Spiritual Regeneration John 3:1-15

Text:  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.  
                                                                                                                Titus 3:5.

Good morning Spiritually regenerate Christian!  You are a true Christian because you are Spiritually regenerated.  If you are not Spiritually regenerated, you are NOT a true Christian!  This is vital.  Check it out.  Your immortal souls destination and Eternal security depends completely on it.

So, what is Spiritual Regeneration?  If you learn no other truth in life, please please let me teach you this vital one of Spiritual Regeneration: 

Definition of the term: To regenerate is to bring NEW LIFE to; to cause to be Spiritually reborn; to quicken (or give life to) that which is DEAD; to impart a new nature from God (i.e. which means believers have two natures when born again, the old nature and the new!). (Ephesians 2:1)

Regeneration: This is a work of creation, performed by God alone in the breasts of His elected people. (Ephesians 1:3-6)   We are passive in this act of God’s grace. As fallen creatures, we have no power to originate this miracle of new life - "...Salvation is of the Lord!" Praise God for His grace! (Genesis 5:3) (Jonah 2:9) (John 6:37;44) (John 15:16)

Mankind was CREATED in the image of God - a tripartite being i.e. three parts. We were created body-soul-spirit, just as God is Father-Son-Spirit.  (1 Thessalonians 5:23) (Genesis 1:26-28)

The body relates to the dust from whence it came. (Genesis 2:7) (Genesis 3:19)  The soul relates to, or communicates with, other like human souls i.e. each other. Created mankind’s spirit was the unique part of Adam/Eve which enabled them to communicate with God the Creator - BEFORE sin separated them from our Holy God. (Genesis 3:1-24) (Isaiah 59:1-2)

Born Vs Created: Every person born of woman (as opposed to being originally created by God), therefore, since that time in Eden’s Garden are born sinners; we fall short of God’s perfect standard of righteousness. (Romans 3:10; 22-23) (Psalm 51:5)

Why is this so?  Because God told our forefather, Adam, that if he ate of the forbidden tree (nothing to do with sexual relations!) on that very day, he/she would ‘...surely die...’. (Genesis 2:16-17)

Now, we know that it was not physical death God spoke of here!  How do we know? Because Adam lived after his Fall from grace until he was 930 years old! (Genesis 5:5)

Therefore, we realize that the Lord God spoke of SPIRITUAL DEATH. Adam/Eve were smitten by spiritual death the very moment they sinned in disobedience to God in Eden’s Garden.  (Ezekiel 18:4) (Romans 6:23)

Sin made them hide from God’s Holy Presence (Genesis 3:9-10) The DEAD human spirit desires no fellowship with the Holy Lord God. (1 Corinthians 2:11-16) (Isaiah 53:2)

He that was created SUPERNATURALLY became merely NATURAL due to committing sin against his Creator God. (Romans 7:14-24)

Thus it follows that, all BORN of Adam/Eve since then are begotten (born) in Adam’s sinful image instead created in God‘s Holy image. (Genesis 5:3) (Job 14:4)

We are born spiritually dead - a body; a soul; and a dead spirit!  (Ephesians 2:1)

That is why Christ taught us, "Ye must be born again!" We must be Spiritually regenerated!  We who are dead in sin must be made alive in Christ! (Titus 3:5)

This can only be done by God the Holy Spirit Himself.   We are thus regenerated into Christ’s Body - the true Spirit-born Church.                       (1 Corinthians 12:12-13) (John 3:3-8) (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Regeneration is therefore seen plainly to be the free gift of God to Hell-deserving sinners. We cannot WORK our way to Heaven! (Ephesians 2:8-10) (John 3:16)

God’s Means of Showing Grace: (Acts 4:12) (John 14:6)
The means God has provided for us to be Regenerated (or saved) are two-fold - prayer and the Word of God. (2 Timothy 2:1-5) (Jeremiah 33:3)

