The Priority of Regeneration

David Hocking Photo David Hocking

All of the ideas and principles conveyed by the instructor in this course are not necessarily held by the Blue Letter Bible ministry.

Regeneration or being born again…you’ll probably be struck by the rarity of the word. Regeneration is used only twice, born again just three times in the Bible. But we get a lot more if we look at the word ‘born’ just by itself. In my study of all those forty-nine usages, I think it’s close to fourteen of them could be referring to regeneration. So this just a note for those who put together a message or you’re talking about being born again in a passage. It gives you something to look up and to study. Don’t ignore the word born. The Greek word gennao actually appears ninety-eight times. And where we learn that that word does refer to regeneration is in 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; and I’ve listed them for you as you can see several times. “He who doeth righteousness is born of God” and we believe He’s talking about regeneration there, new spiritual birth. “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Messiah is born of God” (cf. 1 John 5:1, 4, 18). Okay?

In John 3:1 it says, “There was a man of the Pharisees [so we know he really knows his Bible] named Nicodemus.” Nicodemus is certainly an interesting name; demos from which we get our word democracy, rule of the people. And nike, from which you get Nike shoes, means to conquer, victory, conquest. It can mean the people should conquer or conquering the people. It says, “a ruler of the Jews.”

Look down please at John 3:10. Jesus said, “Art thou a master [or teacher] of Israel and knoweth not these things?” In the Greek, if you want to put it in the margin of your Bible or somewhere in your notes, Jesus used the definite article the. Are you not the teacher of Israel? That’s pretty significant. Out of all the teachers, apparently he was the top teacher. So we’re not talking about just an average Joe (person) who came to Jesus. Their best teacher of the law, a Pharisee of the Pharisees came to Jesus by night. He said unto Him “Rabbi.” Notice that a Jewish teacher recognized Him as a rabbi, a teacher. As a matter of fact, he said, “We know that thou art a teacher come from God” (John 3:2). How do we know? Did He say He was God? No. Did He say He was the Son of God? No. He said, “No man can do these miracles that thou doest except God be with him” (John 3:2). Notice please, that a Jewish, top-notch teacher of the law recognized that supernatural miracles had taken place that could only be explained as the work of God. I think that’s a very interesting thing right there.

Now, whether there was other conversation, we’re not told. All we know is that at this point Jesus answers him very pointedly, almost it seems changing the subject; but really bringing up the subject he needed to know most.

[John 3:3-10]

3 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 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 to be born?” [He had just given a philosophical impossibility.]

5 Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, [where it wants to] and thou hearest the sound thereof, [but can’t see it, you] cannot tell whence it cometh, and wither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” [You can’t program your conversion like a lot of people think.]

9 Nicodemus answered and said unto Him, How can these things be?

10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou the teacher of Israel, and knoweth not these things? (John 3:3-10).

And he went on of course to give a very wonderful, wonderful message to this man.

Class, there’s a lot of trouble in the camp, so to speak, the Christian camp over these passages. Let’s take them one at a time. First of all, some people say that the meaning of this is ‘born above.’ I have a footnote right here that says that. How do they get that? Would you look please, down at verse 31 of John chapter 3 [Jhn 3:31]. “He that cometh from above is above all.” It is the same word, anothen that is here when it says ‘born again.’ So in the same chapter it’s translated above. So their argument is that it’s from above, meaning heavenly. I actually believe that its most common use is ‘again’ and should be the choice here. Why do I believe that?—because when Nicodemus answered Him he said, “How can a man be born a second time?” So you see, his answer even reveals the understanding of what Jesus has said. And remember it’s translated in Greek so the whole world could have the message of the New Testament, but it was spoken in Hebrew. And so the point would have been, to say from above, you’d probably have to use shamayim, of the heavens. And it definitely was not what was used. So what you’re talking about is being born again, a second time. You’re born physically once, how can you be born a second time? That’s the nature of the problem, born again.

