There are three great periods in the divine revelation to man. I am not talking about three dispensations, although in a sense, they were dispensations. These three great periods in the divine revelation of man involved a progressive development in grace.
▪The Old Testament Period
Looking at the Bible, one will discover that the Father is most prevalent throughout all the Old Testament. He is the great transcended God; He is the one who is planning all that is taking place, not only on the earth but also in His soteriological programme.
▪The Ministry of Our Lord Jesus Christ
In the second period, we are dealing with the life of His Son in the New Testament. In the Gospels, the Son has prevalence.
▪The Present Time
The Spirit comprises the third period. The Father planned it, the Son executed the program of redemption, and it is the Spirit who is now administrating that program.
Through these three periods, there is a development. Regeneration is the divine act of the cleansing of the elect and the communicating of the spiritual life through the Word and the Spirit. Regeneration is what takes place when you believe in Jesus Christ; you are regenerated, you are born-again, and you are given new life. You were sorted out by the Holy Spirit, you were brought to Jesus Christ, you were led to trust and put your faith in Him, you believed in Him, and you were given new life, making you a new creature. That is regeneration. It is the work of the Father—He planned it all. It is the work of the Son—He died, being the basis for it. It is the work of the Spirit—He has taken the Word and has applied it to our hearts.
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)
In a sense, the Holy Spirit acts as our Father and Mother; it is the Spirit who has brought us into the spiritual life by being born of the Spirit.