Archive for the ‘The Spirit’ Category

Remember, they can’t receive nor understand.

October 13, 2013

This one is very easy to forget. Why? Because if we have any God-given desire to see the lost saved, we will be out there sharing, trying to get them to receive what we are sharing in hopes that they might be saved.

However, we must all be reminded (I believe continually) that the unregenerate person cannot receive nor understand the things of God which are spiritual. How many hours have we spent trying to convince the natural man, with his natural mind, to understand or believe spiritual things? It happens more than we care to admit for sure. We so easily fall into trying to “convince” them of the truth’s of God. If we are not careful, we would even find ourselves getting into a doctrine debate with one who has yet to be born again. That’s futile.

We have to review the scriptures on a regular basis and be reminded of the fact that they must be born of the Spirit first. This is the starting place. Thus, the great need of sharing the gospel. Always being led to steer the conversation back to their need of being saved first. If not, its guaranteed that we will fall into trying to convince a spiritually dead person to receive and understand spiritual things. It just doesn’t work that way. It was never designed to. The need for Christ is always first.

There are several scriptures we could look at to back this all up with, but we are going to use only a couple here.

First off, I always like to start with the book of John, chapter 3. The very popular story of Nicodemus. Without taking a lot of time on this story, only a few very important points to be reminded about here. Basically, Nicodemus was a teacher of the Jewish religion. No doubt, a very well-educated man. But, our main focus here should be the fact that he was unregenerate like anyone else. His status in life makes no difference here unless you are speaking with someone who thinks that by their religion they can be saved.

After Nicodemus had said to Jesus,  “for no man can do these miracles that you do, except God be with him”, Jesus’ reply is very key here for our reminder. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. That little three-letter word is of extreme importance here.

SEE: “to see, to know, (have) knowledge, perceive, understand”.

Without being born again first, one cannot SEE the kingdom (realm) of God.

Another scriptural reminder is found in 1 Corinthians the second chapter. Again, some very popular verses that we probably have heard countless times. However, we must be reminded if we are going have an effect on the lost for the kingdom, we must get this.

The whole chapter (2) is good and is highly recommended here, but we will only focus on a few verses.

Verse 9 is a good starting point. The apostle Paul referring to the prophet Isaiah says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, (what?) the things which God has prepared for those that love him.”

The word “seen” in its spiritual application here is “to see, discern, perceive“. The word “heard” also has to do with “discern, perceive, understand“.

“the things which God has prepared”….. The spiritual things of God.

In the next verse, verse 10, he says, “But God has revealed them to us (who?) (how?) by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yep (added), the deep things of God. By His Spirit they can and are revealed. But only, by His Spirit. We can even know the “deep things of God” if He chooses to reveal them to us. (I will add this though, He knows our heart, the motivations of our heart as to why we want to know the deep things of God. And if there is any wrong, prideful motives, he will not reveal. He does not bypass unholy motives.

In verse 11, he divides the natural man with the Spirit of God. He says that no man can know the things of God except through the Spirit. Its point-blank.

Verse 12 is to all those who have received the Spirit of God that they might know the spiritual things of God which are freely given to us. And I might add here, that in verse 13, it is very important to take notice that “the Holy Spirit (Ghost) teaches“. Man can and has taught, but it can only come through the one who has been born of the Spirit. One who is living in the Spirit and not of the “spirit of the world”. It only comes through a spiritual vessel.

Ok, I am just about finished here. I never have liked “long posts” so I must end here. And this is the way to sum up our study here with a final verse (14) that does truly make its point very clear.

But the natural man (one who has not been regenerated) receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them (why?), because they are spiritually discerned.”

So there it is. Man must be born again of the Spirit of God before he can understand, perceive, know, anything about God and his kingdom (realm). Thus the great need to get the gospel out to all those who He leads you to. Spend little time in debating with an unbeliever. Listen a lot. Remain in the Spirit. Speak only what is given by the Spirit of God to them.

…….and remember………they can’t understand till their born again 🙂

God bless you!

