July /August 2016
The Spirit Begotten
“ If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NAS).
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Only 144,000, of the estimated 20 billion people that have ever lived, are to become members of a New Creation, with all its possibilities, privileges, blessings, and glories. Yet none of those who lived prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus could participate in the calling to this opportunity. “There has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11).
Those who respond to the call of God to become new creatures in Christ receive the holy Spirit as an earnest of their inheritance (Ephesians 1:14). “The Indwelling Spirit of God,” based on a discourse by Bro. John T. Read, former pilgrim and director of the Pastoral Bible Institute, looks in-depth at what the holy Spirit is, how it is used in scripture, how it impacted Jesus, and how it likewise impacts those who consecrate their lives to be like him.
“Witness of the Spirit” addresses the question “How do I know that I am truly Spirit begotten?” — and the process of being drawn to Jehovah, experiencing His influence in our life, and feeling the presence of Jesus as our elder brother. Growth in knowledge, and experiences testing the quality of our commitment, are signs of our development as a new creature in Christ.
“Let Us Examine Ourselves” asks 18 scripturally-based questions designed to help us develop common goals as committed Christians.
Jesus often taught the people with parables. “Parables of Personal Consecration” examines three parables regarding Christian responsibility and accountability. We must use our talents, help our brethren, and work committed to the cause of Christ.
The Bible abounds with God’s “Promises to the Spirit Begotten.” Many of these were first understood by Jesus’ disciples at Pentecost. The writings of Paul gave Gentile and Jewish Christians hope in a world of corruption. These promises help us overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Many descriptions of the Church class are hidden in scripture. “The Bride Class” looks at women in the Bible who depicted the graces of inner beauty that we are called to develop. Some in our fellowship do not take the step of consecration to God, yet they serve the brethren in precious ways. “The Household of Faith,” our final article, shows that all those who truly love God will not go unrewarded.
We pray that this issue will help every reader reflect on the importance of being a child of God and feel more deeply the presence of Jesus and our heavenly Father in their lives.