Except a man be Born Again, he Cannot See the Kingdom of God – Whether Old Testament believer or New Testament believer, one is always saved by God’s Grace and God’s Mercy. Always has the Holy Spirit been he who regenerates believers, convicting them of sin, working faith in their hearts. Salvation is the Work of Holy Spirit who blesses the Word of God to the believers hearts to make them born again. From the point of this New Birth, God’s Spirit dwells in those individuals. Jesus explains this New Birth to Nicodemus. Later on in His dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus has this to say to him: “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?” (John 3:10). The point Jesus was making is that Nicodemus should have known the truth that the Holy Spirit is the source of new life because it is revealed in the Old Testament.
John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water [Word of God typified by water] and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh [unsaved state]; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.[saved state]”
Eze 36:25-27 “Then will I sprinkle clean water [Word of God typified by water] upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26A 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 an heart of flesh. 27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing [by the Word-Eph 5:26] of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
- They that are In the Flesh Cannot Please God – Whether in Old Testament or in New Testament, the Bible differentiates between the one in “spirit” and the one in “flesh”. To be “in the flesh”, “after the flesh” and; “carnally minded” is not merely defining one’s physical existence, but is a statement of one’s spiritual condition, the nature of one who is unsaved and in the kingdom of Satan. On the other hand, to be “in the spirit”, “after the Spirit” and; “spiritually minded” refers to someone who has become saved by the will and Word of God and illustrates the nature of a true Christian – one who has become a citizen of God’s kingdom. This distinction is evident in the following verses. If one has not been born “of the Spirit”, they are, by biblical definition still “of the flesh”. Rom 8:9 affirms that one is not a child of God without the indwelling Spirit of God. The words “Spirit”, “Spirit of God”, and “Spirit of Christ” in Rom 8:8-9 all refer to the Holy Spirit.
John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth [makes you alive]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
Rom 8:5-10 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
Gal 4:28-3 “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise [Elect of God]. 29But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.”
- If any man have Not the Spirit of Christ, he is None of His – Just as the coming of Messiah was the great promise of the Old Testament, so is the coming of the Spirit the great promise of the New Testament, although Jesus Christ is the lamb slain from before the foundation of the World and Holy Spirit is at work in the lives of the true believers through out the history. Atoning of sins by Christ’s blood and renewing and regeneration by Holy Spirit is required for Salvation in any generation in the history of the world. The Fruit (Gal 1:22) of the Spirit’s regenerating work is Faith (Eph 2:8). By this Faith produced by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, Old Testament believers looked ahead to the cross, believing that what God had promised in regard to their redemption would come to pass. They saw the promises and “welcomed them from a distance” (Heb 11:13), accepting by faith that what God had promised, He would also bring to pass. We see indwelling of Holy Spirit in David’s life. God’s Spirit can also come on an unsaved individual, though it may not be God’s intention to save that person but to accomplish God’s purpose. We see this in the lives of wicked Balaam (Num 22:12-13), and in the life of Saul, the first king of Israel (I Sam 10:9-12).
Rom 8:9 “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
1 Pet 1:10-11 “Of which salvation the prophets [of old testament time] have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.”
Psa 51:10-11 “Create in me [David] a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.”
1 Sam 16:14 “But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.”
- What happened on the day of Pentecost? – The Feasts, feast of Passover/Unleavened Bread and the feast of Pentecost/Firstfruits had a spiritual meaning that God fulfilled with His Gospel. Jesus was the fulfillment of the feast of Passover/Unleavened Bread. The Bible teaches that the “fellowship”, or salvation, of the Gentiles (the “nations”, or non-Jewish people) was hidden, or was a “mystery”, until God chose to reveal it on the Day of Pentecost following Christ’s resurrection. That was when the Holy Spirit was poured out and the Feast of Pentecost/Firstfruits was fulfilled, and God’s program to evangelize the world was instituted. Let me hasten to add, however, that God “hinted” to this in the Old Testament when He saved certain individuals, who were obviously not Jews. Some examples are: Rahab the harlot of Jericho, Ruth the Moabitess, and Ebedmelech of Ethiopia. Though Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the World, though the Holy Spirit is at work in OT believers (indwelling in them) and though the Salvation was extended to Gentiles but only few were saved. For eg; Bible records, there were seven thousand at one point whom the Bible says “have not bowed the knee to Baal”; and He saved 120 thousand in the city of Nineveh. Now that the Messiah, the Lord Jesus, had gone to the Cross, it was God’s plan to evangelize the whole world. The old Testament Church represented by Nation of Israel (who refused the corner stone Christ) ended and the New testament Church Age (with Christ as corner stone) began with 3000 souls being saved, by the outpouring of Holy Spirit. The evangelizing of the world began. The Holy Spirit was to be poured out upon the nations as the messengers of the Gospel going forth from the churches and congregations that God was establishing would carry the good news of salvation and a great multitude will be saved.
1 Cor 5:7 “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:”
Acts 2:1-5 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.”
Matt 21:42-44 “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone [Jesus Christ] which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you [Nation of Israel] , and given to a nation [New Testament Church] bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”
Psa 118:22-24 “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. 23This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. 24This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Rev 7:9-12 “…I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes [Robe of Righteousness of Christ], and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.