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He Makes All Things New
Part one of a two-part study on Regeneration and Sanctification.

The old is gone, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5 v 17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.

What are Regeneration and Sanctification, how do they work and how do they apply to me?

The first step in a relationship with Christ is that of Salvation, where you have really had an encounter with God and know beyond a doubt that you are saved because you have fellowshipped with the Spirit of God and He now dwells within you and you are now a priest of the Most High God. Salvation is believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and that His word is true, by openly inviting Him into your heart as Lord and Savior of your life and by living by faith and not by what we can see and touch. It's through open confession and repentance of sin, both to God and man, and the acknowledgement that without God in our lives we were doomed to Hell and that He is the only thing that makes us a worthwhile person.

1 John 5 v 1 – 5: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God and everyone who loves the Father loves His child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands. This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Also, that you fulfill the purpose He has for you, be it great or small with joyful acceptance,

Matthew 22 v 36-39: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Matthew 6 v 33: But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

What this means is, if you love God you want to tell everyone you meet about Him, if you love your neighbor more than yourself, you want to see him saved and not go to Hell, so you will tell him about God and do everything you can to see him saved.

John 3 v 3: In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

If you don't tell people how they must be born again, how will they ever know about God, if you don't know what it is to be born again and what God has done for you, how can you tell others of the power of God, why should they love Him if you can't give them a good reason? If you can't give them a better offer than what Satan has where does that leave them?

1 Peter 1 v 23: For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

OK, now what exactly is it that God has done for you that no one else on earth can? He has wiped the slate clean. With man it is hard to forget wrongs, no matter how hard you try, or how much you pay, there is always someone somewhere who remembers what you did who is unwilling to let it go and forget about it, whereas with God, when He forgives He also no longer has a need to call it to mind. It is all written in the book which holds the story of our lives. One day we will remember with tears during the judgment all of our sins and failings, but we are encouraged to know that Christ is right there with us receiving again the glory of His death for each and every sin we committed that required His precious blood to be spilt to redeem us, so to Him until judgment it's like it never happened.

We are a royal priesthood.

How does this new chance happen, how does it work, how does He take you from being in the world and make you part of His royal priesthood, how does He make you an alien in your own home, on your own planet?

1 Peter 2 v 11: Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

1 Peter 1 v 17: Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.

Hebrews 11 v 13: All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.

Now I hope you know that I am referring to alien as in an immigrant alien rather than a 'space alien'. But the point is this, He separates you from the herd and you become citizens of Heaven, ambassadors to the lost, He wants you to know you are different, called for a purpose. If you feel as though you belong, you get comfortable, relax and let down your guard, go with the flow and you give in to sinful desires little by little till they consume you. But if you feel as though you are a stranger, that you don't fit in with what the world has to offer, you are going to examine everything and see if it will do you good or harm.

Let us say you are in a foreign country. You are going to find out what you are eating before you stick it in your mouth. You want to know if it will make you sick and whether it really is food. The same goes with God: He wants you to examine what you do, say or think before you do it, say it or allow yourself to get carried away on a line of thinking, all three of which will put you in sin. Get jumpy about sin, get concerned; these are the things that war against your very soul.

God wants you to understand the opportunity He has given you and He doesn't want to see you throw it away. People perish through lack of knowledge, through not understanding and not placing a high enough value on the gifts of God.

Literally taking for granted what Christ has done, we forget who we are.

John 1 v 13: Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

Isaiah 61 v 6: And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of the nations, in their riches you will boast

1 Peter 2 v 5: you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Revelations 1 v 6: and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father- to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

Revelations 20 v 6: Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

PART 1:
Regeneration:

Our heart and Spirit from birth know that they belong with God, it pains us in our heart and Spirit to be away from God. When we are outside of God, we are exposed, each wound and hurt we encounter in life and every act of self hatred, every act of sin that draws us further away from Him cuts to the heart. What happens to a cut? It forms scar tissue. Scar tissue is very tough. Form enough of it and it begins to be hard for you to move those parts of your body, your skin literally becomes like a rock with layer upon layer of scar tissue, your skin will turn to stone. What happens if the walls become thicker on your heart because it is filled with scar tissue until it can't beat anymore? You die. Well the same happens in the spirit, and, no, there is nothing you can do to stop it, but there is something God can do about it.

Ezekiel 36 v 26: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will give you a heart of flesh.

