Today’s message summary of March 17, 2019 from Pastor Gus Brown:
Are you moving on in the power of God or are you moving in the strength of man?
Are you living according to your own intellect, or are you drawing upon the knowledge of God?
Being born again is not man’s doing…it is strictly from the Word of God and His work.
The second birth is of God and not of man. Man cannot do anything with his sin. Only God can do that.
The second birth is misunderstood because it is a work of God and not man.
God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.
This command was given to Adam and Eve and his generations that followed. God ordained this and continued this command with Noah after the flood:
God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.
We love keeping this command, and a lot of people are doing their best to keep this command–whether they are married or not.
God gave people the power to add to the population of the earth. People think that they are the ones who give life. They think this from experience–man and woman procreate, and after nine months there is a child.
But this is the natural life and not the spiritual way of living.
But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
God only gives birth to that which is spiritual. The natural man cannot do this.
It is what is given to people, and we struggle with this. It is because of two natures within us.
For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.
The struggle within us is constant. Without a spiritual consciousness, we will only live in a lost state of sin. We sin without giving thought of God or His Word.
If Satan keeps you from God’s Word, you won’t know what God expects of you. It keeps you from a consciousness of God and His will for your life.
Believe in Him and His name.
“The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.
He gave them the power and authority to be children of God. Perhaps they were just learning about this. They were learning what they were going to become.
For a person to believe, there had to be a conviction that takes place. Who offers this conviction? The Holy Spirit.
Does a person understand what it is to be a child of God? A person’s behavior will determine the level of understanding. A child of God can say “no” to sin because of the power and authority of God in that person’s life.
So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under the law but under grace.
2 Corinthians 4:4-6
In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’s sake. For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
The ability to live a transformed life.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
2 Peter 1:3-4
His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. By these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.
God’s words have power and deep conviction.
1 Thessalonians 1:4-5
For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with full assurance. You know how we lived among you for your benefit.
You are willing to act because you believe. The Holy Spirit is at work with those who believe.
1 John 2:3
This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands.
“We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
Don’t ever become “satisfied” as a Christian. That is Satan’s deception. As long as you are living and until you meet Jesus, there is still more to do and more to learn.
A work of God has to continue to take place in your life (John 1:13).
What takes place is not of natural descent. Jesus explains this further with Nicodemus.
There was a man from the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could perform these signs you do unless God were with him.”
Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
“How can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”
Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
“How can these things be?” asked Nicodemus.
“Are you a teacher of Israel and don’t know these things?” Jesus replied. “Truly I tell you, we speak what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you do not accept our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven —the Son of Man.
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
God is the One who gives the power and ability to receive your spiritual birth.
Nicodemus was asking how this was possible, and yet many are still asking this question today.
The baptism of water was adopted ceremonially within the Jewish culture. There must be a repentance before there can be a spiritual birth.
The physical birth is first, and the spiritual birth is always second.
1 Corinthians 15:45-49
So it is written, The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not the first, but the natural, then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. Like the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; like the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.
Who came down from heaven?
The birth that is from heaven is the will of God and not man.
The second birth comes from above and gives you the ability to live for Jesus Christ.
When you are born from above, you take on the likeness of Jesus Christ.