Being Born Again, Part 3
Look at Hebrew 8 and continue on with the dynamics of being born again, which will probably be the last one that we have in the whole series. We’re going to look at the “how to.” That is, how does one begin to be born again? What will we tell someone else what they expect to experience? And what is the gospel call in order for somebody to be born again? Basically we’re going to answer the question, “What do we mean when we say that someone is born again?”
Again, we’ve seen, first of all, that man is dead spiritually. He’s dead in three different ways and the first way that’s he’s dead is he’s dead spiritually. That is, all of his actions are worthless. No matter how loving and kind the action looks on the outside, we’ve seen completely that they’re worthless and totally corrupt.
Secondly, man is dead in his soul. That is, his personality is vile—who he is—is completely corrupt.
And of course, three, which is obvious to most people, is that our bodies are dead. Even from the moment we’re born we’re in the process of facing death and dying. So what God has to bring, first of all, in order to restore man is three different aspects to man. He has to give man a new life. A new life that has a new spirit. In Hebrews 8:9-13 it tells us that God is going to give those people who are born again a new spirit to begin with. And the Spirit that He gives that is new is His Spirit. And that is what we mean when we say that somebody has received the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 8:9-11 – It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
So the first thing that is restored in a man when he is born again is that he receives a new spirit. And the way that he gets that new spirit is by receiving God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit. And this is where the communication then begins to start. We saw that man was first of all, separated from God in the Garden of Eden and he lost that relationship with God’s Spirit and so his spirit died. So what is renewed and what is the beginning process, of course, in that is that God returns and says, “Okay, here is My Spirit, here is My Holy Spirit,” And then man is given a new spirit and made new and then life begins again, just as it should have been in Genesis.
Hebrews 8:12-13 – “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.
We often look back at the Old Covenant and say when God led the people out of Egypt that we would have liked to have that kind of relationship where God just leads us by the hand. And yet that is a weak and inferior covenant compared to the one God is giving us now. We are to have a closer communion with God than those people had seeing the cloud following them, or leading them day and night. Again, verse 11 says,
Hebrews 8:11 – No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
No longer is man going to be taught this in an outward way and say, “Okay, this is what the Lord is about.” Each person will know the Lord on the inside because they have received the Holy Spirit and He, Himself, will write in their hearts and minds what Scripture has to say.
Again, number two, a man must be given a new personality. His soul must be made new.
1 John 3:2 – Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known . . .
Each of us are being given a brand new personality in Jesus Christ. And what that personality will be, or who we will be, we do not know yet. We are just in the beginning part of that. When a child is first born you can’t very well predict what his personality is going to be. You can’t really say, “This is the way he’s going to be,” or “This is the way he’s going to develop.” Certainly the child has no clue. A five-year-old has no clue as to what his personality is or who he is or what he will be when he is older. So the same way in verse 2 it says:
1 John 3:2 – Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known . . .
So man is given a brand new personality, but what that personality will be we cannot tell yet.
1 John 3:2 – But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
When He returns, then that new birth is completed. Then we have come up with a finished product, so to speak. Right now we’re all, again like we’ve seen before, in the womb. We’re growing and we’re maturing and it is remaining to be seen who is going to go on and to actually give birth and to give light. So that whole process is beginning. Again, look at:
Colossians 3:2-4 – Set your minds on things above, not on early things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
So what we will be and who we will be, in terms of who is Tim or who any of us are in terms of our personality and our identity, what makes us unique, what makes us different, what makes us an each individual person, who we really are, we do not yet know in Jesus Christ because that has not come to completion yet. When we see Him, when we stand before Him, then that new birth will be completed and what we will be then we’ll be known. Right now verse 3 says:
Colossians 3:3 – For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
So don’t worry about who you’re going to be or what your reward is or people you know in the world are running around all the time saying, “Well who am I? I’m just searching for myself and I’m just trying to discover who I am.” Well a Christian is never going to discover that in this world. He doesn’t have a clue. All you can do is trust that Jesus Christ has a personality for you and that He is forming that personality and that in Him we move and live and have our being, as Acts says. So man is going to be given a new personality.
And then finally, we saw last week in 1 Corinthians 15, verses 50 through 52, you’ll be given a new body. He says:
1 Corinthians 15:50-52 – I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
Isn’t this all reminding us of the womb situation? Now man, at least, can have some technology to look in to see basically what a child is going to look like in some small fashion. But put that child in terms of fine details and who he is going to be is really all a mystery in Jesus Christ. So in the same way we are in that process of going into the new birth and the new birth is happening, but what we will be, what kind of body we will have, how close our relationship will be with God, all those things remain to be seen when the new birth is completed. And Jesus Christ will bring that all when He comes back. When we see Him as He is then we too, will have this new birth.
Now, the question is, how do we begin this process? How do we tell somebody that they are to be born again? Well, let’s go to John 3:3. And this is the passage that we started with to begin with. This is the how-to.
John 3:3 – In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
We’ve already come to that conclusion.
John 3:4 – “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
At least Nicodemus has this much of it down, doesn’t he? He realizes it’s got to be totally something new, that man has to completely start all over again. That God isn’t going to clean up the old life, He isn’t going to make you a little bit different, or He isn’t going to bless some small aspect of you. It is a complete starting, a complete renewal of the man. So Nicodemus asked, “How can a man go back into the womb and start all over again? It just can’t happen!” Now he doesn’t understand how this is going to take place. Today we’re going to look at how.
