The Mystery of
A Basic Spiritual Tenet of the Gospel
That is Mostly Under-taught
We were discussing in a small group the essential works of the Holy Spirit
in the life of a believer. It is an important discussion to have for the
reason that without the Holy Spirit one can not be a Christian or a "partaker
of the Divine nature." Becoming a Christian is not like joining
an organization or a club like the Lions Club or the Elks. It is also
not through deciding to become members of a church. Going to church does
not make anyone a Christian, though it may serve to facilitate this.
Paul became an apostle after having a supernatural encounter with the
Living Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah. Paul had his introduction to
the power of the Holy Spirit through the disciple Ananias in Damascus
Syria. Thereafter he advanced to his “back of the desert” years in
Arabia. This is where he was discipled by the risen Jesus and was
commissioned to take the gospel of grace to the gentile world.
The concept of becoming a member of "the body of Christ,"
( or the ekklessia, translated "church" or
the called ones) is central in Paul's gospel. In addition, the phrases
being "in Christ" and "new creation"
were given to us by the apostle Paul.
I would like to focus in on this New Creation which is found in 2nd
- - "Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are
become new." Let us recognize at the outset
that what we are discussing here is nothing other than the experience
of being "born again." I would refer you again to John's gospel
chapter 3 which is a solid understanding of the necessity of being born
again. Jesus uses the word "must" so we know that this is not
an option but an imperative.
To become this
new creation requires a supernatural intervention by the God of the universe.
That means that someone greater than we ourselves has to make a change
in our nature, turning us from a natural being into a new creation. The
OT actually gives us a prophetic hint about this transformation. Ezekiel
11 and 36:22: "A
new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:
and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give
you an heart of flesh".
It is easy to read over critical Bible passages
and not detect the profound significance residing there. Regeneration
is the primary, critical attribute of being a Christian. You become God's
handiwork created (recreated) for good works. The Holy Spirit is the power
of God. He is the agent of this transformation. The Holy Spirit is also
called the Spirit of Jesus or the Spirit of Christ. It takes those attributes
of Jesus and bestows them upon those who call upon him to believe.
Remember, the natural man is unregenerate.
He or she each has there own remarkable array of skills, knowledge and
passions but remain outside of God's family as the body of Christ. Here
is what we are told about the limitations of the "natural man."
the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they
are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually
judged." This natural man is also called various things; the
Adamic man, the psuchikos, or soulish man, the carnal man, the
fleshly man. Whether this person be a man or a woman, the natural man
always speaks of the person without Spiritual regeneration.
Regeneration is a serious doctrinal matter, not
be glossed over or neglected. To believe in regeneration is to understand
that being touched by the power of God is a very important part of our
own testimony. As Paul reminds us "the gospel is the power of God
to all who believe." "Once lost but now found - -" also
speaks about a Spiritually transformed life. Again, being delivered from
death into life also speaks to this moment when the Holy Spirit touched
and changed us.
So in conclusion, we do not have to strive to
achieve godliness by good works or by religious requirements. It is a
"free gift." We must, however, believe that the essential gospel
of salvation is true, before God will do this sublime work to make this
change in our deepest spiritual hearts.
receive redemption we must believe that Jesus died and shed his blood
in order to include us in his family, a God-family on earth. As you grow,
and you will grow, in the knowledge of Christ. You will gain greater knowledge
of who He is who saved us by his Grace and what his plan is for us as
a valued member of his Body.
January 9, 2021