HERE ARE FIVE THINGS IT MEANS!
(The references are designed to be looked up as you
go through, so have your Bible handy)
REPENTANCE & FORGIVENESS
1. It means that because you have admitted your
wrongdoing (sins) to God,
and asked for His forgiveness - He has
cleansed you from all
unrighteousness. (Read Psalm 103:3, Acts 13:38
& 1 John 1:9)
There is no sin too great - no evil too terrible for Him to forgive!
The reason He is able to do this, is because when Jesus died for us on the cross, He "Bore OUR sins in His Own body." (1 Peter 2:24) Therefore, through accepting Him, we are accepting the sacrifice He made for us, and the forgiveness He bought us.
That same cleansing and forgiveness is available to all, because He took their burden of sin - but only those who personally receive Him as Saviour, can actually claim the benefits. (John 3:16)
BORN AGAIN OF THE SPIRIT
2. It means that you have been 'made anew' inside,
your desires, your
anticipations and expectations of life are different.
Because of that,
you will want to live for God and seek His will
for every part of life!
Jesus, when He speaks to Nicodemus in John chapter 3, is absolutely emphatic in insisting in verse 7,"Ye MUST be born again!"
This was a religious LEADER of the Jews! A pious, devout good living highly respected person in the community!
Jesus was making no bones about it, in showing that all the religion, good works, and apparent righteousness in the world could never save the soul from the penalty of sin! (Read John 3:3, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 Peter 1:23)
YOUR LIFE IS ALL PLANNED
3. It means, that you have relinquished control of your life to the Lord, knowing that He has planned your whole life in love, even before you were born! (Read Psalm 139:13-18, Romans 8:28-29 & 2 Timothy 1:9)
As Christians, we are risking chaos if we choose not to walk on His pathway, because in disobedience, we can no longer depend on His provision and protection. Remember Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, "Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be ADDED unto you."
This can apply equally to Christians and unsaved. (Read Psalm 89:30-33 & Hebrews 10:28-31)
If we decide to take the wrong pathway, our lives can easily become a giant game of snakes and ladders - today it might all seem to be going up the ladders, and tomorrow we could be sliding down all the snakes, and end up further back than we were when we started!
When we follow God's way, it is a planned way! We don't need to shake the dice of life to see what turns up - and depend on luck. The Christian does not believe in luck!
NOT IN YOUR OWN STRENGTH
4. It means you have the availability of God's strength and help to live for Him, in this newness of life. He does not leave us to our own devices: but if we do not maintain our spiritual experience by regular daily prayer and Bible reading, we will find this strength eludes us, our joy in Him begin to diminish, and a lack of confidence appear in our experience, as we will do and say things, which we recognise afterwards as being un-Christlike! (Read Psalm 46:1, Isaiah 26:4, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Hebrews 2:18 & 4:15, Jude verses 24-25)
However, as you take care of, and nourish your spiritual experience, people will see more and more of Jesus and His love in your life, your words, your attitudes, your treatment of others. In other words, day by day, you can become more and more like Him. (Read Romans 8:29, Corinthians 3:18, Galatians 5:16,22-25 & 2 Peter 1:4)
ALL THE BENEFITS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
5. It means God makes available to you, the Power of His Holy Spirit, to FIRSTLY, enable you to witness effectively for Him,
SECONDLY, to guide you and direct you in your daily walk with God, especially by revealing to you, the meaning of the Bible, which is God's Word, and
THIRDLY, to lead you into a closer and deeper experience of the Lord! Thus we become a true disciple of His, and _"....grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3:18) (Also read John 16:13, Ephesians 3:16-20 & Acts 1:8)
The Holy Spirit is involved in every part of our Relationship with God. He is the third Person of the Trinity - not some sort of vague power or thing to be referred to as 'IT'! HE IS GOD, JUST AS JESUS IS GOD, AND THE FATHER IS GOD!
This is referred to as the doctrine of the TRINITY.
Even right at the beginning of our Christian experience, He it is Who CONVICTS US OF SIN, RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JUDGEMENT TO COME! And when we respond to His voice, we are 'BORN AGAIN OF THE SPIRIT!' (John 3:8. Also see chapter 14:16-18, & verse 26 & chapter 16:7-8)
The actual BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, we will deal with on another occasion, as it is an important and involved subject which should be given adequate attention.