The truth of regeneration is rarely mentioned regarding assurance, but along with our union with Christ, it is greatly assuring.
At salvation, the human spirit labeled the “old man” is crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6: Gal. 2:20). Obviously, the soul and body do not die at salvation, but the human spirit dies with Christ to sin. Christ died not only for our sins; He died unto sin (Rom. 6:10). He became sin by coming into union with sin that He might die unto sin (2 Cor. 5:21).
When we were saved, the Holy Spirit baptized us into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27). When we were immersed into Christ we were placed into His death (Rom. 6:3). At that moment we died to sin (Rom. 6:2)—not sins, but to that entity called sin that dwells in and urges us to commit sins (Rom. 7:17, 20). Through death with Christ, we were severed from indwelling sin. Sin still resides in the flesh levels of our soul and body (which is why we are not perfect), and we can yield to this former sin master. But indwelling sin is no longer our master because he who has died to sin has been freed from sin (Rom. 6:7).
The old man died with Christ and is raised with Christ the “new man” created after God in righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24). This is the new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). This new creation is “after God” because it is God’s seed (literally, His sperma). Something of the nature of God is implanted in you when you are born again. You have God’s DNA. God’s nature is righteous, holy, loving, good, and so much more, and that divine nature is your new core. You are no longer only human. You have the divine nature. This is regeneration. The Holy Spirit generated divine life in you when your human spirit was raised with Christ the new man.
There had to be a part of you made holy so the Holy Spirit could indwell you. This part, as we’ve just seen, is the regenerated spirit. Yet, there is more. When you were raised with Christ the new man, the Spirit of Christ moved in and indwells your now regenerated spirit. The Holy Spirit streams the very life of Jesus Christ on the throne right into your being. Christ lives in you and faith allows the manifest flowing of that stream (Gal. 2:20). While it is unbelief of self-dependence that will block the manifest flow, faith can access the stream of His life. Walking by faith is simply walking in the provision of the Spirit of Jesus. Christ’s life accessed by faith as the abundant life to animate your personality and enable you in God’s will is the revived life.
But back to assurance. At salvation we received divine life in a twofold sense: God’s nature implanted and God’s Spirit indwelling. The Scripture says that he who is joined to the Lord is “one spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17) and Jesus promised He will never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5). One spirit! When you are saved you are fused to Jesus. You cannot be un-fused. You cannot be unborn. You cannot be un-saved. God will not implant His divine nature in you and then take it away. You are a child of God. That fact cannot change.
John Van Gelderen