The other situation deals with Jesus saying that “you have to be born of water and of the Spirit” (John 3:5). There’re a lot of interpretations of this and I don’t want to complicate things for you, but I think it’s important to see the viewpoints of Christians who love the Lord, who love the Bible, on this matter. We have the following views. If you want to put it on your paper, put water on one side spirit on another and then just put the views underneath.

Four Views on Baptism

View #1
Physical birth: from womb
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh”
(John 3:6)
View #1
Spiritual birth:
“That which is born of the Spirit is spirit”
(John 3:6)
View #2
Physical baptism:
Through the use of literal water
View #2
Spirit baptism:
Brings spiritual rebirth or regeneration
View #3
Water represents the Word of God which cleanses
View #3
Through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God
View #4
Jewish perspective:
Water cleanses like the laver in the temple
View #4
Jewish perspective:
God gives a new heart and a new spirit
(Ezekiel 36:26)

In the first view, the water represents physical birth from the water that is in the sac of a woman bearing a baby. So it’s a contrast between physical birth and spiritual birth. By the way, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Why?—because in verse John 3:6 he did indicate the connection. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

So, I’m not troubled by people who say that what He was saying was physical and spiritual birth. But I don’t think it’s the point. Why? Well, what would be the point of saying, except ye be born physically and born spiritual you can’t enter. Why say born physically? Isn’t that already obvious? You’re talking to somebody who was born physically. It doesn’t make sense in the statement, in other words. But I do think it’s a good view. I just don’t think it’s correct.

Secondly, under ‘water’ you have baptism and under ‘spirit,’ spirit baptism into the body of Christ. So under this view, he means that you have to be baptized in water, as well as be baptized in the Spirit. Now, let me ask this to you in another way. This is called ‘baptismal regeneration,’ probably perpetuated the most by the Church of Christ in Christian churches; but it is also a view of many of the mainline denominations who baptize babies. They believe in baptismal regeneration, the baby is saved. I think that’s stretching it, but I respect them.

Anyway, does the Bible show that those who believe in Jesus Christ in the New Testament, does it show that they were baptized in water? Yes or no? Yes! Does it appear, from the Bible, that they were baptized in water very close to when they accepted Christ? Yeah. Like Acts 2:41 says, “In that day, three thousand.” They didn’t even scatter it over several weeks. It was now. The Ethiopian eunuch: “If you believe, you can do it now. Here’s water. What hinders me to be baptized?” Okay?

Does the Bible indicate that when you receive Christ, your sins are washed away? Yes or no? Yes, it does! In Acts 22, Paul recounts a story of what Ananias said to him. And he said, calling on the name of the Lord, “Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins.” [Act 22:16] See, I’m playing a role here right now. I’m trying to lay out for you these arguments in as decent and fair a manner as I can. Can you not understand somebody reading that and thinking you have to be baptized to wash away your sins?

Now the next statement says, in aorist it is what we call the dependent clause, “Having called on the name of the Lord.” So that’s what washes away your sins. I don’t want to give the details of that. I just want to say at this point, I really understand people reading that and thinking, “Well, it looks like you should be baptized to wash away your sins.”

Then in Acts 2:38 on the very day the church begins, Peter said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ…and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” But he said “When you were baptized you were baptized for ”…maybe you just want to glance at that to refresh your memory. Verse 38, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” [Acts 2:38] Now if the word ‘for’ means ‘in order that,’ then again wouldn’t you say that both repentance and being baptized were necessary in order to have your sins forgiven? Wouldn’t you say that? You’re just reading it in English, it looks like that. And there are a lot of people who are good Christian people, they love the Lord, love the Bible and they insist this is what the Bible says.

I happen to believe that the Greek word ‘for’ in this text, which is eis in Greek, E-I-S, is a resultant. And that means: as a result of the forgiveness of sins. That the statement goes back to the command in the verb form that is active on the part of the individual. The second command is not active, it is passive. You repent, is your act. Be baptized, someone does it to you. So I believe grammatically you can solve this problem.

