Born of Water and of The Spirit -3

Born of Water and of The Spirit 3

Born of Water and The Spirit -3

“Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?” JOH 3:9-10.

JOH 3:7-8 says, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” Then Nicodemus asked how these things could be.

“These things” are the things which accompany a true work of regeneration through the cleansing power of the Word. “These things,” the essential elements of salvation, of which Jesus was speaking as being born of the Spirit as we saw in Verse 8. Jesus asked Nicodemus, “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?”

See how “these things” accompany a true work of regeneration. TIT 3:3-5 says, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. [Isn’t that a perfect description of the attitude of the heart by nature?] But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done [we will not be saved by the letter of the law], but according to his mercy he saved us [How?], by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

We need to be washed in the blood of Christ to remove the penalty of sin, and by the washing of water by the Word for cleansing our walk of life, do we not? We must be cleansed from the wrong attitudes of the natural heart we saw in Verse 3, this hateful spirit; disobedience, envy, and living in diverse lusts and pleasures must be washed away.

We must be washed from our sins. How? It is by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost.

In other words, it is by the work of grace in our hearts that we receive the new desire; it is by grace that we have the work of regeneration. The renewed, new man of the heart now loves his neighbour as himself. The hateful, despiteful spirit has been removed.

Our Saviour was named Jesus because He came to save us from our sins. Everyone wants to be saved from hell, but not many want to be saved from their sins.

The name Jesus means He came to save us from, not in but from, our sins; He came to save us from a hateful spirit and diverse lusts that serve self. He came to deliver us from the power of sin and the spirit of disobedience and from the foolishness of heart which we have by nature.

How does He do that? It is “by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost.” These are the things which Nicodemus did not understand; they are the things of which Christ was speaking.

The Pharisees had a legal religion. In Titus we read, “…Not by works of righteousness which we have done.” In other words, it is not by the fact that one kept the letter of the law that brings salvation; it is the work of regeneration. A changing of the heart is required, and it is accomplished “by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

That comes about by following Acts 2:38 which says;

Acts 2:38 (KJV) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

How did Jesus view the nature of the Pharisees? In MAT 5:20 Jesus said, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

The Pharisees were so concerned with following the letter of the law and their interpretation that they would not understand the working of regeneration or the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Nicodemus was a Pharisee.

Notice that in Chapter 5 of Matthew Jesus goes through six contrasts that are prefaced by, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time,” or “Ye have heard that it hath been said,” or “It hath been said.” These words refer to those things the scribes and Pharisees were teaching as works of righteousness.

Then Jesus says, “For I say unto you,” to say the exact opposite of what they were teaching. They taught a legal religion under the letter of the law. Jesus taught a heart religion under the spirit of the law.

Look at V:27, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery.” They thought that as long as they did not commit the physical act, they were obeying the law, but the Lord Jesus wanted to see a heart religion. Jesus answered, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart,” MAT 5:28. Jesus is calling for a change of heart and attitude.

See V:31-32, “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement.” That was the end of the Pharisee’s teaching.

Jesus replies, “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Jesus shows them the spirit of the law.

Again in V:33-34 we see, “Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, …But I say unto you, Swear not at all…”

Look at V:38-42, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil [Jesus wanted to see a heart religion]: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.”

In V:43 we see the legalistic teaching of the Pharisees in, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.” The teaching of the scribes and Pharisees deemed anyone, not a Jew of certain merit an enemy, but Jesus demands more as He adds, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

These verses are samples of the things Nicodemus did not understand. Nicodemus did not understand the washing of regeneration or the purifying of the heart. The Pharisees, including Nicodemus, were strangers to the purifying of the heart “…by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost,” TIT 3:5.

Their hearts had never been cleansed. They had a legal religion; Nicodemus is shown seeking Jesus, but his education never prepared him for this Godly wisdom.

Now see how the Lord Jesus addresses the Pharisees in MAT 23:25-26. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites [why? because of the attitude of their heart]! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter [you do the letter of the law], but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”

If we clean up our attitude, if it has been washed with the washing of regeneration, if our whole disposition toward God has been altered, our actions will follow. If the inside is clean, the outside will be also. A person with a legal religion does not see the need for a heart religion, i.e., for the cleansing by the Word.

The cleansing effect of the Word is missing in many of our churches today; emphasis is placed on their doctrine rather than on God’s Word.

In MAT 23:27-28 Jesus says, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! [following the letter of the law? Oh, yes, but how? It is the laws of men which are their private interpretations of the law of God. They never saw or understood the spirit of the law or the need for cleansing the heart.] for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. [That is quite a description of the heart of man by nature.] Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

In effect what Jesus asked was: “Nicodemus, are you a ruler and a leader of the people and you don’t understand these things? You do not understand the washing of regeneration that cleanses the heart and mind.” These are the things of which Jesus spoke, i.e., “…the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost,” or the baptism of the Holy Spirit which is visible in our labors of love.

