Now that we understand a little about spiritual matters, about how the world works, and what renewing the mind is - that it is something we do, and that it is the key to power - it is time to start looking at the power itself. Putting off the old man, our old ways, our old behaviours is renewing the mind, it is the key to power, but it is not the power itself. Renewing the mind is not our power for abundant living, it is not our supernatural life, it is simply replacing our old worldly thoughts with the thoughts in the bible. Think of the renewed mind as a key to a car. There is no power in the key, none whatsoever, but you can't start the car without it. The renewed mind is the key to power. Renewing the mind in and of itself is a waste of time unless we use it to energise the power that comes from God. If we do not learn to walk by the spirit and demonstrate the power of God, renewing our minds is just another work of the flesh. It is worshipping a key, worshipping a work of the flesh rather than worshipping God in spirit and in truth.
Just prior to the ascension, Jesus Christ instructed his disciples on what they were to do while they were waiting for the power to come. They were to remain in Jerusalem.
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power [dunamis - inherent power] from on high.
Was it available for the apostles to renew their minds while they were waiting for the power to arrive? Yes, of course, the renewed mind is very much a part of the senses, a work of the flesh, something man does with his body and soul abilities. The power from on high is spiritual power that comes from God. The receiving of this power from God is what we call the new birth, it is our supernatural life. The renewed mind is the key to energising that power resident within the gift of holy spirit that comes with the new birth.
The new birth has been trodden under so much religious horseshit through the centuries, that we need to take the time to dig it out of the pages of the bible and explore it. We've all heard the expressions born again and born dead in sins but do we know what they mean? With our deeper understanding of body, soul and spirit, we are now ready to embark on an adventure into the holy spirit field and discover how to energise our power for abundant living.
Man was a three-part being back in Genesis, but as a consequence of his disobedience, he lost his spirit and became just body and soul. With this understanding, many scriptures will now make sense.
And you hath he quickened [made alive], who were dead in trespasses and sins;
To be made alive is a reference to the receiving of the gift of holy spirit, which is to be born again. To be born dead in trespasses and sins is a reference to our physical birth into this world. It has absolutely nothing to do with sex being evil, as some teach, it is merely a reference to being born body and soul with no spirit. Man is born without spirit, so he is dead at birth, and I don't care how religious some people think they are. If they have no spirit, they are dead.
Man died back in Genesis when he lost his spirit, and it is this lack of spirit which is referred to here. Being dead in trespasses and sins is simply a reference to man being born without spirit. Without spirit, man is dead, so when man is born into the world without spirit he is dead in trespasses and sins. It is merely a reference to the fall of man and its consequences.
Back in Genesis, man was body, soul, and spirit. Man died, he lost his spirit and became an animal of just body and soul. Jesus Christ paid for man's redemption and reconciled man back to God so he could be whole again, with body, soul, and spirit. It is the receiving of the gift of holy spirit that is the new birth, and it is that spirit that is our power for abundant living.
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
God is light and the gift of holy spirit is light. When we are born again, we are raised from the dead and become children of light.
1 Thessalonians 5:5
Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
This being raised from the dead, this receiving of spiritual light, is what is referred to in the bible as being saved. Being saved is actually a beautiful term, but unfortunately it has been smeared with centuries of religious horseshit. It's time to clean it up and see what it really means.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us [made us alive] together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved [sōzō - made whole];)
Sōzō in the Greek simply means to be made whole. We are born into this world without spirit and when we are born again and receive God's gift of holy spirit, we are saved, made whole, having three parts again instead of two. That is what it means to be saved, sōzō, made whole.
Dead in sins in verse 5 is another reference to being born with just body and soul, without spirit. Quickened is old language meaning to be made alive. When we receive this spirit and become whole again, we are made alive and, therefore, we are no longer dead. We are born into a new life.
The receiving of the gift of holy spirit, the new birth, first became available on the day of Pentecost when man could once again be made whole by receiving spirit. So what do we have to do to receive it? What mechanics are involved? Romans gives us the details.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved [sōzō - made whole].
Whenever and wherever a man, woman, or child confesses Jesus as Lord and believes in their heart that God raised him from the dead, that person receives the gift of holy spirit. In that very instant, they are born again, raised from the dead, saved, made whole - they receive spirit born within them. That spirit is a new creation, something that has never existed before.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Jesus Christ taught these truths to Nicodemus, a Pharisee and one of the rulers of the Judeans, a member of the Sanhedrin, and it would be worthwhile looking at the record.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews [Judeans]:
The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Most times it would be prudent to avoid religious leaders like Nicodemus. For example, I would avoid jesuits like I would avoid someone with leprosy. Their minds are rotted by moral disease, and they infect the world with their filth through freemasonry. It isn't that they can't get help, the question is do they want it? Only God can answer that, so it is imperative that we walk by the spirit when approached by such men.
