Tag Archives: Born again

What is a Miracle?

  • What is a Miracle?A Miracle

What is a Miracle is the question raised by a recent comment. In my terms, a miracle occurs when God intervenes in any otherwise natural circumstance. – in other words – when He does something that wouldn’t naturally happen. I like to think that a miracle is God’s response to faith in action.  I.E., We have some human need, we hold out our hand to God and He responds. Viola – a miracle happens.

  • How big is a miracle?

When I had life-saving lung surgery for cancer many years ago, I had no hesitation in calling the result a miracle.  I went into surgery with no fear, joking with the surgery staff, and came out with no pain, and a very smooth recovery.  The anesthetist came and sat on my bed after to tell me he had never had an easier intubation – I told him, “of course you didn’t doctor, there was a whole church full of people praying for this op.”  It is easy t o classify such events as miraculous and to think of miracles as wonderful and momentous; but what about the little things?  When we find the empty park in a crowded street right outside the shop we need; when the rain stops just when we have to go out; when life flows so smoothly for us we feel blessed; are these blessings not miraculous in nature?

  • Little miracles.

Psalm 1 states, “blessed is the man who meditates on my word day and night”; and that “everything that he does will be blessed”.  I can testify to the truth of that.  Our lives have been wonderfully smooth and blessed since we gave God control. So it is plain to me that all these little blessed things in our lives are God-given, and therefore are a never ending stream of little miracles.

  • The Miracle of Baptism

Taivesi Duanitutu states that the baptism of Jesus is not a miracle.  I don’t understand the comment, because for me, baptism involves some divine intervention.  When the Spirit of God landed on me, and when my mind was filled with blinding light and with joyful words of wisdom and illumination; I was born again and  in no doubt that God was present. For me the size of the event was major, but for others it may be or was minor, but whatever the size, it is miraculous because God is present and involved. The element of baptism and the miracle of being born again are not necessarily synchronous, they may be separate in time, but they are one in fact.

  • Reach Out In Faith

The worldly view of a miracle is that event which can only be described by divine intervention.  My view is that it is better described as a transaction between believers and God, where the believer reaches out in faith, and God responds in love. We have some human need, and God supplies that need in some manner.  It is more impressive when the result is dramatic, but however the result is delivered it should be described as miraculous, and answering the question; “What is a Miracle?”

Baptism – Sprinkling or Immersion

Which is the correct method, sprinkling or immersion? Do You think it is important?

Baptism
Baptism

What happens if we get it wrong? Does God care?  What is important is that you felt it was needful to be baptized.

  • Water Has Two Purposes

The role of water in baptism is dual purpose.  It signifies a washing away of sin , a metaphorical cleansing of our life as we go  forward into a new life in God’s kingdom. As we go down into the water, so too we die to our old sinful life; and as we are lifted out of the water again we are lifted up to a new life in Christ.  The phrase “born again” has a strong meaning here, as we enter into a time of new life, a time of great love and joy and peace.

  • Lack Of Water

In desert places, or in frozen country there may be no practical way to fully immerse a new convert, so the water may be a more symbolic “sprinkle”; rather than a bath.  How much water is used is quite immaterial: What matters is the decision of the person to ask forgiveness for their former sinful life, and their intention to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their saviour. They are consciously renouncing a former life, and resolving to begin a new life. It is the mental and spiritual process that is important.

  • Being Born Again

To be baptised is to begin the process of being born again as a Christian.  This may be almost instantaneous, an event where the person emerges from the water fully fledged as a new convert; perhaps even speaking in tongues or manifesting other spiritual behaviour; Or it may simply mark the start of a spiritual growth that will continue over weeks or even years, as the person lowers barriers, and lets God have access to every part of their life.

  • Properly Baptised Or Not?

If you feel that you were baptised, and if you believe your sins are forgiven, and if you claim Jesus as your Saviour, then you are baptised, regardless of the method used.  I was baptised(sprinkled) as a baby, and it didn’t feel right to me when I grew up, so I went through the water of baptism and made my vows to God in an adult baptism.

 

The Person of The Holy Spirit

  • The Holy Spirit; His Fruit and His Gifts

Questions about the person of the Holy Spirit, His gifts and His fruit, are both simple and complex. Here are some simple answers –

  • The Holy Spirit
    The Holy Spirit

    The Fruit of The Holy Spirit.

The [fruit of the Holy Spirit] Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. are those character elements that grow in our lives after we are born again, and the Holy Spirit is enabled to work within us. As a ‘new baby’ in the spiritual world we need to develop, just as does any new baby in the temporal world. When we give our lives to Him we are filled with love,  and we become filled with joy.  After the first excitement dies down we gain the peace; and the other fruits of patience, kindness, and so on start to develop. It is not by chance that the last fruit to grow is self-control; it naturally grows after the others have matured.

  • The Gifts of The Holy Spirit.

[The [9] Gifts of The Holy Spirit]1 Corinthians 12: 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines are given at will by the Holy Spirit, and may be withdrawn also at will. Do not confuse these gifts with the [7] [motivational] gifts that are listed in [Romans 12] 5 So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.. These motivational gifts [in whatever ratio we may posess them] are the God-given gifts we were born with, they govern our character and define our role in God’s kingdom.  On the other hand, you can pray for any one or more of the spiritual gifts, just as you like.

