This is regeneration.
The Holy Spirit quickens the sinner with new spiritual life. He is thus born again. It is a work complete at once, and one in which the sinner is completely passive.
This is repentance.
The sinner knows not that he is born again, but by the results which are manifested in the mind, heart, and life. His MIND is enlightened. He becomes deeply conscious of his personal relationship to God’s holiness, to eternity, and to the judgment to come. These are to him realities such as they had never been before. He sees himself to be guilty before God, and deserving of eternal condemnation.
This is faith.
His HEART becomes restless in consequence of his change of mind. He is weary and burdened under a consciousness of guilt and he looks to Jesus dying on the cross as the sinner’s substitute and trusts in Him as his only hope of salvation. Thus with the heart, he believes and is saved.
This is conversion.
His LIFE is now changed. The mind and heart being thus affected, the whole current of his outer life is altered. The man turns from the ways of sin and turns to God. He becomes a true disciple and follower of the Lord Jesus.
In other words:
I. REGENERATION is the impartation of a new nature and is in Scripture termed “being born again.” It is an instantaneous work of the Holy Spirit, complete at once, though capable of increase in vigor and manifestation.
II. REPENTANCE is a change of mind about our relationship to God, whereby we become conscious that however moral or religious we may have been–we are really without God, and without hope in the world. We deeply sense that we are guilty before God and deserving eternal condemnation.
III. FAITH is the trust of the heart in Christ crucified, as the way of deliverance from guilt and deserved condemnation.
IV. CONVERSION is the change of the outward life. Having received Christ as his Savior, the believer now serves and follows Him as his Lord and Master.
“Counsels and Thoughts for the Spiritual Life of Believers” 1882, by Thomas Moor
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