The Word of God gives life. It regenerates. It enlivens. Regeneration isn’t just a “one-time” thing where God regenerates you and then “bam” – you are on your own.
So, in your example – well, the fellow was converted prior to baptism, the Word of God had enlivened him and given him life – regenerated him. And then, he is baptized. And what does Baptism give? It gives forgiveness of sins and life and salvation. So, yes, it regenerates him. It places a concrete, physical tie to the Word of God in His life – a historical application.
And then, when this same fellow communes – the Supper will enliven and restore him. It will strengthen his faith. When He hears preaching, it will enliven and restore him and strengthen his faith.
The Christian life isn’t a series of steps or stages to progress through – which is how some Christian groups have describe it. It is life. Whenever our bodies are fed or sleep, we are enlivened, we are strengthened, we are refreshed, we are regenerated. Likewise, God gives us spiritual strength through His Word – whether that Word is preached or tied to Water in Baptism or in the Supper.
Hope this helps,
Rev. Eric J. Brown
Zion Lutheran Church, Lahoma, OK