Regeneration makes real, dramatic, universal, and lasting changes in the life and soul of a sinner. A regenerated person is awakened and quickened from his spiritual deadness. He is made alive in Christ. He is brought into a real and vital union with the Saviour. He becomes a partaker of the divine nature. He becomes a new creature. This is what is emphasized in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” This is a change from death to life; it is new life and brings us into a new family.
One of the predominant features of this new life is holiness. Regeneration results in the governing disposition of the soul being made holy. And it goes further; it secures the first exercise of that disposition. In other words, a regenerated person will display true holiness. This simply means that as the sinner is made a new creature, he is given new life. His understanding is enlightened. His will is renewed. He has a completely new direction. He makes decisions with a new perspective.
Christ is formed within him and his whole life is transformed. All things become new. This transformation is personal; it is the operation of God upon the individual soul. God deals with sinners personally, saving and transforming them. The transformation is also powerful. By nature man is an enemy to God, he is bent and biased towards sin, and his heart is disinclined from spiritual things. But that all changes with regeneration. He is no longer anti-God; he is for God and longs after God. The transformation is permanent; it cannot and will not be reversed. The new birth is a new life.
“Christian experience solves the problem with which theoretical ethics has long struggled …. [It] leads to a new and higher ethical ideal.” (E. G. Mullins, The Christian Religion in its Doctrinal Expression, page 91)