The gospel, as we have considered so far, includes three elements: forgiveness, atonement, and imputed perfection. Next, consider that God actually regenerates our soul. He makes it new, recreating our essence in the image of His own Son, Jesus. Consider the following Bible passages: “Unless a person is generated from above, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven … unless a person is generated of water and the Spirit (the Word of God) he cannot see the kingdom of heaven” (John 3). “Whoever is generated of God does not sin; indeed, he cannot because he has been generated of God” (1 John 3:9).
In this way we live our lives. The essence of our being—a new regenerate soul—is always about doing, thinking, and saying what is right. But this nature is overlaid with a contrary human nature. Like Paul, we know there is good at work in us but that is always resisted and twisted by our human nature; thus, Paul’s complaint in Romans 7.