To Be a Reborn Disciple 5

To Be a Reborn Disciple 4

You see, birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring. We are called to be offspring of God, not just physically, but also spiritually! Colossians 3 says “8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” As we are reborn we strive to grow in the glory of the Lord. We read in “2 Corinthians 3:18: But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Indeed, our behavior, character, and deeds should be molded on the conduct and character of Jesus. Jesus showed us the way to a true and noble character in His Sermon on the Mount when He spoke regarding the beatitudes of “Matthew 5 (New International Version): 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

And just so, Paul also touched on what it means to walk in the image of Jesus in his epistle to the church of Colossians (chapter 3): 1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all and is in all.

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12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Let us then strive in this day and throughout our lives to be a blessing and to sow love, peace, joy, and hope. Let us be a comfort, a light, a beacon of faith and let us forgive and pardon to bring unity and good cheer. For this is what it means to be reborn. God calls us to “SEE” thus “BEHOLD” beyond the reality of our physical sight as reborn believers. Thus BEYOND the veil, and to BEHOLD the reality as determined by God.

Lastly, as we consider the Holy Spirit’s work in our regeneration, thus coming alive as a reborn child of God, we again consider what it says in John 3. For it says “8 The wind blows where it wishes, 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.” You see, just as we can’t see the wind, or predict everything about it, in the same way, the work of the Spirit isn’t something we can completely understand. And this implies as well to the work of the Spirit when it comes to our conviction, to our drawing unto the Father and our regeneration. After all, we are spiritually alive by our second birth.

Indeed, we cannot be reborn without the work of the Holy Spirit. We may not be filled with the Spirit at our conversion, but the Spirit Is present, like the wind blowing. Indeed, the Spirit like the wind is free, and you certainly see His effects when working just as we can see the wind blowing through the trees. And just as the wind operates, just so the reality is that the Spirit works in ways we do not fully understand. Indeed, there is liberty in the Spirit, for such is nature of God for He moves as ordained and willed in the heavanlies. This is why conversion or our salvation cannot be forced upon someone or be forced into existence through the sinner’s prayer. The mystery of the Spirit and His workings – from the origin to the final destination – is beyond the understanding of man. At the right time, the wind will blow in a person’s life, which calls for us to embrace the divine appointment of God.

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We cannot control God. As the wind does what the wind does, so does God work when it comes to the rebirth of a person. He is Sovereign above all. Jesus says regarding having heard how the wind works that “so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Thus, everyone who is born of the Spirit comes into being. Thus Jesus emphasizes the freedom of the Spirit in producing people who are born again. We don’t cause the Spirit to bring about the new birth any more than we make the wind blow. Or to be more specific, the decisive act of will in the new birth is not ours. The Spirit’s will is decisive.

Riaan Engelbrecht

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