John 3:5-7 – Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’”
Now verse 5 is really the butchered scripture:
John 3:5 – Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”
What men then do is say, “What does Jesus Christ mean by that?” And that’s what we’re going to ask. What does it mean that a man has to be born of water and the Spirit, because this is a crucial question? Jesus Christ says unless you’re born again you cannot go to heaven. I mean it’s an absolute, it’s Spirit, it’s something that is firm and solid. So unless we discover how to be born again, if we miss that, if we preach the wrong gospel telling people how to be born again, we’ve missed everything. We will not enter heaven, we will not enter glory. So as you look around at all the different churches, as you look around at all the different ways to be born again, which one is correct? Which one is right? Which one should we proclaim to other people? Surely Jesus Christ didn’t say there were fifteen thousand different ways to be born again. He said those of you who are not born of water and the Spirit cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. It’s an absolute. It’s a clear thing. So every church that is preaching Christianity, everybody that says that they are offering new life to somebody, everybody that is saying, “I want you to be born again” when someone asks them, “How is that to be done?” they should be answering, “Well, you must be born of the water and the Spirit.” But that’s not what we see going on at all. We see men butchering the scripture all over the place, don’t we?
Let’s look at 1 John 5:5, and let’s recognize clearly that there is no other testimony. There is no other way to be born again except by water and the Spirit.
1 John 5:5 – Who is it that overcomes the world?
John asks the question. In other words, who is it that is born again? Who is it that really has the new life, is what he’s saying. Right? Who is it that overcomes the world?
1 John 5:5 – Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Well what does it mean to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? What does it mean to have a belief that has led to the new life?
1 John 5:6 – This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ.
He’s already again back to what? Water and the blood. And the Spirit in life, correct? Yet, you know how most people interpret the passage back that we saw in John about being born of water and the Spirit. They don’t think that Jesus means anything related to a baptism of water. They think Jesus Christ means that you have to born in the flesh. And when a woman gives birth she has that water that breaks and so people are born in the water, and then later on you come to be born in the Spirit. That literally is how that is interpreted. But he goes on to say:
1 John 5:6 – This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
So we’re looking at the truth at how to be born again. Now, look at verse 7:
1 John 5:7 – For there are three that testify:
Three things. Now why do you think it would be three? Well, of course, because God is three parts; He’s Trinity, but also because man must be reborn in terms of three different aspects: his spirit, his soul, and his body. So of course, there’s three to testify. If a man is to be born again, he is to be completely born again, then all areas must be born again. Correct? So no wonder three testify. But what happens is people leave out one or two, or all three sometimes.
1 John 5:8 – . . . the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.
They are equal in value. They are equal in power. They agree with one another. You cannot separate them and take them apart.
1 John 5:9-10 – We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart.
What testimony in his heart? When somebody says they believe in Jesus Christ what testimony do they have? The three in agreement. Don’t the three testify? Aren’t the three in agreement? The Spirit, the water, and the blood, all three agree. So those people that are truly born again have this testimony in their heart, or what? They’re not born again. If a man has two of those things, he’s somehow in an incomplete birth. He’s not where he needs to be at all, is he?
1 John 5:10 – Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.
Now God says, “My Son comes in three different ways and all three of those ways are in agreement,” you have to agree with that. If you do not agree with that how can you possibly be of God? You have only tried to make God a liar and He will not allow that, of course. And there’s no truth in that, and there’s no life in that. So what kind of gospel call do we preach to other people? How do we tell them to be born again? Well, men leave out usually one aspect of it. For instance, the Baptists leave out the water and the Spirit and talk only about the blood. Yet the Church of Christ leaves out the Holy Spirit and they talk about the water mainly, and a little bit about the blood. Then you have the Methodists who thank me for my opinion and go on their way. Everybody has their little bit of an idea about how this should be applied. And if you look deep enough, if you look long enough, you see that they don’t have the three in agreement. You don’t see them of equal value.
For instance, if I went up to the Baptist and said, “Well, let’s leave out the blood of Jesus Christ,” they would be highly indignant. They’d run me out of their church. They’d call me a heretic. And rightly so, if I said that. But if I said, “Let’s leave out the water. Let’s just de-emphasize water at baptism and all that that means” they’d say, “Fine, come on in and join the church.” They don’t have three in agreement.
If I go into the Church of Christ and I say, “Well, let’s talk about the water a lot,” I would be accepted. If I said, “Let’s talk about the blood of Jesus Christ,” they would even accept that. If I said, “We need to be as full of the Holy Spirit and we need to hear the Spirit’s voice,” I would be run out of that church. The three are not in agreement. So to preach the full message, to talk about telling people how to be born again, we must be a people who have this testimony in our hearts. What testimony? The testimony is that the three are in agreement. The three have power to them. We must preach a full message. Look at Acts 5:19. It says:
Acts 5:19 – But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out.
The apostles are in prison. You know it’s easier for God to open up the prison doors than to get some people to see that their doctrine is wrong, that their testimony isn’t correct.
Acts 5:20 – “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people the full message of this new life.”
