Praise the Lord, Grace & Peace great people of our “Great God”..JESUS!
During this week, I have truly embraced my salvation and relationship with Christ. I am so grateful for the regeneration that I received in my new birth experience. I come across so many self proclaimed Christians who are like certain disciples in the 19th chapter of Acts who had received the baptism rendered by John the Baptist, but when they were ask “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed” they replied “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” Hence, these disciples were in need to partake of the regeneration process!
Our flesh cannot (the old man) be regenerated, Hence this Golden Nugget will focus on the Regeneration in Christ Jesus by the impartation of the Holy Spirit! My premise scriptures to provoke further gospel provocation are as follows:
Rom. 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
There are few subjects which have given rise to more difficulty and perplexity than that of regeneration, or the new birth. Very many who are, themselves, the subjects of this new birth are at a loss to know what it is, and filled with doubt as to whether they have ever really experienced it. There are many who say, “Oh! I don’t know for certain if I have passed from death unto life. If I only knew for sure that I have been born again. These individuals try to embrace the hope that there has been a great change in their life, until something springs up within them which leads them to believe that hope of this change was no more than a delusion. The reason for this is some looked at this change invoked by the blessed HOPE JESUS CHRIST and judge it on feelings, emotions, and the negative behaviors of others; rather than on the precious powerful WORD of GOD!
Saints please indulge with me to understand the essence of my premise scriptures, for they most definitely center around the need for the regeneration process.
Let us first consider 2 questions… What is regeneration? How is it produced? The first question, What is regeneration? From my experience in this glorious walk I notice that many look upon it as a change of the old nature, produced, no doubt, by the power and authority of the Holy Spirit given to US by God. This change can be gradual in its operation contingent upon how a person submits to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and proceeds from one stage to another, until the old nature is completely brought under subjection to the Spirit of God. But we most definitely have to remain cognizant concerning the condition of our old nature.
My brothers and sisters the word of God defines the true state of our nature (the Old Man), for the Word of God presents it as one of total and irrecoverable ruin. I would like to adduce various proofs as stated in the following (Gen. 6:5) “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Please notice the words “every” “only“ and “continually” set aside every idea of a redeeming feature in man’s condition before God. Again, the word states in Ps. 14:2,3 “The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there: were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Please notice that here, again, the expressions “all” …“none” …”no, not one” … preclude the idea of a single redeeming quality in man’s condition, as judged in the presence of God. Hence, seeing that we have drawn some proof from Moses and one from the Psalms, let’s see what two of Israel’s major prophets concluded..Isa. 1:5,6 “Why should ye be stricken anymore? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it.” Isa. 40:6 “The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field.” Jer. 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Now, let me adduce various proofs from the New Testament scriptures John 2:24,25 “Jesus did not commit himself, because he knew all, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.” John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.” Rom. 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither, indeed, can be.” Eph. 2:12″ Having no hope, and without God in the world.” These quotations might be multiplied, but there is no need. Sufficient proof has been adduced to show forth the true condition of the nature in man. It is “lost”…”guilty” … “alienated” … “without strength” … “evil only” …”evil continually.” Saints please also read Rom. 3:9-19.
My brothers and sisters “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots?” ” The previous scriptures as referenced show us,” that which is crooked cannot be made straight.” The fact is, the more closely we examine the word of God, the more we shall see that it is not the divine method to improve a fallen, ruined thing, but to bring in something entirely new. This most definitely speaks to man’s natural condition. God is not seeking to improve it. The gospels objective is not to better man’s nature, but to give him a new one and maintain it. Its purpose is not to put a new piece upon an old garment, but to impart a new garment altogether. The law given by Moses looked for something in man, but never got it. Ordinances were given, but man used them to shut God out. The gospel, on the contrary, shows us Christ magnifying the law and making it honorable; it shows Him dying on the cross, and nailing the ordinances to it, it shows Him rising from the tomb and taking His seat as a Conqueror at the right hand of the majesty in the heavens; and, finally, it declares that all who believe in His name are partakers of His risen life, and are one with Him.
I love what the Apostle Paul wrote in Rom. 6:3-13 …. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
I know through experience that the Holy Spirit can never make our flesh spiritual, but it assist us in reckoning that it has been made dead in Christ Jesus! For it is documented “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” and can never be anything other than “flesh;” and that “all flesh is as grass” … as withered grass. Hence, flesh is presented in the scriptures not as a thing to be improved, but as a thing which God counts as “dead,” and hence we are called to “mortify” its deeds, i.e. to subdue and deny, in all its thoughts and ways. My brothers and sisters it is in the cross of Jesus Christ, that we see the end of everything pertaining to our old nature. Gal 5:24 “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” Paul does not say, “They that are Christ’s are improving, or trying to improve the flesh.” No; but they have crucified it. It utterly cannot be improved. How can they do this! By the power of the Holy Ghost, acting not on the old nature, but in the new man, and enabling it to keep the old nature where the cross has put it, namely, in the place of Christ’s death…GOLDEN NUGGET!
