Regeneration was not unknown to the saints of the old covenant. However, Scripture indicates that new covenant believers understand the Lord’s work of regeneration far more clearly than those who lived before the coming of Christ. Ezekiel’s teaching on salvation indicates that God takes the initiative in giving us a new heart. In other words, we do not get a new heart as a consequence of faith but faith is a consequence of us having been given a new heart. Salvation, indeed, is all of the Lord.
The sacrament of baptism reminds us that God has cleansed us from all sin and, therefore, that the filthiness of wickedness has no place in our lives. If we have trusted in Jesus Christ by faith alone, then we are in Jesus Christ and must not live as if we are still in Adam. We will fail, and we will still sin until we are glorified. Nevertheless, we are daily to regard sin as out of place in the Christian life, and we are to repent and turn from our evil deeds.