BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…
The spiritual birth brings about a complete change in all who are born again. They will change dramatically! In some ways immediately, but they will be changed in every area of their life as time passes…
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
So how will you know when you have been born again?
1. BY THE INNER WITNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Romans 8:9 – Every child of God has the Holy Spirit dwelling / living within them…
Romans 8:9 “but ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit [BORN AGAIN], if so be that the Spirit of God dwell [LIVES] in you. now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his [not born again].”
It is by the indwelling [LIVING INSIDE] Holy Spirit that those who have been born again receive their primary [MAIN] assurance that they are indeed [DEFINITELY] children of God, that they have indeed been born again…
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby [THROUGH WHOM] we cry, Abba [Father], Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
VERSE 14 teaches us that those who are actually led by the Holy Spirit are sons (or daughers) of God. They are led to be repentant toward God, and have whole hearted faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21; 8:37). How do children of God really know that they are led by the Holy Spirit? And not assuming that He is leading them. The rest of this presentation gives specific details of how those who have been born again will know that they are indeed born again, and how to make sure that they are continually being led by the Holy Spirit…
VERSE 15 tells us that by the Holy Spirit God’s children will identify the Lord as their divine Parent – their Father – with loving affection. And so part of the Spirit’s witness that they have been born again is that He brings them to love Almighty God as their Father. If you have been born again you will regard the God of the Bible as your loving Father. This affection will grow over time, but you will really care about pleasing Him through obedience to Him, as instructed through the Bible.
VERSE 16 assures us that the Holy Spirit witnesses with God’s children’s spirit that they are the children of God. This verse speaks of an inner assurance that the Holy Spirit gives them that they have been born again. By His inner witness those who have been born again will know in their hearts and minds that they are secure in Christ – that they have been born again.
2. BY THEIR KEEPING (KNOWING AND OBEYING) CHRIST’S COMMANDMENTS
And as we are going to be seeing the Scriptures teach that they will change dramatically as time passes (See 2 Corinthians 5:17 above)…
2.1. THROUGH THE LEADING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
When someone is consistently yielded to God their life will continue to change dramatically. as they learn their Saviour’s will, through His commands in the Bible, they WILL change in adding to their lives all that they learn that a child of God is responsible to do. They will turn from all that they learn in the scriptures that their Saviour commands them to stop doing.
1 John 2:3-6
3 ¶ And hereby [and this way] we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoso keepeth [knows and obeys] His word, in Him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as He [JESUS] walked.
Keeping the lord’s commandments as taught in the Scriptures, as led by the Holy Spirit, WILL affect every part of those who have been born again’s lives (2 Corinthians 5:17). As we would expect the Holy Spirit WILL lead the obedient child of God to learn their Saviour’s commands (Romans 8:14): To those given directly by Him (Matthew – John), and to those He has given through the Holy Spirit to His disciples / apostles (John 16:13), which are recorded in the New Testament epistles for us today in Acts – Revelation (See also Acts 2:42). Some examples of Christ’s commandments…
The command to study…
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
The Bible was given by God to teach His children EVERYTHING they must know about their spiritual life with Him in this world. It is only in the Bible that God’s children will find the commandments of Christ (Matthew – Revelation) that they are required to keep…
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Bible study will, for example, enable God’s children to see from Scripture exactly how to be born again, and how to personally know assurance of salvation. How to make absolutely certain that their souls are indeed secure in Christ…
2 Peter 1:10 “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence [BE THOROUGH! BE RESPONSIBLE!] to make your calling and election sure [YOUR SPIRITUAL BIRTH – DON’T ASSUME THE SPIRITUAL BIRTH!]: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”
And rather than the sinful world around them, their cultures and other cultures, shaping them (their hearts and minds); the reading and careful Spirit led study of God’s Word will shape their hearts and minds to value all that their Father values, and be against all that their Father is against.
Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Is this a reality in your spiritual life? Are you studying God’s word relying on the Holy Spirit to teach you so that you will accurately know God’s will. And therefore know that what you are doing, how you are living, is according to His commands. As we have seen from 1 John 2:3 this is one of the ways that we can know if we have been born again. The Lord help you to be severely honest here for your own eternal good!