God expects nothing from the flesh; neither should we. He looks upon it as dead; so should we. He has put it out of His sight, and we should perpetually strive to do also, because it pleases Him. The flesh should not be allowed to show itself. God does not acknowledge it. It has no existence before Him. True, it is in us, but God gives us the precious privilege of viewing and treating it as dead. His word to us, and I reiterate Rom 6:11 “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Let us, then, see clearly what regeneration is. It is the new birth … the imparting of a new life …the implantation of a new nature …the formation of a new man, created by the Last Adam (JESUS CHRIST) whom are derived a new race of people. The old nature remains in all its distinctness; and our new nature is introduced in all its distinctness. This new nature has its own habits, its own desires, its own tendencies, its own affections. All these are spiritual, heavenly, and divine. Its aspirations are all divine and desires to please Jesus Christ. It thrives from the heavenly source from which it has emanated. As in the natural, as Mother Hattie Jackson mentioned in a Tuesday Midday bible class that “water always seeks its own level“; such it is concerning Grace. The new, the divine nature always seeks the proper level of its source. Hence, regeneration is to the soul what the birth of Isaac was to the household of Abraham. As noted in Gen. 21 as a typology, Ishmael remained the same Ishmael; but Isaac was introduced. So the old nature remains the same, but the new is introduced. “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” It partakes of the nature of its source. A child partakes of the nature of its parents; and the believer is made “a partaker of the divine nature.” (2 Pet. 1:4) ” and, (James 1) Of His own will begat he us.”
So my brothers and sisters it has been adduced that our regeneration is God’s own work, from first to last. God is the Operator, man is the happy recipient and privileged subject. God did creation alone…He rendered Redemption alone …and He also alone, is responsible for the mysterious and glorious work concerning our regeneration.
This is a point of immense importance, inasmuch as it places the word of God before us as the grand instrument which the Holy Spirit was used to quicken our dead souls. ” For by the word of the Lord were the heavens made;” and by the word of the Lord are dead souls called into new life. ” The word of the Lord is creative and regenerating. For God’s word called worlds into existence; it calls sinners from death to life. The same voice which of old said “Let there be light” must in every instance say “Let there be life.”
Let’s take a look at the third chapter of the Gospel according to John, here we find Jesus interacting with Nicodemus the Pharisee. He, Christ gives precious instruction in reference to the mode in which regeneration is produced. Please notice that Nicodemus held a very high place in what would be termed the religious world. He was “a man of the Pharisees” …”a ruler of the Jews”… “a master of Israel.” He could hardly have occupied a more elevated or influential position. But yet, it has been adduced that this highly-privileged man was intrigue with the teachings and miracles rendered by Christ.
Despite of all his religious education, his heart felt a restless craving after something which neither his Pharisee-ism, nor his practice of Judaism could supply. It is quite obvious that he was not able to define what he wanted; but he wanted something, because he came to Jesus by night. It was apparent that the Spirit of God was drawing him to Jesus. This is a very common case. Some are drawn to Jesus by a deep sense of guilt, some are drawn by a deep sense of need. Nicodemus, I believe, belongs to the latter class. Saints, both the guilty conscience and a craving heart must be brought to Jesus, for He alone can meet the need. He can remove, by His precious sacrifice, every stain from the conscience; and He can fill up, by His peerless Person, every void in the heart. The conscience which has been purged by the blood of Jesus is perfectly clean; and the heart which has been filled by His Holy Spirit is perfectly satisfied.
However, Nicodemus had, like many others, to reject his former teachings in order to really grasp the knowledge of Jesus. He had to lay aside a cumbrous mass of religious machinery, so that he could apprehend the divine simplicity concerning the plan of salvation. He had to descend from the lofty heights of Rabbinical learning and traditional religion, and learn the alphabet of the gospel, in the school of Christ. This had to be very humiliating to a “man of the Pharisees” …”a ruler of the Jews“, “a master of Israel.”It must have sounded strange to hear “a teacher come from God” declare to him “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” My brothers and sisters, he being by birth a Jew, and, as such, was entitled to all the privileges of a son of Abraham, it must of blown his mind to be told that he must be born again …that he must be subject to a new birth, in order to see the kingdom of God.
