In previous newsletters New Birth 01 – New Birth 02 and New Birth 03 we have covered what the New Birth is, and have showed that God demands the New Birth for us. In New Birth 04 we commenced looking at the results of the New Birth. We want to continue this week in our study regarding the new birth and the Results.
The second effect of the “born again“ experience is victory. First John 5:4, 5 states, For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world. but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
Notice carefully that victory is accomplished through Christ-not self. Multitudes strive to overcome sin and temptation, but the flesh has no power to win the battle. The overcomer is …he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God . …Christ in you... (Colossians 1:27) makes the difference.
He promotes the desire for victory and provides the strength.
Paul knew this well. After describing the duel of the two natures-the old received at birth and new received at conversion-he cries, …if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Romans 8:13,14). Then, having allowed God’s Spirit to equip him for life’s battle, he victoriously said as death approached, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day… (2 Timothy 4:7).
The new nature, controlled by the Spirit, makes believers …more than conquerors through him that loved us (Romans 8:37).
What do they conquer?
First John 2:15-17 answers the question. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.
It is obvious, then, that they overcome the world or worldliness consisting of:
A) the lust of the flesh, B) the lust of the eyes, and C) the pride of life.
Let’s consider these three items individually.
The lust of the flesh concerns itself with the cravings of one’s bodily appetites. This includes illicit sex, drinking, drug addiction, smoking, or any other vice that the flesh practices. I am not preaching perfection. Christians can slip and fall, but that is vastly different from becoming enslaved to fleshly lusts.
A) The problem is not one’s possession of an old nature, but the old nature’s possession of a person.
The latter means that one has not been “born again,” for “regeneration” endows one with a “divine nature” (see 2 Peter 1:4), which immediately begins an onslaught against the old corrupt flesh. When one never experiences victory, it becomes obvious that the new nature is missing, for the “new birth” is not a new label on a defiled product but the implantation of the divine nature which changes one instantaneously.
That’s why 2 Corinthians 5:17 declares, …if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Enslavement to sin points to an empty profession-just lip service-and leads one into helplessness for the ages of eternity, for …the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever (1 John 2:17).
Where do you stand?
Are you a daily “overcomer” through the power of the indwelling Spirit?
Or are you a slave to lust? Remember, if there is no desire for victory, no quest for victory, no evidence of victory, there will be no victory celebration in heaven.
B) Next, we discover that this new nature helps one to have victory over the cravings of the mind through the eye gate.
Lust, via the eyes, is one of the greatest promoters of immorality today. This is why pornography and abominable sex movies are destroying lives, homes, and nations. Millions presently have …eyes full of adultery…that cannot cease from sin (2 Peter 2:14). They mentally undress every woman they see and vice-versa. They purchase the latest sex magazines, hide them among their possessions, and secretly read them. They gaze at nude pictures and commit mental adultery with naked paper dolls.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:28, … whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. This is what’s wrong with Hollywood productions. This is why much of television’s degrading influence should be opposed and stopped. Americans are becoming sex maniacs because of the manifold means created to produce excitation and lust. It is even affecting church members by the tens of thousands. Scores are walking the aisles in crusades to give up the sin which has plagued them-lustful eyes.
How much farther will it go?
Once I saw a four-foot picture of a naked woman hanging in a deacon’s garage. I asked, “Brother, aren’t you a Christian and a deacon?” He meekly answered, “Yes.” I pointed to his picture and said, “What’s that?” He said, “Art. ” I said, “Art who?” This actually happened! Though it appears humorous now, it won’t be funny later.
A day is coming when all lust-controlled sinners shall be eternally separated from God. 1 John 2:17 declares, … the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. Is it any wonder that Romans 13:14 states, …put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. And 1 Peter 2:11 warns, …abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. Someone cries, “That’s easier said than done.” Not if one depends upon the indwelling Spirit rather than self! Galatians 5:16 proves it. Walk in the Spirit, and [you] shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
C) Another area over which one may enjoy victory is one’s ego.
This has to do with haughty, arrogant boasting over one’s accomplishments and gains. How often one hears church members egotistically saying, “We are now a three car family,” or “We are considering the purchase of our $500,000 dream home,” or “We have investments in stocks, bonds, and banks and are sitting pretty, financially.“
Jesus said, …out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh and … by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matthew 12:34, 37). Small wonder that James 4:4 warns, …know ye not that the friendship of the world [composed of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life] is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the ENEMY [Yes, the ENEMY] of God. Therefore, Paul pleads in Romans 12:2, …be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind ….
The ways of the world lead to doom and death. About-face for Christ!
The third and final proof has to do with love. 1 John 4:7,8 states, Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
May I repeat that?
Are you listening?
The statement is so important that one’s eternal existence in heaven or hell depends on it. Hear it again. He that loveth not knoweth not God… (1 John 4:8). 1 John 3:14
declares, We know [not hope, guess or think-but know] that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. The next verse says, Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and (you) know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him (verse 15).1)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John%203:15&version=NKJV
Think of it! This is astonishing.
Hatred becomes murder in God’s eyes, and no murderer (hater of others) has eternal life abiding in him. A life of hate classifies one as a “child of the devil,” for God says in 1 John 3:10: In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. Imagine! Folks who fight, fuss, bicker, backbite, gossip, slander, malign, and criticize others are children of the devil! One cannot live a life of hate when God abides within, for “God is love.” Love is the evidence of one’s “born again” experience. So, … if we love one another, God dwelleth in us… (1 John 4:12). That’s why Jesus said in John 13:34, By this shall all men know that [you] are my disciples, [because] you have LOVE one for another.
Sad, is it not, that hate-mongers who honestly believe that bigotry, prejudice, and malice are acceptable standards for church members fill the ranks of religion. What a shock they’ll experience at the judgment day! Then they’ll know God meant what He said in James 1:26, If any man among you seem to be religious and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
Then they’ll suffer judgment for the seven sins God hates. Perhaps these should be called the “Seven Deadly Sins.”
• a proud look,
• a lying tongue, and
• hands that shed innocent blood, an
• heart that deviseth wicked imaginations,
• feet that be swift in running to mischief,
• a false witness that speaketh lies, and [please get the final one]
• HE THAT SOWETH DISCORD AMONG THE BRETHREN (Proverbs 6:16-19 emphasis mine).
Then when it is eternally too late, they will discover that the unrighteous, including “railers,” do not inherit the kingdom of God (see 1 Corinthians 6:9).
Webster’s Dictionary defines railers as “individuals who revile or scold in harsh, insolent, or abusive language.“
God help us!
Our ranks are full of members who carry on in this manner. Through their obnoxious, hateful insolence, churches are split and souls lost. Sinner, repent, change your mind and ways before it is too late! You need a “born again” experience! When this occurs, God’s nature of love will become a part of you and His love will rule your heart.
We have concluded in this study that holiness, victory, and love prove one’s salvation experience to be genuine.
Where do you stand?
Examine yourself to see whether or not you are in the faith (see 2 Corinthians 13:5). If the evidence is against you, settle the issue with God immediately.
Eternity forever and forever and forever-is a long time to be lost!
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
March 18, 2013 | Reprinted July 28, 2013