“Ye Must Be Born Again”
Christ told Nicodemus that the new birth could only be seen and understood by its effects (John 3:8).
What is the NEW BIRTH?
What actually takes place in a sinner when he is born from above by the Spirit of God?
That sinner is REGENERATED (given life or quickened) and RENEWED (converted in newness of life). The Agent in this new birth is the Holy Spirit who makes us actual partakers of the very nature of Christ (His spirit, His righteousness), and the instrument is the Gospel whereby our hearts are purified by means of faith and our consciences are purged by the blood of Christ.
The Holy Spirit imparts a new, holy principle in our hearts, the very nature of Christ, enlightens our minds to the glory of God revealed in the promise of salvation conditioned on Christ, and we are brought from death unto life.
The Holy Spirit imparts new life unto them and renews their minds with the truth of the Gospel, overcomes their natural prejudices against it, and brings them to faith in Christ and repentance from dead works. Now these things take place as God has ordained from the beginning, and they are never separate according to Scripture. They can be distinguished for definition but never separated.
Where there is faith, there is life, and subsequently, repentance from dead works and idolatry. Faith and repentance are the effects. Sinners are born again who see the value of Christ’s blood and righteousness as the only ground of salvation and who see that all their efforts before justifying faith are dead works and fruit unto death.