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Thank you for following me to this page. You have just taken the first step in sorting out the most important thing in your life, namely your true purpose! Some of the truths on this page may be familiar to you, while some may be new. It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will enlighten your mind to understand the precious truths of His Word. Please read carefully through the following article with an open mind and receptive heart.
I know, you are striving for a purposeful life here on earth and you have human needs, challenges and struggles to which you are searching for answers and solutions. However, I want to repeat what I said in Part 1, that your earthly needs are included in God's purpose for your life, and the solutions you are searching for will be revealed when you have found God's primary purpose and plan for your life. However, a purposeful life here on earth without an eternal focus is a myth!
God's purpose and plan for your life are within the context of eternity, although it is applicable to the here-and-now life. As I also said in Part 1, this life is part of eternity –– just an infinitely immeasurable fraction thereof! Eternal life after death is a reality –– even though it may not feel that way to you! Eternity is a much greater reality than this life! However, there is a huge chasm that separates eternity from this life –– it is called DEATH –– and there is only ONE bridge over this chasm! This is the secret of the second source of life.
We concluded Part 1 by saying that God has a threefold primary purpose and plan for every human being on earth, and also for you. This threefold purpose and plan involves the following:
We are now going to discuss each of these three Divine purposes separately.
God's first objective with your life in terms of His purpose in creation is to make you part of God's offspring, His family, heavenly citizenship and Kingdom –– and this objective is achieved in only ONE way, namely regeneration. God's plan for every human being on earth begins with regeneration. Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3: 3, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." The only bridge accross the gorge of death is supernatural, spiritual and eternal life and the only way to receive this is through regeneration! You are wasting your time going to church and trying to be religious if you are not searching with all your heart after regeneration and spiritual life! Stop playing church-church and religion-religion! It only makes you miserable and spoils your fun. If you have a desire to know more about regeneration, continue reading.
What is regeneration? Regeneration is the birth of spiritual life within a person. There are two types of life or sources of life -- physical, material or natural life, and spiritual life. Physical or natural life is perceptible through the senses, temporary and perishable –– spiritual life is only spiritually perceptible, eternal and imperishable. Physical life is located in the body, spiritual life is located in the human spirit. For this reason, science cannot research and prove spiritual life except on the basis of the testimony of those who have it. Spiritual life cannot be measured or traced by physical instruments or methods. Spiritual life is not subject to natural laws. Physical life is natural life –– spiritual life is supernatural life.
Adam and Eve originally possessed both physical and spiritual life. When God created Adam and Eve, He created them as triune beings — spirit, soul, and body — in His own image. You know that God is triune, but have you ever heard that man is also created triune –– in the image of God?
God consists of Spirit, Soul and Body. The Soul of God is seated in God the Father –– this is the character and personality of God –– this is who and what He is. God the Son, Jesus Christ, is God revealed in a phyisical body; and the Holy Spirit is God revealed in spirit. It is therefore no surprise that man, created in the image of God, also consists of spirit, soul and body!
The soul of man is his character and personality, and consists of his WILL, INTELLECT, and EMOTION –– this is who and what you are. Man's body is represented by his SENSES. Your soul communicates with the material or physical world through your senses. Your body is therefore the link between your soul and the physical world.
However, man was also created with a spirit. A person can only communicate with God and the spirit world through your spirit. The Bible teaches us that God is Spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and truth. (John 4: 23,24.) However, the human spirit must not be confused with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God –– the human spirit is completely independent from the Holy Spirit.
(Please note that the illustrations in this article are not a physical presentation of how the brain functions. These are only illustrations to distinguish the functions we are talking about.)
What is important to understand is that every human being is born with a dormant, or dead spirit. Immortality is seated in the spirit. When Adam and Eve fell into sin, the Spirit of God left them, their spirit became dormant, and their spiritual life died. We read in Genesis that Adam and Eve, like God, were created to live forever, but that they became mortal after the fall.
God positioned angels to watch over the entrance of Paradise in order that man might not eat of the "tree of life" and live forever. (Genesis 3: 22-24.) The people of Adam's generation had still become very old, but we read in Genesis 6: 3: "And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." Because all humans are descended from Adam and Eve, we all inherited Adam and Eve's fallen nature and dormant spirit.
Let us now return to the concept of regeneration. As we have already explained, every human being is naturally born spiritually dead, and therefore we must be born again spiritually. As we previously said, regeneration is the birth of spiritual life in a person. With regeneration our spirit is made alive. With regeneration we receive spiritual, and therefore eternal life. Spiritual and eternal life can only be received and contained by man's spirit. Regeneration is solely the work of God the Holy Spirit. No human being can produce spiritual life.
When a person is born again, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in the spirit of man and man becomes a partaker of the nature of God. (2 Pet 1: 4.) Regeneration is the first and fundamental step of God's spiritual recovery program to restore the consequences of the fall in man by reviving our spirit.