1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of GOD.”
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Colossians 4:5 ¶ “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 gives the broad [WIDE] principle of doing, “All [THINGS] to the glory of God.” This command doesn’t leave out any area [PART] of our lives. In everything that we do, we are to do those things, “to the glory of God.” Even the ordinary things of eating and drinking, to take care of our bodies, are to be done, “to the glory of God.” In Scripture we learn exactly how to do all the different things, in the different parts of our lives to the glory of God. Nothing is left to human opinion, or tradition!
Ephesians 5:16 AND Colossians 4:5 both command God’s children not to waste time. Their purpose in this world – i) ‘taking the Gospel to the lost’, and ii) ministering among fellow children of God – are their life’s priorities from their Father (Mark 16:15; Ephesians 4:11-16 specifically v16). God’s children are therefore to use their time wisely…
“Redeeming the time”, is using our time well / wisely, not wasting it on things that don’t matter for eternity. The Holy Spirit will teach us, from Scripture, which things are eternal, and that matter. He will teach us to highly value eternal matters as the Lord does. And exactly which things we as individuals must be involved in with our limited time each week, and each day. And so certain things will have to go out of our week’s schedule, while other things will need to be added to our week’s schedule – all according to the Holy Spirit’s leading. all according to the commands of Christ to His children in the Bible. Commands that those who have been born again will highly value.
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial [SATAN]? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 7:1 ¶ Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
V14/ God’s children are commanded not to be, “unequally yoked [JOINED] together with unbelievers.” Being, “unequally yoked”, would be joined in the same burden as two oxen yoked together in plowing a farmer’s field. God’s children are not permitted by the Lord to join with, “unbelievers”, (any people not born again) in a common cause. Some examples would be joining together in business, in close friendship, in marriage, etc. Where each would be an influence to the other.
7v1/ The commandments of Christ, and promises for ‘obedience to His commandments’, should give those who have been born again very strong motivation to keep themselves holy / pure in the eyes of their Father. Who is always with them and sees everything that they do.
The Lord even commands those who have been born again to, “withdraw”, [SEPARATE] themselves from others who have been born again, who continually walk / live in disobedience. Disobedience relating to moral righteousness, as well as doctrinal purity (“tradition which he received of us”)…
2 Thessalonians 3:6 ¶ “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition [doctrine / teaching] which he received of us [THE APOSTLES].”
Our New Testaments later became the written, “tradition”, which Paul was referring to in his epistle to the Thessalonians. And called the, “apostles’ doctrine”, in Acts 2:42. The, “tradition”, the “apostles’ doctrine”, are what God’s children need to study very carefully in order to know the commandments of Christ. So that they know exactly what their Saviour commands them to obey! and those who have been born again will be given an increasingly urgent desire, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, to learn Christ’s commandments in order to know how to obey Him – to know how to please Him.
And when their lives are lived according to all of Christ’s commandments – commandments that they know, understand and live daily. That kind of spiritual development, we have seen, will give them reason to be sure that they know Christ. That they know Him as Saviour, which together with the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, will give wonderful peace and comfort to them.
IN PUBLIC LIFE, AS WELL AS IN PRIVATE
i. PUBLIC LIFE…
5 ¶ Walk in wisdom toward them that are without [NOT BORN AGAIN], redeeming the time.
6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Another ‘commandment of Christ’ God’s children will ‘keep’ (know and live according to) relates to their walk with the Lord while among those not born again. With unsaved family, at ‘work’, ‘college’, ‘school’, etc.