Why didn’t he just turn to them and say, “Go out and preach the gospel”? Because God and the Holy Spirit are trying to tell us that if we’re going to tell people how to be born again, if we’re going to show people how we’re born again, then all three have to be in agreement. We have to demonstrate to people that God’s truth is true. So go stand in the temple courts where everybody can see it, where everybody can hear it, where it can be declared where there’s no confusion about it, where there’s no “This is my opinion here” and this person says “This is my opinion” and there’s no clear gospel call. Stand in the temple courts and declare “This is the message, this is how you’re born again.” Preach the full message of the gospel, not half of it, not three quarters of it, not even ninety-nine point nine percent of it, but preach the full message of the gospel. Let us make sure that we have all three in agreement. And so what we’re going to look at today is the three in agreement. And how that applies to us being born again and telling other people how to be born again.
The three that testify are, of course, are the Spirit. In John 6:63 it tells us very, very plainly that without the Spirit there is no life in anything we do. Without the Holy Spirit, without the Spirit there is no truth. Without the Holy Spirit there is no power to the truth. We can talk about the new life, we can tell other people about it, but unless we have the Holy Spirit in that there is no power. Only God can create a universe. And only God’s Spirit can move on people’s hearts to really change them.
John 6:63 – The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.
You can pray a million times in the flesh and it’s equal to zero. A million times zero is always zero. You can preach the gospel to other people of your own effort and your own wisdom, of your own desire apart from the new life and it’s nothing.
John 6:63 – The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
He’s saying, “The power by which I speak and I declare, by which I live, is by the power and the Spirit of God.” So you have churches all over the place preaching the gospel, don’t you? You have churches everywhere talking about being born again. There are books that discuss how to be born again, or what the new life is about. You can sign all kinds of cards or pledges or go through classes to discuss what it means to be born again. But if the Spirit is not in it there is no life. And we have to say by looking around that there is no life. The three in agreement: the Spirit, the blood, and the water.
In Acts 19:1 we see the importance of the Holy Spirit. Again, if all three are in agreement then all three are of equal value. When you think about “Well, I’m going to claim the blood, I’m going to claim the water, but I’m going to leave out the Spirit,” then there is no power to your life. There is no power in the other person’s life. If they’re not walking in the fullness of the Holy Spirit and what that means in terms of scripture, there is no power in their life. I don’t care how much they claim the other two things.
Acts 19:1-2 – While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
Paul came into this town, he saw these people. They were believers. They were disciples. They even maybe belonged to Jesus Christ. They belonged to Him but he realized there was something missing. There wasn’t that spark of life. The Spirit was missing. Everything else was ready but that was missing. So he walks in and says, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” He could tell that It wasn’t there.
Acts 19:2 – They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
“We hadn’t been taught this.” They hadn’t heard the full message. Somehow they only got half the message or three quarters of the message, didn’t they? So they were incomplete in terms of the new birth. Had they not been corrected, had they not come to the full truth, you might have had a miscarriage on your hands. The birth would have not taken place.
Acts 19:2-6 – They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Paul didn’t just walk in to a place and they said, “Well, we’ll believe you.” And you go, “Okay, I love you. We’re all in acceptance.” He could tell there was something missing in this new birth. It wasn’t quite where it needed to be. So he began to examine, he began to look, and he begins to probe. Well, in today’s atmosphere, of course, you go into a place where you sense the new birth isn’t there you begin to ask questions and you begin to probe, they run you out. “You’re being judgmental. How do you know that what you believe is right? That’s just your opinion about this particular matter.” They don’t have all three in agreement, do they? But because Paul had all three in agreement he walked into a place and he could tell there wasn’t an agreement here. There wasn’t the life of God. There wasn’t the beginning spark of the Holy Spirit that made this thing real. They were prepared for it. They were waiting for it, but they didn’t even know what they were waiting for. So he teaches them about it, he lays it out for them, and then immediately they are what? “We see the baptism.” Remember that. Keep that in mind. And then he lays his hands on them and they receive the Holy Spirit. He brought the message completely together, didn’t he?
So with everybody that we meet and in every way that we preach the message our goal is to get them to a place where first of all, just make sure they even have the new birth. It is a terrible, wicked thing to tell somebody, to give them the gospel and say, “Run with this gospel,” and they don’t have the Spirit. They might have the blood. They might have the water. They might have everything but the Spirit and we tell them to run with it and there’s no power in that.
Then you have other people who say they have the Holy Spirit, and indeed they might, but they don’t have the other things, so their obedience is lacking. It’s just all emotion with them, it’s all feeling.
Let’s go to Romans 8:1 to see how important the Spirit is. This is why the Church of Christ is so dead. They have some blood and they have some water, but they don’t have life. They don’t have that spark of life because they refuse the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:1 – Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
How Baptists talk about this, how people proclaim this, how people hold on to this. Let’s find out how there is no condemnation. Let’s see how we are a people born again so that we are not under condemnation.
Romans 8:2-4 – because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
So how do I get to a place where I am born again and I’m no longer under condemnation? By living according to the Spirit. A man who leaves out the Spirit is what? He is still under condemnation. This is where all the rules and regulations and legalism really come from. He is still condemned even though he talks about being born again. Even though he says, “I am born again,” those who do not live according to the Spirit are still under condemnation.