He can make us over, cause us to be born again. The outside may not change but the inside does, the heart and spirit are made new and the stench of death is washed away

Ezekiel 11 v 19: I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

2 Corinthians 5 v 17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.

Titus 3 v 3 - 8: At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

1 Peter 1 v13 – 16: Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

God wants us to know the simplicity of His plan; that everything has been taken care of, that His grace and salvation are made just for us and they are free. Not because of anything we did or didn't do. He loved us and saw us in our misery and gave us salvation and then He made us a new creation, a triangle that can never again fit into a square life, to Him the old life means nothing! It doesn't matter whether we were a good person who never broke the law, or the most evil person on the face of the earth, once you are forgiven and made new that's all that counts to Him, the new creation. Now if you committed crimes that earned you time in jail, God may rescue you from it, or give you a purpose to fulfill behind bars. 75% of the apostle Paul's ministry was accomplished from behind bars. We don't earn salvation; He gives it freely to all who love Him. Once you're saved, all you have to do is abide in Him, live a life worthy of the offering He gave. You don't have to keep getting saved, it's like applying for a job that you already have all over again, nothing you can do will make Him love you more. Just be what He called you to be and do the task He has given you, willingly with joy and love, and nothing you have done will make Him close the door, (like the song) unless you openly reject Him and spit in His face by continuing to be rebellious and unsubmissive to the life He gave you to save you from Hell.

Galatians 6 v 15: Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

Better a little pain and suffering now than horrendous torture without end for an eternity.

God does not promise joyful circumstances, but He does promise joy in the circumstances, you just have to look for it. And what greater joy is there than to know that you are where the Lord wants you to be and you are doing what God has called you to do and having a joyful attitude about it besides? That is what counts: not where you are or what the job is, but that you rejoice in it.

And if He hasn't made you a new person, you're not saved! If people who met you yesterday can't openly see the difference in you today you're not saved! God makes you better today than yesterday and everyday. You become more holy walking in His light, and try as you might, without His saving grace you will never see God, you will never have peace, joy or love or any other blessing that comes from the fullness of God's abounding grace.

Ephesians 4 v 22 – 24: You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 2 v 11 – 16: Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— remember that at that time you were separated from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one (the Jew and the gentile) and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility.

The uncircumcised and the circumcised were hostile towards each other; Christ took every reason for them to hate each other upon Him and put it to death to bring unity and peace. In biblical times, you could not be considered a Jew or take part in the inheritance of the Jews unless you were circumcised, to them the uncircumcised were barbarians, they were those outside of God, not part of the promise given to those who obeyed the Laws and Statutes laid out by God for the Jews through Moses. But God does not want anyone to go to Hell so He made a way for all to serve Him, through faith by grace. The Law was made so that through following it wholeheartedly, God would have for Himself a holy nation, but because the flesh is weak, men continued to fail to be holy and the Law only became a means of making us aware of sin. Through His Son Jesus Christ who came as a man and in the weakness of the flesh as a vessel of the power of God He in His weakness overcame temptation and was blameless, He fulfilled the law.

The male penis is used to create life, if the foreskin remains and the man is not cleanly, he will get an infection and most likely his penis will fall off, he is unable to promote life. Circumcision allows him to keep it free from disease that brings the death of his family line. If Christ does not circumcise the body of Christ, He is unable to give life to those who want to be a part of Him. The circumcision we receive is the cutting away of the dead flesh - the old man. The sinful nature is a disease that riddles the body of unbelievers. If you cut off your leg because of gangrene it can no longer cause you pain or kill the rest of your body (E.g. Matthew 5 v 29: If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into Hell.)

That is why it is no longer circumcision of the flesh that God acknowledges (yes, you can still circumcise your sons, but do it for health reasons, not religious ones), but that of the Spirit (Colossians 2 v 13 – 14: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross.), cutting it away from sinful weak flesh that it may no more be defiled, but that it may be holy unto Him.

Romans 2 v 28 – 29: A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.

Because we are all alike in our sin, both Jews and Gentiles, we are all able to receive the grace of God through His salvation apart from the law that condemns. What a wonderful God we serve.

Romans 3 v 28 – 29: For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too.

Romans 3 v 9 – 24: What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips." "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know." "There is no fear of God before their eyes." Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Romans 6 v 11: In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6 v 14: For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Romans 8 v 3 – 4: For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8 v 1 – 18: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Romans 7 v 4 – 13: So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet." But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

Romans 10 v 4: Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Acts 13 v 38 – 39: Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through Him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.

