Monday, December 28, 2015

Leaning on God’s Strength

Brief Book Update: Dear Brethren, incase you missed it, we want to share the good news that both the paperback and Kindle format of our first book “Preparing for the Kingdom of God: True Divine Encounters and Teachings from the Lord Jesus Christ – Book 1” are now published and available on Amazon. We give all glory to God for His great help in writing, editing, and publishing it!

As we approach the New Year, many of us expect new things to happen, and some of us are looking forward to the Lord’s coming. While we patiently await that most BLESSED DAY, let us continue in obedience and faithful service to the Lord. We as a ministry would like to express our greatest love to all our brethren who faithfully supports us in prayer and in everything else that helps to keep this work stay afloat. In humble gratitude, if you did not return your love for us by praying, supporting and reading the work we publish here, we would have no joy in our work. The Lord gives us great comfort and joy, and He has blessed us with you and your fellowship, even if it is through this platform. Once again, we pray that you all have A BLESSED NEW YEAR in Christ Jesus, and we pray that this message blesses you more and more in faithful service to our Lord.

The Word of God exhorts us to trust in God and not to lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). There is also another very powerful and familiar portion of Scripture, which is often quoted on the same topic:
“This is what the Lord says: The man who trusts in mankind, who makes human flesh his strength and turns his heart from the Lord is cursed. He will be like a juniper in the Arabah; he cannot see when good comes but dwells in the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land where no one lives. The man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed. He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit” (Jeremiah 17:5-8 HCSB).
Encouragement to Depend on God

As Christians and believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we should be depending on God. We will be sharing some real experiences from the Lord on this subject for your encouragement. It is worth mentioning that the Lord Jesus Christ is aware of our every suffering and the challenges we face (Hebrews 4:15). Evidently, some of our sufferings stem from panic and fear, forcing us to become dependent on man instead of depending on the Lord (Genesis 3:10). If we will literally denounce our dependence on the arm of flesh and choose to trust in the Lord, the Lord in His power, love and might will move the heart of whomever else He pleases to use or supernaturally meet our need. He is true to His promises to "… never leave you or forsake (abandon) you" (Hebrews 13:5). Furthermore, if we have a solid faith in God and are not being shaken by fear and panic, we are guaranteed deliverance, provisions, and protection (Psalm 125:1). The Bible also assures us: “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his children (descendants) begging bread” (Psalm 37:25). Furthermore, as we know, our Christian journey is based on faith and the ‘evidence’ or proof of our faith is God’s response in the natural to our prayer requests (Mark 11:24; 2 Corinthians 5:7).

Godly Counsel in Needy Times

With the Scriptures being our guide to truth and encouragement, below we examine some Scriptural references about real people who literally trusted in God for protection and provision.
  • When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon gave an urgent order to execute the wise men of Babylon, Daniel did not panic in fear; instead, he and his companions trusted God and sought Him to provide a way out of the situation (Daniel 2:14-19).
  • Similarly, when Sennacherib King of Assyria threatened King Hezekiah, he did not go and make a treaty with some foreign army like King Asa did (2 Chronicles 16:7-9). Instead, he went to the Lord, the Shield of Abraham, in prayer and the Lord was faithful and help him (2 Kings 19:1-7).
  • When the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish and Nodab, we read in the Bible that, "They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him" (1 Chronicles 5:18-21).
  • King David, when he was fleeing from Saul, did not take matters into his own hand to fight Saul; he sought Godly counsel in prayer and followed God’s plan and fled (1 Samuel 23:12; Proverbs 15:22).
  • Likewise, when our Lord Jesus was arrested by the Roman soldiers, He did not depend on the swords of His disciples for protection but trusted in the LORD God Almighty (Matthew 26:50-53).
Dependence on Men and Ourselves Yields Cursing

We often hear these popular statements: "Believe in yourself!" or “Trust in yourself!” While these statements may sound quite encouraging and uplifting, as Christians we know in whose strength our faith must truly rest (1 Corinthians 2:5). God has not called us to believe in our own abilities, (2 Corinthians 10:17), but to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, for in Him we have given up our rights and surrender to Him in full (John 6:29). Thus, we can do all things through Christ (not through ourselves) who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13 NKJV). If it is by our own strength, then we glory in the flesh (Judges 7:2).