Romans 8:5 – Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
What does that mean? That means in everything that a Christian does he has one question and one question only: What is the desire of the Holy Spirit in this situation? Those who have their minds set on God are constantly asking the question, “What does God want me to do, or to say, or to act in this situation? What is the will of the Holy Spirit?” That causes a man to give up his own life. What do we see in Pentecostal groups? The total opposite. They try to make the Holy Spirit conform to what they want because they’re missing the blood and they’re missing the water. They no longer have the cost. They no longer have the cleansing that comes from the water. So they no longer surrender their body as living sacrifices to God. Those who have their mind set on the Spirit have one concern only: What does the Holy Spirit want me to do today?
Romans 8:6 – The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
A man has to lose his own mind to allow somebody else to control it, doesn’t he? He has to surrender his thoughts, his will, his personality, his acts, to allow what? The Holy Spirit to come in and literally begin to control our mind.
The three are in agreement. You want life, you want peace, then you have to surrender your thoughts and give them to God and allow the Holy Spirit to come in and then begin to control every single thought that you have. Whether it be searching for sin, whether it be praising God, whether it be going here or doing anything, those who belong to Jesus Christ in terms of the Spirit have their minds set on what that Spirit wants. What does the Holy Spirit want me to think? That’s where the life and the peace and no condemnation are at.
Romans 8:7 – the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
Again, it’s pointing us to the fact that we must be born again. God is not going to reform your sinful mind. And this is where so many people make the mistake. They take their sinful mind and they pray it to God. And they ask God to do things for them, to bless them with a house or a car or an education, or whatever it is they want. And they think God is going to conform to what they have in mind. And he’s saying the sinful mind cannot submit to God. It is impossible for it to happen. Something must happen to that mind and you must allow the Holy Spirit to control your mind in order to have life.
Romans 8:8-9 – Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
“So what are you controlled by?” is the question. Do you go where you want to go? Do you sleep when you want to sleep? Do you eat what you want to eat? Do you control your own life or does the Holy Spirit control your life? Being born again means absolutely that a man turns over his spirit to be controlled by God. Most people do not want to let go.
Romans 8:10-12 – But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.
Now look at this, verse 13:
Romans 8:13 – For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die;
He’s talking to Christians, he’s talking to people who are believers, he’s talking to people who have been born again. If they continue to live in accordance with the sinful nature, if they serve God with the power of the simple nature, if they serve God in their own way, if they preach the gospel in their own thinking and in their own way, they will die. If they do all the religious things that they do and religious ways that men do them, they will die because a sinful man cannot submit to God. The only way we can worship God is if we do what that Spirit is telling us to do. If we lose control. Now listen to this:
Romans 8:13 – but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
This is an hour’s sermon in itself. Only the Holy Spirit can come along in my life and say, “This is the sin in your life that has to be put to death. Let Me do it.” You have all kinds of counseling that goes on in churches and group therapy and everybody talks about their problems because what? The sinful nature is trying to put to death the sinful nature, and it cannot happen.
As we said a million times, you cannot commit suicide by crucifixion. Somebody has to put the nails in your hands and feet and lift you up, you can’t do it yourself. Verse 14, look at this:
Romans 8:14 – . . . because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
It is the Spirit that comes to me and says, “Tim, today you’re going to deal with this sin. Today, I’m going to deal with this. Today, we’re going to do this. Today, I want you to do this. Today, I want to lead you over here.” And then begins the wrestling process and the surrendering process and the hurting process. It’s when I take control and most men take control of their lives and say, “Okay, I want to deal with this sin today. And I want this gone over here.” Or “I’m not quite ready for God to deal with this.” If they live according to sinful nature, they will die. They deal with sin, they deal with their own life, in their timing, when they see fit, then they are still God. And you can tell because sin is never dealt with, it’s constantly talked about being dealt with. It’s always being told that “I’m changing,” but nothing is really happening. There is not the spark of life. So Paul, no wonder, could walk in among a group of people and say, “There’s something missing here. There’s the spark of the Spirit missing. You’ve got everything else kind of outward right, I mean you’re looking for Jesus, but there’s something missing. You don’t have the full message of the gospel with three in agreement.” You have to have the Spirit with equal value. You can’t take any of them out. You want to take the Spirit out? Go ahead. What does scripture say will happen? You will die. You take out the blood, you will die. You take out water, you will die.
Romans 8:14-15 – because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
You want to be able to call God, Dada. That’s what abba means. You want to have a new birth, a new life? Then you have to be led by the Spirit in all things. So many of you just take scripture and try to apply it—it’s sheer death. And God allows you to do it. What do you think the old covenant was? God comes down with Ten Commandments and says, “Here’s the Ten, go do it.” And they said, “Okay, we’ll do it.” And they failed before he even got the commandments down to them—they were already failing.
So fine. God lays out all the commandments there. I’ve seen you guys do it a hundred times. “Go live this. Be obedient to it.” All right, you run out to do it. You’re not being led by the Spirit in the process, whether it be repentance, prayer, life, joy, or whatever it might be and you try to live this and you die. You either wind up realizing, “I’ve got to surrender my life to God and allow Him to do that and to give me the life, or I will die, and I’ll never experience a new birth.” You want to be able to have the joy and the peace to say, “Abba, Father.” To have that Spirit of power and relationship with God. Then you have to be led by the Spirit in all things.
What are you controlled by? What is your central question life? What do I want or what does the Spirit want? This passage right here determines whether you’re even getting started or not.