Romans 13 v 8 – 10: Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Galatians 2 v 16 – 21: know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. "If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

Galatians 3 v 10 – 14: All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

James 2 v 10 - 11: For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

Galatians 3 v 15 – 25: Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ. What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in His grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one. Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

Galatians 5 v 4 – 6: You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Galatians 5 v 13 – 14: You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Galatians 6 v 2: Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

1 Timothy 1 v 9 - 11: We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which He entrusted to me.

James 1 v 19 – 25: My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

Philippians 3 v 2 – 14: Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 7 v 11- 12: If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come—one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.

Hebrews 7 v 19: (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

Hebrews 10 v 1 – 10: The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, 'Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, O God.' " First He said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made). Then He said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

We know that with Salvation comes Regeneration, the replacing of the heart hardened by a life of sin with a heart that beats for God. We join in the sufferings of Christ in this earthly body now while we are on this earth that we may also be counted worthy of the inheritance laid up for us in Heaven. We know that we have the forgiveness of sins, and open communion with the Lord. We are His royal priesthood with 24 hour access to God, that there is never a time that we can not go before God and bring our burdens, needs, sicknesses and sins before Him. We know that Jesus is our intercessor, continually before the throne on our behalf out of love, and that we must put to death the old life, cut it away from ourselves, want nothing to do with it and stand against it any time it tries to rise up. But what else is there?

His promise of renewal by the Holy Spirit, that we will go from strength to strength and that we shall be able to overcome the traps and snares of Satan. The only way to become stronger is to train your body, the only reason to train your body is for a purpose, nobody does something for nothing. As my dad says, "there is always a payoff", what would be the point of building muscle if you didn't need to? It's usually either A) to please your vanity or B) Because you have a job or task ahead of you that requires great strength. But either way, there is still a payoff, the job gets done because you have the strength, or you can sit there flexing your muscles and kissing your biceps in the mirror because you think your pretty buff. You see a payoff; you get something out of what ever it is that you're doing.

How does God make us stronger, more able to stand against the attacks of the enemy, joyfully able to face persecution, physical or otherwise and not faint when the going gets tough? He trains us the same way you would train for a weight lifting competition, by working on specific target areas, and doing reps, the same workout routine over and over, gradually increasing the amount of weight you use as you get stronger and the work gets easier, always moving the goals a little higher, aiming for better than your personal best, aiming for a world record.

Well God does the same thing, only He doesn't want your personal best, He wants you to use His strength to stand against the onslaught. Just as you do reps with a workout, God will find an area that doesn't match up with the image of perfection you were created to be, and He's going to work on it. And as you overcome each trial and test, they will get longer and harder, not because He is a cruel and unjust God, but because He knows that He has already overcome it, He has overcome the world.

John 16 v 33: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

1 John 5 v 3 – 5: This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

1 John 4 v 4: You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Revelation 2 v 17: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

Revelation 3 v 5: He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and His angels.

You just have to take His hand and let Him lead you through. If you look at the situation through the Father's eyes, you will see the enemy dead on the ground, and the way made straight, we just have to walk in it. It is when we lean to our own understanding that we fail, when we say 'there is no way that I can do that', we let go of God's hands and start wringing our own in fear, worrying.

Philippians 4 v 6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

We serve a God who loves us and does not want to see us fail, and we should always be in a state of prayer. There should never be a time when you feel alone in something, or feel worried about something. If it bothers you or you don't know what to do, take it to the Lord in prayer.

1 Corinthians 10 v 13: No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Do you see? He will not put you through something He knows you can not handle, AND He provides a way out so that you don't fall into sin, we fall when we do it our way. No matter how bad it seems, always remember that God is in control. Don't ever say I can't do this; it's too hard, because God would not have allowed it if He knew you could not handle it. Not only will He not test you beyond your limitations in the weakness of your flesh, He also will not bless you beyond the bounds of your faith, stewardship and obedience. It is measured out accordingly.

My uncle used to have to walk several miles to work and back again. One day he asked the Lord for a ride at least part of the way to work and back again. Well, according to his faith the Lord answered him, because he did not believe that God could supply a ride the whole way to work and back. God set things up that he walked two miles to a guy's house and rode the rest of the way to work, and on the way home he walked two miles from the guy's house back to his. Don't you think that if he had even a smidge more faith God could just as easily have had the guy drive the two miles extra either way to pick him up and drop him at the door of his house? Of course He could, but God says to do all things according to your faith, including how you ask for things in prayer. If you understood the magnitude of God and how powerful He really is, that every breath you take He gave you, if you looked at every single little thing around you and see the hand of God at work in it, your faith will increase. It has to, otherwise you are denying the power of God and essentially God Himself.