As it is, there were some people in the Bible who trusted in themselves and even followed ungodly ideas of men and in return, they received curses rather than blessings:
  • When King Rehoboam chose to take the bad advice of his young friends, Israel rebelled against Him (2 Chronicles 10:10-19).
  • When Nabal chose to return evil for good by not acting in kindness to King David, the Lord struck Him down and he died (1 Samuel 25:5-38).
  • When King Ahab chose to listen to his wife Jezebel’s wicked advice to kill Naboth and steal his vineyard, the Lord promised punishment and disaster for Ahab's family (1 Kings 21: 17-24; 22:37-38).
  • Likewise, when King David relied on his own power and authority to get rid of Uriah the Hittite and took his wife Bathsheba, the Lord promised to raise evil against him from his own household (2 Samuel 12:7-12).
Therefore, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8).

We should not be Giving Orders to God

After my conversion in 1990 and being born again, like most new Christians, I was quick to blame the Lord when the reality of test appeared, crying, “this is not working!” and “God is not answering my prayers!” I panicked in fear as Peter did (Matthew 14:30). However, as I matured in my faith, I learned that I should not demand of God to act as if I am ordering a servant. It is true that most Christians have this perception that we can simply order the Lord around when we face steep challenges. One of the most popular but false teachings advocated by prosperity teachers is that Christians have a right or entitlement to God’s blessings and should, therefore, “name it and claim it”, demanding of the Lord to give us whatever material wealth or health we desire. In humility and truth, we are to be patient and steadfast in the midst of our situation, and the Lord will grant deliverance as He wills (Daniel 3:18). Over the years, I have since learned to employ faith, patience and humility to win God’s favor, because the Lord is not moved by our ‘quick and urgent’ and demanding attitudes (Isaiah 40:31). God responds to a humble request in faith (James 4:6). In one of our previous articles (please refer to Patience: An Essential Fruit to Inherit God's Promises) we mentioned that the fruit of patience slows us down and it helps us focus on God's salvation and deliverance. From my own experiences, consistent prayer might appear arduous, tedious and wearisome, but it brings forth trust, endurance and a patient faith (Luke 18:1-8). I can tell you, it pleases the Lord when we show our faith and dependence on Him. In a message to me recently, I sensed the Lord’s joy when He appraised my faith and in His good pleasure, He granted my request. Hallelujah!

In 1991, when I was retrenched from my first formal job, I had my first taste of frustration as a Christian. I had no income to pay my monthly rental, and after experiencing a few months of frustrations and disappointments of not finding a job, a brother whom I truly regard as a faithful mentor in Christ advised me to go on a fast for a few days and stop my dependence on people. I willingly followed the brother’s counsel and I went on my first ever fasting experience as a Christian, which was a three-day fast. On the last day of my fast, the Lord spoke to me through the Bible and said that He had opened a door of employment for me (Revelation 3:7-8). As confirmation, and what made this verse so shockingly true, was that those words of ‘an open door’ were similar to the wording in my page of prayer request, and back then I was not aware that such a verse of open door existed in the Bible. A few days after my fasting, I had a dream from the Lord in which I saw a man coming to me with a job offer. About a week after this dream, a man who lived in the same block of flats as I did, came and told me that the company he works for was looking for people. I was suitably qualified and when I went to the interview I was offered the job. In His faithfulness, the Lord honored my faith and granted my request.

In a similar experience, a brother in the Lord recently told me that he had failed his motor car driver’s test twice because he was depending on the ‘mercy’ of the officer to overlook his mistakes and give him a pass to obtain his driver’s license. However, after realizing that he had made man his dependence, he repented and went on a one-day fast and on his third attempt the Lord fulfilled a promise He had made to him a few months earlier in a dream that He would receive his driver’s license.

In another test, in January of 2010, I was unable to provide for my family and pay our mortgage. I had relied on many people to help me find a job, and to give us whatever money or groceries they had. In my desperation, I even approached my pastor, who had many contacts, for possible jobs but her promises did not yield anything. To add insult to injury, someone even told me: “You are praying so much, but God don’t seem to answer your prayers for a job!” I was hurt by those words, and I regard them as mocking to the Lord. My family’s suffering and frustrations drove sharp arrows of conflict at home, dividing the family. In another desperate act, I humbly went to God who had helped me previously; I fasted for seven days, giving myself literally to God (you may read my full testimony in our Preparing for The Kingdom Book 1, under the chapter on “Prayer is the Key to Solving All Problems – Part I”). After seeing my position of humility and helplessness, the faithful God took mercy on me, answered my prayers, and provided the financial means that we needed.

