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No More an Enabler

As a natural-born caregiver (oldest of 7 children), I have had tendencies in the past to attract alcoholic/addicts into my life. I used to think I had a neon sign on my forehead saying, “Here I am, abuse/use me…” My ex-husband was an abusive alcoholic/drug addict. When I decided I was leaving for good, he checked himself into a St. Luke’s rehab hospital for a 3-week program (he was back to his old ways within 3 months because he would not call on his sponsor and his ‘friends’ would not come around any more). It was during the family therapy groups there that I learned what enablers were. I also learned a lot about what it means to be an enabler from the Al-Anon program. Both parties have dysfunctional issues that need to be dealt with, mainly self-worth and who we are in Christ.

Enabling is codependency in action. An enabler is someone who responds to another’s problem by attempting to take care of the situation by making things all right. Feeling that the other person’s problem is most likely our fault, an enabler allows the behavior to determine our worth. Only when we are doing for others do we feel “I’m somebody, I’m appreciated, I have value.” This over-developed sense of responsibility makes it hard to let go and allow others to take responsibility for their own behavior and problems.

The solution to the quicksand of enabling is found in a new understanding of what God says about our relationships with others and about who God is and who we are.

Scripture makes it clear that no one is responsible for the actions of others – Romans 14:12 “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” From time to time I still need this reminder. I have learned to catch and overcome that feeling that “it must be my fault” or “I must have done something wrong” so I need to fix whatever is wrong when someone seems in a bad mood. Since I know I have done nothing amiss to them, I ask myself, “Could it be they are having a bad day, or maybe something happened to them today…” I then say a prayer for them and try to be an encouragement, even if just by giving a hug.

When the rich young ruler came to Jesus – Mark 10:17-22 “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.” Jesus spoke truth to him, then He let him make his own decision. He did not attempt to follow the young man or manipulate his actions–though He loved him dearly.

Letting go is hard, and those who may have become accustomed to our enabling abilities will not take kindly to our letting them go. In fact, they may react in very hateful ways and we may never see them again. However, understanding that God alone is the Great Shepherd – John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”, and that He does His job well – Isaiah 40:11 “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” makes it possible for us to release even one greatly loved to the Lord. I have found that when I have let go of those who loved me for all I would do for them, I have released them into the loving arms of Jesus and His healing hand, because He loves each and every one of us as the individuals that we are.

The enabler, most of all, needs to understand who she/he is in Christ – Ephesians 1:17, 18 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” We are of great value because God loves us–not because of what we do, but for who we are as His beloved children. The Lord loved us before we had a chance to accomplish or fail at anything; and as a new creation in Christ Jesus, we are holy and blameless in His eyes – Ephesians 1:4 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” God’s love and mercy toward us (even before the foundation of the world!) are rich and great – Ephesians 2:4, 5 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”, and we are His children because God wills for us to be so, not because we have earned favor on our own merit – Ephesians 1:5 “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will”.

After two failed marriages, I finally took time to know who I was and who I am, and I learned that God loves me for who I am in Him, a sinner saved by Grace. He also showed me (by sending me a man who loves me more than I thought it possible to be loved by any man, when I least expected it) that I am a pretty good ole gal worth loving. I in no way deserve abuse, and I am not responsible for how someone else may be feeling or what they may be going through. Had I taken time to grow in Him in my younger days, I would have known to go to Him about the soul mate He had for me.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2015 in God's Love

 

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Contentment – the Ultimate Acceptance

Contentment is the ultimate acceptance of ourselves, our surroundings, our past, and our future. For a believer, finding contentment should take no effort whatsoever, right? I mean, Jesus has paid the price for our sin and He has given us a secure future of eternity in His presence, free of all pain and sorrow. His Word assures us of this:

Ephesians 2:8, 9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

The suffering we experience now should be viewed in light of an eternity to be spent with the Saviour – Revelation 21:7 “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” God provided a way for us to be rescued from an eternity in hell–He is sufficient to meet our needs in this world that He created – Philippians 4:13, 19 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me…But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

As we travel through this journey of life, we find that this blessed state of contentment is not as easy as just saying God’s Word says such and such, so that should give us the contentment we need. Feeling satisfied when we have very real unmet needs, not letting ourselves worry when we have overwhelming concerns, having patience in letting God work when pressures abound (Be still and know that I am God)–these seem like impossible dreams. Happiness–despite heartaches caused by the past, in the midst of tragedies experienced in the present, based on promises trusted for the future–is not merely a human pursuit, but demands spiritual resources only found in the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is not possible for us to overcome life’s bumps and valleys all on our own. God does not expect us to. That is why He sent His Holy Spirit as our Helper, and He gave us His Word to meditate on daily.