If you would lose your walk with the Lord if He gave you a new car or enough money to do the work He set out for you, He won't give it to you. He will find another way for you to get the job done. It comes down to faith and being able to stop and ask God what He wants you to do with that which He has given you stewardship over. He may give you a car so that you can turn around and give it to someone else the next day. With faith and an attitude of joy and humility, you store up greater rewards than anything you could accumulate here on earth. But how willing are you to do it, how willing are you to take God's hand and let His will be done in your life? All of the things that happen serve a purpose:

Psalm 51 v 10 – 12: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

He teaches you willingness of Spirit and steadfastness, meaning that if you are willing to undergo the training He has for you, you will grow stronger and more firmly rooted in your faith, He wants to build you up till not even the earth cracking in half right in front of you will shake you, and watching the half of the earth that you are not on spin off into space with everything you owned on it leaving you with nothing, and it won't upset you. You will rest assured in this:

Romans 14 v 7 – 9: For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that He might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

Psalm 50 v 10 – 12: For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.

Psalm 89 v 11: The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it.

Haggai 2 v 8: 'The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the LORD Almighty.

You see it's OK to trust God. He owns everything and He has everything in hand.

It is important to understand that sometimes God will allow a door to open that He does not want you to walk through, to test your eyes and ears in the spirit. You may want to buy a house or a new car, but God does not want you to have it right now. He may even let the loan be approved just to see if you accept that God is not in it, that this is not His will for you right now and that you must walk away. And that's a hard thing to do.

You may need $350.00 for your rent, money you don't have. But somehow just in time the Lord provides the way and the money comes in. You are now on your way to pay your rent and meet a family with no food. Do you pay the bill, give them some or give them all of the money? You would be surprised just how many people would not give them a single dollar and do not believe that if God gave them the money they needed once, that He could just as easily provide it again. Or just how many people put their own needs above those of others, not trusting God at all to meet their needs.

Isaiah 40 v 28 – 31: Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Matthew 6 v 25 – 34: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

When Jesus says "is life not more important than food," He does not speak of your life, but of the lives of those who do not know God. For God is not narrow minded: He does not command you to feed yourself, but to feed His sheep to give them life through feeding them His word and He, your shepherd will feed you, both in spirit and in flesh.

Matthew 25 v 31 – 46: "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left. "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' "Then He will say to those on His left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

1 Timothy 5 v 17 – 18: The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages."

Romans 4 v 4 – 5: Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

You can earn all the money you want, and it will come to you. Your employer is obliged to pay you, and it's value is worth only the price tag the world puts on it. But the one who does the work of the Lord, trusting and through faith, not only is he blessed in his body, but through faith his work is also credited to him as righteousness and the eternal value and the rewards stored up in Heaven are beyond compare.

Revelation 3 v 17 – 19: You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.

Luke 10 v 7 – 8: Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you.

Be content with where the Lord leads you and how He chooses to reward you. It is all the refiner's fire, purifying you through and through. What you are given is the best, no one ever feeds a guest bad food, but they give the best that they have to give. Be thankful.

And when He speaks of the body, He does not speak of your flesh and bones and the clothes you hang on them, but of the body of the church, the bride of Christ. Purified. No man puts on white robes or fine linen when he is covered in dirt, first he bathes and then he wears it.

Hebrews 10 v 21 – 23: And since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

2 Corinthians 7 v 1: Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

Matthew 8 v 2 – 3: A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. "I am willing," He said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.

Now that we are a royal priesthood for Jesus here on earth, we are the ones who bring Jesus to those who are unclean, rotting in their sin. We are the ones Jesus sends to bring a lamp in the darkness to those who need to be shown the way by bringing the gospel to the world. As vessels from the potter's hand Jesus will use us to cleanse the body of the church, He will fill us up only to pour Himself out through us and He will continue to do so until the body is purged. He will use us to cast out demons and cut out the disease and the filth, to be sure that His bride is ready and waiting when He returns.

Ephesians 5 v 22 – 30: Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of His body.

Is this not some of the most beautiful scripture, to know that He wants us to experience in the flesh between a man and a woman what He has done for the Church both in Spirit and in Flesh.

Revelation 6 v 9 – 11: When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.

