Walk in Truth Ministries
New Beginnings Lesson 2 (Giving Birth)
DR James Sutton II
God has truly blessed us by giving us an opportunity to begin again in the newness of the rebirth or calling it, “being reborn”. In John chapter 3 Nicodemus had a problem comprehending the new birth. Some of you are just like Nicodemus, you cannot grasp first the necessity of the rebirth or how it operates. I asked the question last week, which comes first regeneration or faith? Even though we read the Scriptures it is obvious that due to our flesh we don’t want to accept what God has to say about being born again. Not having a clear and comprehensive understanding of the doctrine of regeneration and its working of salvation will hinder your growth and understanding of Jesus Christ and the cross. So this lesson will endeavor to continue to set the foundation of the new beginning starting with your rebirth and moving out to practical application of God being the center and the author of new beginnings.
Let’s start off with a simple question, “why do we need salvation or why do we need to be regenerated”? First I want you to notice that it appears to be two questions, but it’s really one question asked two ways. Some of you may believe that on your own you woke up one morning and decided to follow Jesus the Christ. In your arrogance or fleshly ignorance you actually have concluded that you decided to come to Christ and accept him as your Lord and Savior, but the Bible teaches something totally different and any thoughts that are not scriptural are not of God! (John 6:44, John 14:6) This word draw in the Greek does not mean the warning like a dove. The word draw means compelling by force one to move in a direction they do not naturally want to go. This Greek word is also used to describe when Paul was dragged into the streets and beaten with rods and sticks. The presentation of the gospel violently goes against every inclination of the flesh to the point before you got saved you had enmity with God and was is open enemy. (Romans 8:7, James 4:4) The Holy Spirit states that we were born in sin and shaped in iniquity it also concludes that our hearts are evil and wicked, so where do we get the capacity to be good enough to choose God. Ever since the fall God’s purpose was to reconcile us back into good relationship with him. The operative word is his purpose. (Ephesians 3:7-13, Ephesians 1:4, John 15:16) There is an internal mechanism in our flesh or consciousness that tells us that we are good but the bible tells us that we will not be able to choose God. There is nothing innately good in you that made you wake up and choose God before he chose you. You are simply responding to an act of grace on your behalf and God’s purpose. You needed God to find a means and a sacrifice that was acceptable enough for him to make you alive again and put you in right relationship. You bring nothing to the table because, hold onto your hats, “you were dead, disconnected, disenfranchised and doomed”! (Ephesians 2:1-10, Colossians 2:12-15)
I am trying to build a case for you to begin to understand the total depravity of man in relationship to God. Before you were saved let’s look at some more Scripture that details how God looks at you. (Psalms 143:2, Romans 11:32, Romans 323, II Chronicles 6:36, Isaiah 53:6, Micah 7:2-4, Romans 3:9-12, first John 1:8, 10, Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19). If you decide not to accept God’s account for your condition in regards to him there is no possibility for you to be saved. God did not save you from the symptoms of sin that are visible in your life that you call your problems or the way you live. The sinful heart is so deceitful that it tells our mind that there’s nothing wrong with us if we are relatively good people doing good things. Yet, there are many people that are relatively good that are going to be in hell because they have been deceived by their hearts not believing they need a Savior. Then there are those who believe they need Jesus so they can have a prosperous carnal fleshly life. I cannot stress this enough your eternal soul is at stake and the primary purpose of salvation and regeneration is to save you from your sins. Participating in any religious activity is not your evidence for your stamp of approval for being sealed by God and regenerated. Again, you bring nothing to the table in regards to your being born again because dead man don’t have anything. You were made alive because of his death not your faith. Even the faith that you have was given to you as a gift you did not attain it on your own. Since we have established that faith is also a fruit of the spirit given to those who love God and are his children and you were once a child of Satan, you have been adopted into the kingdom of God by God, for God and to God for his purpose, goodwill and pleasure. Faith is a gift from God and is measured out to you by the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 2:-nine)
I will admit and give you some inside information. There is no one that can fully explain the mystery of election and Gods will in salvation as opposed to your active passive interaction in it. There are still some mysteries that we cannot handle or if we were smart choose to handle because of our finite mind. That’s where most pastors and teachers go off range and try to razzle dazzle you with a bunch of spiritual heresy malarkey and horse chips. You will not be able to find their theology located in Scripture anywhere and when you isolate text and read into them what you want it could say anything. I pray you have grown a little bit to be different and God centered. God is the center and as Christians we have to believe what he has to say about everything from Genesis to Revelation. You cannot cherry pick the things in the Bible that benefit you, so you think and discard other truths. Either you agree with what God says and submit to it or you don’t. Now, I want you to understand that there is a learning curve that you go through towards maturity, called the process of sanctification. Grace covers your ignorance due to lack of exposure but you are left out to dry if you become willfully ignorant. Paul describes how God feels about willful ignorance, let’s look at I Corinthians 14:38. (King James version-but if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. New American Standard Bible-but anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. English standard version-if anyone does not recognize this he is not recognize. New international version-but if anyone knows this, they wield themselves be ignored.)
Simply put, we need the new birth because we were dead to God and had no relationship. If he had not decided in his grace and mercy to elect us and provide the provision of the sacrifice of his son for reconciliation we would be destined to hell. We add nothing to salvation other than being available and hoping that we are elected. Even the faith that we possess is a gift from God that we partake in because of our election not because we wanted it. Remember back in Hebrews where we talked about moving on from elementary things of God, this is the foundation of your Christian belief and worldview. If you have any worldview that suggests that you are the catalyst for your salvation it’s not Christian. Once I decided that I trust God and everything that he says I understood that I had to surrender all of my thoughts and feelings to conform to his thoughts and feelings in the process of sanctification. It’s hard to let go and move forward into new territory and as a leader I am learning that most people like staying in the dark if that’s what they’re used to. As a teacher and a student of the word of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ I must realize that for some I am just planting the seed and others water, for a few it may be an increase. I know by the Scriptures I am nothing and God is everything to him be the glory.
Make sure you memorize the Scripture Isaiah 38:18,19 and put it in your spirit, because next week we will move on from this foundational lesson to practical application of Scripture in our life, resulting in new beginnings.