The Holy Spirit came down like a dove which is the symbol of holiness. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is visible in our walk of life. It can be seen with the natural eye; the world can see it. Do you know how they will see it? In our labor of love, in our attitudes.

HEB 6:9 says, “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. [Now see the things which accompany salvation] For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”

We minister to the needs of the saints; we have love for our neighbour. We pray for our enemies and heap coals of fire on their head. How? We do it by feeding them when they are hungry, by giving them water when they are thirsty; the coals of fire are coals of love.

Many people think that heaping coals of fire upon another’s head mean heaping coals of damnation upon them. No! It is coals of love that cannot be quenched.

In my own life, I have found no better way to break the enmity of those who go out of their way to harm or destroy than to help them when they need it. That is heaping coals of fire upon their heads. That is what melts their bitterness and rebellion.

We just read how we “have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” God is not unrighteous that He should forget your labors of love. These are the things which accompany salvation, my friends. They accompany the work of grace.

Nicodemus’ question, “How can these things be?” reveals the ignorance of the Pharisaical religious world about the need for the new birth. This is what Jesus spoke of in MAT 11:25, “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”

Who were the wise and prudent? The scribes and Pharisees who were wise in their own eyes! Those who could manipulate the law of God by their own private interpretation had a righteousness all of their own. What are “these things” in the above verse? The need for repentance is that which was hidden from the Pharisaical church. They did not understand the need for a change of heart, the work of repentance by the washing of regeneration.

Now let’s consider the importance of repentance. These things” pertaining to true gospel repentance of which Jesus spoke were the very things Nicodemus did not understand.

Look at MAT 11:16-17, “But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.”

He is saying the gospel has been preached in your midst and you have not repented. You have not changed your attitude.

“These things” Jesus was teaching which were hidden from the eyes of the wise and prudent were the need of true gospel repentance, i.e., a change of heart attitude. We see that in V:20, “Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done because they repented not.” The people saw His mighty works; they saw the power and authority of His Word, yet they would not repent. Their rebellion, hatefulness, and bitterness were not broken.

The gospel of Jesus Christ makes no acknowledgment of our profession but goes right to the self-righteous Pharisee in our heart. Many people say they are saved because they have accepted Jesus, but they go on living in sin.

The Lord Jesus does not acknowledge profession alone. He goes right to the self-righteous Pharisee that is in our hearts. He puts His finger right on the attitude of our heart. Do we understand the renewing and the washing of regeneration? That decides whether or not we are saved. Have we been saved from our sins?

MAT 11:20 tells us Jesus’ reaction to unbroken rebellion, “Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done because they repented not.” Now, look at what Jesus says in V:21-22, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon [This was like saying even Sodom and Gomorrah would have repented], they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.”

Nicodemus did not understand this concept.

The first effect of the gospel of Jesus Christ, when it is accompanied by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, is to open the eyes to the individual’s needs. It becomes very personal. Now I am not referring to salvation in a general sense; I am not considering sins and miseries in a general sense. I am beginning to look at how I stand before a holy and righteous God.

JOH 3:5 says, “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 is personal.

Jesus went right to Nicodemus’ self-righteousness and wrong motives to warn him of his false faith, shallow commitment, unbelief, and self-righteousness in his heart.

Jesus dealt with him as an unbeliever. He told Nicodemus he had to be born again; He told him he had not yet experienced the washing of regeneration because his heart was still filled with unbelief and self-righteousness. He was still a Pharisee.

Our text reveals that Jesus confronted Nicodemus’ spurious faith, his legal repentance, his Pharisaical righteousness, and his Biblical illiteracy. It is very important that we understand that this is a false faith.

Jesus said in MAT 7:22-23, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

That statement is awesome! Those people died in faith believing in the Lord Jesus Christ! They believed that the Lord Jesus was their only hope for salvation. The problem was that their works did not correspond; they had never known a gospel repentance. They had a spurious faith, not a gospel of faith. True saving faith is a persuasion, and they were not persuaded by the power of the Word.

What is the first thing that happens when one is truly persuaded by the Word and the Spirit? This cleansing of the heart, mind, and soul is the washing of regeneration. It is a cleansing and change of attitude.

Read EPH 4:21-24, “If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

If that has not happened, experiences and professions will not save the soul. Look at 1CO 10 to see how the Apostle Paul warns that they have had so many rich experiences—the Rock which followed them was Christ; they drank of that spiritual Rock, but they perished because of unbelief.

