Regeneration Of The Spirit

three crossesYesterday I was writing more about the Christian counseling topic and why I want to study, and practice, biblical counseling rather than secular counseling any longer.  I have made my choice and I’m standing by my decision.

I want the Holy Spirit indwelt in me to come forward to guide my relationship with whoever I may find myself supporting as their “counselor”.  

Today in my bible reading of Matthew 12: 43-46 about the returning on an unclean spirit, I studied the notes I found for these passages on the bottom of the page which gave answer to many of my questions about counseling with the Spirit of God in charge as opposed to counseling by someone who is not being led by God.

Those passages refer to an “unclean spirit” that leave a person, seeking rest in waterless places but finds none.  This realization that there are “unclean spirits” that inhabit man should cause one pause for thought.

Who is the counselor who is counseling a person who seeks them to guide them to find relief, comfort and guidance?  

The passage goes on to talk about the spirit returning to clean, swept house that has been put in order.  Do you think secular counseling can help one find their way for a time?  How long lasting will it be before another problem springs up in their lives?

Seven more evil spirits return along with the first one to the person’s “house”, meaning to me at least, their bodies and minds.

Do you want an unclean spirit returning with seven more of their evil friends?

The notes at the bottom of the page says:

“The problem is that the evil spirit found the house “empty” (v.44).  This is the description of someone who attempts moral reform without ever being indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  Reform apart from regeneration is never effective and eventually reverts back to pre-reform behavior.” – Dr. John MacArthur’s Study Bible

Read the passages for yourself.  Know that when you get counseling from an unbeliever, they may have temporary solutions which may guide one’s behavior, but the real problem is that the person’s spirit is not being “regenerated” by the Holy Spirit.

But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. – Titus 3:4-7

Regeneration means that our spirits are being washed and renewed.

…that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. – John 3:6

The Holy Spirit is the spiritual bond we have with the God of life; Jesus Christ, who saves us from sin. 

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. -John 3:6

 

 

 

Guided By The Holy Spirit

meadow-1I was thinking today about how crazy the world has become, with extreme perspectives that are the antitheses of what one would have called “normal” 20 years ago.  The world has changed, and what a cesspool it has become.

With those having so much power wanting to destroy this country, the arguing, infighting, and competitive spirit in our government officials and in those who want the world to change, to become a “One World Order” and a dominating, “One World Religion”, these are, I think, a sign of the times of prophecy told in the bible.

How does one live in these United States, when starting a business for Christians means decisions are based on our faith, or working for an employer may put us in a position of going against our beliefs?

Take, for example, becoming a school teacher, knowing that the children are taught to accept “gender fluidity”, who may be indoctrinated into thinking they are of the opposite gender than that which they were born to be.  As a school teacher one cannot speak out or teach how this is wrong.

We are muzzled in our faith, threatened by employers and man’s government system who decides for us how taxes will be spent, that as Christians our tax money may go to support abortions or by moving into neighborhoods where Antifa is allowed to rule the streets.  Think of recent news in Portland, Oregon.  

As spirit filled Christians, we have the Spirit of God that resides within us; the Holy Spirit.  Navigating our lives with this knowledge should give us some comfort.  The joy of knowing that we will live for eternity with the Lord Jesus Christ is a great privilege and honor so we must remember whose we are.  We are in the world but not of the world.

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. – Galatians 5:24

We can know that God is real and He is with us.  We can surrender our will to the control of the Holy Spirit.  It is the narrow path that will take us home.  No other way exists, we must submit to God’s Spirit, knowing that He has the only way for us, and to trust in the only person we can truly trust: Jesus Christ.  We belong to Christ and turn to Him to know the way through these evil times we live in.

We have much to be grateful for.  To have a guide and protector in the Holy Spirit who knows the way, a watchful, caring and loving Father who provides for us on a daily basis, we should hold gratitude in our hearts for everything that happens along the way.  We are not alone, God is with us.

The Holy Spirit Does Not Make Animals Out Of Us

The Holy Spirit is different for lots of folks.  The Holy Spirit teaches us so we understand what the bible really teaches so that we discern the true meaning.  Reading the bible is fairly straightforward and is set in the ways of that time, so socially we live in another culture that is of today, not of those times.  We live in a modern society, for example.  We earn our livings in ways they didn’t have opportunities to then.  Social/cultural rules were different and no one knew that Jesus had much to teach us that has lasted well after he died and rose again.  Nevertheless, it is still not hard to follow the teaching of Jesus and what was written, if you don’t add to the meaning and interpret the words to say something other than it says at face value. 

Prophetic books may carry special meaning using descriptions that convey the terribleness of the future but you will understand those prophetic writings once you have come to understand the meaning of the texts with the guidance of someone who studies the bible for a living, has resources beyond mainstream Christians, and yet at the same time, getting an understanding from the symbols (candlesticks, stars falling from the sky, blood red waters and moons) and how they portray the coming of the end of the earth can be cross-referenced with careful reading and careful study.  Most of Scripture is meant to be read by everyone, and not hidden from the majority of people.

Nowhere does the bible say we are to bark like dogs, crawl around on the floor shaking uncontrollably as we are possessed by the Holy Spirit; that is for some other spirit to make someone do, otherwise it is an altered mental state, or even a person “acting” out what they think being “come upon” by the Holy Spirit will make one act like.  No Holy Spirit will produce a fake language of gibberish to come forth from a person’s mouth; it was always a known language in the bible, no matter what anyone argue’s in the contrary.  This is a dangerous teaching today and no amount of rendering of the bible will point to these activities of being the work of the Holy Spirit of God.

John MacArthur, the author of Charismatic Chaos, wrote that when Paul spoke about the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians, that;

Paul was describing the Holy Spirit’s ministry of illumination.

MacArthur goes on to write that;

…without His illuminating ministry to us, the truth of the Scripture could not penetrate our hearts and minds.

I hate to break it to people, but the Holy Spirit is not making weird animal sounds that make no sense, making people bark or crawl like animals, and is not in the business of making fools of people.  He is illuminating our hearts and minds with what the Word of God says.