...in time, the Holy Spirit quickens (An Old English word which means to “make alive,” or “to smart” or “be pricked” etc.) those that are saved by Christ on the cross, giving to them spiritual life. This is referred to in Scripture as “being born from above,” or “begotten again,” and often Bible students call it regeneration. Freewillers call it “getting saved.” Hollywood artists call it “being born again.” However, these terms are rather confusing and often inaccurate. “Begetting” takes place before “birth.” A sensible sinner will already be “begotten,” but may not as yet have been “delivered” in birth. Principally, regeneration in both places in the Bible where it is used seems to refer to the re-introduction of life into someone prior to the resurrection of the body. But, we will not now go there. Rather, let us still “simply put” the order of the gospel of Christ.
The spiritual life begotten and conceived in a previously dead elect sinner produces various effects. They can now feel the awful sinfulness of their sins very clearly. Their conscience is quickened. They smart under the felt judgment of God's law. They now know their acute need for salvation. They now desire evidences that God loves them, and that Christ died for them. They now are brought by the Holy Spirit under the condemnation of God's holy law. They now mourn, being depressed spiritually, over their sinfulness. They have spiritual eyes to see their need, and feel that they yet walk in darkness. (Isaiah 50:10.) They become beggars at mercy's door, longing for a hope and evidence that they are one of God's people. Simply put, they are alive! They are in the process of birth – “being born from above.” (John 1:12-13.) And the first step in this process of birth is the begetting and conception, which is called quickening. This gracious and necessary work will ultimately and unfailingly be produced in them “at the appointed time.” (Galatians 1:15.) They are sinners, and will immediately confess themselves to be such. As sensible sinners they are the only kind of people for whom Christ came to save. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Again, “Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6.) Simply put, the gospel is that Christ did in fact die only for sinners; that is, those who are in time made feeling so. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal this sinnership to them; and that Christ died for such sinners as they! That is gospel!