J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 4.)
Being born of God marks a new nature, and, as shown to us in John 3 the moral necessity of that new nature, from Christ's divine acquaintance with what heaven was. With man on earth, and flesh, there could be no link formed. He came from heaven, and, as Son of Man in heaven, He could say with absolute certainty, that is what must be, what is in a Son of Man that can be in heaven. But being raised (risen) with Him is something more, though it be that life, because it changes the position of the person, and implies the death of the old thing, the old man. Now this is not merely a new life, it is deliverance - the whole condition is changed. Hence it is now revealed salvation. And hence, also, salvation is spoken of as come, and ready to come, because redemption is wrought, and we are partakers of the place and title, into which redemption brings us, in which a risen Redeemer is, and we in Him, but we wait the actual bringing into it which will be our own change or resurrection, for "we shall not all sleep," which is complete deliverance from the whole condition and scene in which we are in flesh - the redemption of our body. We are in it, as in Spirit - our "life is hid with Christ in God." We wait for it, as to actuality in our bodies.
In the Ephesians, though we get the divine nature and presence, without "now" or "then," holy and without blame before Him in love, yet we do not get "being born again," but "being quickened together with him," and "raised up together," putting "off the old man" and putting "on the new man." We are "risen with him," "created again," and the like. Christ, as in the world, spoke of being "born again," a new nature, for He was then, in life, the new thing, but had not wrought redemption. Therefore He says, "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things," and then goes on to the Cross. Hence He could speak of being "born again," but He could not say "reckon yourselves dead." Now, we do - we say, "I am crucified with Christ," "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God," reckoning Christ dead and now risen again. We receive life in that way, i.e., as dead and risen again, and our place is in Christ thus risen. Thus we are "dead to sin," "crucified to the world," "dead to the Law." To the two former, it is having done with them - the nature and the sphere it belongs to and moves in, under Satan. In the last, the Law does not lose its authority, in itself, but we have died as to the nature to which it applies. We are not in the flesh. Hence, when it is only "born of God," we are in the condition of Romans 7 - the new nature working inwardly, but leading to the discovery of the old and our weakness. When we know redemption, we are delivered and free. Hence it is when we have received "the truth, the gospel of our salvation," that we are sealed. In the beginning of Ephesians I, we have therefore, "before him," as well as "holy and without blame, in love"; and in the end, the same power has raised us up in Christ. The Holy Ghost has sealed us, as in the place where redemption sets us, and makes us have the consciousness of the salvation, of being saved, and is "the earnest of the inheritance." Also we have Him as "the Spirit of adoption."