Prayer: No one can really PRAY unless the Holy Spirit enables (or inspires) us to pray. (Romans 8:26) We can recite useless, ‘...vain repetitions...’, but we cannot actually pray by God the Holy Spirit and according to His will.  God, therefore, makes His people’s prayers to be both inspired and to be heard. (James 4:3) (Psalm 19:14)

God, the Holy Spirit’s first ministry to us is to convince (or convict) the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of Judgment to come. Prayer is thus our true means of fellowship with God - we speak to God in prayer.  (John 16:8)    (Psalm 91:15) (Revelation 20:11-15)

The Word: No one can be Regenerated, ‘born again’, without first reading, or hearing, God’s own inspired Word - the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17) (2 Peter 1:20-21) (Romans 10:17)

This doctrine can be more clearly evidenced in the Old Testament illustration of Ezekiel’s valley of dried bones. (Ezekiel 37:1-10)

The dry bones represent all who are DEAD in sin and trespasses; all who are unregenerate; all who are not ‘born again’ of the Spirit of God!  Read how the Lord told Ezekiel to "...prophesy upon these bones...". (Ezekiel 37:4) Paul reveals unto us the fact that, "...faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." (Romans 10:17) (Hebrews 6:1;6) Then, after the preaching of God’s Word, the dry bones are breathed into and come alive! Hallelujah!    (John 3:8)

This is the miracle of Spiritual Regeneration.  We ‘hear’ God’s call due to God-given faith, and receive Eternal Life as the gift of God’s grace. Conviction of sin, and our desperate need to be saved, are revealed only through the Word of God contained in our Bibles. God speaks to us by His Word.  (James 5:16)(Colossians 4:2)

We are encouraged to preach the Gospel also!  (2 Timothy 4:1-5) (Mark 16:15-16) (Matthew 28:19-20)

Why are we inspired to preach the Gospel? So that the Lord can use His means of Regeneration grace to the full; and reward our labours for Him in the Salvation of precious and immortal souls. (Daniel 12:3) (Proverbs 11:30)

What a great and gracious Saviour! Amen! Hallelujah! These Bible truths surely make us free!  (Hebrews 7:25) (John 8:32)

Conclusion: This, therefore, is the great Scriptural doctrine of Spiritual Regeneration. We receive a new nature from God which remains obedient to His Commandments, and helps us daily to battle against the desires of our own carnal natures; fallen natures which shall always be at enmity against God. (John 14:15) (Romans 8:7)

The Spiritual battle is continuous! But, the Victory has already been won for us at a place called Calvary; won by the all righteous Christ Jesus, the Son of the Living Lord God. Amen. And praise be always to His Almighty Name! Glory to God in Christ Jesus! (Exodus 17:8-16) (Romans 16:27)

Thought:  In the risen Christ Jesus we have Regeneration Life Eternal.

Seeing Or Believing? John 2:18-25

Text:  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have NOT seen, and yet have believed."
John 20:29.
            For we walk by faith, not by sight.                              
2 Corinthians 5:7.

Good morning, Christian in doubt!  You have just been informed that you, or a family member, or a very close friend, has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.  You have received news of natural disaster or  impending peril that could very well affect you, your business, or all things close to you and yours.  In steps the demon of grave fear and deadly doubt.  Suddenly, all that you had set your hopes and dreams upon lies shattered by apparent gloom and doom.  All that you see and hear and taste and touch and experience is suddenly cast into jeopardy - and deadly doubt is assailing your Christian faith.

If this describes your current circumstances or situation - read on, beloved Christian, the Lord God has new hope especially for YOU today.

Be still (relax, all is in Gods control), and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.             (Psalm 46:10)

When the Lord Jesus physically drove the personal-gain merchants out of the Jewish Temple, it was the religious Jews that asked Him the question, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? (V.18)

They knew from their head knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures that the coming Messiah would come suddenly to His Temple, that He would be ‘…like a refiners fire, and like fullers soapa refiner and purifier of silver…‘ that would ‘…purify the sons of Levi, and purge themthat they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.  (Malachi 3:1-3)

However, no sooner had the Lord Jesus fulfilled this prophesy, right before their eyes, but these religious Jews immediately manifested the unbelief of their hardened hearts by asking Christ to show them a miracle in order that they might fully believe.  Not much has changed today, has it?

