Posts Tagged ‘Born of the Spirit’

Of first importance. A reminder….

November 6, 2013

We who are alive in God through Christ Jesus tend to easily forget that those who have yet to be “born again” are dead spiritually. I think that this happens for several reasons. One is that we of course are in this physical existence and we tend to see only that. We tend to think in human terms. We see the person in front of us as alive, yet all the time we are talking to a spiritually dead person. Now of course, if all we are talking about is things of the natural, it is no big deal. But, if we are sharing anything spiritual, we must first be reminded of what kind of condition the person in front of us may be in.

Many of us spent countless hours trying to convince them why they need God. From an intellectual standpoint of view, this may sound like the approach that we must always take. If we have been “born of the Spirit” and the Spirit is leading us in conversation to talk in generality, that’s one thing. But, after a few minutes we must be reminded of what we are dealing with. The main importance must continually be in view. And what might that be? It is that the dead person cannot understand until they come alive. Not until the “light of the glorious gospel should shine upon them”.

Wait a minute!

Was the gospel ever shared with this person? Did we at all remember the key to them being able to “see?” Did we just continue talking to them as if they understood?

We all must be continually reminded that a dead person does not see while dead. It is impossible. Along with that is the fact that one also does not “hear” unless they are alive. I am not trying to be “funny” here, but have you ever went to a graveyard and sat down next to a tombstone and tried to convince them to come alive by talking about everything that has nothing to do with the gospel? The same would be true with a person who is alive physically, but yet dead spiritually.

Here are some important scriptures to help remind us of this very important fact.

First, I believe that Jesus’ account of the story of Nicodemus is of extreme importance. And why might that be? Because of the little three letter word “see” found in John 3:3. Its Greek meaning has to do with “to know, be aware of, knowledge, perceive, understand”.

The natural man cannot receive anything of the Spirit. See 1Cor.2:14.

Keeping in mind that the spiritually dead cannot understand, we must also be reminded that they are blind. Spiritually dead and spiritually blind are one of the same. Those who are “perishing” are dead. There is a “veil” upon their eyes so that they cannot “see”. This can only be removed by the “gospel of Christ”. This is also a good reminder that we should not “preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord”. See 2Cor.4:3-5.

Spiritually dead and “blindness of heart” are also one of the same. Understanding comes from the heart. The unconverted heart, the unregenerate heart, is blind. By this, the mind and its understanding is blind also. See Eph.4:17-18.

The unsaved, the unregenerate, “walk about in darkness”. The darker the heart, the more they walk in darkness, and the darker it gets. But yet, always being reminded that any heart that has not been made new is dark.

This whole teaching about “hearing, seeing, understanding and perceiving” goes way back to the time of the old prophets. Jesus and the apostle Paul also taught from their teachings.

The spiritually dead can hear, but its only physical hearing. They cannot “understand”. They also can see physically, but not spiritually. They cannot “perceive”. See Isaiah 6:9-10. Jeremiah 5:21. Ezek.12:2. Jesus in Matt.13:14-15, Mk.4:12, Lk.8:10, Jn.12:40-41. The Apostle Paul in Romans 11:8.

In closing, my hearts desire is that we would all be reminded of the great need to share the true gospel of Christ Jesus so that the person, or persons that we are brought to, might be made alive and thus be able to “see, understand and hear”. Oh yeah, less I forget, they also cannot “enter” unless they are “born of the Spirit” (see Jn.3:5)Image

God bless you as you go out!

LOVE and ETERNITY

October 22, 2013

As we “plant” and “water” for the kingdom of God, let us always be reminded that they (the unsaved) “cannot enter” in unless they have been “born again”.
Our planting/watering consists of many different things we love to do. Some of which might be, praying for them, feeding them, spending time with them, doing things for them etc. All as the Spirit leads us, and always bearing in mind, that they “must be born again”. If not, they will not only miss out on a relationship with God while here in this life, but also, they cannot go and spend eternity in heaven with God without it.
So, it is of utmost importance if we really love them AND their eternal souls.

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.