Now let’s look at the water for a moment. Let’s go to 1 Peter 3:18. I don’t have time to get into the sermon on water baptism; we’ve already done that anyway. We really just have to kind of go to the core of the matter for the moment. But we’ve already seen, and I want to remind you over and over again, and you’re probably worn out with it, it’s the three are in agreement. Are they not? They are of equal value, of equal power. You need the Spirit as much as you need the water. You need the water as much as you need the blood. You may not see them as equal value—you have some growth to do in Jesus Christ. But in 1 Peter 3:18 it tells us that the water baptism is just as important as the blood and the Spirit. It says:
Peter 3:18 – For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit . . .
Do you understand that man died in three different ways, so man has to be born again in three different ways? He has to be renewed in his spirit so we get the Holy Spirit. A man has to be given a new body, does he not? So the water symbolizes the outward part of man, his body being washed clean. The Spirit symbolizes the Spirit being made new to man being made clean. So we see here in verse 18 that Christ died for sins to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body. If it was not necessary to redeem the body then Jesus Christ would not have been put to death in the body. It’s that simple. There would have been no need for it. If we only died spiritually in our soul, there would have been no need for the crucifixion of the flesh, would there? But Jesus had to die in all three because we were dead in all three areas. It’d be like a doctor. If you have three diseases and he treats two and lets you die of the third one, what value is he?
1 Peter 3:19-20 – through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,
Now does it stop there? No. Let’s preach the full message. Let’s lay it all out in agreement. What does it say? They were saved through what? Water. How were the people in Noah’s time, how was Noah saved and his family but through water? What if Noah had turned to God and said, “I don’t think water is necessary. I don’t think it’s of equal value. Why don’t You give me Your Spirit? Or why don’t You give me the blood over here? Let’s forget about the water. I’m not going to build the ark.” He wouldn’t have been around today. He was saved through water. The water is equal to the blood and the people who are born again have this particular testimony that we are looking at in their hearts. Anything of less they are not of God. They are calling God a liar. They are saying to God, “The water is not of value.”
1 Peter 3:21 – and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—
The Baptists are turning in their graves right now. They think this is legalism at its height. They think this is salvation by works. What does it say?
1 Peter 3:21 – . . . now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.
What is it? It’s Romans 12: Offer your body as a living sacrifice to God. It’s saying, “Here is my body. It contains the conscience, it contains the soul, it contains the spirit. I give it all to You from the outward all the way in. From the inward all the way out, God, it is all Yours.”
Why do you think there’s so much that is de-emphasized about the outward part of righteousness? Why is it in the church people can get by with so much and people just say, “God just sees the heart”? Because they don’t have three in agreement. To them they’ve only been redeemed in terms of their spirit and the soul. “God doesn’t care how I dress. God doesn’t care what I eat. He doesn’t care what I do with my body. All God sees is the inward and He knows that I love Him.” Don’t you see that the water symbolizes an outward pledge? “I’m going to take my body, and I’m going to take my life and I’m going to give it to You with a good conscience. I’m going to do what is right with this body. I’m going to dress appropriately, say the right things. I’m going to use the physical aspects of the way You created me for Your glory. I’m going to love You with it.” What is so complicated about that? Except that men somehow just don’t want to serve God.
1 Peter 3:21 – . . . not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.
Now look at this. If you don’t think water is of value, how does it say that the water saves you?
1 Peter 3:21 – It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
Water baptism is equal to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Do you want to leave out the resurrection of Jesus Christ in your gospel call? Do you realize that when people de-emphasize water baptism, when they turn it into some type of tradition, when they wait six weeks to do ten people so they can join the church, they have totally removed the resurrection of Jesus Christ out of their gospel call? If this is the water that now symbolizes our deliverance from our sin and it saves us by the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and I pull that water out, what have I yanked from my gospel call but the resurrection of Jesus Christ? That is the significance of water baptism. The three in agreement. The blood, the water, and the Spirit.
1 Peter 3:21-22 – It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
Our bodies our dead, correct? Our bodies will be born again. His body was born again, was it not, so to speak? Is it not resurrected? Is it not full of power? Just think about it. If I leave this out of my gospel call, let’s say it was possible just to be born again in terms of my spirit and my soul when Jesus Christ returns. But I haven’t been born again in the body. I’m not going to be raised up again with a resurrected body, am I? Because that part was not washed, it was not made clean. It’s of equal value. That’s why among us outward obedience is as important as inward cleanliness. Inward obedience is just as important as outward obedience. The three are in agreement. They are of equal value. To act upon the gospel Paul delivered is as important as having it in my heart. I can’t devalue the one and value the other. I cannot say that inside I love God more but outward, hey, I’m just not able to do it. I want all three in agreement.
Look at the blood for a moment. Genesis 2:7. It says:
Genesis 2:7 – the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Man is merely dust laying in the ground. No life, nothing happening there. He’s a pottery. He’s clay. You go into a pottery shop, you’ve got a basin, there’s nothing alive, there’s nothing breathing about it. That’s basically what man was. A pile of mud, dust, sitting there. Then God comes along and He breathes into man the breath of life and something enters into man that makes him alive. That which entered into man that made him alive is blood. It is the life of who you are. It is the soul of you. And it is the blood that carries the life of man.