Now go over to 1 Peter 3. Many people believe that this is the view of regeneration, being born again. 1 Peter 3:20-21, speaking about the unbelievers at the time of Noah who suffered and died in the Flood. It says at the end of verse 20, “Wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by… [what does it say?] water.” Now what happened to everything in the flood water? It died, with the exception of fish of course. It died. Millions of people died. So how can you say, “saved by or through water?” Through that experience of all that water they were saved. How were they saved, class? By being in the ark, okay? Like Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be.” They entered the ark and the flood came and took them, all the people, all away.

We know that the water involved was the flood water. And look at the next statement, verse 21 [1Pe 3:21], “the like figure.” The Greek word is antitypos, from which we get our word antitype. Now class, a type means that something different from something represents it in some way. Does everybody understand me? The types and symbols in the Bible. Something different from what it represents is used to represent it. An antitype…remember anti is ‘in the stead of’ the type like a replacement type…it’s type for type. What it means is that if it’s an antitype then whatever it represents that the same two things, namely water, represents two things that don’t have to be the same. But the antitype is water for water. Hello? Believe me this is tough. Let me repeat it again. A type could be: water represents being overwhelmed with sorrow. A flood water—overwhelmed with sorrow; that’s a type. But if I’m going to use an antitype, then what I’m saying over here has to also be the same in substance as the previous type. So I’ve got to have water here and I’ve got to have water here, but what they both represent do not have to be the same. Is everybody following now? That’s what we call an antitype. But there is something about the two of them that is the same. Doesn’t that sound like double-talk to you?

Okay, now let’s see if we can figure this out. Verse 21 [1Pe 3:21], “the like figure” or the antitype and now the antitype is mentioned: “baptism” an antitype to what class, the ark or the flood water? It’s the flood water not the ark. If this was not an antitype, if in fact, baptism represented the ark, or the issue by which they were saved, then we would have a real problem. We’d have to believe that you have to be baptized to be saved. That’s how technical this is. The antitype like baptism “doth also save us.” How does it save us? Like a flood water saved them. So it’s not the waters of baptism that save you any more than the flood waters save you. But you, in that water, are in the safety of something else, namely the ark in the flood water, which represents our Lord Jesus Christ. We are in Christ while we are in the baptism of water.

Now what happened to everything in the flood water is it died. So when you go down into the water, the water is symbolizing death. It’s like a coffin. You are buried with Him in baptism in the likeness of His death. It’s like the old man is dead and when you come up out of the water resurrected to new life. Did the water save you? No.

Then the question is: why are you getting baptized? That’s a good question! First of all, notice please, in verse 21 so you’re not thinking I’m making this up. He says, in parenthesis, “not the putting away of the filth of the flesh.” So the waters of baptism are clearly said not to be able to take away sin in 1 Peter 3:21. Well then what is baptism? He said it’s “the answer” that’s the Greek word from which we get our word apology, apologetic. It’s a defense. It’s an apologetic. It’s a statement you’re making to people of something you believe. It’s the apologetic of “a good conscience toward God.” It means you not only believe it, you’re willing to demonstrate it, “by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Why is the resurrection mentioned? Because when you come up out of the water, and when they came out of the ark, we have a brand new life. We’re new creatures in Christ. We’re resurrected to walk in newness of life.

Now what therefore is the reason for being baptized? And the answer is: As a public testimony to the sincerity of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That you’re picturing your death, burial, and resurrection identified with Him when He died, was buried, and rose again. And it’s a public answer.

By the way, on the basis of this, I don’t think you baptize yourself. Is everybody listening? There are many cultures that do and they do in Judaism. A Gentile proselyte can baptize himself. But I don’t believe in that. I believe it’s a public testimony. I like it down at the beach down at the beach in front of everybody, but we’re not going to be legalistic about that.

Now, come back to our views again. One, it’s physical birth versus spiritual birth that which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Two, it represents water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit placing us into one body in Christ. View number three is that it’s the simple typology of the word. The water represents the Word.