This is what the Bible says to encourage us:
  • I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 121:1-2).
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
  • Call on Me in a day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor Me.” (Psalm 50:15)
Therefore, brothers and sisters, put your trust and faith in God’s hands, and He will not overlook your situation as many think He does. God knows your anxious thoughts and CARES FOR YOU (Psalm 139:2; 23; 1 Peter 5:7). The Word also says: “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken” (Psalm 55:22).

As we conclude this message, we must consider our attitude when asking help from the Lord. From our experience, we have learned that we must be submissive to God and not have a demanding attitude. We should also not base our faith on some formulated prayers or dogma, or look to a certain preacher for answers. Our hope and trust must be in the Lord alone to help through any trying situation we ma face.

A few years ago, I learned from someone about a Christian woman who, while lying on her sick bed, earnestly desired her pastor to pray for her healing. Due to his busy schedule, the pastor could not make it to her bedside to pray for her. This led her to think that her pastor didn’t care about her. In her desperation for her pastor’s prayers, this precious sister did not value the worth and power of her own prayers and that of other believers. If we would only turn with desperation to the Lord, He who sees everything is READY to take over our situation. As it is, after a few weeks the young woman died without receiving healing, because her dependence and faith rested on her pastor’s prayers and not on God’s ability and promises to heal her. This is the unfortunate situation of many Christians: their dependence, hope and confidence are in man and they like piggybacking on others. This should not be the case, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15 NKJV)

We encourage you to read further on how prayer releases God’s blessings and deliverance by studying your Bibles. You may also reference our articles on Prayer: The Key to All Problems - Parts I and Part II. To accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please begin by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Have a blessed new year trusting in God alone, and may your year be filled with Jesus’ love!

Brother Glenn van Rooyen and Preparing for the Kingdom Ministry Team.

Monday, December 14, 2015

True Repentance

Repent and Be a Witness

Quick Update on the Book Project: We have finished editing the book and are doing the final touches and hope to have it available before Christmas. We plan to publish both in book print format and an eBook (Kindle format), both of which will be available on Amazon.com. The book includes Biblical teachings, testimonies, and visions which will stir up your faith by encouraging you to trust God, seek Him, and be patient through submission to God as He prunes us to grow in truth, obedience and bear spiritual fruit for service. The book is full of edifying insights to help you in your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. We also share warnings which encourage the fear of God and living holy lives as we prepare for His soon coming!

Last week we wrote an article on being born again. It would be only appropriate to follow up with an article with a similar tone and this week we share with you, True Repentance. Biblically, the word repentance means to turn from the direction of living a sinful life to a godly life in Christ (2 Chronicles 7:14; Ezekiel 18:21-23). Many people believe that there is a God and savior, but only a few live repentant lives. Just recently, we were smitten with grief and disappointment when the Lord exposed a case of false repentance. The individual concerned practiced good Christianity in our presence but the moment he leaves us, he leads a secret life of sin. This is best described as hypocrisy and false repentance. It means he had repented for the wrong reasons: to please man rather than God. Often those who have repented falsely do so for the benefit of personal gain. How many people do we know who claimed to have repented of  their wicked ways in order to marry a person in the church whom they lusted after? Are there not people we know who ‘repent’ and speak our Christian language only for financial or some other gain? Well, such behavior may give us a temporary false gain by using God for the wrong purposes. In fact, such folly will only backfire on us with some dire consequences (Romans 8:13).

Therefore, every truly born again believer who has gone through the experience of repentance knows what the Lord expects of us (1 Peter 2:1-3; 1 John 3:9). This is where our relationship with the Risen Lord starts. In addition to pursuing a life of peace and upright living as the above Scripture declares, the Lord Jesus Christ called us to be His witnesses to the world (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19-20). As we know in today’s church environment, many Christians display their Christian ‘power’ and ‘authority’ by shielding themselves with lofty ministry titles. Church titles don’t win souls! If we use official church titles to impress and attract people to us, are we not sinning? Should we not be making followers of Christ rather than of us? (1 Corinthians 1:12).

