More Life From God
MORE LIFE FROM GOD
A. Introduction: It is vital that you and I learn what happened to us when we were born again, and then learn to live in the light of it.
1. Jesus Christ came to earth and went to the Cross to bring life to men -- life that would make men literal, actual sons of God by birth. John 10:10: II Tim 1:1; Eph 1:4,5
a. That life comes into us through the new birth, through being born again or born from above, when we make Jesus the Lord of our lives.
b. When you became a Christian and were born again, you received eternal life.
1. Eternal life is the life of God, the untreated life and nature that is in God, ZOE. John 1:4; 5:26; I John 5:11,12; II Pet 1:4
2. God gave you that life by uniting you (your spirit) to Jesus as truly as a branch is joined to a vine. John 15:5
2. Everything that is in eternal life (ZOE, the life of God), is in you now because that life is in you.
a. That life, through your union with Christ, is now the basis of your standing and relationship with the Father.
b. That life, through your union with Christ, is now your nature, your makeup, your ability.
c. That life, through your union with Christ, has made you a literal son of God. It has made you righteous and holy.
3. The new birth is critical to God's plan for your life. You cannot see or enter the kingdom
of God without it. John 3:3,5
a. This union with Christ makes you a new creature. II Cor 5:17--So if anyone is in union with Christ, he is a new being. (20th Cent)
b. Gal 6:15--For neither is circumcision [now] of any importance, nor uncircumcision, but [only] a new creation [the result of a new birth and a new nature in Christ Jesus, the Messiah]. (Amp)
c. That life obliterates the sin nature which made you an object of God's wrath, replacing it with the very life and nature of God. Eph 2:3; II Pet 1:4
4. Something real came into you when you were born again -- the life of God (ZOE).
a. That life changed you. It gave you a new nature and made you acceptable to God.
b. You must now learn how to live by that life until it comes to dominate the way you think, feel, and act.
5. That life was given to you to conform you to the image of Jesus, and to enable you to live and walk even as Jesus did when He was on earth. I John 2:6; 4:17
6. In this lesson, we want to continue to look at what the new birth means to us and how to walk in the light of what has happened to us.
B. At the new birth, you were unit te Jesus, united to the life in Him. John 3:16; 15:5
1. Whatever is in that life, the life of God (ZOE), is in you now because that life is in you because you are born again.
2. John 15:4,5--Jesus said that those in union with Him would bear much fruit. Fruit is outward evidence of the life within.
3. Gal 5:22 lists the fruit of the recreated (born again) human spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (NAS)
a. The word for human spirit and the Holy Spirit is the same in the Greek language, and there are no upper and lower case letters in the NT manuscripts.
1. You must often determine from context if a verse is referring to the human spirit or the Holy Spirit.
2. This passage refers to the human spirit because the Holy Spirit and your flesh don't battle each other. Your spirit and flesh battle.
b. All of these traits are in Jesus, were exhibited by Jesus on earth, and they are in you now, in your spirit, because His life is in you through your union with Him at the new birth.
4. Let's look at love for an example. Christians sometimes pray: God, give me more love for that person (persons).
a. What they are usually asking for is an emotional feeling of warm fuzzies toward someone.
b. But, the Bible says that God's love is in us (in our spirits) by an act of the Holy spirit who regenerated us. Rom 5:5; Titus 3:5
c. So, it isn't a matter of getting love from God for that person, it is a matter of walking in what He has already given us.
5. Or, we pray: Lord, give me patience. Make me patient, make me strong. Help me to put up with this.
a. But, patience is a fruit of the recreated human spirit.
b. The patience of Jesus is in you because you have the life of Christ in you because you are born again. You must learn to walk in the light of what you already have in you.
6. Because Christians don't understand what happened to them at the new birth, they often seek God for things He has already proved by putting His life in us.
a. The result is -- they don't get what they pray for. Their pray is actually a prayer of unbelief (they don't believe what God has done through the new birth). and, they are plagued by feelings of inadequacy because they are focused on their short comings and lack.
b. Christians try to take or receive by prayer and faith what is already theirs by birth.
6. When Jesus was on earth, before He went to the Cross, before anyone could be born again, people had to reach out and take from Jesus what they needed, touch the hem of His garment so to speak.
a. Mark 5:30; Luke 6:19--When they touched Jesus in faith, power flowed out of Him.