Now we know that in John 15:3 Jesus said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” The word clean is to wash with water. So now you’ve been washed with water by the word. Ephesians 5:26, “That He might cleanse and sanctify the church by the washing of water by the word.” The laver of water which the priest washed the blood off his hands, before he went into the holy place, represents the Word of God, the need of daily cleansing in our life through the Word. So they say that the two agencies to cause the new birth are the Word and the Holy Spirit. You can certainly prove, can you not, in 1 Peter 1:23-25 that “We are born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible by the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever.” So you see, this is the strongest major view among most evangelical, born again people. It represents being born again by the Word and the Holy Spirit.

I’d like to suggest a fourth view, which we might call Jewish understanding view. Turn please to Ezekiel chapter 36. Remember this was a Pharisee. He had no knowledge of New Testament teaching. New Testament hadn’t been written yet, but he did know his Old Testament. Ezekiel 36:25-27 speaking about the coming Messianic age.

25 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.

26 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.

27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.”

29 I will also save you from all of your uncleannesses:

There are many of us who believe that because He’s (Jesus is) talking to Nicodemus, the New Testament is not written, that He is in fact referring to Old Testament facts about how a person can enter the kingdom of God. They can’t enter the kingdom of God in the Old Testament unless they be “cleansed from their sin and a new spirit being given to them…born of the water and spirit.” Water is the most nature cleansing element. It takes therefore the meaning of water cleansing us. It is similar to view number three.

In Jeremiah 31:33, in telling us about the New Covenant, in verse 33 He says,

33 …I will put my law on their inward parts and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people…

34 …for they shall all know me…for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin against them no more.

In other words, when you see it from a stand point of a Jewish understanding, even like Isaiah 59:20, “the Redeemer is going to take away our sin.” Zechariah 12:10, “They’ll look on Him whom they pierced.” Zechariah 13:1, “There’s a fountain, a water fountain open to Israel for cleanliness.” And we write the songs—“There’s a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s vein.” The whole point I’m making is that in a Jewish mind, when you are regenerated, born again, to enter the new Messianic kingdom you have to be cleansed from your sin and you have to have a new heart and a new spirit from the Lord.

Having said that, look at the characteristics of regeneration that I hopefully have just set you up for! First of all, it is, on the basis of John 3:3-6, a real birth equal to physical birth. Probably the greatest misunderstanding in liberal Christianity, headed up by major denominations who know the Bible teaches this, they don’t see it as an actual birth. Some of them corrupt it to the point of just turning over a new leaf, trying to follow the teachings of Jesus. And you can appreciate sincerity but they make a big mistake on this. It’s a real birth. That’s the point of verse six, when He said “That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.” To be born again is not just signing a dotted line or feeling warm fuzzies all over. It is a real birth, as real as you coming into existence in the first place physically.

Secondly, understand that it’s a work of God, beyond the realm of human recognition. You see, the wind blows where it wants to and you can’t tell it. You see the results of it but you can’t see it. You don’t know where it comes from, where it’s going. Why even the weather people go nuts trying to figure out wind currents everyday to tell you whether it’s going to rain or not rain or whatever. And it’s pretty much a judgment call.

You know the Mormons, bless their hearts, they’re trying to identify with this. And so their catch phrase, which they teach all their people to say to us is, “I have this burning in my heart.” Do you understand the confusion everywhere?

And then when Shirley MacLaine said that she was born again. You know her idea was coming to a new consciousness through the seven levels of her New Age false theology. Some of you will remember this; others of you won’t, but man I’ll tell you, Jimmy Carter, I think did a number on us. Born again spread everywhere across America, the “Born Again President.” It cheapened it. It got really cheap.

Sometimes when somebody comes forward and prays to receive Christ and you write their name down, we say, “You’ve been born again.” I like what one old time theologian said, “When a man is born again, he doesn’t need to be told so.” There’s a lot of truth to that because the Lord told us in 1 John 5, that we have the witness in ourselves. Now we do need to guide and help the new convert understand what the Bible says, don’t misunderstand; but at the same time, when you’ve been born again there’s a fundamental change that occurs in you. Your thinking patterns, your emotional responses, the things that now become important to you, it’s like you were in darkness and you are now in light. You go from death to life. There was discouragement, despair and now there’s hope. Do you understand what I’m saying? In other words the term is ‘watered down’ to the fact that people do not understand this is a supernatural, real birth, as real as your physical birth was.