This is the warning Jesus delivers to Nicodemus because he is still an unbeliever. Our text reveals that Jesus confronted his spurious faith, his legal repentance, his pharisaical righteousness, and his Biblical illiteracy. Nicodemus was totally illiterate about the true work of regeneration, but he came seeking to know more.

After Jesus told Nicodemus the most vital thing of salvation which is through the new birth, he answered Jesus as we see in JOH 3:9-10, “…How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?” Nicodemus was one of those spoken of in JOH 2:23-24, “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name [I want you to notice, they believed in the name of Jesus!], when they saw the miracles which he did.”

Remember what the Apostle Paul told the jailer who asked what he had to do to be saved: “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house,” ACT 16:31. Many people want to take that out of its context and preach that all you have to do is believe and you will be saved. Yet in MAT 7:22-23, and JOH 2:23-25 we read about many who believed and yet they were damned. So how do we sort this out?

First, the jailer had become a penitent sinner; he had come to a change of mind. He was no longer a hard master over his prisoners; now he is kneeling before them asking what he must do.

The Pharisees believed with their intellect; they intellectually understood and realized what Jesus said was true; they believed the truth of it. They believed he was the Messiah, but there was no repentance. Nicodemus was one of them.

“But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man,” JOH 2:24-25

. Jesus knew what was in their hearts; He knew there wasn’t any washing of regeneration, repentance, or change of attitude. They still had a spurious faith; it was not a saving faith or a renewal of the heart.

Nicodemus illustrates the faith of the carnal Christian. The world is full of carnal Christians today. They all claim to be children of God; they believe; they are joyous for they are going to heaven. However, they have never known the washing of regeneration.

The Apostle Paul told them in 1CO 3:3, “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal and walk as men?” They are carnal Christians, i.e., unregenerate. If you take the word carnal into the original, it means unregenerate. The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is not present. Nicodemus had a faith without repentance, without “…the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost,” TIT 3:5.

The carnal Christians are the many; the multitude Jesus speaks of in MAT 7:22, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” His answer is in the next verse, “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity,” MAT 7:23.

Why? They work iniquity—they have not been cleansed; they are like the sow wallowing in the mud or a dog that returns to his own vomit, cf., 2PE 2:20-22. They have not been cleansed by the washing of regeneration.

At this point in time, Nicodemus is an example of the faith of the carnal Christian. He had faith without repentance. With his mind, he accepted to some extent the truth of Christ, but his heart was still unregenerate.

Look at JOH 3:2, “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.” He was convinced Jesus was a man sent from God; he believed in the authority with which Christ spoke. They did not understand that God had come to earth in human form and was Jesus.That God put on human flesh to provide a way of salvation for us all.

Jesus rebuked Nicodemus for his ignorance of the Spirit’s work of grace in the heart. Jesus referred to such legalism in 2TI 3:5, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

What does it mean to have a form of Godliness, yet denying its power? The power of the work of regeneration has the cleansing effect, and that is what they lack.

Now go back and read verses 1, 2, 3, and 4. Those verses speak of the unregenerate state of mind. They have a form of Godliness—they are members of a church, they attend, they sing alleluias and rejoice, but they deny the power.

What power?

It is the power of the Word that has the cleansing effect. That is the part they deny. They refuse to acknowledge their sins and repent. To many people, it is enough to say they are sinners (everyone is) in a general manner. They believe the blood of Jesus takes care of everything. Therefore, they are home free because they have accepted Him, but there is no true repentance.

Now, what should we do? Should we join in singing those songs and continue with the merry crowd? The Word of God says, “From such turn away,” 2TI 3:5. We are not to keep company with them.

Nicodemus’ ignorance as a ruler in Israel was inexcusable; the same gospel teaching of our need to be washed with the water of the Word was taught in the Old Testament.

If Nicodemus was a leader of his people, ruling the church, the authority in the Word like a Doctor of Divinity today, then he should have read the Word. He should have searched and understood “these things.” That is why the Lord Jesus rebuked Nicodemus. He should have known; it was inexcusable in his position not to know.

EZE 36:25-27 is Old Testament gospel which says, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”

That is the Old Testament gospel; it is the same message as we just read out of Titus. It is the work of regeneration.

Jesus admonished Nicodemus by telling him that he should have known these things. JOH 3:10 says, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?” In other words, Nicodemus, you are the Doctor of Divinity; you are the one who has been entrusted with teaching the congregation of the Lord, “and knowest not these things?”

The Old Testament clearly taught the way of salvation. The Apostle Paul told Timothy in 2TI 3:15, “And that from a child [which was before the New Testament was written] thou hast known the holy scriptures [which was the Old Testament], which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Do you see how the Old Testament gospel taught the same work of regeneration, the same need of cleansing of the Word?