Look at Leviticus 17:10. You know when a baby is in a mother’s womb, that baby’s blood is totally separated from that mother. That baby can have a different blood type than the mother completely. If the two were to mix, you would have the death of the child or the death of the mother. Each individual specific life has to do with the blood that is within a man.
Leviticus 17:10-11 – Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood—I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.
When God breathed into man the breath of life, blood began to move through man. And it’s what brings life to all this clay that is there. It’s what nurtures our muscles and gives us life. It is the blood that carries life and that’s why it is so significant. So that when Jesus Christ comes along with His blood, since it never died, it is always alive. It is always powerful and it is His blood and we are receiving the greatest transfusion of all transfusions. His blood is entering us. We’re getting rid of the blood that is in us and we are being given new life.
Leviticus 17:12-14 – Therefore I say to the Israelites, “None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood. Any Israelite or any alien living among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, ‘You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off.’”
The three are in agreement. The three have equal power. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us; it makes atonement for our sins. It gives us life. It pays the penalty for our sin. It gives us new life. His blood never dies.
Romans 1:1-4 – Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Do you understand His blood could not die; therefore His body could not die? He could not die. In terms of His human ancestry He came from David, but Jesus was born in a special way. By the power of the Holy Spirit, and that blood was not tainted. It was not corrupt. It did not die. Our blood died when we sinned we died and our bodies became corrupt. Our personalities, our life, became corrupt. His was not. So death could not hold Him. Death could not contain Him. So we claim what? Revelation 12:11 says overcome by what?
Revelation 12:11 – They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb . . .
Go ahead and turn there to verse 11 because this is a crucial point. Sometime I’m going to come back and look at all these different things in much greater detail but we just do not have time. This is how we overcome the world, the anti-Christ, and sin.
Revelation 12:11 – They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb . . .
What does that mean? Does it mean that somehow I have to go find the blood of Jesus Christ and go around sprinkling it on other things around me and somehow that allows me to overcome? What is the blood? The blood is the life of the creature, correct? So they overcame by the life of Jesus Christ. His blood could not die. He is always alive. So if I have His life, if I have His blood, I am able to overcome. The blood within me that carries my life is death—it will die. The blood that is in Him is everlasting life, has power to overcome the world, has overcome everything, so I have to have His life in me.
Revelation 12:11 – They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
What do we have to circle here? We have to circle the word “blood” and our “life.” The man who gives up his blood, who gives up his life, and claims His life and His blood overcomes. Why do you think in this passage the two are right there together? Because it’s a choice. You’re either going to be led of the Spirit or you’re going to live your own life. You’re either going to do what you want to do or you’re going to surrender to what His life is. So he who has His blood, His life, will be sanctified, made holy, made clean, because He is holy, because He is clean, because He is life. Now the question is, “Do you love your life so much as to shrink from death? Are you willing to give up your life and not shrink from death?” Look at it again:
Revelation 12:11 – They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
The word of their testimony; the three in agreement. The blood reminds us of the cost we have to pay, does it not? It reminds us of His life and how He walked and how He lived. And that’s how we are to live, 1 John says. This is how it is with those who claim the blood of the Lamb. We lose our life, our blood, and take on His life and blood.
The question now from us, if we don’t know what to ask, scripture teaches us what to ask. If we’re too stupid to know to ask, “What must I do to be born again?” we have it in Acts 2:38. Them coming along and saying, “What must we do?” Well, what is it? How did we start this? How do we get delivered from this? What is the process? How are the three in agreement? How do we begin this whole process?
Acts 2:38-39 – Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
Do you get the idea that somebody is exempt from this? That somehow if this particular group over here wants to leave this aspect out that it’s okay? Or if this particular group over here or this person wants to leave this out, then it’s perfectly fine? What must we do? And God says, “I don’t care, just believe on Me.” Is that what Peter says? “Here, sign this pledge card right here, ask Jesus in your heart. In fact, let me give the words: Jesus Christ, I confess I’m a sinner and that I need You and that I am desperately in need of You. . .” I don’t know . . . you know how the words go. And then “Here, sign here, send in your donation and bang you’re in.” That’s not what Peter says. He says:
Acts 2:38 – Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
I don’t care if somebody’s whining, “You’re making this salvation by work,” Peter says “Goodbye.” Those who love God have this testimony in their heart. All three are in agreement. Every aspect of their life, everything they do. You want to be born again? Then three aspects of you have to be born again. The body has to be renewed. The spirit of man has to be renewed. The soul of man has to be renewed in order for there to be a complete birth process. For there to even be a conception, all right?
So, let’s go to Romans 6:1-7, and let’s see how in water baptism all of this takes place. Again, let’s not be like some people are and say, “No, the water’s not necessary or important.” It was all important. Let’s go to Romans, which is really called the book of faith. This is where everybody runs to, to say, “Well, you just have to believe on Jesus Christ.” And what’s so ironic, Romans is loaded with all of this in agreement. This is why they get themselves trapped. This is why they get so flustered because it’s true. You’ve got to have faith. We’re not going to leave out faith. You leave out faith, that is, you leave out the Spirit, and you’re dead. We’ve said that all along. Well, if you leave out the water you’re dead also. I don’t care how much faith you have, you never were obedient. And if you leave out the blood you’re dead. It’s all clear the three are in agreement. All right? So they all have to come together. That’s why people get so frustrated when they leave out one area and you come along with all these scriptures. They’ve got to work around them some way.