God chose not to just give us contentment as a gift, for His purpose. He chose rather to teach us to be content as we allow Him to be the ruler in our lives. Contentment is something that we must learn – Philippians 4:11 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” As we trust God’s gifts to be sufficient and His assignments to be appropriate, we can accept the way we look, the means we have been given for provision, the family in which we are living, the struggles through which we have gone, the jobs we now have, being content and fulfilled in all – 2 Corinthians 3:5, 6 “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” and 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” God, through His Holy Spirit, taught Paul to be strong yet content in whatever infirmity he would experience, and we know that Paul suffered more infirmities for the cause of Christ than anyone. When we truly realize that God is in control of all things, it makes it easier to praise Him through our trials. He has reminded me many times as I strive to know Him more that if He has allowed “this” then He will see me through it. It is all for His glory, and rightfully so.

On the other hand, acceptance does not mean that we lie down and do nothing and just stagnate. Dissatisfaction with areas in our lives that can be changed, within Divine guidelines, may help us to see that something is missing, or something has gone awry. When this happens, we dare not adopt the “Canaan syndrome” of complaining. Remember that God’s people were not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of their murmuring – Joshua 5:6 “For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.” Instead of grumbling and complaining, “why me?” We are much better off if we take that dissatisfaction to the Lord and ask Him what He would challenge us to do. At the same time, we must be willing to be “content” as we work toward ultimate goals. This is the balance between “I have learned…to be content,” and “I can do all things through Christ.” (Philippians 4:11, 13)

We must trust that God has given us everything we need for each moment in time. We can be content with ourselves, our families, our surroundings, our jobs, or our pasts. As we allow ourselves to depend on the Lord, we are content while we pursue His goals for our lives.

Proverbs 16

1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.
11 A just weight and balance are the LORD’s: all the weights of the bag are his work.
12 It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.
14 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.
15 In the light of the king’s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.
16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.
21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.
22 Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.
23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
26 He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.
27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.
28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.
30 He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.
31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.
32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2014 in Godly Women

 

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Doctrine of Salvation – Part 13 and Conclusion

X. Glorification

The Salvation of our souls will result in us having glorified bodies in Heaven. There will also be different degrees of glory in Heaven.

A. We will never have the glory of Christ. Isaiah 42:8 “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”

Isaiah 48:11 “For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.” See also Psalm 82:6-7

Cults who propagate the idea that we will be deities someday are wrong. As true believers, we will be glorified someday, but we will never become gods. Jesus alone will be worshiped as Lord.

Philippians 2:9-11 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

B. We will someday be glorified in the similitude of Christ’s glorious body.

Philippians 3:21 “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

Matthew 13:43 “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

1 Peter 5:1 “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:”

Romans 8:17 “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

C. There will be different degrees of glory in Heaven. Believers will be glorified based on their works for Christ after their salvation.

1 Corinthians 15:40-44 “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”

1 Peter 5:4 “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

Others will be glorified for the amount they suffered for Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:17 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”

Romans 8:17 “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

Daniel 12:3 “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

Matthew 13:43 “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Conclusion:

We can probably find other processes in the Bible that happen or begin to happen at the moment of Salvation. We have looked at Regeneration, Justification, Redemption, Adoption, Sanctification, Imputation, Propitiation, Reconciliation, Atonement, and Glorification. We have seen how every one of these applies to every believer at Salvation, based solely on the merits of the finished work and the shed blood of Jesus Christ on Calvary.

I am most grateful for our Pastor Carroll who has shared all of these Biblical Doctrines with us, and it is my prayer that these teachings will reach where ever God will take them and accomplish His perfect will for His glory and His Kingdom to come. For we know that His Word does NOT return to Him void.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2014 in God's Love, God's Truth

 

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The Doctrine of Salvation – Part 10

VII. Propitiation

A. Propitiation means “to satisfy.” It is a reference to the mercy seat in the temple. The mercy seat was the lid on top of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. Once a year blood was presented, and God’s wrath turned to mercy–thus it is called the “mercy” seat. Propitiation means “mercy seat, to win over, to soothe, to conciliate, to bring into harmony.”

B. Propitiation is through faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:24-25 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;”

1 John 4:10 “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

C. Christ’s propitiatory work on the cross was sufficient! Jesus’ blood is enough to cover the sins of all mankind, if mankind chooses to be saved.

