Born of the Spirit
The power of perceiving and grasping divine and eternal things, and upon which the Spirit of God exerts influence, spirit, says Luther, “is the highest and noblest part of man, which qualifies him to lay hold of incomprehensible, invisible, eternal things; in short, it is the house where Faith and God’s word are at home.”
Luther wrote that of the spirit in context of 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. NASB
With that Word of God, we see our present and future before God. In order for us to perceive and receive those eternal blessings of spirit, soul and body, we “must be born from above.”
“what is born of the Spirit is spirit”
In John 3, Jesus explains spirit: “Anything born of the flesh is flesh, but what is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Nicodemus recognized Jesus came from God. “I tell the truth,” Jesus answered him, “if anyone isn’t born from above, he can’t see God’s kingdom.” (Jn 3:2 AAT). Then Nicodemus asked Jesus how someone could be born again. Jesus answered. “Truly, I tell you emphatically, unless a person is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don’t be astonished that I told you, ‘All of you must be born from above.’The wind blows where it wants to. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. That’s the way it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (Jn 3:5-8 ISV).
We are born from above the moment we do this:“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Ro 10:9-10 NASB).
The moment we did that, God saved us, cleansed us from sin by the blood of Jesus, began our sanctification, regenerated us and renewed our spirit and soul. The regeneration of our body awaits our resurrection (Jn 5:29 Jn 11:25 Act 24:15 Ro 6:5 1 Cor 15:42 1Peter 1:3) at the regeneration of all things (Mat 19:28, Rev 21:22). In the Greek, regeneration is paliggenesía (from pálin, “again” and génesis, “birth, beginning),” literally, again born.
The following Word describes our unsaved state, our regeneration and our future.
For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7 NASB
There we see the work of God our Savior, the work of the Holy Spirit and of Jesus Christ our Savior in our regeneration.
After Jesus was baptized in the Spirit, He began proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. One of the very pertinent statements Jesus made regarded John the baptist. John was the last of the prophets of the old covenant. He came in the spirit of Elijah proclaiming Jesus as the promised Messiah. Yet, Jesus said of him: “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Mt 11:11 ISV). For, neither John the baptist or any born of a woman were born of the Spirit. None were in the kingdom of God. Until the Holy Spirit was poured out, only Adam and Eve were born of God and they died spiritually when they sinned.
Up until after the Holy Spirit was poured out, Jesus’ followers were called disciples. After Jesus was resurrected and the Holy Spirit was poured out, they were born of the Spirit into the kingdom of God. For, the were made holy by Christ’s sacrificial death, regenerated and renewed by the Holy Spirit (Tutus 3:4-7) and became spirit. Thus, God made them and us new creatures (2 Cor 5:17), created in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:10). Thus, from the middle of Acts on, Jesus’ disciples were called saints, holy ones.
Old covenant—no spirit. New covenant—spirit.
The people of God’s old covenant were to love God with their heart, soul, and mind. We new creatures of the new covenant are blessed with a new heart and born of the Spirit as spirit.
But the Pharisees, when they heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, gathered themselves together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, trying him: Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets. Mt 22:34-40 ASV
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess 5:23.NASB
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26 ASV►
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Rom 2:29 KJV Cf: 2 cor 3:31; Jer 31:33; Heb 8:8-12; Heb 10:16-17
“The Spirit of wisdom and revelation”
“The Spirit of wisdom and revelation” opens our spirit to the vistas of eternity. Comprehension of God’s Word, the Bible, comes from the Holy Spirit to our spirit to our understanding. Many of our thoughts, premonitions, hunches and epiphanies, much of our knowledge and most or our wisdom and all of our checks in the spirit come the same way. Many of us receive them but don’t recognize the source.
After Paul blessed God and declared the spiritual blessings God has blessed us with in Christ (Eph 1:3-14), he prayed the following prayer for the Ephesians and for us.
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Eph 1:13-23 ISV