If Jesus Christ is going to regenerate me, what is the problem he is up against? I’ve inherited a sinful nature, a heredity I had no say in. I am not holy, nor am I likely to become holy. If all Jesus Christ can do is tell me to be holy, I’ll end in despair. But since Jesus Christ does more than tell, since he is a regenerator who can impart to me his own heredity—the heredity of holiness—I begin to see what he’s getting at when he tells me to be holy.

Redemption means that Jesus Christ can remake anyone by putting his own holy nature into them. The standards he sets for us are based on this new heredity; his teaching is directed at what he puts into me, not at what I was before I received him. The moral obligation on my part is to agree with God’s verdict on sin in the cross of Jesus Christ.

What the New Testament teaches about spiritual rebirth is that when people are struck by a sense of their need, God will begin to put the Holy Spirit into their spirit, not stopping until they have been fully remade—that is, “until Christ is formed” inside them (Galatians 4:19). The moral miracle of redemption is that God can instill in me a holiness that enables me to live a totally new life. But it isn’t until I reach the frontier of need and understand my limitations that Jesus says, “Blessed are you” (Matthew 5:11). God cannot put the holiness that was in Jesus Christ into someone who is still convinced of their own morality. I have to be consciously in need of him to receive his heredity.

Just as the disposition of sin entered humanity through one man,
so the Holy Spirit entered humanity by one man. Redemption means
that I can be delivered from the heredity of sin and receive the spotless
heredity of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ.

Wisdom from Oswald

The life of Abraham is an illustration of two things: of unreserved surrender to God, and of God’s complete possession of a child of His for His own highest end.
Not Knowing Whither