Romans 6:1-2 – What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
Now how do we die to sin? How is a man born again? Verse 3 tells us exactly.
Romans 61:3 – Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
If you haven’t been baptized, how have you entered His death? Now baptism doesn’t mean sprinkling. I was sprinkled as a child in the Methodist church. I don’t remember a thing. Don’t remember anything I was doing there. Probably crying. Baptism, the word itself, means immersion. Again, this is not a sermon just devoted to baptism. But the point is, how are you going to be baptized, how are you going to be immersed in His death?
Romans 6:4 – We were therefore buried with him . . .
How God begins the process of being born again; He’s going to bury you. He’s going to say, “Okay, you’re good as a dead man.” That’s why we say when someone comes to Jesus Christ in this body, they might as well send out death certificates to all their relatives. “I just died. I no longer exist. I’m going to be a totally new person.” “Then what are you going to be?” “I don’t know yet.” You were buried with Him. This is how it happened.
Romans 6:4 – We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
How do you get the new life? By being baptized. Yes, you have to have faith. Yes, the blood has to be there. Yes, the Spirit has to be there. But this is how God has chosen for it to be done. If Jesus Christ got all the way, if Jesus Christ came by the power of the Spirit, if He walked by the blood throughout His life, but went all the way to the garden and said, “I don’t want to die. And I don’t want to go in the grave. And I don’t want to be resurrected.” There’d be no hope for us.
So a Christian needs to say the same thing when he preaches the new life to other people. If I don’t want to go into the water, if I don’t want to die, if I don’t want to be immersed, then there is no hope for me. I don’t care how much I walk in Spirit, or how much I claim the blood of the Lamb, if I’m not going to go die, there will be no life.
Romans 6:5 – If we have been united with him like this . . .
Circle it; “like this.” Like this, in this manner, in this way, being done this way. “Like this,” it has to be done this way. These people who don’t do this prove God to be a liar.
Romans 6:5 – If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
He who is baptized with water, it symbolizes going into the grave, laying in the tomb, and dying. And guess what? Those same people as they come up out of the water this all symbolizes what’s going to take place. Where you too, will be resurrected out of your own death. It goes on to say:
Romans 6:6-7 – For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
He who will not be water baptized has not died. He who is water baptized without the Holy Spirit has not died. Remember the Spirit gives life to everything. That’s why the Church of Christ and many other groups are dead in their sins. They go through the outward motions of water baptism but it doesn’t mean a thing. Anytime we talk with somebody, anytime we lead people to this, you have to be sure that all three are in agreement for there to be life. Anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Colossians 2:9 – For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form . . .
Don’t you love it? Right there. The three in agreement. All the Deity; the Deity being Spirit, lives the soul, in bodily form. Aren’t the three in agreement in that one sentence alone? Of course.
Colossians 2:10 – and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
How has this happened? How have I been given the fullness in Christ in terms of my body, in terms of my soul, in terms of my spirit?
Colossians 2:11 – In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,
And this is how it’s done:
Colossians 2:12 – having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
Again, all this is in agreement. The faith is there, but the baptism is there. The inward part of man, his faith, his soul, is all into God and his body also. They are all three in agreement and that’s where the new life takes place. Now blessed is the man who sees this and begins his Christian walk there. He doesn’t have to be corrected down the road. He doesn’t have to stumble.
Some of you become highly indignant of the gospel calls out there because these preachers leave people completely handicapped. Here’s the Spirit, here’s the blood, forget the water. Here’s the water, forget the Spirit. And people are running into each other, bouncing off walls. They can’t live the Christian life and they wonder what’s going on and they go to counselors and therapy and everything else because they never, ever were taught the full message of the three in agreement, were they? They don’t have the fullness of the Deity in bodily form. They don’t have the fullness of God and the power of God. They don’t have a Paul that comes in among them and says, “Did you receive the Spirit? I don’t see the fullness of life here. Something is missing.” But how many preachers there are that lay this kind of message out and there’s no life and people act like it’s just a matter of opinion? This is not a matter of opinion, it’s the matter of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Verse 12 again.
Colossians 2:12 – having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith . . .
Faith and baptism all together. To show you how important this is let’s look at Acts 10:44. It says:
Acts 10:44 – While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.
He’s preaching the gospel in a church, a group of people, and all of a sudden the Holy Spirit comes on them. Most everybody would stop at this point. “They must be Christians. God certainly loves them, doesn’t He? He gave them His Spirit. He certainly is showing them attention, right?”
Acts 10:45-47 – The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”
And then verse 48:
Acts 10:48 – So he ordered . . .
He ordered them to what?
Acts 10:48 – So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
Can anybody keep them from water? He said, “You have no choice in this matter. This is an order. I lay it down as a command. Don’t give me your opinion. Let’s not talk about any of this. This is not open to discussion. There’s the water, you get in it now.” So in our gospel calls when we preach the gospel to other people, if you see them having the Holy Spirit and moving in that direction, then your response to them, what God’s Spirit will lead you to say is, “Then I order you to be water baptized.” These three will be brought into agreement if you want the new life. “So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” Because he saw they are of equal value. And they are of equal power. Remember, He saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Let’s go to 1 John 5:7. I’ll try to bring this together. It’s really kind of gross simplification but it’s the passage that we looked at to start with.