Born of the Spirit

August 10, 2012

God who is Spirit, resides in the spiritual realm (kingdom). He is also Holy. What does “Holy” mean? It means “sacred, whole, pure, or clean”. How can we unholy humans have a relationship with a God who is Holy? Do we need to go through some kind of holy religion with its traditions and rituals to become holy and accepted?

In Jesus’ day, there was a religious man who was a teacher of his religion. After he acknowledged that Jesus was a teacher sent from God, Jesus turned to him and said,“unless one is born again, he cannot see (know, perceive, understand) the kingdom (realm) of God”. Then the man said, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter back into his mothers womb and be born?”. The man tried to figure out what Jesus was talking about in his natural mind.

Man has always tried to understand God, and the ways of God, through his natural mind. He forgets that God is Spirit and his ways are spiritual. The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit. In fact, they are usually ridiculous to him. He cannot know the things of the Spirit because they must be spiritually discerned.
After Jesus talked about how to understand the things of the Spirit, he addressed how to enter the realm (kingdom) of God. He said, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”.

What does it mean to be “born of water and the Spirit?”. First off, to be “born of water” has to do with an internal washing of the heart which is the center or core of our being. In the heart resides all our offences towards God and others (our sins). A holy God which is Spirit, will not come into a heart that has not been washed clean of all its offences. How then can this “washing” take place?

God in his love has provided a way for us to be washed (made clean) and thus accepted with him. By believing (putting your trust in) Jesus and what he did on the cross by the sacrifice of himself for our offences, we are made clean. This is an act of faith. Faith is something that you cannot see but yet you believe it. After the heart is washed clean, then the Holy Spirit which is God, comes in, and one is “born of the Spirit”.

After Jesus told the religious teacher that he must be born of the Spirit, he reminded the man about Moses and how in his day he “lifted up” a pole with a bronze snake on it and everyone who was bitten when they looked on the snake, lived. And Jesus said that just as that was so, even so I must be lifted up. And whoever “believes” in Me will not die (spiritually), but receive eternal life. When Jesus spoke of being lifted up, he was looking ahead to the cross where he knew he was going to be sacrificed for the sins of all humanity. All those who believe personally by faith that Jesus died on the cross for their sins receive forgiveness, which results in having their heart washed and cleaned from sin and filled with God who is the Spirit.

Also, by faith believing that Jesus not only died for our sins, but was buried and rose again to conquer death for us, one receives life.
In closing, Jesus said “You must be born again”. He didn’t say, I think it is a good idea or a good philosophy. He said “You must” if you want to “see” and “enter” the spiritual realm where God is. So what’s keeping you? What’s holding you back? Unbelief? Fear? Pride? Self? Give it all to Him. You will never be sorry. Then you will know what you were created for, and what you are to do. Revelation can only come by the Spirit of God within you. “Ask and you shall receive”. Keep your heart open.

Lordship today

July 30, 2012

‎”Lordship” in it’s most applicable form since Christ left the earth, is allowing the Holy Spirit to rule and reign in our heart. Allowing it to be supreme in authority, master, having dominion over us, and exercising lordship over us in the heart, the core of our being.

Spirit revelation

July 30, 2012

‎”But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” (1Cor.2:10).
What has He revealed?
The mysterious wisdom of God. (vs.7)
The mind of God revealed by the Spirit of God. (vs.11)
Knowledge of the things that are freely given to us by God. (vs.12)
Speaking the things which the Spirit teaches. Explaining spiritual things to the spiritually minded. (vs.13)
This is the Mind of Christ. (vs.16)

Spirit of God to know

May 4, 2012

Our faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (1Cor.2:5). The power of God is the Spirit of God, by which it is revealed. Only through the Spirit of God can we know the mind of God (2:11). The wisdom of God is revealed in mysterious ways. It is hidden from those who are void of the Spirit of God. The hidden mysterious wisdom of God is only revealed through His Holy Spirit (vs.10). Just as the spirit of man knows the mind of man, the mind of God is only known by the Spirit of God (vs.11), hence, “God is Spirit”. Thus, only by the Spirit can we receive anything from God.