Now many brethren in the Body of Christ are seeking after the official ministry titles, like apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelist, and teachers. In the past, we inquired of the Lord for some enthusiastic brethren who were eager to hear what their callings were. After hearing the Lord sending them to the streets to witness, many of them were disappointed, and like the rich young man whom the Lord called to humility (Matthew 19:16-22), they doubted the Lord’s message and clung to man’s approval of them. They thought the Lord would say ‘welcome apostle or prophet’; instead, they were encouraged to evangelize to the lost in the streets, to their colleagues at their work places or at home to their family members. The Lord knows that some of those who desire the formal ministry titles desire power and status. We know John the Baptist came as a prophet but his prophetic message was a testimony from our Heavenly Father to reveal our Lord Jesus Christ to the world (John 1:32-34). He started out his ministry preaching repentance (Matthew 3:2). This was repeated by Peter on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38), and subsequently the apostle Paul went through a similar experience; he repented and immediately started sharing his testimony (Acts 9:18-22).

What is Repentance?

There can be no salvation without repentance or being born again (John 3:3-8; Matthew 3:2; 4:17). Biblically, repentance means turning from sin to God (Deuteronomy 30:1-2; 2 Chronicles 6:26-27). In other words, once we have renounced our sins through confessing (acknowledging) our sins we have repented and we immediately receive God’s Holy Spirit as ‘down payment’ (Ephesians 1:13-14) and the adoption of sonship in Christ (Ephesians 1:5).

Sadly, there are many people who have faith in God and the redemptive work of Christ Jesus, but let me tell you: faith that does not involve repentance by living according to the Spirit (Galatians 5:16; 25) is not a reflection of a true faith (Acts 20:21). Therefore, obedience to the Lord is required with a complete yielding and submission to God as we follow the conviction of the Holy Spirit to correct our hearts and attitudes (James 4:7; Acts 2:37).

In addition, the Bible says repentance involves a complete change of the heart, soul (mind, will and emotions) abandoning of old ways (Ezekiel 11:18-20). It is more than just mere sorrow for sin; it is a total surrender to the Lord. True repentance as we noted above is acknowledging our sins as deserving God’s judgment and turning from that sin to ask the Lord’s forgiveness (1 Kings 8:47-50). If we are sorrowful for our sins and we ignore the conviction from the Holy Spirit to make right with the Lord, we act on self-pity. As the Word correctly declares, Godly sorrow leads to repentance and a new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 7:9-10; Psalm 51:1-17). Our repentance is proven by the genuineness and our change of behavior (Luke 3:8-14; 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV; 1 John 2:4-6).

I have come across a lot of people who expressed great sorrow for their sins. Some even quote this Scripture: “… God have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13-14 NIV), but sadly, they continue in their sins. How many of you reading here merely have sorrow for your sins but you never truly repent? Will you only feel sorry for your sins and even confess them to others in self-pity, but not act by faith coming from the Holy Spirit’s conviction and repent? We know the consequences of sin brings about God’s judgments (Romans 6:23). Therefore, repent and follow the Lord in fearful obedience. Don’t give up on life and reject salvation! Remember, Christ is that life (John 14:6). Accept Him, see He is calling you to His love and rest (Matthew 11:28). For your assurance, I repeat what the Lord once told us: I will always love all people equally. Arise, don’t just sit there and say, "Yes, I know He loves me." Show Him love too by repenting of your sins and following Him in obedience (John 14:15).

We Must Be Committed and Faithful

In some of our experiences with the Lord, He revealed to us that there are countless Christians who will miss Heaven. He said those practicing deceitful living had a shallow repentance, ready to turn to sin when the flesh and occasions demand. He attributes this to their willful disobedience to Him, by leading unholy lives (Hebrews 12:14; Matthew 7:13-14).

Let me share a brief testimony, a few years ago I witnessed the gospel to a young man who lives about a stone's throw from us. In response, he told me that he saved a copy of the ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ on his desktop and every morning before starting work he would locate the sinners prayer on his desktop and read it out loud to himself while ‘repenting’. Meanwhile, he continued living in sin with his girlfriend. No doubt, this is a trend in today’s society. While we must confess our wrongdoing to the Lord, repeating our wrong living is outright disobedience and a life of bondage. We cannot be content with such a repentance, losing faithfulness and if that is YOU, my brother or sister, then you are playing with your salvation and not taking it seriously.