1 John 5:7-8 – For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about is Son.
God has said, “This is about My Son, and this is the testimony.” We either accept God’s Spirit and power and give up our own or we die and don’t have a new life. You’re given a new spirit, you’re born again and given a new spirit, and the spirit you’re given is mainly God’s Holy Spirit that gives new life. Let’s look at Numbers 11:24. It says:
Numbers 11:24-29 – So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again. However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the Tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!” But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”
Is that not the fulfillment in Jeremiah? “I will be their God and they will be my people. I will put My Spirit in them.” We will all be like Moses. We will all have a personal, first name relationship basis with the living God. So we are born again, first of all, in terms of the Spirit. You just go look at the old law and see that it points to that. Again, the second thing is, our bodies are made new and that’s why we have the water baptism.
Exodus 30:17. The reason I’m going to the old law is of course, is because all of that points to Jesus Christ.
Exodus 30:17-18 – Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a bronze basin, with its bronze stand . . .”
For what? For washing.
Exodus 30:18 – . . . for washing. Place it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and put water in it.
As we come to the Tent of Meeting, and some time later on we’ll get into all this detail, you constantly are cleansing and washing everything with the body. Everything outwardly is being cleaned and flushed away. It was dirty.
Exodus 30:19 – Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet with water from it.
We’re to have clean hands and clean feet, are we not? Want our deeds to be clean and pure? Where we go, is that not to be clean and pure also? Is not water baptism the pledge of a good conscience toward God that I will use no part of my body to do sin that will make me guilty?
Exodus 30:20-21 – Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die. Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering made to the Lord by fire, they shall wash their hands and feet so that they will not die. This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come.
Indeed it is in Jesus Christ. Indeed it is. And we have the blood of Jesus Christ. And as we give up our life we get His life. Let’s look at Hebrews 9:19.
Hebrews 9:19 – When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water. . .
Together with what? Are they of equal value? The blood and the water?
Hebrews 9:19-22 – . . . scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Jesus Christ did not come by just water only, but He came by water and blood, did He not? Unless a man be born again by water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. We must have His life. We must have His blood. It must cleanse our bodies. The water must make us pure and it must make us clean.
Finally, two more scriptures. 1 John 3:8. It says:
1 John 3:8 – He who does what is sinful is of the devil . . .
He who does, outwardly, he who doesn’t have the water, outwardly his life is a mess. Also inwardly, but let’s just talk outwardly here for the moment.
1 John 3:8-9 – . . . because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.
Can the blood of Jesus Christ sin? No. It’s impossible for Jesus Christ to sin. Can Jesus Christ’s life sin? No. It’s impossible. He who has a new life, who has the blood of Jesus Christ, it is impossible for him to continue on sinning. He’s not capable of it. There are some things I know you face in your life when you’ve gained the victory over sin. And the thought of going back to those things does not even appeal to you. It’s an impossible thing for you to consider to do. I know there are some things you’re tempted with, that means you need to continue on, press on, lay hold of the new life. Correct to put those to death. But there are some things that I would return to, that I’m not tempted to go back to, because I have His life in me. He cannot sin and I am not drawn to sin. I cannot continue to go on sinning.
1 John 3:9-10 – . . . he cannot go on sinning because he is born of God. This is how we know who the children of God and who the children of the devil are. Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God.
It’s that simple. He who does not have these three things in agreement: the outward part of his life in obedience, the inward part of his heart in obedience, receiving it all by the power of the Holy Spirit, is not of Jesus Christ. It’s God’s seed that goes in and produces life, is it not? In Luke 8:12-13, it says:
Luke 8:12 – Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.
Those are hard people you share the gospel with that are not even interested.
Luke 8:13 – Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.
What’s the sower doing? He’s passing out seed, isn’t he? He’s passing out seed. If God’s seed remains in you, you cannot go on sinning. These people are believers right here. They believed for a while, it says in verse 13. They hear it with joy, they take it in, they believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. There are a lot of miscarriages in Jesus Christ. There are a lot of people that begin the new life, that die in the womb, and the birth does not take place.
Luke 8:14 – The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.
Translation: Take some time to seek God. Be careful that your busyness during the day doesn’t keep you from receiving the word or the seed.
Luke 8:15 – But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
These people have a new life. These people know what it is to be born again. That’s why Scripture says let us humbly accept the word in us that can save us. Because Scripture says we are saved by the word of the Lord. Let us make sure in our preaching, and more importantly, in our living that the three are in agreement always. Let’s not deceive ourselves and think, “Well my heart really wants to do what’s right, but I don’t do what is right.” And let’s make sure that everything from beginning to end begins with the Spirit and ends with the Spirit. And we are guaranteed and promised that we will experience the resurrection.
Father, work this in our heart, that this testimony may be there. Whether we’re talking to someone about being born again or the new life. And, Father, just every aspect of our life from the outward in and the inward out, Father, that the testimony of the true Father, Jesus Christ, would be there and that the new life would be there. Let us in all things, Father, always ask what the will is of the Spirit. And may Your Spirit come and take control, Father, for we know in that is life and peace and the freedom to call You “Abba, Father.” In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
This transcription has been edited to a reader friendly format. Every effort has been made to be true to the speaker’s original message. Any mistranslations are unintentional.