The things about God that we discuss are not dependant on the knowledge of man’s words or wisdom, but it’s dependant upon the teaching of the Spirit (The Teacher). Spiritual things are revealed to the spiritually minded (vs.13). The natural man (one void of the Holy Spirit) rejects spiritual things; they are foolishness to him. His natural mind cannot understand. His intellect cannot even come close to perceiving spiritual things. They are like oil and water, they don’t mix. No wonder he gets frustrated.

The one who has been born again which includes being “born of the Spirit” (Jn.3:3-8) discerns everything, yet no man can discern him (1Cor.2:15). Also, who may teach this kind of stuff, the mind of the Lord? Those who have the mind of Christ, by being born of the Spirit (vs.16).

Power in the simple Gospel

April 27, 2012

The simplicity of the Gospel has been lost. It was never meant to be complicated, but religious minds have and will continue to complicate it. When the intellect and the natural man combine together to try to share the Gospel, it goes into a long run up hill. If the Holy Spirit is presenting it, it will be precise, to the point, short and spoken in love. It will not drag on and on. The natural man wants to try to convince the unbeliever through the intellect when it’s a heart issue.

We need to be continually reminded that it has to be the Father drawing them to himself. And, it’s the Holy Spirit that convicts them of sin (pricks the heart). If the Gospel is not presented in the Spirit, then of course, the Holy Spirit is not going to be doing its work. We could be going through the routine motions, but where is the power? The Holy Spirit power to draw and convict?

Man likes to give the Gospel his own twist. He likes to make it like himself so he can receive some of the credit. The Gospel outside of the simple bible gospel, is only man’s gospel. And, man cannot have any “good news” to offer. Oh, it can be good news in the natural, but there’s no Spirit behind it.

If it’s been a while since you have read the book of Acts, it’s a very good place to find out what the Gospel looks like. Once it is given out in the Spirit, then the offer to “Repent and believe the Gospel” is made.

Bathe yourself in it. It never gets old. Doesn’t matter if you’ve been saved for 50, 60 or 70 years. High theology won’t save a soul.

Water and Spirit birth

April 26, 2012

Born again is both being “born of water” and “born of the Spirit” (see Jn. 3:3-8)

Being “born of water” is the cleansing process from within that takes place at the heart. By believing on Jesus and receiving his atoning sacrifice of blood for the remission of our sins and the inherited sin (“the sin of the world” which came from Adam), then one is ready for the outward act of water baptism which pictures what has taken place internally. A death to the old sinful man has taken place when one goes under the water. Upon coming out of the water, the symbol of the “washing of regeneration” that took place is evident. One is made clean internally and ready for the Spirit of God.

The “born of the Spirit” baptism can take place at the same time or it can come before or after the water baptism. Also, quite often it comes through the “laying on of hands”. The main thing is that it indeed takes place. However, the “born of the Spirit” never precedes the being “born of water”. The house (so to speak) needs to be clean before the Spirit comes in. How can one know that they have been born of the Spirit? Their spirit will bear witness with God’s Spirit. There will be an internal witness. Also, there will be evidence of “power”. Power to overcome sin and temptation, and also power to become “witnesses”.

It takes both

April 25, 2012

Jesus was very specific in teaching the “New Birth” to understand and enter the Kingdom. In fact, He said, “you must”. But I wonder how often it is overlooked, or complicated. Do you think Satan would try to stop this process at any cost? How about getting believers so caught up in everything else but the necessity of being born again? Or, how about adding stuff it? Taking away the simplicity of?

He’s done a very good job, to say the least. I say, lets return (if we were ever there in the first place) to understanding the new birth process. Understanding it enough to be able to share it with our neighbors (any one close to us).

In John 3:5, Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom the kingdom of God”.

Born of water and born of the Spirit (3:8) make up the “born again” experience. It takes both to complete it. Do you know what this means? Have you spent time with God alone and asked him to reveal it to you through His word and Spirit? Or, are you going on only what you have been taught about it, or how you were raised? Maybe what your church teaches on it? Do you run to the internet and check the best one that you agree with and call it good? What about pulling down the book off your bookshelf that says, “How to be born again?”

