Let us remember from where we came. Because God has called us through our election in Him, let us realize, especially in this “fullness of time”, that restoration becomes a part of our continual walk in Christ. God, by the Holy Spirit has placed our feet upon a pathway that, through obedience, will bring us to the place we had in Him before this world had its beginning. Thus, God has called us to live and not die. In living, we are to become a living sacrifice to God. Rom. 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that your present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”.
In light of God’s great plan of salvation, the mercies or benefits that salvation brings to us, the need to respond appropriately is necessary. As Christians we, the spiritual Israel, the spiritual seed of Abraham, should in place of sacrificing animals, need to offer unto Him our bodies, all that we are, as a living sacrifice each day. With sacrifice being our reasonable service, it does suggest that a rational response to God’s mercies is to commit ourselves in an act of pure spiritual worship. We likewise need to respond to His truth and awaken to God’s loving kindness. Herein we produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit that is reviving us within our spirit, and then through obedience comes the renewing of our soul.
In separating through sacrifice from the influence of this world or age, we separate from a godless system whose god is self. The sacrifice of separation and being transformed speaks of the renewing of our minds to prove by practical everyday living that God’s will for us is good and acceptable and perfect. To renew our minds means to renovate, implying a restoration to freshness or to an original state. This speaks of the potential of redemptions power to reinstate features of God’s original intention for humanity and a recovery of many potentialities of the human mind, soul and body as designed before the fall of man. The mind, our intellect, the place of our understanding, is a mind-set that includes our feelings, our desires and our will. Transformation by the renewing of the mind indicates a literal change in our thought patterns. This speaks that redemptions provision of authority is able to install in us godliness. This speaks of a power that transforms our thoughts, our purposes and our actions. This shapes the life to walk the path to godly living in submission to Father God’s provision and ways. When speaking of a renewed mind, we should consider that the mind has three departments that need to be renewed. First, let us consider the sub-conscience mind, then the conscience mind and then the spiritual or super-conscience mind. This renewing of the mind comes forth as we set aside that which is the product of a fallen worldly mind. This is accomplished by responding to and through the act of love, that is God’s Son Jesus dying on the cross and being resurrected to dwell at the Father’s right hand, all this for us. This love is the love of God that He desires to manifest through the hearts of humanity.
In God ministering to the seven churches of Asia spoken of in the book of Revelation, He is ministering a word of overcoming. A spoken word when acted upon, God might in the overcoming, manifest Himself in the fullness of His original purpose and will. To the church of the Laodicean, God speaks of an existing condition, which He rebukes. Here God speaks of a lukewarm condition that robs much of the church of the promises given by God. Rev. 3:17-18, “Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich, and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed, and anoint your eyes with eye salve that you may see”. In claiming to be rich and wealthy, they remain poor. In laying claim to the ability to see through the understanding of laws, traditions and doctrines, they remain blind. They, as well as the church of today, lay claim to garments of Christ’s righteousness but remain naked. The church is, in this lukewarm condition, counseled to buy from God gold that they might be rich, to buy white garments that they might be covered and not found to be naked. Likewise, they are to anoint their eyes that they might see.
Why is the church, exhorted by God to buy redemption, with God knowing that redemption comes without money or price? Could it be that God is willing to give the repentant church the fullness of His promises that it might be able to purchase of God that which He has purposed beforehand? Does not gold refined in the fire and putting on white garments speak to us of change? This is a changing of the fallen nature of man into God’s righteousness, His nature. This is putting off that which is corruptible and putting on incorruption, and finally a removing of that which is mortal and a putting on of that which is immortal. This change enables God’s people to begin to behold the majesty that God is willing to reveal and share with us. This speaks of those things that are alive in the heavenly sphere, the dwelling place of God within each repentant vessel.
Because God has told the church that flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit must bring about a change. How is this change to be completed? (Read John 3:1-13). Here, Jesus the Christ introduces a phrase unto the world that, for the most part, as been left unfulfilled. That is, “You must be born again”. This phrase speaks of a birth that is more than a birth from the mother’s natural womb. For that which is born of the flesh is flesh. This flesh birth is that birth which is wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. However, Jesus speaks to us of another birth, a birth of the Spirit and that, which is born of the Spirit, is spirit. This speaks of that birth which is of the gold refined in the fire. This birth results in being clothed with those new white garments. These garments cover the nakedness of our shame, which is that which is born of the flesh. This “new birth” is more than simply being “saved” from passed sins. It is a re-qualifying experience, opening up the possibilities of our whole being to the supernatural dimension of life and fitting us to begin a walk in God’s kingdom order. In “new birth”, we see the kingdom of God, His word becoming clear, and the Holy Spirits’ works and wonders believed and experienced. Herein faith is alive. We enter into a new realm, where God’s new kingdom order now lives within the vessel. A being born of the Spirit fully results in a people moving as the wind. A coming and going as God sends them. Not knowing where this people come from or where they go. A people spirit led, as by the wind, completely by God’s Holy Spirit (Read John 3:8).