Today on our Christian TV channels we see thousands of people craving similar signs and wonders and - sad to say - often we see a circus of charlatans more than willing to put on such a show for them!  Beware!

For such people - seeing is absolutely necessary before they will believe anything concerned with Christ Jesus, the Son of God Who saves.  Obviously, true God-given Christian faith, in such circles, is totally lacking.

“”Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in His Name, when they saw the miracles that He did.  (V. 23)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  (Hebrews 11:1)

As the apostle Paul writes - at all times under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit - For we walk by faith, not by sight.  (2 Corinthians 5:7)

For the true Christian believer in this day of increased apostasy; easy-believing; and what the Scriptures define as ‘…signs and lying wonders…’ - the rule is clearly one of believing in the Lord, and then, by His grace and according to His Sovereign will, seeing His miraculous hand at work in doing the most wondrous of things.  All glory to His miraculous and wondrous Name!  (2 Thessalonians 2:3-17)

Genuine Christians believe, and because we believe - we often see the miraculous wonders of a truly compassionate and awesome Lord God!

The above rule of believing and then seeing is clearly taught in the example context of our text for today.  “…Thomas, one of the twelve (disciples)was not with them when Jesus came.  The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord.  But he said unto them, Except I shall SEE in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.  (John 20:24-25)

Eight days later, Thomas was with the rest of the disciples when the risen Christ Jesus again appeared unto them and offered Thomas the opportunity to do just that, “…Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side; and be not faithless, but believing.  (John 20:27)

And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God.  Jesus said unto Him, Thomas, because thou has seen Me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen (thats you and me, my friend!), and yet have believed.  (John 20:29)   Hallelujah!  We walk by such God-given faith today!

Thought:  Dispel all doubts, Christian believer - only believe, and then see how the Lord blesses your faithfulness.  Jesus cares for YOU.

Righteous Anger John 2:12-17

Text:  Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath; neither give place to the devil.
                                                                                                      Ephesians 4:26.

          Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof; and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.  Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry; for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
                                                                                                  Ecclesiastes 7:8-9.

Good morning, quick-tempered Christian!  The description of thee and me as quick-tempered Christians is, of course, almost a complete contradiction in terms - for how can one be 'quick-tempered and, at the same time be described as Christian?  Read on, dear heart, and this paradoxical mystery shall be revealed.

Let me first pose this relevant question:  Who could ever be more Christian than the Christ?  Answer: No one, of course, could ever be as Christian as Christ Himself.  Yea, He is altogether lovely…’!  Hallelujah!  (Song of Solomon 5:16)

Therefore, we Christians are called to be extremely quick-tempered when it comes to the concept of sin: falling short of the glorious Holiness of God, in word, in thought, and in deed. 

Now sin - general sin and personal sin - is something we Christians should be getting immediately angry about in this dispensation of increased apostasy and carnality.  Beware!  Our sins will find us out!

“…For there is no difference; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…"  (Romans 3:22-23) 

The ‘…glory of God…’ referred to here by the apostle Paul is, of course, the perfect standard of true Holiness manifested by Christ alone.  Every other human being that has walked, walks, or shall ever walk this earth, falls far short of this perfect standard of absolute Holiness.  Sin has tainted everything we are and do since the Fall from grace of Adam/Eve in the Garden.   Mankind is totally depraved!

Sin brought weeds and thorns and chaos into the Lord Gods Created world. Sin caused the Lord God to wipe out the world by a flood.  Sin brought Christ Jesus down from the spotless portals of Heaven to suffer and die on a cruel Cross that we sinners might find Redemption from sin and receive life Eternal through trusting in Him. Sin is a serious subject indeed.  Sin is something Christians should get very angry about!

