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Life-Study of Galatiansby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0961-6
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 32 of 46 Section 1 of 3

LIFE-STUDY OF GALATIANS

MESSAGE THIRTY-TWO

BORN OF THE SPIRIT TO RECEIVE THE SPIRIT

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Scripture Reading: Gal. 3:2-3, 5, 14; 4:4-6, 29

As believers in Christ, we all have been born of the Spirit to receive the Spirit. Having been regenerated, born of the Spirit, we should daily receive the Spirit.

THE MIRACLE OF REGENERATION

Although these terms may be rather common, they are of great significance. To be born of the Spirit is a tremendous matter, for it means to be actually born of God. Because we have been created by God, we are God’s creatures, and because we are fallen, we are sinners. Nevertheless, we, creatures and sinners, have been born of God. How marvelous!

Suppose a dog could be born of its master and receive its master’s life and nature. Such an event would surely catch the attention of the news media. Would it not be a great miracle for the life and nature of a human being to be imparted to a dog and to make that dog a man-dog? Such a dog would not simply be washed, decorated, and beautified. It would actually have the life and nature of a human being. As astounding as it may seem, through regeneration we have received the life and nature of God.

This understanding of regeneration shatters the natural concept. Using the illustration of a dog receiving a human life, we see that the natural concept is merely that a dog can be cleansed and beautified. In principle, many Christians are occupied with cleansing people and beautifying them, instead of helping them receive the divine life and nature through regeneration. God’s way is not merely to wash us, beautify us, and decorate us outwardly. His intention in His economy is to regenerate us, to cause us to be sons of God born of Him. This matter is unspeakably great.

There is no doubt that God’s salvation includes cleansing by the redeeming blood of Christ. In a very real sense, we, the saved ones, have been cleansed by God. Being cleansed, however, is not the highlight of God’s salvation. The highlight is that God has regenerated us, that He has actually imparted His life and nature into us to make us His sons. Now we are not God’s sons-in-law—we are the sons of God in life. Certainly there is no greater wonder in the whole universe than that sinful men by being regenerated can become sons of God. Many today are seeking wonders and miracles. But they do not realize that there is no greater miracle than regeneration. By regeneration fallen people become sons of God. In His salvation God has made us, fallen sinners, His divine sons.

THE MEANING OF REGENERATION

Among fundamental Christians today, there is little talk about God as the generating Spirit. When I was regenerated more than fifty years ago, I realized that regeneration was wonderful, and I tried to find a book that could give me an adequate definition of regeneration. Eventually I purchased a book entitled The Genuine Definition of Regeneration, expecting that this book would give me the definition I wanted. But much to my disappointment, that book said nothing about God as the Spirit coming into us to regenerate us. Rather, it merely said that regeneration means that we have a new beginning and that all the old things have passed away. But after years of experience and of studying the Bible and the writings of others, we have come to see that to be regenerated is simply to be born of God. In regeneration, God as the life-giving Spirit comes into our spirit to regenerate us with His life and nature. This is the reason the Lord Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). That which is born of the Spirit of God is our regenerated spirit. At the time of our regeneration, God’s Spirit came into our deadened spirit to enliven it with the divine life and nature and thereby to make us sons of God. What a marvelous fact it is that we are sons of God! We have the assurance that we are truly God’s sons because in our spirit we can sweetly cry, “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6).


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