Here is a great example of a term in which its accurate meaning becomes a little different from the common use. Let’s begin with the usual…
mid-14c., from Late Latin regenerationem (nominative regeneratio) “a being born again,” noun of action from past participle stem of Latin regenerare “make over, generate again,” from re- “again” (see re-) + generare “to produce” (see generation). Originally spiritual; of animal tissue, early 15c.; of forests, 1888.
Overall, there is a sense of “being made new” in this word. As suggested in the above etymonline.com entry, you could also use regeneration as a synonym for rebirth.
For those who are followers of “The Way” (aka original title for those later known as Christians), regeneration goes further.
It is a radical change.
You see, human beings have been corrupted by the curse of sin. This is why everything in us is tainted – even when we try to do good.
God is so holy (set apart) that we cannot even stand in His presence as we are. This is where regeneration comes in.
Regeneration is one of the elements that accompanies a person’s salvation. By God’s grace, He regenerates us from our cursed state (gives us rebirth) such that we are thereby enabled to follow Him. Without God’s regeneration, we would continue to be lost in our corruption, left as rebels against Him.
It includes making us spiritually alive rather than being left in our dead state.
Regeneration is the beginning of preparation for each believer to one day be able to stand in God’s presence. …and it is all made possible through Christ!
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