Kindly allow me to briefly share with you another testimony. We had people who left our fellowship and who could not endure the Lord’s corrections as He rebuked them for willful sinning (Hebrews 10:26). In sharp, but gentle warnings the Lord warned them that HELL is for sinners and disobedient Christians (John 3:36; Ezekiel 18:24). Previously we have shared on Sinning Deliberately, and you are welcome to read this article. Now, we know that the Lord does forgive us if we make mistakes. However, the above Scriptures also say that He will punish the wrongdoer for willful disobedience. In a rebuke to a young, nine-year-old girl in 2011, the Lord said that the girl loves sinning on purpose and then goes back to repent of her sins. This led the Lord to say, Many people say they have repented of their sins, but they repeat their sins without regard to My warnings.

As a further warning from the Lord, we share in part a rebuke below to a young man, and we pray that by sharing that you will learn, abstain from wrongdoing and live to please the Lord. Here is a how the Lord rebuked Sam (not real name): My son Sam is worldly, and My son Sam is busy with wrong things. My son Sam is an unfair person and My son Sam loves lying. My son Sam loves making empty promises and My son Sam is lustful.

In the light of this rebuke from the Lord, how many of us can identify with some of the sins mentioned here? Do we think this person is walking Heaven-ready and being a born-again Christian? This message was given to Sam but serves as a warning to all of us too!

Brethren, in concluding this message, we encourage you to lead a repented life daily remembering that “…without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

To start living a life of true repentance by honoring the Lord Jesus Christ through obedience, please start by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Your Brother in Christ,
Glenn van Rooyen.

Monday, December 7, 2015

You Must be Born Again

Jesus answered him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a person is born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified], he cannot [ever] see and experience the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 AMP).

Vision of a Crying Man

Given to Jaydeen on December 5, 2015

“I saw a vision of a man crying and begging to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but He was denied entry. He begged, ‘Please let me in, let me in’ while crying bitterly with tears running. I then heard the Lord say, “You may not enter because only those who are born again are welcome here.” This was the end of the vision.

Brief interpretation

The man in the vision is known to us. This young man is doing some good charitable work in the community and he also attends some church services and prayer meetings. This has led him to believe that he will be accepted because of what he is doing. He is committed to the work he is doing, but not to the Lord. Our work must issue from a love for the Lord and this feat is possible only when we are born again. Therefore, the Lord’s message to the gentleman and to ‘Christians’ who reject the born-again message is clear: only the born again may enter His fellowship and not those who rely on self-effort (John 3:5-6).

Some Christian’s Rejection of the Born Again Message

I was recently introduced to a pastor by a friend who worked on our vehicle. Soon after our introduction, the pastor and I had a discussion, bearing in mind that Scripturally, we are expected to encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13). The Lord knows that I always avoid entering into quarrels regarding the Scriptures, but when people ask if some doubt or confusion exist, I am accommodating. However, my pastor friend challenged me to a ‘theological debate’, which I reluctantly accepted. In a nutshell, he outrightly rejected the born-again experience as unreal. I in return challenged him on his faith and acceptance of Scriptural testimony of which he could not provide adequate justification. He subsequently requested that we drop the discussion and left in a hurry without offering an excuse. In this case, simply ignoring Scriptural facts to uphold a position of belief has some serious eternal consequences. We have not been called to follow a church’s creed, but to obey and follow the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 5:29; John 10:27). Countless people are being led astray because they don’t spend time reading the Scriptures for themselves, and so they become followers of men rather than of Jesus Christ the Lord.

The world at large and some sections of the Christian communities grossly neglect and simply ignore the Lord’s command that we must be born again to enter the kingdom of God. In my observation, those who ignore this teaching come largely from the historically traditional churches. Some have offered similar reasoning like Nicodemus asking, ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ (John 3:4). Others, due to ignorance of the Scriptures, are unaware that they should be born again. Yet others have dangerously rejected this teaching to their own detriment. The principle of faith is best presented by our Lord Jesus Christ when He said, “I assure you that whoever tells this hill to get up and throw itself in the sea and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him” (Mark 11:23 GNT). Herein, the Lord clearly highlights that our faith will yield God’s approval and grant our request (Hebrews 11:6). The point is “… according to your faith will it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29). Therefore, if we lack faith and decide to simply ignore this command of the Lord of being born again, our choice would not be automatically converted by the Lord, because God’s rewards are tied to our faith and obedience to Him (Jeremiah 17:10).