The other thing I want to mention is that it is an instantaneous work. The Bible never describes it as a process. It uses aorist tense or perfect passive. It happened in a moment of time in the past. I’m not being born again. I am either born again or I’m not born again.

It is also a work of God that results in a new nature or a new creation. You’re not the same person you once were. Now there’s a struggle over that. You’ve got your old nature and new nature inside of you, both invisible, fighting each other. But you’re a new creation in Christ. 2 Peter 1:4 says you’re “partakers of a divine nature.” Ephesians 2:10 says, “You are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.” “If any man be in Christ he’s a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Well, what causes all of this? I lay down three things. First, you are born of God, clearly in John 1:12-13. “As many as received Him to them He gave the right to become children of God even to them that believe on His name, which were born not of blood.” You are not a Christian because your parents were. “Not of the will of the flesh.” You can’t save yourself. “Not of the will of men.” Others cannot save you, “But of God.” You were born of God, John 1:13. Second, “You are born of the Spirit,” John 3:8, what Jesus said. And third, “you are born through the word,” 1 Peter 1:23-25.

Now in that passage, class, I’m not trying to be overly technical; I just want you to be understanding of what the Bible teaches. The Word is the sperm, if you are relating it to physical birth. The Bible says you are not born of corruptible sperm, that which doesn’t last, but incorruptible sperm. That’s the Greek word, sperma. And sometimes I think we miss that.

Let me just put it to you another way. In physical birth, as you well know, in the egg and the sperm we have chromosomes, a genetic makeup, that produces through that DNA a unique individual. The true gospel is the incorruptible sperm. The Bible is really clear on what it is. That Christ died for our sins, He was buried, He rose again, He was seen of others, He ascended into heaven; this is the true gospel and you have to believe that in order to be born again, because that is the incorruptible sperm. Nothing else is. That’s very important to get into your head.

Now what are the consequences of that regeneration? What can we expect? This is another controversial matter. I hate it when people make controversies of simple, biblical statements, but they do. For instance, are you saved, redeemed and then born again? Do you confess, repent and then receive Christ? Do you understand what I’m saying? Are you born again and then you can believe? What does the Bible teach?

Let’s just take a look at it, 1 John 5:1. I just want to walk slowly through this. What are the consequences or results of being born again? One is that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Messiah (Christ) is born of God.” Now the problem of this verse is it doesn’t quite delineate the order, if that’s a troublesome issue to you. Does it mean you believe in Jesus as the Messiah in order to be born of God? Or does it mean because you are born of God you therefore believe that Jesus is the Messiah?

Now class, listen to me please, carefully. If I asked you, “What do all born again people believe about Jesus?” They believe that He is the Messiah. So it’s a true fact that all born again people do believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Is that not true? Of course, it’s true. And you don’t have to fight over something. You state what is the fact. All born again people believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Do you have to—listen carefully, wording is important—do you have to believe that Jesus is the Messiah (Christ) to be born again? The answer is yes, John 20:30-31.

30 Many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ [Messiah], the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Now another consequence is certainly love for God and others. Isn’t that what this verse says? “Everyone that loveth Him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him” (1 John 5:1). Now let me ask you a question. Do you have to love others in order to be born again? It doesn’t really say, does it? Let me ask it another way. Do all born again believers love other people? Somebody said “no.” Well, maybe I should help you a bit with that. Should all born again believers love others? Yes. Now, you say they don’t. I don’t believe that. In the flesh it’s true, but not in the spirit. The new nature is programmed to not only love God, but to love others. Isn’t it exciting to know that God implanted in you, the ability to love other people.

But anyway, 1 John 2:29 says, “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone that doeth righteousness is born of Him.” Now, do you have to practice righteousness in order to be born of God? It sounds like it. Everyone that doeth righteousness is born of Him. See all of these really that people get confused on are statements of fact. Let me put it to you another way. Do all born again people practice righteousness? Yes. Do they also practice unrighteousness in their flesh? Yes. Okay. All right!