Jesus was not announcing a new way of salvation, distinct from Old Testament redemption. Nicodemus as a teacher in Israel should have been familiar with ISA 1:16-18, and as you read these verses notice the call for repentance and the washing of the water by the Word. “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Don’t those verses call for a change of attitude, a complete wash job on the inside, and the cleansing of the work of regeneration? Continue reading; verses 19-20 say, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”

Doesn’t the Word call for doing God’s will? Then imagine the Creator of heaven and earth condescending so far that He comes down to you and I and saying, “Come now, and let us reason together.”

Isn’t it reasonable that He tells us to put away our iniquity, cleanse our doings, wash and make ourselves clean, and put away our evil deeds? He tells us He will forgive and wash us as white as snow if we will just change our attitudes and ways.

Does that mean we may continue in sin that grace may abound? Oh, no! No! a thousand times no! Look again; if we will clean up our attitude and actions, THEN He will wash us white as snow even though our sins be as scarlet. In other words, He will cleanse us before His throne of judgment. There is a reward for those who obey and certain punishment for those who refuse to obey.

The Pharisees only knew a legal repentance which does not lead to a change of heart or a change of life. They strained at the letter of the law, but they were ignorant of their need for a new attitude by the work of regeneration of the Holy Spirit. EPH 4:22-24 says, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

The Pharisees scoured the Psalms for laws they could add to their legalistic list, but they ignored the most sublime truth of all—that God forgives sins, covers transgressions, and does not impute sin to those who turn to Him in true gospel repentance. The Lord does not forgive the sins of those who continue in sin; the Lord forgives the sins of those who love much.

Remember how Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. (JOH 11:2) She so grieved over her sins against such love. Then Jesus said in LUK 7:47, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”

Now look in PSA 32:1-2, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” “In whose spirit” refers to a person’s mental disposition or attitude; “no guile” means his attitude has been cleansed.

Nicodemus seems to be totally ignorant of the purpose of God’s creation. To understand salvation we must go back to the root of the matter. We must understand what God’s purpose was in creating us.

Why did God create man?

It was that God might be glorified by man’s perfect harmony in purpose, but this was lost in Paradise. The Lord created the man that He might be a true reflector of His character; man’s purpose, motives, and everything he stood for would be in perfect harmony with God.

In GEN 1:26-27 we read, “And God said, Let us make man in our image [character and mental disposition], after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

God placed restrictions on man, but God’s restrictions were not unreasonable. This was the argument Satan used to convince Eve to sin. God had placed man in a position of authority, only second in the throne to God Himself. God sat upon the throne; the only place above man; the man was over everything else.

Now let’s consider the restrictions God placed on man in GEN 2:15-17. “And the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat.”

God did not place a lot of restrictions upon man; He chose only one tree. GEN 2:17 says, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

God’s only restriction upon man was that he would submit to the authority of God’s Word! Are you and I able and willing to submit to the authority of God’s Word? Do you believe Him? Will you submit to that authority?

God told the man he could eat of any tree in the garden except the one; there wasn’t anything about that tree that was attractive until lust entered the heart. It wasn’t until Satan told Eve she could be as God, knowing good and evil, i.e., she could decide what was right or wrong and refuted the possibility—certainty—of punishment for disobedience.

We read this account in GEN 3:4-6, “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil [When Eve began to covet equality with God, no longer having to submit to His authority, the tree became attractive and desirable]. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

The only restriction God placed upon Adam and Eve was that they submit to the authority of God, that God would remain on the throne. This harmony of purpose, the oneness of spirit, or mind which was lost through sin, must be restored.

This is what salvation is all about; it is to restore us back to the state of conciliation with God we had before the fall; it is to reconcile us to God.

Reconciliation means to be restored into a state of harmony from which we have fallen. Salvation is coming back to the harmony of purpose and oneness of spirit with God

Nicodemus did not understand being renewed back into that position of harmony. He thought salvation was obtained by following the letter of the law, all the dos and don’ts. He carried within himself a heart that was filthy and hypocritical. He didn’t understand the need for cleansing the spirit of the mind or the heart.

Look at EPH 2:16, “And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” Jesus Christ came to reconcile, to restore the harmony that was lost, by taking the penalty of our sin upon Himself which would appease the wrath of the Father upon our sin. He has slain the enmity.

Now, if you and I, by the renewing of the Holy Spirit, have been brought into the harmony of purpose with God, the Father, who is Jesus and we have experienced the renewing of the Holy Ghost.

When our enmity against God’s Word and will is slain, our harmony of purpose with God’s will is restored through Christ being formed in us. The Lord Jesus Christ, with the expressed image of the Father in our human nature, restored the harmony we lost in paradise through His obedience.

EPH 2:18 says, “For through him [that spirit, or mind of Christ] we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

If the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ is formed in us, we will delight to do His will, and then we also have access to the Father, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him…”



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