In Proposition 145, George Peters states:
“This Kingdom includes “the regeneration” of Matt. 19:28.”
In this Proposition, Peters notes “the regeneration” spoke of by Jesus in Matthew 19:28 as being an element of what is included in the Kingdom. Matthew 19:28 states:
“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Other versions of Scripture use the words “new world” rather than “in the regeneration”. Regardless of the terms being used, the idea presented by the Greek noun paliggenesia is that of something new or restored. So once again, we have another biblical phrase/description of the Kingdom, one that continues to relay the understanding of a return to the beginning for the righteous.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 145 is the following:
“The Kingdom itself, the reign of the saints, the deliverance of creation, in brief, all the blessings, so vividly described by Jones, Seiss, and many others, are introduced by this very “regeneration.” Jesus is the first begotten of the dead, and His brethren must first experience the same birth before these promises can be verified. Hence it is very doubtful whether it is a word as far-reaching as the phrase “the restitution of all things;” for the latter embraces the resurrection, restoration of Kingdom, Paradise, etc. – the bringing back of all things to their original condition or intention – while the latter, at most, can only refer to man and nature, taking the broadest definitions given to it. But with Lange and others, it must be said to be more precious, since it more directly refers to the individual, not simply restored to a forfeited position, but brought into a life most exalted and glorious through resurrection and transforming power, thus fashioning the saint after the pattern presented by Jesus. The phrase “in the regeneration” does not simply allude to the time when the resurrection is experienced, but to the fact that it is an ever-continuing reality – an unchangeable state from the period of its happy realization. It is during this wonderful regenerated life that the Kingdom of God is manifested; or, as Robison (Gr. N. Test.), “the complete external manifestation of the Messiah’s Kingdom, when all things are to be delivered from their present corruption, and restored to spiritual purity and splendor” shall be seen; or, as Van Oosterzee (Theol. N.T., p. 123), it shall embrace after the personal Sec. Advent, “the entire reversal of the natural and spiritual creature.” As the regeneration of the Lord Jesus (Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5; 1 Cor. 15:20) is separate from, precedes, and yet is connected, with the ultimate renewal of creation itself, so the regeneration of the believers, accounted worthy to obtain this Kingdom, is separate from, precedes, and yet stands related to, the mighty changes which shall transform nature into the Edenic state so rapturously delineated by the prophets.”
Peters presents some very valuable thoughts in this observation on this current and future nature of this idea of regeneration. So as not to allow regeneration to exist solely as a function of the coming Kingdom, Peters saliently notes that regeneration is something that also takes place in the life of the believer in this current age. Perhaps a more familiar and related term is that of sanctification. The underlying idea of regeneration is that of something new. In the case of the believer, it relates to the new birth, a new life in Christ. The Apostle Paul references this in Titus 3:5, “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.” This process of regeneration is a work of the Holy Spirit. This is a creative act of God in the life of the believer given that man is incapable on his own of regeneration.
This means that regeneration takes place in the here and now as part of the overall idea of sanctification. The believer in Christ should be desiring to live a life pleasing to God and to bring through the work of the Holy Spirit, all elements of their life into subjection to God to the glory of God. The full act of regeneration of all things will take place with the establishment of the Kingdom as noted by Jesus in Matthew 19:28 and numerous other passages that speak of creation being restored. This cosmic regeneration if you will is also a creative act on the part of God. As Creator, He will restore and renew all of creation to its Edenic state. In the interim, believers are regenerated into a new man via salvation in Christ. This should result in a change in how we live our lives, namely a life lived with a new purpose to bring glory to God in holiness and righteousness, a small reflection of the greater regeneration to come.