Revelation 7 v 9 – 10: After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

Revelation 7 v 13 – 17: Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

Hebrews 7 v 24 – 26: But because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

He wants us to be as He is. He wants us to share in His riches and to bask in His glory. To take part in riches and glory that does not fade or end.

Revelation 3 v 18: I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Revelation 21 v 5: He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then He said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

Do you really believe that God has made you a new creation? God in His word says that He has, but you know something special? He has His own way of doing things. Not only does He make you into a new creation, He makes you something totally different than you have ever been before, and when He makes you different He begins to do something with you. Before you were saved He was in a holding pattern, His hands were tied, but when you opened the door and let Him in, you untied His hands and let Him have full reign. You did let Him have control didn't you? Well, if not, you really should, because you will miss out on some really exciting and powerful stuff that you can never imagine.

These next set of scriptures will help you understand in depth just how much of a new creation you are. Our old selves were pretty much cookie cut-outs to fit the enemy's design. We were molded by him in our youth. But when God makes you new, He makes you something so totally different that there never is and never will be another just like you. You are so special to Him, He wants you to know that you are the only one like you and no one can ever replace you before God. If you fall away from God to serve Satan you are a one of a kind treasure that can never be replaced. You are born of His own design. Sure, He can always get another apostle, teacher, pastor, evangelist, or prophet to do the work He had for you in whatever your calling was, but there is no other like you. You were created for a purpose, a unique combination that will help many get saved, or maybe just one. But that one person may only have been able to receive the gospel from you because of how God made you. Sure you can have things in common with others, taste in food and clothes, music and car. But no matter how much you have in common, the differences are always greater.

Isaiah 43 v 18 – 19: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

This scripture is just so incredible; it speaks with such joy of what God has done for us from the very moment we were saved. First comes the admonition, He says to forget the past, move on, the old hurt can't hurt you anymore, the wounds have been bound and nurtured in the loving arms of God. He already bore them on His body. And then, in He comes, our Lord of Love with sweeping glory, our rescuer and deliverer, with encouragement! Reassuring us like the babes in Christ we are, "See I am doing a new thing." Like a big band-aid and a lollipop, He makes it all better. Then, He begins to teach you in the Spirit. He teaches you to use your spiritual eyes. "Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?" Now we know that nothing springs up unless a great weight has been lifted from it, and no tree springs up from the ground to enjoy life, until in the very beginning a sacrifice is made, as a tree is so vastly different from its seed both in looks and in size. So are our old life and the new one we are given in Christ.

But like a tree and its seed, one must die that the other might live. Who will it be? I wonder. A seed has one purpose, that is to free the life within it. If it does not, it is useless and thrown away. But a tree, like our Father, gives life. Its joy in life is to give life, our joy in life should be to give life. A seed is ugly, its real beauty trapped within. It is the same with us. Just like our old life, if we choose to remain in it, the seed is doomed to death. Its only purpose is to die. Our old life, the sin nature, has been doomed since the fall to be judged and sent to Hell. But if we choose to let it die and allow the true creation God made us to be rather than the cheap imitation Satan taught us to be, if we let God draw that creation out of the shell it was encased in, something really does spring up.

If you have ever planted a garden like my sisters and I have, and watched every day to see what happens, it's like an underground explosion, the plant doesn't just crawl out of the ground, it bursts through in one big effort to break free of the seed casing.

1 Peter 1 v 23: For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

When we are truly saved and have a real encounter with God, at the moment of Salvation the same thing happens in the spirit. Your spirit bursts free, desperate to be free of the tomb it was in. God wants you to be instantly so far removed from the old person that you can literally turn around and see your old self standing there in all its filth and then see the new creation that you are and run, because you never want that old self to touch you. You recoil at the thought of ever going back to who you used to be.

He will make a way for us in the desert; He will be our guide. A desert looks the same in every direction to anyone who has never been there, but to an experienced guide, the way is always easy to find, you just have to ask. Like a stream in the wasteland will promote growth and life and riches in abundance, we were a wasteland. Now that we have drank of the Holy Spirit, we have life and that more abundantly. We will grow each day in the Lord and He will restore to us the inheritance He has stored up for us in Heaven as our reward. All that we should have had in a life apart from sin, He has restored, and we are sons of God once more.