Virtue = DUNAMIS = miraculous power, ability, force.
b. But, we who are born again don't have to reach out because we are united to Jesus,to the life and power that is in Him. I Cor 6:17
c. Through our union with Christ, through receiving His life and nature, we have the power, might, and ability of God in us. We are new creatures.
C. The epistles are letters written by the Holy Spirit to born again Christians. As we read them, especially those written by Paul, we see a definite pattern.
1. Paul tells believers what they are, what they have, because they are born again (in union with Christ), and then tells them to act like what they are.
2. His prayers for them (Holy Spirit inspired prayers) are not: God give them more love, make them more patient, but rather, that they would know the greatness of the life (power) in them and be strengthened by it.
3. Look at some examples of how Paul spoke to Christians.
a. Eph 1:19--And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power (DUNAMIS) in and for us who believe. (Amp)
b. Eph 3:16--May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power (DUNAMIS) in the inner man by the (Holy) Spirit [Himself] -- indwelling your inner most being and personality. (Amp)
c. Eph 3:20--Now to Him who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power (DUNAMIS) that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think -- indefinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams -- (Amp)
d. Phil 2:12,13--Work out -- cultivate, carry out to the goal and fully complete -- your own salvation [not in your own strength] for it is God who is all the while effectually at work in you -- energizing and creating in you the power and desire -- both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. (Amp)
e. Col 1:11--[We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power, according to the might (DUNAMIS) of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy. (Amp)
f. Col 1:29--For this I labor [unto weariness], striving with all the super human energy which He so mightily (DUNAMIS) enkindles and works within me. (Amp)
4. We need to learn from the bible what happened to us at the new birth -- what God made us to be by putting His life in us -- and then, begin to walk or live in the light of it.
a. To walk in the light of what you are means to talk and act like what you are -- a new creature with the life and nature of God in you.
b. Don't pray for strength, joy, patience, love, etc. You already have those things in you because you are born of God and have the life of God in you.
D. This kind of lesson raises some questions or objections -- I'm just not a patient person. I'm not strong or joyful. I can't love that person. I feel guilty because I've had so many failures, etc.
1. You must understand that when you talk like that, you are talking about sense information. You are giving the testimony of your senses. It is accurate information as far as it goes.
2. But, there are actually two sources of information available to you and me. II Cor 4:18
a. What is seen = sense information, and what is not seen = revelation knowledge or unseen facts revealed to us in the Bible.
b. Just because you can't see the new creation and the life of God in you doesn't mean it's not real.
c. The unseen is more real that the seen because it created and will outlast the seen -- and it will change the seen if we will side in with it.
3. We could say it this way: it is true that your soul (mind and emotions) and body are impatient or weak or unloving, etc.
a. But, the truth (according to the word of God, the Bible) is that you, the spirit man, have the patience of Christ in you.
b. And the truth (what God says about what He has done in you) will change what is true (your impatient soul and body, your feelings, and your experience) if you will side in with the truth.
4. You side in with the truth by saying it. I am what God says I am. I have what God says I have. I can do what God says I can do.
a. The Holy Spirit is here to do in us and through us all that Christ did for us on the Cross.
b. He does it through the word of God. When we find out from the Bible what God has done for us through the Cross of Christ and the new birth and side in with it (speak it out, do the Holy Spirit makes that word real our experience. Rom 10:9,10; Titus 3:5; Philemon 6
5. For so many Christians, their talk consists of what God is going to do for them. But that is actually unbelief.
a. You need to recognize and talk about what God has done for you through the Cross and what is now true about you because you are born again.
b. You must make it present tense.
6. Confess what you are! Confess what you have!! Then, begin to act like what you are!! A new creature!!
a. Through the new birth, God has already made us what we are trying to be -- holy, powerful, patient, loving, etc.
b. Through the new birth, God has already given us what we are trying to get -- authority, power, peace, victory, healing, joy, etc.
c. God has made us those things and gave us those things be uniting us to the life that is in Himself.
d. You are in union with the life and ability of God. Now, you must talk and act like it.
e. And as you do, the Holy Spirit will give you the experience.