How does one know whether you are born again? The fact that you confess that you are a Christian, baptized and a member of a church, that Jesus is your Savior, or that you 'gave your heart to Jesus', or that you prayed the sinners prayer, is in itself no guarantee that you are born again. There are multitudes who make these confessions without being born again. You must have a testimony of regeneration! In other words you need to know that it happened to you and you have to be able to tell how or where and when it happened. In the same way one knows that you were born physically and can tell how, where and when it happened (even if you can not remember the exact date and detail), one knows that you were born spiritually or born again! Below are six guidelines you may use to test yourself. If you can answer “yes” to all the questions below, you may know that you are born again:
Do you know that you are born again? Are you absolutely sure you are born again? Dear friend, this matter is so important that you cannot afford to be in doubt about it! Without spiritual life you are lost! This is a serious matter –– it is a matter of life and death! We read in 1 Cor 15:50: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.” Who knows if this will be your last opportunity to settle your eternal destiny, for we read in Heb 4: 7: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”
The question now is, how does one become born again?
Maybe you've heard the Gospel many times and maybe what I have written below is old news to you. However, it is important to see the picture of the Gospel clearly and therefore I will once again briefly summarise these well-known truths.
You and I, and every other human being, were born under the judgment of God and on our way to eternal death and hell, unless we are born again! The Bible teaches us that every person is conceived and born in sin. By nature every person has a natural inclination to sin, and by nature every human being sins daily by transgressing the commandments and laws of God. From the first tantrum you threw as a baby when you were hungry or thirsty, to rejection of the Gospel message that came to you via your parents, the church, a family member, friend or someone else -- the most respected and best person on earth is contaminated with sin, under the judgement of God, and in need of forgiveness and cleansing.
As we have seen above, man lost his spiritual life with the fall and every human being is born spiritually dead, with a sinful nature, and under the judgment of God. On what basis can one now be born again? This, of course, is the wonderful story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A blood sacrifice had to be offered -- for God determined that on Divine legal grounds (in terms of the law of God) there would be no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood. (Heb. 9:22.) In other words, a substitute sacrifice had to be made by someone who is without sin and who is not subject to the pernicious seed of Satan. This had to be a perfect sacrifice -- and there is only ONE Person who meets this requirement -- that is God Himself.
Through His substitutionary death on the Cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ offered a perfect sacrifice and paid the full penalty for the fall, your and my sin, and the sin of the entire world. In doing so, He satisfied God's righteous demand that sin be punished by death; and by the shedding of His blood He fulfilled God's legal condition to reconcile man to God and break the power of sin and Satan.
Through His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ broke the power of Satan who had the power over death, legally stripping him of his authority and power over the human race; while triumphing over sin, Satan, death, and hell! At the same time, He restored God's purpose in creation for you and me including our eternal position as co-heirs with Christ. Read the three Scriptures below in order to once again focus in on the Gospel picture.
John 3: 16,17: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."
Phil 2: 5-11: "... Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Rev 5: 9,10: "And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.""
Two major thoughts are flowing from the above verses of Scripture that I would like to share with you. When one sees the complete picture of God's plan to restore creation from the fall, one does not only stand amazed at the genial and brilliant content thereof, but is overwhelmed by the realisation that God loved us so much by taking such a drastic step in order to prove it to you and me!
God builds His Kingdom through the voluntary and wilful surrender of His creatures -- through such an intense demonstration of Divine love that even the most hardened criminal will kneel at the Cross of Calvary when he sees and understands it!
By faith! Through faith in the Person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the Cross! God is the only person who is able to regenerate the human spirit, and faith in Jesus Christ is the catalyst that transforms something humanly impossible into spiritual reality.
Faith in Jesus Christ is the only method God has instituted by which fallen man can restore his lost Divine position. Why faith? In the first place because unbelief is the original sin. Adam and Eve sinned because they did not believe God; instead they believed Satan's lies. But secondly, faith excludes all human effort! Faith excludes all human achievement and merit. Faith treats all people equal.
You cannot regenerate your own dead spirit! You cannot save yourself! You cannot earn your regeneration and position as a child of God by any achievement on your part. No amount of good works, charity, generosity, helping the poor, or whatever good deed you can think of, can ever earn your salvation and restore your fallen human nature and spirit! There is only ONE way -- and that is through faith in Jesus Christ!
A final remark on faith. There is a difference between passive faith and active faith. Passive faith is the passive acceptance of a truth, while active faith is a personal appropriation of a truth for yourself through an active step of your Will. Active faith focuses on the Person of Jesus Christ, His crucifixion and resurrection, through an active appropriation of what He has done for YOU personally.
An important reason why there are millions of people in the world who call themselves Christians but do not experience the full joy, peace and purpose of a Christian life, is because they only have passive faith. Passive faith will only make you miserable. It's like believing you're the heir of a royal estate, but you continue to live in poverty because you did not register as an heir and took possession of your inheritance.
Another important reason why many people are not born again when they accept Jesus Christ as their Savior is because they are focussed on what they expect God to do FOR them, instead of what God wants to do WITH them! The first is a self-centered faith -- the second is a God-centered faith.
