181. The internal man is first regenerated by the Lord, and afterwards the external, and the latter by means of the former. For the internal man is regenerated by thinking those things which are of faith and charity, but the external by a life according to them. This is meant by the words of the Lord:
Unless anyone be begotten of water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).
"Water," in the spiritual sense, is the truth of faith, and "the spirit" is a life according to it.