There is no automatic superimposition of God’s will upon a believer's life; the order of God’s gifts, punishment and blessings rest entirely on our faith (Romans 2:6; Revelation 22:12). As it is, believers in traditional churches lean more on the teachings of socially acceptable behaviour and with faith in God attached to a church doctrine. These teachings disregard the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit and express a position of faith with the absence of expressing the truly born-again experience, which is the energetic expression of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 6:3-6).

Christian Attitude Towards Bible Teachings

Therefore, and in the light of this, it is utterly hypocritical of any person who calls himself a Christian to ignore clear and unambiguous Scriptural instructions. An equally disturbing tendency is that some Christian sects twist the actual meaning of certain Scriptures to lend more credence to a certain doctrinal position, while rendering the proper Scriptural context in a biased way. We have heard people saying that they believe they were born again when they were baptized or christened (committed as Christian) while babies. Children already belong to the Lord (Matthew 19:14) and being baptized by water is good and commendable; the Lord Himself was baptized saying, “…it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”(Matthew 3:16). However, the Bible is clear that being born again is not something a parent, husband, or any other human being can plan or decide for us; but those who repent of their sins and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour are the ones who become born of God (Romans 10:9-10; John 1:13; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 5:1). The Lord promised in this new covenant (Ezekiel 36:24-29), that He would give His children a new heart (Acts 15:9) and a new spirit; His Spirit (1 John 4:13) to “move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:26-27). And as we shared in the article, Duties of a True Born Again Christian, after we become born again (saved), we become a new creation and are told to "take off the old man corrupted by evil desires" (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22-25).The ‘old man’ is corrupted by worldliness and the desires our carnal natures feed onto (Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 5:17-26). The “old self” does not care about keeping God’s law, but in Christ “..our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6). We become slaves to righteousness and learn to walk in love and obedience while repenting of all our sins (Romans 6:17-18; 1 John 3:9; 4:7; 5:18).

Life in the Spirit

A systematic approach to the Scriptures gives us a justified position of accepting the truth of how we ought to live and believe. The Scriptures clearly declare the transition from the Old Testament way of life (Romans 2:12; Hebrews 8:6-13) to the new life in the New Testament dispensation - life in the Spirit (Acts 15:8-11; Romans 8:2-11). The apostles, who were eye witnesses of our Lord Jesus Christ, and who first experienced the powerful effect of the Holy Spirit in their own lives (Acts 2:2-4) urged us to build ourselves up in this new life (Jude 1:20; 1 John 4:13; 1 Peter 4:14; Galatians 5:16). How can we deny such a Scripturally well-defined and presented teaching such as being born again? Are we not denying the spirituality of our experience while we try to derive meaning from a carnal explanation which does not rely on faith but physical evidence (2 Corinthians 5:7). Therefore, this is uncompromisingly true that the believer upon accepting Christ as Lord by way of confessing faithfulness to Him receives by faith God’s Holy Spirit as an adoption to sonship (Romans 8:15). This experience happens in God’s realm and it is faith-based and simply beyond human reason or comprehension. On the outside, the external or more visible evidence being the fruit of our association with the Lord (John 15:4-5; Matthew 3:8).

As a direct result of our union with Christ (1 Corinthians 6:17), the born again experience of being gentle, kind, Joyful, loving, faithful, forgiving, humble or being truthful gives an expression to our Christian faith and way of life (Galatians 5:22-23). Additionally, in being a Christian we are not pretending when we serve you with humility and kindness, but we do so in obedience to the Lord and we are being enabled by His Spirit who is at work in us for your good (John 14:26; Philippians 2:13). Evidently, the Lord ascribes a Christians’ good character as issuing from a loving heart for Him, and it is an undeniable fact in life. Love unites and gives assurance even to the most hardened and unkind person (John 13:35; 1 Peter 3:15-16). In the Scriptures, we learned thatChrist came to offer us a new way of life and all those of us who accepted Him as Lord are being enabled by His constant corrections and convictions through the work of the Holy Spirit in us (John 16:7-8). The Scriptural verdict is clear “…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 KJV).

If you are not yet born again and would like to put away your old self with its sinful desires and become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22-25), the Lord Jesus Christ is willing and able to do this and save you (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-10). As a born again believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will overcome the world (1 John 5:4-5)! To begin a relationship with the Him, please start by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed regards,
Brother Glenn and Preparing for the Kingdom Ministry Team.