Reports on what God is doing through Bible believing evangelical Christians in Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, India and Ecuador. Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
SELAH! Pause - reflect- just think of that!
New Life in Christ
The most basic work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life is the new birth.
All of the powers and wonders of the Christian life are centered on this essential miracle of Christianity. This miracle in the individual soul communicates new life in the individual.
A religious leader asked Jesus, “How can a man be born again?” (John 3:1-5) Jesus told him that he needed a spiritual birth. Yes, it was a miracle of the Holy Spirit of God giving life to the spiritually dead. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).
There are three ways a person cannot be born again. The apostle John says those “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (v. 13).
It is “not of blood,” i.e., it is not a process of nature. It is not by descent from our parents, or after the human nature, or spiritual or religious evolution. I am not a Christian because my parents were Christians. My children are not Christians because I am a Christian. Your spiritual aristocracy means nothing to God.
It is not “the will of the flesh.” It is not by a sincere and passionate desire to be better as expressed in good religious works. You are not born again by your efforts or determination to live a good life, or imitate the virtues of Christ. You cannot enter into a new life in Christ by any natural power.
It is not accomplished by “the will of man.” No decision on your part brings spiritual regeneration. It is an act of God alone. It is not by my will that I am born again. It is not where there is a will there is a way. No individual can bestow spiritual life on another person.
The central truth of Christianity is that a person must be “born . . . of God.” God regenerates, not man. God is the Agent who brings spiritual life to the soul of the sinner. God the Holy Spirit communicates the new life through a spiritual birth. It is a mystery that cannot be explained. You cannot put it in a test tube, or a mathematical formula or a computer chip. It is a miracle that can only be experienced when God does it. This spiritual life is a new quality, a radically different kind of life that is communicated to the soul.
The new birth is the communication to the soul of the believing sinner the very life of Christ. It comes directly from God. The believing sinner can now have fellowship with God. He is “a partaker of the divine nature.” It does not come from our heredity, our intellectual abilities, human efforts, etc. It comes directly and only from God.
This Christ-life is always a raising of the dead (Eph. 2:1-5). It is always life bestowed on spiritually dead sinners. The new birth, new creation, or spiritual regeneration is life out of death. God the Holy Spirit gives it, and it is as powerful as raising the dead.
To the individual soul born of God is communicated the very life of Christ. And when the Spirit of Christ comes into your life He cleanses, purges, renews, energizes and enables you to live a new kind of life in Christ.
Who is born again? Any individual who receives Jesus Christ is born again. The new birth is the reception of a person, Jesus Christ. Those individuals who believe on Him are born of God. The apostle John tells us, “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” The very moment you realize you are a sinner, dead in your trespasses and sins, and receive or believe on Christ, God the Holy Spirit imparts to you a new birth. To believe on Christ is to receive Him into your life.
The dying thief on the cross near Jesus said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.” Jesus, with majestic dignity, and divine authority said, “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
That can be your experience today. Do you know Jesus Christ? I did not ask do you know about Him, but do you know Him personally? Have you been born again? Have you received Jesus Christ into your life? Have you received the new life that Jesus Christ alone gives?
You are not a Christian if you have not received the new life that God gives to the sinner who calls upon His Name. This new life is for you, and God alone can give it to you. Will you believe on Him, even right now as you read this?
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.""Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.
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