Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; KJV
We all know that there is no benefit in any of our ‘works’ to try to make us right with God. We cannot pray enough or hard enough. We can’t cry enough or loud enough. We cannot help enough people out of their misery. We cannot give enough money to enough charities. There is absolutely nothing that we can do in our own strength that will please God enough to take away the sentence of death that we carry in our bodies.
Having that sense of death, and knowing that there is no way out, should cause us to fall on our face before God and cry, “Mercy!”
That mercy is given in the form and name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When we receive Jesus as our Savior, we are washed. It is called here “regeneration.”
What is regeneration?
When a tree has a limb broken off and a new one grows in its place, that is regeneration. When a tree is cut down, and new one comes forth from the stump, that is regenration.
When your old self was crucified with Christ, and the new you came forth in true righteousness and holiness, that is regeneration.
We are saved by that regeneration.
We are also saved by the ‘renewing of the Holy Ghost.’
That is not a ‘one-shot deal’ though. Notice that it is renewing of the Holy Ghost. It is an ongoing process.
Many claim to have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. That may very well be. But, there is more to it than that.
I was baptized in water, but I am not still wet. There is a continual renewal that must be taking place in my life.
How about you? Are you being continually filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18)?
What does that look like for you? What do you do?