9:6). The real basis of our son-ship and unity is in Christ, our Creator and Upholder. Sin is repudiation of this filial relationship. Regeneration by the Spirit restores our son-ship by joining us once more, ethically and spiritually to Christ
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