Here, Jesus Christ was approached by a member of the Sanhedrin, a Pharisee. Many times the Pharisees sought to incriminate and kill him, so Jesus Christ had to be walking by the spirit to know how to handle this situation. He pursued the conversation, but ignored the flattery and immediately confronted Nicodemus on spiritual matters.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again [anothēn - from above], he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Here is the first reference in the bible to being born again, or born from above, as that is what the Greek word anothēn means. At that time it wasn't available to be born from above, which is intriguing, because it means Jesus Christ knew about the supernatural spiritual birth that was coming before it was available. Judging by his response, Nicodemus obviously had no concept of such a thing. The notion of a second birth was alien to him.
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again [anothēn - from above].
To be born of water is a reference to the first physical birth, when the amniotic sac surrounding a baby breaks and the waters burst. To be born of the spirit is the second birth, the supernatural birth. Without being born again, no one can enter into the kingdom of God. Why? Because a person of just body and soul is dead, they have no spirit, they have no connection with God, they have no supernatural power, they have no life. Peter gives us additional information.
1 Peter 1:23-25
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Corruptible seed is again a reference to the first physical birth. The life that we were born with was corrupted back in Genesis when man lost his spirit and died. Everyone who is born into this world since then is born of corruptible seed, seed that will corrupt and die, but those of us who are born again are born of incorruptible seed, seed from God, spiritual seed that is born within us. Incorruptible seed is seed that will live forever, it is eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Man's wages for his original sin, his original missing of the mark back in Genesis was death. Don't blame God for that. God gave man freewill and he never possesses us, he will never force us to do anything. Instead of blaming God for death and all our problems, try thanking him for being so kind as to come up with a way to redeem us back from the power of death. That way was Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:50-57
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood [a reference to body and soul] cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
When you are born the first time into this world, you are the child of your parents. The seed within you came from your father, and for as long as you live you will always be his child. That is something that cannot be changed. When we are born again of God's incorruptible seed, from that moment we are his child with eternal life because we have his seed born within us.
1 John 3:1,2
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
God bestowed this sonship on us, which means he gave it to us. When we carry out the specific instruction given in Romans on how to be made whole - confess Jesus as Lord and believe God raised him from the dead - we are born again, we are born into the family of God, we have his seed born in us and we become his child. From that moment, we have eternal life and we are in God's family.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption [huiothesia - sonship], whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
The Greek word huiothesia means to make or place as a son, and yes, adoption is one way we can be made or placed as sons. However, there is another way - to be born. God does not adopt us, like he did in the old testament with Israel, rather we are impregnated with his spiritual seed, we are literally born into his spiritual family. Abba could be more properly translated as daddy. Jesus Christ is no longer the only son of God. He was the firstborn, and there is now a much bigger family.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
This gift from God is referred to in many different ways through the book of Acts and the epistles. For example, in Colossians it is referred to as Christ in you, and we are told it is the riches of the glory of the mystery revealed to Paul.
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
It is this Christ in us, this gift of holy spirit, which is our power for abundant living, and of all God's works, it is his greatest. Until now we've been taught that the greatest of all God's works was the written word. The scripture we've been taught this from has been Psalm 138:2.
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
God magnified his word above all his name.
This is the truth. In all of God's creation, there is nothing that comes
close to the magnificence of his word. However, it is not his greatest
work. That makes sense, because the written word is merely a means to an
end, not an end in itself.
A person's greatest work is more usually referred to as their masterpiece. Psalm 138:2 does not tell us that the word is God's masterpiece, it says he magnified it above all his name. We have to go to Ephesians to find his masterpiece, and that makes sense too, because Ephesians is the greatest revelation ever given to man.
For we are his workmanship [masterpiece], created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
The word workmanship is the word masterpiece. There you go, very clearly we can see that the greatest of all God's works is not his word, it is the Christ in us that each of us receives at the time of the new birth. It is time we elevated the Christ within us, the gift of holy spirit created within us at the time of the new birth to its rightful position as the greatest of all God's works. We are God's masterpiece.
Chapter 35 - A Free Gift