In understanding that our mind-set is the results of those things taught, environmental upbringing, things passed down from past generations and all other things learned and experienced from our natural birth. In some cases, the things that have helped to form our mind-set are the results of dogmas, doctrine and traditions that have resulted from half-truths and degrees of deception. Some of these are also the results of mistranslations from the translators of scripture. As an example, we have in the King James Bible in John 5:39 such a mistranslation as quoted, “Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me”. This translation forms the thought within our minds that one of the most important things for Christians to do is spend their time in studying the scriptures for there they think they might have life. While it is very important for Christians to be very very familiar with the written Word of God, but in studying the scriptures alone, we can miss the most important part. From a more direct translation, we have the true statement from Christ Jesus. John 5:39 should read, “You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of me”. Could it not be that while trying to respond to the demand to search the scriptures we miss out on the greater results which John 5:40 speaks of, “But you are not willing to come to me that you may have life”. Could it not be that many people know, memorize and quote scripture yet have never come to the place of knowing Him of whom the scriptures testify?
A change in the spirit, soul and body of a person does not come from a studying and learning the scriptures only. Like the children of Israel, which lived under the covenant of the law, many Christians of today remain under that same covenant. They learn the scriptures while remaining under the letter of the law. While Jesus came in the flesh to become the word made flesh, to reveal life, humankind continues to bring himself under the law of death, that old covenant which remains under spirit of death and not the spirit of life. Note 2 Cor. 3:6 which states, “Who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life”. While knowing the scriptures only as a law, Christians remain under the law of death. Thus, people are dying every day without coming into the life that Jesus brought to us. What can change this? By removing self from thinking, we have eternal life from studying the scriptures alone to a relationship of knowing Him. It is by knowing Jesus Christ through a relationship that we have life and life eternal wherein the scriptures, the word is alive. This life is the results of a covenant written upon the heart. This is not a law to obey but a nature that works from itself until it consumes the whole man, spirit, soul and body. Gal 2:16, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified”. Being justified means a removal from the curse placed upon man at the fall. While remaining under a law of works, the person remains under that curse.
Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, expresses from his inner most desires, “That I might know Him”, realizing that while he was used of God to write the letters which make up a large portion of the New Testament, he still had a need. Not to just write about the Christ, but a need to press towards the prize, the mark of the high calling, “that I might know Him”. We, like Paul, can take serious the statement made by Jesus about the works and greater works brought forth through a people. The people who do not just know about Him as a flesh man who walked the shores of Galilee or a people who do not just know about Him as a long ago sacrifice who died on the cross for all man’s sins. However, they do know Him daily in the overcoming place of victory over death, hell and the grave. This people know Him as the risen Christ who now sits on the right hand of the Father. In this place of victory, God’s people can likewise overcome death, hell and the grave to sit with Christ in those high places. The promise remains, John 14:12-14, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” Asking in His name is more than speaking forth a name; it is coming into the place wherein we know Him in His nature. Wherein His nature becomes our nature and it manifest itself from the place of a resurrection of spirit, soul and then the body.
From this place of victory, God begins to send forth a people, as spoken to Nicodemus concerning being “born again”. These “born again” ones are empowered by the Spirit of God to come and go as the wind. Without this new birth, we shall not see or manifest the kingdom of God, but unto those “born again” ones, God sends them forth unto all creation to establish God’s holy kingdom. These shall be an unlimited people, a people enabled to do the greater works released unto them. John 3:34, “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure”. This is not speaking of a people coming forth with flowery sermons. These do not come forth to tickle the ears of the people. Nevertheless, with all things whatsoever they ask the power of God manifest. This Holy Spirit, who is of the Father, moves in the dynamic power of His office, working within these resurrecting people, to manifest the full word and power of God’s kingdom! 1 Cor. 4:19-20, “But I come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the words of those who are puffed up, but the power. For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power”. Thus, we have a people who bear witness to the power and glory of God. A born again people bringing forth the visible expression of God to glorify Him in our day among all creation. The basic principle of all that God is-is love. Therefore, this people shall love God with their complete being that they might love all God’s creation. For this cause, we love Him with all our hearts as we remain in Him.