Isaiah 42 v 5: This is what God the LORD says— He who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:

(There is a difference between taking a breath and giving breath, [because each one could be your last] and a difference between living and having life. Breathing is what keeps your flesh going until it can't run anymore. But if you don't have the life of Christ within you when you die, boy are you out of luck! You don't cease to exist, or float off into nothingness; you face judgment! YOU have to give an account for why you turned God and life down every time someone came to you and tried to get you out of the sinkhole you were in. And then you have to give an excuse for every word, thought and deed that you did outside of the grace of God and outside of the Spirit's leading. So if you're not saved and you have made it this far and still don't intend to be, you better get you some good excuses right now, because you're going to need them. But don't worry, you're still going to Hell, too. Neat, huh! Get life, now! Don't wait till the last minute, this could be it! I'm a pretty annoying person and you don't want my words of warning echoing in your head for all eternity along with the others that have tried to share God's love with you over the years. Now the flesh takes breath, it gets what it can to survive. When we become saved, the Spirit of God breathes life into our spirit. Like performing CPR, if it's done correctly on a human body, usually ribs are broken. In the spirit we are broken away from the old life and brought into the newness of God.)

Isaiah 42 v 6-9: "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,  to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.  I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.  See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you."

Not only can He save you, but He can also give you a real purpose, you may not change the job you have in the world, but the purpose behind it will change. Suddenly your life won't revolve around you. You will be heralds of the promise you have received, bringing it to others, a lamp to their feet, that light being Christ within, guiding them through the desert wasteland of sin to the riches of God, an oasis and a wellspring of life.

You now hold the keys to every dungeon, but sadly not everyone wants to be let out. And one day, the pit they sit in throwing dust on their heads will fill with fire that cannot be quenched, a fire that will burn off the flesh from their bodies in excruciating pain, only for it to reform that the worms may eat their flesh where they sit. They are destined to a future of continual agony and misery, not because of God, but because they TURNED HIM DOWN! He came to save them, and they would have no part. Don't spend your life blaming God, give Him a chance and see what He is really like. There is nothing He cannot do, and He does it all with selfless love, so giving and so sweet it brings tears to my eyes.

Isaiah 48 v 17 – 18: This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

This next scripture speaks of the new things He will do with us if we yield to Him.

Isaiah 48 v 6a: "You have heard these things; look at them all. Will you not admit them?"

(Admit has a twofold meaning in this verse, 1. to admit that it is true- the gospel message that led you to salvation and the promises of God in His word and all His teachings and commands. 2. that you will admit them, to give these truths and promises and infinite possibilities entrance, that you will open the door of your heart and let them in, that Jesus would be able to establish within you a firm foundation, He wants you to look at them intently, learn them, examine them. Don't be a fool and accept things at face value. Get wisdom, knowledge and understanding: study to show yourself approved. Show that you did not follow blindly, but with eyes wide open, ready for anything. My God is EXCITING, He's ALWAYS doing something new. No matter what arises, even if it seems bad, I wait, to see how God will play it out and He never lets me down, it always produces something better.)

Isaiah 48 v 6b – 7: "From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you. They are created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today. So you cannot say, 'Yes, I knew of them.'"

When God makes you new, He makes you totally different, it's like the best kept surprise party, not only is He excited at the change, the new you, He wants you to be excited and blown away by the difference too. No-one will be able to say they 'knew' you, because the real you has only just begun to exist.

Isaiah 65 v 17 – 18: "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy."

The Lord delights in those whom He loves, the Lord also rebukes, corrects and perfects those whom He loves.

Philippians 1 v 5 – 6: Because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

There are so many scriptures that pour forth God's promises, it to me, after a life of discouragement and a crushed spirit, is so good to serve a God who loves me in my weakness. And not only does He let me use His strength, but He encourages me, too. I can never out give Him, He can always do better. When I sit down and He begins to give me revelation after revelation of His word, we almost get into a competition, me trying to show Him I can handle what He's dishing, and Him trying to fry my little brain, "Nice one God, but I get it, what else do you have to show me, bring it on!" and God says "Oh Yeah! Try this on for size see if you can grasp that, wrap your mind around that one." I was telling my dad, Rev. Ron, that when God gives me a revelation, it is Isaiah 48 v 7 in action. To me it's completely new, I can not deny that the revelation is from God, because until He showed it to me I NEVER knew that it was there, and I cannot say, "Yes, I knew of them." The best way to describe it is like this: my mind feels like a bag of popcorn in the microwave, the meditating on the word heats it up, it starts to rattle and roll as God begins to speak to me, and the POP!!!! It's there and all of a sudden you can reach forward and backward through scripture and tie things together and understand it on a level where you are at a loss for words, the magnitude of what He shows me just leaves me there saying 'WHOA!' I have taken up studying in a lying down position, for fear that one of these day He is literally going to blow me out of my chair with the power and awesome vastness of His word and the plans He has for me, it is so complex and all encompassing you can hardly dwell on it for but a few minutes without reeling from it.