This required a total setting aside of all his privileges and distinctions. It called him down, at once from the very highest to the very “lowest step of the ladder.” A Pharisee, a ruler, a master, was not one whit nearer to, or fitter for, this heavenly kingdom, than the most disreputable person on the earth. This was deeply humbling to a educated, religious, and influential man.
Yes my brothers and sisters take note, this was also puzzling as well as humbling. “Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” Surely not. There would be no more gained by a second natural birth than by a first. If a natural man could enter, ten thousand times, into his mother’s womb and be born, he would be naught but a natural man after all; for “that which is born of the flesh is flesh.” I tell you Saints, you can do what you will with your flesh, with your nature, and you will not be able to alter or improve it in the sight of God! Nothing can change flesh into spirit. Flesh is of no value in the sight of God whatsoever.
As Paul Paul proclaimed “In it dwelleth no good thing”, it is but withered grass; and as to its most pious endeavors, its religious advantages and attainments, concerning its works of righteousness, has been demoted according to Isa. 64:6“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.“
But notice the Lords reply to the “how?“of Nicodemus in John 3:5-8. It is peculiarly interesting. Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” Here we are distinctly taught that regeneration, or the new birth, is produced by “water and the Spirit.” A man must be born of water and of the Spirit in order to see the kingdom of God, or to enter into its profound and heavenly mysteries. The keenest natural or self righteous vision cannot see the kingdom of God, nor the most astounding human intellect can enter into the deep secrets of this Kingdom. 1 Cor. 2:14 “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
It may be, however, that many are at a loss to know what is meant by being “born of water.” Certainly, the expression has been made the grounds of very much discussion and controversy. It is only by comparing scripture with scripture that we can ascertain the real sense of any particular passage. It is a special mercy for an unlettered Christian …the humble student of God’s word, that we need not travel outside the covers of Bible, in order to interpret any passage contained within it concerning this.
What, then, is the meaning of being “born of water?” We must reply to this question by quoting two or three passages from the word. In the opening of John’s Gospel, we read in John 1:11-13, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” From this passage, we learn that everyone who believes on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and are baptized into his name by full submersion into water calling on that NAME according to Act 2:38 and filled with the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:4 constituting that one is born again … that’s right, born of God. This is plain, all who by the power of the Holy Spirit and have received the revelation of who JESUS IS, do understand that He alone is Father in Creation, Son in Redemption, and the Holy Spirit administrating in the Church (the body of Christ).
Hence my brothers and sisters the source of this testimony is divine; the object of this testimony is divine; the power of receiving this testimony most definitely is divine; the entire work of Regeneration is divine. Hence, instead of us being occupied with ourselves, and inquiring, like Nicodemus, how can I be born again, we had to simply cast ourselves, by faith, on Jesus; and do what we were instructed to do, to receive our regeneration . If we continue in Him and put our trust in Him we will not come into judgment according to John 5:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment; but is passed from death unto life.” John 6:47 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” John 20:31“But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing, ye might have life through his name.”
From all these quotations, we learn that the word of God is the grand instrument of which the Holy Spirit makes use in calling dead souls into life. This truth was conveyed by our Lords conversation with Nicodemus, for, instead of replying to the repeated inquiry, “How can these things be?” He sets this “master of Israel” down to learn the simple lesson taught by “the brazen serpent.” another typology…That the Israelite’s who were bitten in the wilderness, because of their complaining, were healed by simply looking at the serpent of brass on the pole. The dead sinner now is to get life by simply looking at Jesus who went to the Cross which He used as an occasion because He gave up His life, Died a vicarious suffering to become sin for us, and Resurrected Himself, then ascended to His heavenly sanctuary to present His own atoning blood, as the writer of the epistle of Hebrews the 9th chapter so eloquently lays it out.
The Israelite was not told to look at their wound, though it was because of their wound that made them look at the serpent. The sinner is not told to look at their sins, though it is because of their sins that will cause them to look. One good look at the serpent, with faith healed the Israelite’s; one good look at Jesus with faith quickens the dead sinner. The former did not have to look a second time to be healed; the latter does not have to look a second time to get life. It was not the way they looked, but the object they looked at with faith, that healed them; it is not the way we looked, but to the object (JESUS), in which we look by faith that saves us, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” GOLDEN NUGGET!
My brothers and sisters without regeneration and the perpetual efforts to walk in it, we will not be able to produce the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-25) that is the result from it! Those of you who may not have received Christ’s Spirits since you believed, I beseech you to position yourselves through repentance and faith to receive Him, because the Holy Spirit is all of our ticket out of here when the Rapture comes. Hence; I pray that we will all remain cognizant as we witness to others how essential it is to be Regenerated in Christ Jesus by the impartation of His Holy Spirit ! I pray all have a “JESUS DAY!“