Lesson 7 - The New Birth
Knowing that you are on the winning team is exhilarating. Believing you have already won is like bursts of new energy flooding each step forward and empowering bold faith to face each new challenge. The same is true when God sets us free. We are free indeed (John 8:36). Read the apostle Paul's powerfully confident resolve in 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 and Hebrews 12:1,2.
Further Readings: Ezekiel 33:11 | 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 | Acts 13:38, 39
Breaking free of Satan's bondage to the law of sin and death can start by acknowledging that Satan has enjoyed enough of your life energy and declaring that Jesus' death for your sins will not be in vain (Acts 17:30). Believe that Jesus' perfect life sacrificed for your salvation has set you free to live victoriously empowered by the Holy Spirit. Sincerely repent of every sin of the past and move into your new beginning with God through the new birth experience (Micah 7: 18, 19).
Further readings: John 3:1-5 | 1 Peter 2:24, 25 | 2 Peter 3:9
The Bible speaks of two wonderful aspects of the new birth experience – being born of water and of the Holy Spirit. Jesus led the way by being baptized by immersion (baptizo – being completely submerged – Matthew 3:11-17). At Jesus' baptism, God personally acknowledged His Sonship, and the Holy Spirit (in the form of a dove) settled on Him as a symbol of His peaceful and caring presence (Luke 3:21, 22). This symbolized the new birth that we must experience (Galatians 4:4-7; 1 Peter 2:9).
Further reading: Romans 6:1-4 | 1 Peter 3:21, 22 | Galatians 3:27-29
Baptism is an affirmation of your faith in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection for your salvation. It is a public testimony of your love for God and your claim on life eternal by the merits of Christ's sacrifice. It is an expression of a surrendered life to the Holy Spirit and power of God, and an acknowledgment of a new life, a new birth, a new creation in Christ – living to love (Ezekiel 36:26; Romans 6:8; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Further Reading: Romans 8:8-17 | John 16:13 | Acts 2:38
The Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts continuously as our conscience, reminding us of God's love and the principles of the law of love, giving us understanding of God's Word, powerfully advocating our prayers, and empowering us to overcome sin and temptation. While the Holy Spirit will not easily give up on us, there is a line we can cross in our rebellion that can be eternally costly (Mathew 12:31).
Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 | 2 Corinthians 6:16-18
Giving our hearts to God is accepting Jesus as our Savior and Lord of our lives. While we cannot work our way to perfection, or to heaven, if we are to realize our high calling in Christ, everything, including what we eat, drink, and how we live, must prayerfully and by faith aim to glorify God and not self (1 Corinthians 10:31; Philippians 3:9-15). Concerned about our holy temples, His sacred dwellings, God has warned against unhealthy habits and practices including eating unclean meats. In return for living as God designed, we will be blessed and enriched physically and spiritually (Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:16).