The Power of the New Birth

The Power of the New Birth

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     As a young girl, I was very shy and withdrawn. The neighbors laughed at how I would hide behind my mother when they would visit our home. Through most of my teen years, I tried not to show my insecurities on the outside, but in my heart I still felt that everyone else was better than I was and that I had little to offer.
     When I was in my late teens, I was invited to teach at the Wednesday night service of the church I attended. Not only was I invited once, but I was invited several times. I always replied, “No.” Why was I being asked? There were others that had greater ability and could do a far better job. The thought of standing in front of the church to teach terrified me. I had very little knowledge of the Bible and was not sure whether I was born again or even what it meant to be born again. I was also concerned about what people would think of me. Would they laugh at me? Would they make fun of me? I lacked the knowledge and power to successfully do what I was asked to do.
     A few months after these invitations, I took our ministry’s Foundational Class. Session after session, as the Bible was opened to me, doubts and insecurities turned to confidence and boldness. I not only learned that I was born again, but I started to understand that God made it available for me to walk with boldness and confidence when I believe His Word.
     Shortly after the class, I was again asked to teach at a Wednesday night service. This time I boldly and enthusiastically replied, “Yes!” With the knowledge of the Word of God I had gained, I was able to prepare an inspiring teaching. When I walked up front to teach, I was confident that God was working in me, so I taught with confidence and boldness. I was no longer concerned about what everyone thought of me.
     After the service, people came up to me and wanted to know where I had learned the Word. They also shared that they had never seen me so confident. They wanted to know what changed me. I boldly shared with them about the two things that changed my life: understanding I was born again and learning from the Word of God the power that the new birth provides. Let’s go to the Word to see what it means to be born again and how we can move forward with confidence in the power of the new birth.
     Romans 10 tells us what a man or woman must do to become born again.
Romans 10:9 and 10:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

     When a person confesses with his mouth Jesus as lord and believes in his heart that God raised him from the dead, that person is saved, made whole. That individual is born again of incorruptible seed.
I Peter 1:23:
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

     When we were born physically, we were born of corruptible seed, but when we are born again, we receive God’s seed, which is incorruptible. We receive the spirit from God and have eternal life abiding within.
     The new birth was first made available by God on the day of Pentecost. Ten days before this, on the day of the ascension, Jesus spoke to his apostles, instructing them to tarry in Jerusalem until the gift of holy spirit had been poured out.
Acts 1:4 and 5:
And,
[Jesus] being assembled together with them [the twelve apostles], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost
[holy spirit] not many days hence.
     Jesus also told them they would receive into manifestation power.
Acts 1:8:
But ye shall receive
[lambanō, receive into manifestation] power, after that the Holy Ghost [holy spirit] is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
     The apostles were the first to be filled with holy spirit and manifest power from on high, as recorded in Acts 2.
Acts 2:1-4:
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they
[the twelve apostles] were all with one accord in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost
[holy spirit], and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
     After this outpouring of holy spirit, Peter shared with the multitude of people who had witnessed this event that they too could receive.
Acts 2:38:
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive
[lambanō, receive into manifestation] the gift of the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit, God].
     To “repent” is not to confess our sins but to confess the savior from sin. I used to think that if I confessed all my past sins I could have fellowship with God. I tried doing this once, and it became too burdensome; so I gave up thinking that I could ever accomplish that task. Therefore, I did not think I could ever be close to God. However, later I learned that to “repent” is to confess the savior from sin, the Lord Jesus Christ. How simple God made it for those who want to believe.
     When a person confesses with their mouth the Lord Jesus and believes in their heart that God raised him from the dead, that person receives remission of sins. At the time of salvation, all sins upon that individual are remitted, wiped out. The new birth brings a fresh start.
     Once a person is born again of God’s spirit, they can then show forth the power of the new birth in the senses world. The power that the apostles received in the new birth gave them the ability to do great signs, miracles, and wonders throughout the land as they were witnesses. This same power is ours today when we believe.
Ephesians 1:19:
And what
is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.
Ephesians 3:20:
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

     God works within us mightily and is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. We can walk confidently, knowing that we are not limited by our own ability but that God works within us so that we can prevail in every situation. Once I understood the new birth and the power available to me as a born-again son of God, I began to gain confidence in my daily walk.
     God desires that we walk with power, not with fear.
II Timothy 1:7:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

     Fear can prevent us from walking powerfully. Once fear is replaced with believing the Word and operating the power that God has given us, we can walk confidently in life. At times when I am preparing to teach or to speak the Word to someone, I am tempted to think that I do not have what it takes to prevail. When those temptations come, I go to the Word and remind myself that God has given me all that I need to prevail and that He will work in me to accomplish the task at hand.
     I once read that “nothing but the power of the holy spirit in the Living Word in an individual takes the fear out of him.” What a wonderful truth! We can live powerful lives and walk with boldness, free from fear.
     Shortly after the day of Pentecost when the apostles received holy spirit, the rulers and elders of the people were amazed at the boldness of Peter and John.
Acts 4:13:
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

     The Judean religious leaders marveled at the boldness of these men whom they had once perceived as being unlearned and ignorant. However, these same men had not always been this bold. Not many days before Pentecost, Peter and John along with the other disciples were behind closed doors for fear of these very same Judeans.
John 20:19:
Then the same day at evening, being the first
day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews [Judeans], came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
     Having been with the Lord Jesus Christ, the disciples had seen the many signs, miracles, and wonders he had done. Nevertheless, they were afraid. At the time of the crucifixion, Peter even denied that he knew Jesus. His fear enslaved him; he was unable to walk with power.
Matthew 26:69 and 70:
Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
But he denied before
them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
     Peter’s life changed dramatically on the day of Pentecost. Once he was filled with holy spirit, Peter spoke boldly to the multitude, without fear of any Judean rulers who may have been present.
     Some people mocked the apostles and said they were drunk on “new wine” when they heard them manifesting holy spirit (Acts 2:13). Peter did not let their comments stop him from boldly proclaiming the Word of God. He fearlessly put their mocking to silence, then boldly shared about Jesus Christ’s life, resurrection, and ascension.
Acts 2:14,15,32:
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is
but the third hour of the day.
This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

     Peter was no longer behind closed doors because of fear, nor did he allow his past mistakes to stop him. After receiving God’s power in manifestation, he was able to boldly proclaim the Word that he knew. Peter put his past behind him. We, too, do not need to let anything in our past prevent us from walking today with the boldness and confidence that God has given us.
Ephesians 3:12:
In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

     Not long ago, our neighbor’s little girl knocked on our door and asked if I would go to her house and help her mom who had just fallen and was seriously injured. As I ran to her home, I went to the Word I had in my mind and remembered that God was working in me mightily to know what to do. I prayed for the woman and she was healed immediately.
     No matter what we are faced with, we can walk with power, boldness, and confidence as we believe that God is working in us and that He will be there to supply whatever is needed in whatever situation we encounter.
     In the new birth, we receive the gift of holy spirit within and the ability to manifest power. This new birth gives us freedom from our past and the ability to walk forward with power and boldness. Once we understand and believe to use the power that we received with the new birth, we can live our lives without fear. We do not need to look at the past or any insecurities. Instead, we can rely on what God’s Word says about His power within. Just like Peter, we can move forward with power and boldness. We can prevail in life as we claim the Word of God concerning the greatness of the gift given to us in the new birth. Let’s move ahead with the boldness and confidence and power that God so freely gave us in His wonderful gift of holy spirit.

This is a reprint from the January/February 2009 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2009 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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