A Scriptural Study Newsletter edited by Elder Vernon Johnson

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

 

 

 

Evidences of the New Birth

In the last several essays we have proven conclusively that God is sovereign in bringing about the new or spiritual birth in one of his children. We have shown that we are born spiritually when Christ speaks spiritual life with HIS voice into our very heart and soul.
Knowledge of God's sovereignty in causing one to be born again should cause each of us to seek the answer to a critical question: "Am I born again." If I am born again, heaven will be my eternal home and all the promises of God to his people are precious and sure to me. How can I know if I have been born again? The bible gives us several incontrovertible evidences of the new birth. If I find any one of the evidences in my life then I have conclusive proof that I have been born again. It isn't necessary to be able to identify all the evidences, any one of the evidences is sufficient to identify us as a born again child of God.

In this essay we will look at seven of the evidences of the spiritual birth. While there are several more evidences, these seven are perhaps the easiest to conclusively identify in our lives.

First, love toward the people of God is an evidence of our new birth as stated by the following verses of scripture:

A. 1 John 3:14 "We know that we have passed from death unto life,
because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death."

B. 1 John 4:7 "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of
God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."

C. 1 John 4:12 "No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one
another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."
Second, doing that which is right is an evidence of our new birth as
shown by the following scriptures:

A. 1 John 2:29 "If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that
everyone that doeth righteousness is born of him."

B. 1 John 2:3 5 "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him."

C. 1 John 3:7 "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." Third, if we have ever been led by the Spirit of God we can rest assured that we have been born again as Rom. 8:14 17 teaches us, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage again to fear: but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be we suffer with him, that we may be glorified together."

Fourth, growth in Christian virtues is and evidence of our spiritual birth. II Peter 1:5 10 proves this principle: "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure."

Fifth, if we have felt the chastening rod of God in our lives then we are assured of our spiritual birth as the following verses prove:

A. Rev. 3:19 "As many as I love I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

B. Job 5:17 "Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty."

C. Prov. 3:11, 12 "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth."

D. Heb. 12:5, 6 "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."

Sixth, confessing Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is an evidence of our spiritual birth as the following two passages prove:

A. 1 John 4:1 3 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God."

B. 1 John 4:15 "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God."

Seventh, belief is an evidence of our having been born again:

A. 1 John 5:1 "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God."

B. 1 John 5:9 11 "If ye receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he
believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son.

C. 1 John 5:13 "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." Thus the scriptures say "by their fruits ye shall know them. A good tree bringeth forth good fruit." We can know with assurance that we have been born again by looking at the evidence of that spiritual birth in our lives. May God be praised for his unspeakable works and for his manifold assurances toward us.


The Bridegroom Grooms the Bride

In Rev. 21:2 John wrote, "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Then in verses 9 and 10 we read, "And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God." In the next several verses John describes what he saw and that was the beauty and preciousness of the church's adornment.

When God gave unto Ezekiel the prophet to describe natural Jerusalem and her condition when the Lord entered into covenant with her, it was somewhat typical of the condition of God's bride, the church, new Jerusalem. In Ezek. 16:2 5 we read, "Son of man cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, and say, Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and they mother an Hittite. And as for thy nativity, in the day that thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out into the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born." Likewise we who comprise the bride, the Lamb's wife were similarly loathsome. We were dead in trespasses and sins. We walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. We all had our conversation in the lusts of the flesh and we went about fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind. We had no righteousness, we did no good, we feared not God nor sought him. We had no understanding nor desire for Spiritual things. We were altogether filthy, and had gone astray. We certainly wouldn't have been considered as being fit to be the bride of the great King. Yet God looked down thru time and looked upon us and it was the time of love. He loved us when we were unlovable and Jesus died for us when we were without strength. The beauty the church has today as the bride of Christ is the beauty her bridegroom gave unto her. In Eph. 5:25 27 we read, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."

Christ loved the church even when she was filthy and polluted and dead in trespasses and sins. Christ loved the church so much that he died for her to redeem her from her sins. As spots in the old testament are a figure of sin, so Christ died to redeem his people from their sins that they might be sinless (spotless) before him. Furthermore, there is no wrinkle in Christ's bride. A wrinkle is caused when there is more skin than area to cover. Yet when we consider the covenant of redemption we see that those Christ foreknew are the same ones he predestinated and the same ones he called and the same ones he justified and the same ones he glorified. There is not the loss of one as he said in John 6:37, "For I came down from heaven not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me, and this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but raise it up again the last day." Jesus gives eternal life to as many as the Father gave him. Thus there is no wrinkle. All that God intended to save are saved.

Furthermore, Christ sanctifies and cleans the church. The word,  sanctify, means to set apart. God set us apart in covenant when he  chose us to be his before the foundation of the world. The Holy Spirit sets us apart in regeneration as He quickens us when we were dead in trespasses and sins. Christ set us apart from our sins when he died on the cross to redeem us. His death also cleansed us from our sins and regeneration washes us and give us a clean nature. Also when we follow the teaching of his word we set ourselves apart and cleanse ourselves from an unholy lifestyle. God's election of a people before the foundation of the world had in view those people finally standing before God, holy and without blame before him in love. All of this is brought to pass in accordance with God's covenant of redemption and our end is to be glorified before God.

The Lord has adorned us with his grace, he has washed our robes in his blood and we stand before him as we are complete and perfect thru his making in every detail. The very light of God shines upon us to radiate the bride's beauty. In conclusion, all the bride's glorious beauty comes from the bridegroom who has made her so.

Primitive Baptist