The Way of our regeneration is in part a work in and of ourselves and in part a work of God.
The Greek word paliggenesia (regeneration) comes from the Greek words palin ( (adverbially) anew, that is, (of place) back, (of time)
once more, or (conjugationally) furthermore or on the other hand: - again) and the word genesis (nativity; figuratively nature: - generation,
nature). In context the word paliggenesia means (spiritual) rebirth (the state or the act), that is, (figuratively) spiritual renovation;
specifically Messianic restoration.
1) new birth, reproduction, renewal, recreation, regeneration
1a) hence renovation, regeneration, the production of a new life consecrated to God, a radical change of mind for the better. The word
often used to denote the restoration of a thing to its pristine state, its renovation, as a renewal or restoration of life after death
When we repent, when we change the way we think, when we change our minds for the better, we permit God to begin His transforming
work within us.
(Tit 3:3) For we also once were senseless, disobedient, being led astray, slaving for various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy,
hateful, hating one another.
(Tit 3:4) But when the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
(Tit 3:5) not by works in righteousness which we had done, but according to His mercy, He saved us through the washing of regeneration
and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
(Tit 3:6) whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ, our Savior;
(Tit 3:7) that being justified by His grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
The Washing of Regeneration
This Greek praise, dia loutrou palingenesias (laver of regeneration), makes reference to the Laver used by the priest in the tabernacle to
cleanse themselves from impurity before entering into the Holy Place. This cleansing takes place before the renewal or spiritual rebirth
which comes through the receiving of the Holy Spirit.
The water baptism of John for the remission was also symbolic of this act. Later on Jesus shed His blood for the remission of sins and it
was after the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross that we received the Holy Spirit onto regeneration. Here we see the three baptisms, of water,
of blood and of the Holy Spirit. And these three agree in one! (1 John 5:8)
When we are regenerated we are restored to our original condition before the fall of man with the exception of our corrupted bodies (flesh)
for the flesh profits nothing (John 6:63). We are restored to the image and likeness of God (born again spirit, soul & body). We are once
more spiritually perfect in every way, as was Adam before the transgression.
Once dead in our sins we are given a new life in it's pristine state consecrated to God.
What is the evidence of our regeneration?
(1Jn 3:7) Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
(1Jn 3:8) He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested,
that he might destroy the works of the devil.
(1Jn 3:9) Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
And he cannot sin (kai ou dunatai hamartanein). This is a wrong translation, for this English naturally means “and he cannot commit sin”
as if it were kai ou dunatai hamartein or hamartēsai (second aorist or first aorist active infinitive). The present active infinitive hamartanein
can only mean “and he cannot go on sinning,” as is true of hamartanei in 1Jo_3:8 and hamartanōn in 1Jo_3:6. For the aorist subjunctive to
commit a sin see hamartēte and hamartēi in 1Jo_2:1. A great deal of false theology has grown out of a misunderstanding of the tense of
hamartanein here. Paul has precisely John’s idea in Rom_6:1 epimenōmen tēi hamartiāi (shall we continue in sin, present active linear
subjunctive) in contrast with hamartēsōmen in Rom_6:15 (shall we commit a sin, first aorist active subjunctive). (Roberts Word Pictures)
The idea that when one is regenerated he/she can't, is unable to or incapable of, committing sin is clearly false doctrine. If we could not
commit sin why would we need an advocate with the Father (Jesus) ingredient for us? (1 John 2:1)
Didn't the apostle Paul wrestle with sin? (Romans 7:14-20)
Was he not regenerated?
What this phrase is speaking of is continuing in willful unrepentant sin after regeneration. It is speaking of our new heart which desires not
to sin. It is speaking of our morning over our sins when we do sin (Matt 5:4). It is saying that if we are truly regenerated we do not desire to
sin and subsequently we will sin less and less as we overcome the desires of the flesh.
You see regeneration is speaking of a new spirit and a new start in life. We have been given everything that we need to become children
of God spiritually. But the soul has yet to benefit.