~ The Spirit
Filled Believer ~
characteristic of conversion is that no two conversion experiences
are exactly the same. We are all individuals and we are all
unique. Some people experience a dynamic, miraculous cleansing
while others feel nothing at the point of their decision to
follow Christ. God knows all of us much better than we know
ourselves and he meets each of us at a level that he lovingly
determines is most appropriate and suits us best. Another
constant, is the change that occurs at the point of conversion.
It may take a little time before some realize that there is
truly something different going on. We realize the winds of
change are blowing and excitement sets in as it actually renders
the peace and joy that we were promised. We are a new creature
in Christ. Old things are passed away and we can never predict
where the Holy Spirit will lead us next.
wind blows where it wills, 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.
Others may see immediate results and marvel
at the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit as thier burden
is gloriously lifted; much like the apostle Paul on the Damascus
On the other hand, the term "Born Again Christian"
has been used to a large extent by some to describe their
spiritual condition when in fact many of them may not understand
or experience the changes that take place in a person's heart
and mind at the point of true conversion. The term has been
abused and misused and in some cases diminished by some whose
lifestyles do not support the claim or those who sugarcoat
the true gospel message. Although our salvation is secure
in Christ, being born again does not give us a license to
sin. If anyone assumes otherwise, they are either misinterpreting
or they are still lost in their sins.
~ The Two Natures
True repentance does not mean that we will never commit sin
again. What it does mean is that we now possess the awareness
that we can no longer sin without conviction and along with
that comes the knowledge that we cannot sin with impunity.
Until we are fully redeemed, (I
Corinthians 15: 50-58) the two natures will continue
to war against one another. But when we allow the power of
the new birth to take control, the spirit is then released
to overcome the flesh.
The following anonymous quote puts this battle in perspective:
natures beat within my breast. The one is foul, the one is
blest. The one I love, the one I hate.
The one I feed will dominate."
God does not force himself on any of
us, but at the same time he protects us from ourselves with
loving discipline. We are free to feed either of the two natures
as we choose but we can be certain that discipline will follow
of the priciples of God because he is faithful to us and to
his promise. 1
Sin is then defined, in the heart of the believer,
by way of conviction from the Holy Spirit; not by a list of
dos and don'ts.
John Chapter 3 / specifically verses 20 - 24
~ Regeneration ~
It can be said that regeneration is both an event, as we are
quickened by the Holy Spirit, and a process, wherein we are
sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In the process of regeneration,
as it manifests itself through sanctification, true believers
will experience chastening by a loving God; sometimes to the
extent that the believer, struggling with this war between
the flesh and the spirit, ultimately comes to the conclusion
that sin against a Holy God is unprofitable, uncomfortable
and not worth the grief that results from reverting back to
the destructive, habitual lifestyle that once ruled his or
her life. Because of his love for his children, God
will use the necessary level of discipline to keep us from
destroying ourselves. If we persist that discipline can be
very painful. That is why we refer to him as Savior and Lord.
For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son
whom he receives. The old lifestyle soon becomes
secondary and distasteful, and progressively fades into the
background, as the new believer begins to taste victory over
sin. That is when true freedom begins to set in. Freedom from
the bondage of fear, self-centeredness, materialism, backbiting,
self righteousness, addiction and predominance toward a pleasure
seeking life. The old "me first" self rule
begins to die and the new Christ centered life of self denial
begins to live. Although the challenges of our life experience
still surround us, we begin to communicate more effectively
with God through prayer. He then responds by speaking to our
heart and faithfully guides us toward a life experience of
peace and purpose, giving us the power to confront life's
challenges with more security, confidence, hope and effectiveness.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples,
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take
up his cross, and follow me.
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.
20:35 I have showed
you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support
the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how
he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
The word of God begins to come to life and make sense in ways
that were never perceived before. Regeneration has begun and
the believer has no doubt that God is truly doing a magnificent
work of reconstruction in a once spiritually dead soul; preparing
that soul unto redemption.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun
a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus
It is important to understand
that the experience of the new birth is not something
we can initiate on our own, or that somehow we can achieve
the required level of response by our own will. We must invite
him to intervene. It is only by divine intervention that we
8. For by grace are ye
saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God: 9.
Not of works lest any man should boast.
No man can come
to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and
I will raise him up at the last day.
"Born Again" is not a term to be
loosely applied to opportunistic, self-serving ambitions.
It is a divine act of God; a life changing experience not
to be compared to any other. It also carries with it the willingness
to suffer persecution for the glory of God in magnifying our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Titus 3:12 Yea,
and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer
result is a renewed sense of faith, strength, peace and joy;
and confidence in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
of security that covers us regardless
of our circumstances and grants us eternal life.
28:20 I am with you always, even
unto the end of the world.