Without over complicating the understanding of being born of water and Spirit (believe me, it can and has been), could you explain it to an unbeliever? Do you know the basics of this teaching? If so, who revealed it to you? Did the “Teacher” (the Holy Spirit) have anything to do with it?

Jesus is “spiritual”

April 17, 2012

As recorded in the four gospels, Jesus was always trying to get people to understand things spiritually. But. most often, they didn’t get it. As I understand it today, there seems to be a lot of the same. It’s almost if some people are afraid of the spiritual. Maybe it’s because they have been taught, “oh that’s spirituality, and we must stay way far away from that”. Forgetting of course, that God is Spirit, and that it takes a birth of the Spirit to understand/perceive the kingdom, and most importantly, enter. (Jn. 3:3, 5)

One of my favorite teachings of Jesus regarding the spiritual, is where he taught on the “bread of heaven” or the “bread of God from heaven” as found in John chapter 6. It really gets heavy when He speaks about “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (6:53). After this discourse many of his disciples said, “This is a hard (or difficult) saying; who can understand this?”. Well, if we all were hearing this and we were looking at it from a natural point of view, we would say the same, right?

Then, if that wasn’t enough, Jesus said, “Does this offend you? (vs.61). If to say, what! are you offended at my flesh and blood? Are you offended at me for saying or trying to get you to see things “spiritually?”

Now, this is where it gets right down to the heart of the matter. In verse 62, he basically says, what’s the big deal if you see the Son of Man go up to heaven? I mean, isn’t that pretty big? Verse 63, he hits the nail on the head, finally. And if to say out loud, Hello!! It’s Spirit!! Somebody wake up!! This flesh profits nothing!! or basically we could say, the natural profits nothing!

The second part of this verse is KEY. “The words (Rhema, the utterness, the sayings, the commands, basically My spoken word) is to you “Spirit” and “Life”. But, He goes on and says, “there are some of you that don’t believe this”. Do you believe that the very words of Jesus are spirit and life? How many of us believe that today? Do we believe that Jesus is Spirit and Life?

In verse 65, He says that “No one can come to Me unless it is granted by My Father”. Now it was certainly getting too heavy for them.

Here’s a shocker! (verse 66). Many of His followers after hearing all this, threw in the towel. They left Him. They basically through up their hands and said, “that’s enough! We are outta here!”. “We can’t take all of this way out stuff”. “Jesus, you have gone mad with all the spirituality stuff!”

Then in verse 67, he says to the remaining twelve disciples, “Are you guys also going to split?”

Then, our good brother Peter jumps in and says basically, “Lord, if we cut out now after all this, where are we going to go? What’s left! Good question isn’t it? If we leave Jesus, where are we going to go?

Here’s the BOMB! and it’s back to the spoken words of the Christ! “You have the words (Rhema) eternal life” (vs.68). Basically, you have the Spirit words, or the words of the Spirit. The words of the Father by the Spirit.

Then Peter adds the “Also” in verse 69. Believe me, it’s a very big “also”. As if this wasn’t enough concrete evidence up till this point, he says, “we have come to believe and know”. Here we have two most very important truths. “Believing” and “Knowing”. It’s one thing to believe, but to believe and know is the rock solid part of “believing”. Without “knowing” how can it really be “believing?”. Can we say like the Apostle Paul, “for I know on whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day?” (2Tim.1:12b)

 

Hearing the Spirit within

April 17, 2012

In order to hear from the Spirit of God within, one must be quiet in their spirit. If the mind is racing, their spirit is not quiet. It generally helps to not engage in drink or food that would cause the mind to race. Each one of us is different in our own physical makeup as to what we can handle or what causes our mind to race.

Remembering that one of the fruits of the Spirit is “peace”. (Gal.5:22). Where the Spirit is ruling over the flesh, there will be peace. If the fleshly man or women is taking the lead and the Spirit is in the back seat, of course there is going to be no quietness within.

Many times it comes right down to, “do I want to”. Do I want to hear what the Spirit is saying? How important is it to me?