Here are just a few that show exactly where the newness begins, at the heart:

Jeremiah 24 v 7: I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.

(They will return to me with all their heart: return in this instance speaks of us of reuniting with Christ and being brought back after being away for so long. Since the fall of man, it means that we will come and give back our heart to its rightful owner, the only one who can truly protect it.)

Ezekiel 11 v 19 – 20: I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.

Ezekiel 36 v 26 – 29: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you.

Please let Jesus in and let Him be Lord of your life. Really try to give Him full reign in your life like you never have before.

John 3 v 3 - 8: In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

God is a mystery to those who do not know Him. When we begin to know Him and walk in His ways, we too become part of that mystery, that those in opposition to the word may be silenced by you, that Christ in you will do astounding things with the vessel that is you both in secret and before the eyes of man. He truly is a God of mercy and love, why else would He offer this once in a lifetime opportunity to escape the pain and torture of Hell and run to the arms of love, that you may love and be loved in return by one who will never leave you nor forsake you. He is not fickle and unreliable like man. His word says He cannot lie, so if He says He loves, He does! If He says that He has made you a 100% new creation, then He has! If He says that He will never leave you, then He won't!

Titus 3 v 3 - 7: At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

I peter 1 v 22 - 23: Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

Romans 6 v 3 – 4: Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

When we accepted Christ, we accepted His death. With God there is only one way, His. His is the only way that has the power to save. When you accept anything from Christ that is His truth and His words, it becomes a part of you. Everything in His word dictates and instructs us on how we should live our lives in His safety. So when we accept His death it becomes a part of us, when we come in contact with His holiness, our spirit within us yearns for that same holiness. And the only way to get it is to lay down the person we used to be, let it die, lay down the person we were just seconds before we were saved and forget all about that life: it is dead and buried. We are now back at day one, this is your birthday, welcome to the new world, a life in spirit and flesh.

I want to put in the chorus of a song I remember:

Amazing love, Oh what sacrifice
The Son of God, given for me
My debt He paid, and my death He died
That I might live, that I might live.

All you have to do now is ask Jesus who and what He wants you to be, and chase hard after that. Go for the crown He holds before you, each day encouraging you "Come on, you can do it, give just a little more, lay down a little more of the will of your flesh, lay down the selfishness and the pride, you can do it!"

Romans 20 v 24: However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.

Know now that you can never go back to a dead life, it is God who has the power to raise the dead and you have a long wait ahead of you if you think that God is going to raise that old life of yours up from the grave.

Romans 6 v 2: By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Romans 6 v 5 – 23: If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But all thanks are due to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Colossians 2 v 20 – 23: Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

The new life you have been given is a life of faith under grace. Abandon all rationalization and thought used by the world- live a life where you are able if God says "Do this" or "Don't do that" to do both by faith, believing that what God has told you is His will, not because you have weighed up the good and bad and rested on the best outcome for yourself and what sits well with you.

In whatever you do, you must believe God's word is true and He is real, and that He is watching out for you and that either through life or death, He only has good planned for you.

Mark 16 v 17 – 18: And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

Let God be the one who directs your path telling you when to indulge and when to abstain. Let Him have control of your mouth, to speak when He wants and to be silent when words are not required.

When you die to sin, not only does God want you to let your old self die, but your worldly way of thinking and reasoning. They are the chains that bind you, there is no room in our finite brains for worldly thinking and godly faith. They are the chains that stop us from leaping in faith when God says "Jump, I'll carry you", "Try, I'll see you through." They do nothing and only accomplish one goal: denying us the blessings of Christ and any growth in the spirit.

Psalm 19 v 7 - 11: The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Psalm 51 v 12 – 17: Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

His perfect gift to us is freedom, from our old life and from sin, freedom from a world of death and the chance to be a life raft to others.

Matthew 18 v 3: And He said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven."