These are statements of fact that are true. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Do you have to do good works in order to be saved? No. But do all born again people do good works? Yes.

Here’s a little tougher one. 1 John 3:9 says, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His sperm [What’s the sperm or seed, class? The Word, His sperm or seed] remaineth in him: for he cannot sin because he is born of God.” Now, in order to be born of God do you have to stop sinning? Do all born again people stop sinning? I told you you’d get stuck on this verse. Now, here’s what people say. “Well, this is a present tense in Greek. It means, practice sin.” I love to talk about this, cause you know, intellectual honesty is not in our midst. It really isn’t. I just want to ask you, just how long do you keep from sinning?

The Bible says, “If you walk in the Spirit you will not sin.” No, I don’t think it says that. I think it says “You won’t carry out the lust of the flesh.” Is the lust of the flesh sin? Romans 7:1-8 says it is. So apparently you’ve got something wrong inside of you that just always sins. Does the flesh do any good in the eyes of God? No. So, how long do you keep from sinning? Ha ha ha! Oh, I love this! Isn’t this fun? Boy, you know if we put a period here and let you go, I mean, you’re all in carnality and sin the rest of the day!

Listen to me, there’s only really one solution to 1 John 3:9 and that is that your new nature does not sin. It’s your old nature that sins. And in order to be controlled by your new nature, you need the controlling power of the Holy Spirit and His Word. The Spirit wars against your flesh and the flesh against the spirit. These are contrary to one another so you cannot do the things that you want. Whoever is born of God is talking about your new nature. You are a partaker of the divine nature and he doesn’t sin! So whatever is that new creature in you, which by the way, that caterpillar shell will fall off and the butterfly of God’s own DNA will come forth. Your new nature in Christ will now be seen on the outward. You’ll have a body fashioned like the glorious body of Christ. And do you mean to tell me that DNA sins? No way! It does not sin. It cannot sin. So victory is found in yielding to the new nature, not the old.

I think the good news of the gospel is that you have a new nature from God that does not sin. And if that controls your life, you’re going to be okay. You can live victoriously over sin. Isn’t that good news? We don’t have to be defeated. You not only have victory over sinful behavior, you have victory over the world.

1 John 5:4 says, “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.” You say, “Well we’re working on it.” No, you’re not. It’s a flat out statement. Everybody who is born of God, that new nature overcomes the world. There isn’t a time that it doesn’t. “And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). It’s your faith in what Christ has done that solves the problem. It isn’t you trying in the flesh to try and lick the world in your life. It’s very important to understand.

And, look at verse 18 of 1 John 5 [1Jo 5:18 ]. We also have victory over Satan because we’ve been born again. “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not. He that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” That’s a pretty good promise isn’t it?

Well, are you glad you’re born again? You see how confusing it can get? Listen to me, people, listen carefully as we conclude. When you start confusing your new nature with your old and you blend them together, as though they are somehow one and the same—like it’s just the old man trying to do better—you’re going to be defeated. You’re going to get wiped out! They’re not the same. Just as you were born physically, you are born spiritually. And these are real, supernatural—I don’t even want to use the word experience—works of God. God causes you to be born again. Aren’t you glad? And puts within you His own nature and it never sins and it’s always victorious. And so the Christian life then can be summarized as who you want to yield to, your old man or your new man?—your old nature or your new nature?

Now, are they the same size? As they fight with each other inside of me? And the answer is no! This is a very interesting thing because according to the Bible, Romans 6:6, your old man has been crucified with Him. He got a fatal blow. If I were you, I wouldn’t resurrect him. He isn’t worth a dime. And as a wounded animal, he’ll just hurt you. Amen?

Let’s pray.

Father, teach us to live in the power of our new life in Christ. You told us to walk in newness of life. Thank You that the Holy Spirit has made us free from the law of sin and death. We praise You for the wonderful salvation we have in You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.