1 John 2:1-2 “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” We need only repent and receive His free gift!

Rest your faith in the fact that God is completely satisfied with Christ’s sacrifice for us and take hold of Him NOW!

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in God's Love, God's Truth

 

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The Doctrine of Salvation – Part 8

V. Sanctification

A. Sanctification means “to set apart” or to separate from evil to a dedicated life of service to God.

B. Sanctification in the believer is three-fold.

1. At the moment of Salvation, we are sanctified positionally, by the finished work of Christ on the cross.

Hebrews 10:10-14 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

Hebrews 13:12 “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.”

1 Corinthians 6:11 “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

At Salvation we are immediately set apart for service. Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

2. During the believers’ walk on earth, we are sanctified progressively by the Holy Spirit and the Word of Truth.

2 Timothy 2:21 “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

Hebrews 12:23 “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,”

1 Corinthians 15:44-46 “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” The word “saint” means “sanctified one.”

3. In Heaven we will be sanctified permanently.

Concerning our resurrection body: 1 Corinthians 15:44-49 says, “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in God's Love, God's Truth

 

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The Doctrine of Salvation – Part 7

IV. Adoption

A. Defined – Adoption means “the placing as a son; the taking by one man of the son of another to be his son, so that son has the same position and all advantages of a son of birth.” (God has one only begotten son – Jesus Christ: John 1:1,14; 1:18; 3:16-18; Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5-6; 5:5; 1 John 4:9).

Galatians 4:1-7 “Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

Romans 8:14-17 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 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. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

Ephesians 1:3-6 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

B. Adoption is the present condition of the saved who are now God’s children. 1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” Galatians 3:26 “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

C. Adoption is also the future condition of the saved. The saved are God’s children forever. Romans 8:23 “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” 1 Corinthians 15:49 “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” Psalm 17:15 “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in God's Love, God's Truth

 

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The Doctrine of Salvation – Part 4

So, a person MUST believe “in” Jesus Christ (who He is) and “on” Jesus Christ (what He has done) to be saved. That is the saving faith that God puts in us the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Saviour.

At this divine moment in a person’s life, the following takes place or begins to take place: Regeneration, Justification, Redemption, Adoption, Sanctification, Imputation, Propitiation, Reconciliation, Atonement, and Glorification.

Let us study these one by one:

I. Regeneration

A. What is regeneration? Regeneration means to “re-gene” or – an easier way to understand – being born again. This is not speaking in physical terms – John 3:4-6 “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? 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.” It is speaking in spiritual terms. John 3:5-8 “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.” Regeneration means to have a new birth, a spiritual birth.

B. How does regeneration work?

The Holy Spirit impregnates the heart of an unbeliever with the see of God, which is the Word of God. Luke 8:11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” 1 Peter 1:23 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” As a person believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he or she is born again by the Word of God as a new creation, “a babe in Christ.” 1 Peter 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” John 1:12-13 “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.” 1 John 5:1 “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” 1 John 5:4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” James 1:18 “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

The agents that regenerate us are the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. This, therefore, is not a human effort to become a better person, but a miraculous, supernatural new birth whereby God creates an entirely new person in us. Man, at Salvation, becomes a new creature. 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.” Galatians 6:15 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” See again John 3:3-8 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 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? 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.”

C. Who is this “new man” that God has created in us?

1. He is “created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:24 “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

2. He is created. Colossians 3:10 “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:”

3. He is incapable of sinning. 1 John 3:9 “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” God does not reform the old man, Romans 6:6 “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.” Rather, God creates an entirely new man in a person who believes the gospel. A perfect, new man in His image who is incapable of sinning. We then become partakers of the divine nature, which results in a changed life. 2 Peter 1:1-4 “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

Regeneration is not a reforming of the old man, but is God making a brand new man in us. Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” Ezekiel 11:19 “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:” Ezekiel 36:26 “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.”

D. What does regeneration do?

1. Regeneration gives a New Birth. Like in a physical birth, it is an experience, not a process. It is a one-time event that places us into the family of God. 1 John 3:1-2 “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

2. Regeneration gives a New Life, a unison with Christ through the Spirit. 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.”

3. Regeneration gives a New Nature. This is a divine nature, the attributes of which are imparted by the Spirit. 2 Peter 1:4 “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Ephesians 4:24 “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

NOTE: We have seen that regeneration is like creation. It is God making something out of nothing.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2014 in God's Love, God's Truth

 

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