This scripture is imperative to your salvation, for what do small children care about? Nothing but the next meal, which they know mommy will provide. We are even luckier than they, for we don't even have to worry about that; for we already know that God has it all planned out. Even before He formed the world He set things in motion so that later on today when your stomach begins to rumble, you will have what your body needs to sustain itself and keep you going, like this: every chicken ever hatched that laid an egg that hatched another chicken and so on and so forth right up until the chicken that laid the eggs you may have had for breakfast the other day. He planned out each and every meal you would ever eat, before there was such a thing as earthly food, so relax, if God wants you to eat, you will. Also, what are little children? They are innocent; they will believe anything from the people they trust. If I tell my beautiful nephew that he can catch the plane flying over head if he jumps, he'll try, because he trusts me and because I love him and so he believes me (It's endless hours of fun, especially when we get all three big kids trying. They are aged 4, 3 ½, 2 ½.) He is so willing to try anything that we tell him he can do. Mind you we don't take advantage of their innocence too often, not since one aunt and a towel cape convinced my daughter she could fly off the steps, Ha Ha (they were small steps and she didn't get hurt). My point is if God says He is going to do it, believe Him, trust Him, He cannot lie!

Be anxious for nothing- believe and don't worry, before the world began He knew you would be where you are and doing what you are doing, so go ahead and step in faith- He already knows what the end result will be, He planned that too. And like I always say, "Better a little torture and suffering here on earth with death as the reprieve, than an eternity of it later!" Makes me sound like the Spanish Inquisition doesn't it?

Acts 3 v 19: Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.

Here are some examples of how drastically people are changed when God got a total hold upon them:

Peter was a dirty- mouthed fisherman who became so powerfully used of God that even his shadow healed the sick:

Matthew 26 v 74: Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, "I don't know the man!"

At this time in Peter's walk with the Lord, he followed out of compulsion, he followed because of the yearning within his gut that he needed this man and his truth. It was not until after Jesus' death that he truly followed the Lord because it was out of love for Him. It was after his Savior was taken from him that he felt the love for Jesus that had been buried there all along.

Acts 5 v 14 – 16: Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.

A restless man consumed by demons, when delivered by Jesus becomes a quiet disciple of the Lord:

Mark 5 v 1 – 5: They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet Him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

After he is delivered:

Mark 5 v 15 : When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.

Mark 5 v 18 – 20: As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with Him. Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you." So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

John was a vindictive Jew that thought that anyone one who did not come to God the first time around should be immediately destroyed. Now it would be nice if everyone we minister to repented and was saved straight off the bat, but, that's not always the case. In fact, it hardly ever happens. But that's why what we do for the Lord is called work, because it requires a little effort and perseverance on our part. It's called the outward expression of God's love. God won't put up with refusal forever from people, but that's for Him to decide when you should go to them no more:

Luke 9 v 51 – 54: As the time approached for Him to be taken up to Heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And He sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for Him; but the people there did not welcome Him, because He was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from Heaven to destroy them?"

After God did a beautiful life changing work in him, we can see the difference. Here is part of an open letter he wrote to saints to encourage them in their walks with the Lord:

1 John 4 v 7 – 12: Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.

The Samarian woman who played the harlot and did not have what we would call a stellar reputation as a pure woman:

John 4 v 16 – 19: He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back." "I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true." "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet."

After meeting Jesus and hearing the truth about herself, things only she knew, she became a witness to the message He would bring and a herald of the Lord in her town:

John 4 v 28 – 30: Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" They came out of the town and made their way toward Him.

Saul was a truly bloodthirsty persecutor of any Jews who dared to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

Acts 9 v 1- 2: Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

After his encounter with God, he became the tender- hearted brother Paul that God used to bring the gospel to you and me, the Gentiles:

Acts 21 v 13: Then Paul answered, "Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus."

The Jailer in Philippi that was cold hearted to the apostles he held captive, after witnessing the power of God upon their lives became a sympathetic friend:

Acts 16 v 23 – 24: After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

He was so moved by the awesomeness of God that not only he, but also his whole family were saved:

Acts 16 v 25 – 34: About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!" The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

Well my study on regeneration has come to an end, but there is so much more for you to understand if you will only dig into the word of God and ask for understanding. I hope that you now understand at least some of what God did for you at your moment of genuine salvation, or will do if you wish to be saved. I am so thrilled with this revelation of His Word God has given me to share with you. It is the first time I have written something that was not a rebuke, as an exhorter. It is nice to experience the other side of my gift, encouragement, and the joy of the Lord. So be blessed by it and enjoy it, study it for yourself and get understanding. This is your Salvation and you should know this if you wish to share Jesus, the light of the world with others.

Click here for part two: sanctification.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about this article.

 
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