You must appropriate the following truths for yourself through a sincere God-centered faith, characterized by a sincere repentance for your lost and sinful condition:
You were physically born a sinner because you inherited a sinful nature from Adam and Eve as a result of the Fall. Consequently, you are spiritually dead, living in a broken relationship with God and under His judgment -- unless you are born again. Your problem is not only that you have sinned, but that you are a sinner because you were born from the sin-infected seed of the fall! Rom 5:12 says: "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned." Rom 3:23 reads: "... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"
Jesus Christ paid the full penalty for your sin on the Cross of Calvary with His blood, through His death and resurrection from the dead. Because of His redemptive work on the Cross, you can be born again, justified and reconciled to God. This atonement and justification is a free gift to you from God through Jesus Christ. Romans 5:18: "Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life." Eph 2: 8,9 reads: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."
This free gift of God must be received by you through a voluntary and wilful step of faith in prayer; after which regeneration will follow as an act of God and proof of your acceptance by Him as His child. John 1:12 reads: "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name."
This voluntary and wilful step of faith in prayer must contain at least these three elements:
REMORSEFUL CONFESSION - that you are a lost sinner, that you have sinned against God, and that you are destined for eternal death. 1 Joh 1: 8,9 says: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
REPENTANCE - you must turn your back on your sinful life and fallen condition and be willing to break with sin. Act 3:19 reads: "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,"
FAITH - you must fully believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord and trust Him to save you from the punishment as well as the power of sin. You must make a full surrender of your life to Him. This means that you must trust Him fully to redeem and deliver you from the penalty and power of sin, while turning your back on sin. Heb 11: 6 says: "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
If any of the above three elements are missing, regeneration will not occur. Note that all three of these elements are elements of faith. The first two elements are not something you should do plus faith! The first two elements are simply confessions of the position from which, and the reason why you place your faith in Jesus Christ -- that you are a sinner and that you cannot save yourself. This ensures that you place your faith in Jesus Christ for the right reason. Many people place their faith in Jesus Christ for the sake of prosperity or healing without having been saved from sin and its consequences.
It's simple! If you pray the simple prayer below in sincerity and earnestness, turning your back on sin, you will be born again and the Holy Spirit will revive your spirit and dwell within you. Another way of saying this is, Jesus Christ will come to live in your heart.
You may also pray in your own words, but it is important that you pray correctly and that you mean what you say. Jesus says in Joh 6:37 that He will never reject anyone who comes to Him.
Now you must stand on the Word of God and walk in the promises of His Word. Do not rely on feelings or wait for supernatural manifestations or evidence! Simply move forward by faith! Faith! Faith! Faith! Faith in God and His Word! If the devil asks you, how do you know you are born again, answer him with the Word: It is written in Joh 1:12: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” and 1 Joh 5: 10-13: "He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; ... And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God." Write these texts on a card and keep them in your pocket. Memorise them and quote them every time the devil wants to sow doubt in your mind.
You have just taken the first and most important step in discovering and fulfilling your God-given purpose! But remember -- this is only the first step -- this is only the beginning. You have now entered the door of God's Kingdom within which His purpose and plan for your life will be revealed. Now you are inside the Kingdom of God and no longer outside. Now you are on a journey in discovering your purpose within the Kingdom of God. Now you are born again, but just like that newborn baby in the delivery room, you will now have a need for and yearning after spiritual milk.
There are now some very important things needed for your spiritual growth:
1. You must read your Bible and pray every day –– not as a legal habit, but because you long to hear what the Lord wants to say and teach you, getting to know Him better. The Bible is the Word of God and God speaks to His children primarily through His Word. Through prayer you speak to God, and through the Word and prayer you build your personal relationship with the Lord.
2. You need to actively engage and become involved in an evangelical church or congregation of born-again children of the Lord where you can receive pure teaching, be spiritually cared for, and be part of a spiritual family that, like yourself, is on route within God's purpose and plan for their lives . It's not sufficient to just go to church. Do not put your conscience to sleep! You must have spiritual fellowship with other born-again children of the Lord!
3. Testify to others –– especially your family and friends. Tell someone what happened to you. This is a very important principle for spiritual growth. I call it the outflow-inflow principle. There is no life in the Dead Sea in Israel because it has no outlet. Many children of the Lord only receive the testimony of the Holy Spirit in their hearts when they begin to witness to others. We read in Rom 10: 9,10: “... if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” In Luke 9:26 Jesus says, "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels." The more you witness outwardly, the more you receive the witness of the Holy Spirit in your heart.
4. If you have not yet been baptised, you must be baptised as a testimony to the Church of your regeneration.
If you have prayed the prayer above, we would like to pray for you and communicate with you from time to time. We would like to help you grow in your faith and send you information to help you do so. Please complete the form below to place your name on the Growth Prayer List. We undertake to treat your personal information in the strictest confidence.
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