Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 20, 2019

On Being Born of the Holy Spirit

The Vital Necessity of the New Birth

Last time I wrote on Satan’s efforts to confuse and deceive mankind regarding what’s really important, using race as a key problem dividing mankind in place of the new birth; I went on to explain that race is totally irrelevant in comparison to being born again!

Receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior initiates a series of spiritual changes that have eternal ramifications. Although these changes do not impact the temporary mortal bodies we inherited from Adam, they are, nevertheless, of critical significance to the new believer; let us consider some of the changes that take place in the spiritual condition of the born again believer.

(It is important to recall that we are primarily eternal spiritual beings, made in the image of God, who, at the moment, temporarily inhabit a mortal body made of the dust of the earth.)

The Bible records the experience of a man seeking answers from the Lord; this man, an important Jewish leader named Nicodemus, came to the Lord at night to get some answers. Nicodemus initially comments on the miracles Jesus had performed but Jesus immediately turns the conversation to the importance of being born again. In John 3:3 our Lord tells him:

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus is confused and Jesus adds:

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The Roll of the Holy Spirit in the Birth of Jesus and the New Birth of Believers

Let us look back, for a moment, at the account we have of the birth of Jesus; in Luke 1:35 we read:

35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

It is evident from this, the father of the humanity of Jesus was the Holy Spirit. Mary was a virgin yet she conceived a child by the power of God, the Holy Spirit.

Now, let us consider our Lord’s comments to his disciples regarding the Holy Spirit. In John 14:15-18 the Lord comforts his disciples:

15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

A key point in that statement is the shift of the Spirit from being with the disciples to being in them. That shift came at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit first indwelt believers thereby creating the true church, the body of Christ. Since Pentecost, all new believers are baptized into the body of Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

Salvation is the new birth, by the power of God, the Holy Spirit, and the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each new believer. Before we are born again, we are spiritually dead and have Adam as our spiritual father; at salvation, we are born again by the power of God, the Holy Spirit, brought back to spiritual life and have a new spiritual father.

(Our mortal bodies still have Adam as their father and still suffer under the Adamic curse; our mortal bodies can have no part in our heavenly future and must die or be totally transformed into a heavenly body at the resurrection; the last living generation at the time of the Rapture of the Church will experience this instantaneous transformation.)

Paul speaks to this in 2 Corinthians 5:17 where it is written:

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Again in 1 Corinthians 12:13 we read:

“13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

In Romans 8:16-17:

16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Regarding the last living generation before the Rapture we read in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18:

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

A New Creation

As born-again Christians we are a new creation; we become children of God and joint heirs with Christ; our true spiritual selves are no longer constrained by the Adamic curse and we have imputed to us the righteousness of Christ. The Holy Spirit has become the instrument of our new birth just as he was the instrument of the birth of the mortal body of Jesus Christ; we share a common heritage with Christ thereby confirming his relationship to us as our “Kinsman/Redeemer!”

That is the reason Christ could tell his disciples in John 16:7:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”

Today we are living in the Age of Grace; God has extended an invitation to join him as his children by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. This age will end when the children are called home and the hand of God’s judgment falls on the earth. I encourage all who care to receive this invitation with thanksgiving; believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved from the wrath to come.

“20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”  Revelation 22:20-21

Painting by Adele Bower ©

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