Read again our selected Bible passage for today, and see more clearly perhaps the depths of what is being portrayed by the apostle John.

The Lord Jesus had just come from Cana of Galilee where He had performed His first recorded public miracle - something only the sinless Lord God could do.  He journeyed on to Capernaum, where He spent some time with His human mother, Mary, His half-brothers and sisters, and His disciples - before travelling on to the city of Jerusalem.

Upon entering the Temple in Jerusalem, the sinless, spotless, Prince of Peace, Christ Jesus became very very angry at what He saw taking place there.  He became righteously angry when He found many making merchandise within the House of God.  Some things never change, do they?  Take note, Mr TV Evangelists!

Definition of Merchandise:  Goods bought and sold for gain; trade for gain; profiteering by trade; dealing in merchandise as a business for personal profit.

Christ Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, found a packed Temple.  However, it was packed full of greedy merchants who were obviously present in the place of worship for all the wrong motives.  They were buying and selling products for religious purpose, and operating a money-exchange as a profit-making business.  They were more interested in mammon, than in the things of God.

No man/woman can serve two masters; for either he/she will hate the one, and love the other; or else he/she will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon - def. riches regarded as the root of all evil, (cap) the god of riches; devotion to financial/material gain. (Chambers Dictionary page 974)

In calm righteous anger against this gross sin being committed within the Jewish Temple, the sinless Son of God ‘…made a scourge of small cords…‘ and ‘…drove them all out of the Templepoured out the changers money and overthrew the tables; and said unto themTake these things hence; make not My Fathers House an house of merchandise. (Vs. 15-16)

If you and I as Christians can get as righteously angry over the sins we perosonally commit, willfully, day by day; purge them out of our Christian lives; and sanctify the ‘…temple of the Holy Spirit…’ that we are today - the Body of Christ, international and universal,will be much more fit for the Masters use.

Thought:  If we Christians must get angry - lets get zealously angry about our own personal sins and seek to put them out continually!

Water to Wine Conversions? John 2:1-11

Text:  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.
                                                                                                       Matthew 5:16.

          And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in Psalms and hymns and Spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
                                                                                               Ephesians 5:18-19.

Good morning, converted Christian!  Once you were Spiritually blind, now you can see!  Once you wallowed in worldliness, now you glow with Godliness!  Your Christian conversion is in clear evidence for all observers to see.  Such outer evidence is a vital proof to all unbelievers that there is life for a look at the Crucified Christ.  Praise God for true Christ like Christian conversions!

Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth (all nations); for I am God, and there is none else.  (Isaiah 45:22)

Therefore if any man/woman be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed (or are continually passing) away; behold (look), all things are become (or are progressively becoming) new.               (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Our journey with John today deals with the first miracle the Lord Jesus did in Cana of Galilee - changing ordinary washing water into good, high quality wine. 

When Christ Jesus makes a change, the change He makes is always clearly seen.  Praise and all glory to His Name!

And He (the Lord God) that sat upon the throne said, Behold (look and see!), I make all things new.  And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.  (Revelation 21:5)

The miracle clearly performed that day in Cana of Galilee by Christ Jesus was instant; it was perfect; it was obvious; it was truly marvelous - and done in plain view of all gathered at the marriage.  It was an act of the Supernatural - no one doubted, nor could doubt, that this deed was performed by the hand of Almighty God alone.

In this same sense, when the Lord God decides to redeem a lost sinner - the change can be clearly seen; the change is a lasting change over time; the inner change in the saved sinners soul is evidenced in the drastic changes the person outwardly manifests from that time forth.  Hallelujah!

The Regeneration of a soul once dead in trespasses and sins is a recreation miracle of Gods free grace.  (See the doctrine of Regeneration on our website, click 'Basic Christian Doctrines')

But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead (Spiritually speaking) in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ JesusFor we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  (Ephesians 2:4-10)

As I often teach:  One cant be saved and not know it; one cant be saved and not show it.  Praise God for the testimony of a converted Christian!

