While Jesus is alive He's teaching & promoting OT Mosaic law. The new covenant/testament doesn't begin until the death of the testor (Heb 9:16-17)
Regeneration - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words: Regeneration
[ 1,,G3824, palingenesia ]
new birth" (palin, "again," genesis, "birth"), is used of "spiritual regeneration," Titus 3:5, involving the communication of a new life,
Strong's Concordance (G3824) paliggenesia: regeneration, renewal
3824 /paliggenesía ("renewal, rebirth") is used twice in the NT referring to: a) the re-birth of physical creation at Christ's return (Advent), which inaugurates His millennial kingdom (Mt 19:28; cf. Ro 8:18-25); and b) the re-birth all believers experience at conversion (Tit 3:5).
ephfourfive, Your posted/personal definition of regeneration. Tying the spiritual baptism phenomenon to water is flawed & incorrect.
Matt 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
(MY NOTE: John the Baptist made clear that "Christ alone" would/could baptize with the Holy Spirit)
1 Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
(MY NOTE: Translators capitalized Spirit to identify when referring the Holy Spirit. "Only Christ" can baptize with His eternally indwelling Holy Spirit.)
Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
(MY NOTE: The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a SPIRITUAL circumcision/covenant. Done "WITHOUT hands" & without water)
Deut 30:6 (A) the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart,
Emblem: a symbolic representation of a particular quality or concept.
Water baptism is an emblem of the true spiritual baptism/circumcision. Preformed only by Christ & without hands.
It's an outwardly public profession of being dead with Christ, and of being raised together with him in new resurrection life.
Living water verses: (Jn 4:10, 6:35, 7:37-39, Jer 17:13, Ps 36:7-9)
Jn 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
(MY NOTE: Day 8, Feast of Tabernacles)
Jn 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Jn 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
(MY NOTE: All the Samaritan woman had to do was believe & ASK. All anyone need do, is BELIEVE & ASK!)
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water
39 But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.
(MY NOTE: The true regeneration giving Living Water is Christ's salvation/sealing, eternal life giving, indwelling Holy Spirit. The invitation to drink of His Living Water/Holy Spirit is still open.
Rev 22:17 (B) let him that heareth; come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
After salvation/Christ's eternally sealing spiritual baptism gift. His indwelling Holy Spirit (Matt 3:11, Acts 1:5)
There are two NT Commandments & two Ordinance the Lord invoked.
Love God 1st & love your brother believer. Publicly partake in water baptism & the Lords Supper.
Find here the transformation from OT law (Jews only, no gentiles) to the NT, where the two (Jew & gentile) being made one (Eph 2:12-22)
Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word.
(MY NOTE: They Believed (vs43) & as Peter spoke (vs44) The Holy Spirit fell on then. No REPENTANCE of anykind here, No water baptism, No circumcision, they brought no sin sacrifice to the Temple, No law keeping etc)
Thru Faith & faith alone these gentiles were given/received the baptism OF & were eternally sealed BY Christ's indwelling Holy Spirit (vs45)
Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life
(MY NOTE: God GRANTED the gentiles repentance. Any person that believes they can conquer their sin nature (without Gods help) is mistaken 1 Jn 1:8) Best wishes, JJ