Walking in wisdom towards, or with, those who, “are without”, [those who have not been born again] redeems time. Meaning that, as written in verse 6 – which describes a wise, time redeeming walk / life in the company of those who have not been born again: 1. That our words always be always, “with grace” – ‘kind’ even when undeserved; 2. “Seasoned with salt” – non-provocative. Don’t offend carelessly. And so keeping / building good casual relations with the lost, simply by being gracious and wise before them when they see you in public. So that the ‘door’ to sharing the gospel is always kept open. Where ungracious speech, and behaviour, closes the ‘door’ [‘DOOR’ OF FUTURE POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY] for God’s children to be able share the Gospel [HOW TO BE BORN AGAIN] with them. This is another way that someone who has been born again will demonstrate / show that they have been born again. (Remember, they don’t get saved / born again BY keeping Christ’s commandments, but SHOW that they have already been born again.)
ii. PRIVATE LIFE…
God’s children have a personal walk / life with the Lord…
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 ¶ And if Christ be in you [YOU HAVE BEEN BORN AGAIN], the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are [EVERYONE WHO IS] led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness [GIVES TESTIMONY] with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
9/ Everyone who has been born again has the Spirit of Christ (Holy Spirit – see also v11) literally living within them.
V14/ The major purpose for the Holy Spirit living within those who have been born again, is to give them personal guidance – “led by the Spirit of God”.
V12-13/ Those who have been born again MUST NOT live after (according to) their sinful flesh (the sinful lusts / passions of their flesh). 1 John 2:15-17 gives a break-down of the flesh in describing those not born again, collectively called, “the world”.
1 John 2:15-17
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world [LITERALLY THOSE NOT BORN AGAIN IN THE WORLD].
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
V15/ Describes how our world (those not born again) are living in conflict with God.
V16/ Describes the world of unsaved (not born again) describing them by their fleshly corruption: 1. “lust of the flesh” – sinful passions of their bodies; 2. “lust of the eyes” – sinful passions for what they see others have; 3. “the pride of life” – sinful pride
V17/ The reality, from the Lord’s view point, of how the sinful ways of the world of those not born again will be brought to an end. i.e. There is no future for those living according to their sinful flesh. There will come a time when the Lord will bring our world, and its sinful ways to an end, literally. Unlike those who have been born again, and who live after the will of God, will live with Him, His way, forever.
Together with the inner witness of the Holy Spirit with all who have been born again, IS THE ‘GROWING’ WITNESS of the inner working of the Holy Spirit IF the individual child of God walks after the leading of the Holy Spirit. Who will teach them to not walk after their sinful flesh, but to rather walk after the inner leading Holy Spirit. Who will lead the obedient child of God in ALL areas of their lives. Leading them to obey ALL OF THE COMMANDS OF CHRIST given in Scripture. The commands of Christ that the child of God will learn to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to correctly understand. This passionate striving to obey the Lord in all things, to obey all of His commandments, will be another testimony that they are indeed (definitely) born again.
THE SPIRITUAL LIFE CHART
The Spiritual Life chart gives a more detailed description of the Spiritual Life as taught in the Bible. This chart pictures and summarizes the spiritual road ahead. The Spiritual road with the Lord that the Holy Spirit will strive to lead / guide you into. And knowing the details of the spiritual life will greatly benefit you in knowing what to expect, and enable you to co-operate with Holy Spirit. The chart may be a bit complicated to some people when first looked at, but one of the realities of the spiritual life is that nothing of value is learnt, or achieved overnight. We have to put the necessary time and effort in to making good progress in our spiritual knowledge and personal development.
As an introduction…
The chart is divided into two sections. The right half is the spiritual progress that the Holy Spirit will be attempting to lead each child of God through, in order to get them to spiritual maturity – to be more and more like Christ. The left half is the carnal spiritual life of the child of God who does get saved / born again, but is very inconsistent [NOT FAITHFUL] in their spiritual walk. I.E. not careful to make sure that they, for example, start everyday focused on the Lord before going to their daily responsibilities. Which is what Paul rebuked the Corinthian church believers of being, when he told them that they should be teachers of God’s Word, but they were still spiritual babies who still needed to be taught the basic truths of the faith (1 Corinthians 3:1-3 KJV). These are the typical, “lukewarm”, believers that Christ warns about being the usual, the common, spiritual condition of God’s children in these last days of the Church before He returns (Revelation 3:15-16 KJV).
The above study is available to download…