  • The Voice of The Holy Spirit.

For me, the best description of the voice of [God] the Holy Spirit, is the term used by the writer of  1 Kings [19:12] when he said; “a still, small voice“; in telling about God talking to Elijah after the voice of earthquake, wind, and fire.  I have this mental picture of the Holy Spirit in the same room in my head as my conscience, and speaking to me in the same way –  I have to listen real hard to hear Him, and it certainly helps to be in a quiet place, so as not to drown out the sound of the still small voice

  • More About Hearing From God

You can read more about hearing from the Holy Spirit of God in Chapter 14 [Wisdom From God – Concience and The Holy Spirit] of my e-Book, “Good Lord, It’s Morning”!

How to Know Preaching is from the Spirit

  • Recognize The Spirit
    Recognize The Spirit

    How to Recognize The Spirit.

This is How to Know Preaching is from the Spiritwhen you hear conviction ringing out from the words of the preacher, and when you are riveted to the edge of your seat by the RELEVANCE and FRESHNESS of what you are hearing you know you are hearing from God.

  • God is Never Boring

The eternal, one true God who created the universe and everything in it, is capable of infinite variety.  Consider the magnificent sky-scapes, freshly painted minute by minute while you gaze in awe! With every resource of creation at His fingertips, He doesn’t need to repeat himself. So it follows, that if a preacher is led by the Spirit of God he will be given suitably fresh material to use. A spirit led preacher will be talking about things that have happened to him, or are happening in the NOW; not using anecdotes from the life of some other missionary to the middle of darkest Africa last century.

  • The Kingdom of Heaven is HERE AND NOW.

When you are ‘born again’ you are birthed as a brand new spiritual being into the the Kingdom of Heaven – therefore you must be living in that place RIGHT NOW. It follows therefore, that a spirit led preacher MUST be preaching from conviction gained from his present and past experience, and must be sharing from that. So, such a preacher has to be basing his testimony on what he believes right now – testimony gained from living the Christian life and interacting with God and his fellows. A rule of thumb – any preacher who starts off like this; “A funny [or interesting, or significant,] thing happened to me this week…….”; is most likely to be led by The Holy Spirit, simply because the  Spirit of God will have purposefully put such an experience into that preachers week, just for this purpose; and if he goes on to share a ‘Kingdom’ experience, you may then be quite sure. Any preacher who builds his narrative around someone Else’s experience is selling you second hand goods!

  • This is How You Recognize The Spirit

John said, in his [1 John 4:2-3]2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.. first epistle, “Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;” so it follows that a spirit led preacher must be preaching about the ‘crucified’, ‘resurrected’, ‘ascended’ Christ.

  • God Knew You Were Going to Go to Church

– and for that reason, some part of the address will speak to you! There will be parts of the message that will minister directly to you. We are each in a different ‘place’ and various words will react differently on each of us, but a spirit led message will contain something especially for you. This is part of the ‘daily bread’ that God provides and it is part of the assurance we have that He loves us and provides for ALL our needs.

  • The Compelling Word of God

God is totally consistent, so any Holy Spirit led preaching must accord with what He has already said in His recorded Word – the Bible – Ergo,  preaching must be based on and agree with the Bible – so the authority for what a preacher is testifying must rest in God’s Word; and because it is Bible based it is both authoritative and credible – and that is how to know preaching is from the Spirit!

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

  • The Baptism of God’s Holy Spirit

    Baptism
    Baptism

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is that baptism that comes after repentance of sin, and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. It is part of that baptism [Acts 2: 38.] 38  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one  of  you, in the name  of  Jesus Christ for the forgiveness  of  your sins. And you will receive the  gift   of  the  Holy   Spirit .  39  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call. and takes place simultaneously.  It is being born again.

Baptism

  • Speaking in Tongues

Speaking in tongues is often confused with the baptism of the Holy Spirit; and frequently quoted as evidence of that baptism.  It is not.  Speaking in tongues is a GIFT of the Holy Spirit, and like all the spiritual gifts it is given as God wills.[Hebrews 2:4.] 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. All that only shows that you have [at the present time] been given (or are maybe faking) the gift of tongues.

  • Born Again

Being born again is literally what happens during baptism. The descent into water symbolises the death of the old [sinful] you, the washing away of sin, and the emergence from the water symbolises your new birth as a spiritual being. [Colossians 2:12.] 12 ….having been buried with him in  baptism  and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

  • Evidence of the Holy Spirit

The only reliable evidence of the Holy Spirit in a persons life is the spiritual fruit [Galatians 5:22] 22  But the  fruit  of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  23  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  24  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  25  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. that is visible in that life. As a tree must bear fruit that is its own, so must the visible spiritual fruit belong to that spirit.

  • By Definition

Simply by definition the person of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit, are quite different and easily recognized.

  • The Holy Spirit

This is [one] function of the Holy Spirit: [John 14:]  26  But  the  Counselor,  the   Holy   Spirit , whom  the  Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

  • The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are defined here  [1 Corinthians 12:4.] 4  There are different kinds of  gifts , but the same Spirit.  5  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  6  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.  7  Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  8  To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,  9  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another  gifts  of healing by that one Spirit,  10  to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.  11  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

  • Fruit of the Spirit

The fruit of the Spirit is as described above in [Galations 5:22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.