James 1:18, Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
From what were we brought forth? Our Baptism, in which the word of truth washes us in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As Paul describes, the old man (Adam) in us is drowned, and the new man comes forth (Romans 6). And this is done by God’s own gracious will, not our will. In Baptism, everything that belonged to us in our old man is laid aside—“sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these” (Galatians 5:19-21). And now, in Baptism, as the new man is brought forth, we produce the fruit of the Spirit—“love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). God the Father wills the new man in us, and so we cannot help but do these things just as we cannot help but breathe.