Note also from todays Bible study how the human mother of Jesus was wise in her instruction to the servants at the marriage.  Pay particular attention to her words in verse five:  “…Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.

Obedience to the call of God in coming to Christ for Salvation saves a precious and immortal soul for all Eternity.  Obedience to the Word of God after one is saved ensures the redeemed soul of the perfect joy of Gods Holy Presence, His power, and His peace.  We have Gods Word on the matter.

Thou wilt show me the path of life; in Thy Presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.  (Psalm 16:11)

But He (Christ Jesus) said, Yea rather, blessed (blessed with blessings) are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it.                (Luke 11:28)

When the converted Christian, like the stone pots in our selected passage, are ‘…filledup to the brim…’ with the power of God the Holy Ghost - all beholding such converts can clearly see the miracle that has been done in them.  Theres no hiding the light in the life of the victorious, obedient, Christian soul.  Thanks be to God for His miracle of free grace.

Thought:  If theres Holy Ghost oil in the human lamp - it will shine.

Passing On the Gospel John 1:35-51

Text:  So then (a conclusion) faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. 
Romans 10:17.

          For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of; for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!
1 Corinthians 9:16.

Good morning, Christian Gospel-gossiper!  The Lord God detests the practice of gossiping, He rates the sin of busy bodying in other mens matters right up there with the sins of murder!  Gods Word deems such gossiping, busy bodying, slandering and backbiting as ’…worthy of death…’!  (Romans 1:32)

But let none of you (Christian believers) suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil-doer, or as a busy body in other mens matters.  (1 Peter 4:15) (1 Timothy 3:11) (Romans 1:30-32)

Yet, praise God for Gospel gossipers, for many a precious soul has been won by the practice of what I call gossiping the Gospel of Christ Jesus.  Hallelujah!

“The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.”  (Isaiah 50:4)

Today’s verses in our Journey With John reveal the success of the process I have referred to above as ‘gossiping the Gospel’ message.

John reveals Christ Jesus as ‘the lamb of God…’; ‘…two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.’  (Vs.36-37)

Our text from Romans chapter 10 is thereby clearly proven to be God’s truth.  So then (a conclusion) faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.  
(Romans 10:17) 

The two disciples of John heard the truth proclaimed, received God-given faith to believe - and immediately ‘…followed Jesus.  Glory to His Name!

One of these two disciples, Andrew, then took the revealed message and went off to find ‘…his own brother, Simon (Peter), and continued to gossip the Gospel - “…We have found the Messiah, which is being interpreted, the Christ.  And he brought him to Jesus…”  (Vs. 41-42)

The Lord Jesus, on the very next day, found Philip, and asked him to follow Him - which, praise God, he did.

Philip then found Nathaniel and, gossiping the Gospel, “…saith unto him, We have found Him, of Whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of JosephCome and see.  (V. 45)

Nathaniel went and seen for himself the Living Truth, Christ Jesus; the Lord Jesus spoke to him face to face; and it was revealed unto Nathaniel that Jesus was indeed, “…the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.  (Vs. 47-49)   Wow!  What a blessing! 

Listen to what the Lord Jesus said unto this dear man:  “…Verily, verily (truly, truly), I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see Heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.  (V. 51)  And, as the Gospel accounts reveal, he certainly did. Praise God for His truth!

God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent; hath He not said, and shall He not do it?  Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?  (Numbers 23:19)

Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is truth.  (John 17:17)

God always does what His Word says He will do - He is immutable!

After studying this wonderful process of gossiping the Gospel contained in todays Bible passage; and seeing for ourselves the success such clear witnessing always brings - lets you and I determine afresh not to waste our time in idle gossiping, but rather to redeem the time God gives us by seeking to gossip the Gospel at every God-given opportunity.

Walk in wisdom towards them that are without, redeeming the time.  Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how to answer every man.  (Colossians 4:6)

Thought: Beloved, open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.  (Psalm 81:10)